Network on the Road

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DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 27 Nov 2013
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 15:15    Post subject: Network on the Road Reply with quote
Dear DDWRT community.
I am looking for help into how to best set up my network for an RV (travel trailer).

I have a TPLINK station with 3 external antennas. Two antennas (waterproof) are routed to the outside one remains on the inside. Outside antennas are necessary since the aluminium skin of the vehicle destroys wifi signals.

My question is how can i best hook into free wifi hotspot with my router? I want my devices to stay connected to the TP link and have access to locas NAS etc. without having to try to connect every devices to the external hotspot but rather stay connected to my router at all times.

HOW can i set up a public hotspot as my WAN connection?

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Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 372
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
1. Configure your TPLINK as a client, if possible. If not, flash it with DD-WRT so that it is. If your TPLINK does not support client mode AND is not supported by DD-WRT, replace it with a router that is supported.

2. The radio of your router will no longer be available for client connections once itself is acting as a client. So, either a) get ahold of a wireless AP and connect to your router, or b) get a second router and configure it as a wireless access point.

You should now be able to connect your devices to your wireless AP and have access to the internet.

You could also avoid step 2 if you configure your router to operate in repeater mode. However, I tend to avoid repeater mode because throughput suffers greatly.
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 27 Nov 2013
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
thank you for your informative reply!

i actually dug around some more and first arrived this solution:

configure as you said as client, then create virtual wlan. DO NOT BRIDGE these two but rather set up client as WAN.

the problem actually boiled down to hardware. YOU CAN NOT split the antenna arrays to where they are that far apart and/or there is absorption in between.

N standard needs the multiple antennas to function correctly. i tried playing around with the "antenna chains" in ddwrt settings but could not get it to connect reliably and with very poor throughput.

i bought a ubiquity bullet, weatherproofed it a little and put it on the roof running an ethernet cable to the WAN port of the TPLINK. bullet runs in client mode and tplink runs auto dhcp wan.

works like a charme. If you set the Bullet SSID to connect to "Any" ssid it will automatically connect to the strongest open signal.

The problem here is that if the Strong open Hotspot does not have internet you are connected to a dud and you will have to manually go into the bullet and tell it where to connect to.

I am currently trying to get ddwrt to run on the bullet2 hp and because there is a neat script called AutoAP (connects to open hotspot check for connection, moves on to the next one if its dead...)

final step is to tunnel to a VPN so i can have open ports wherever i go/connect to. Not sure if that works but at the moment my steep learning curve makes me believe it does!

whoop whoop THANKS for the help i hope my post gives some help to ppl looking todo similar things. this should also work beautifully on boats...just saying.
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