R7000: Issues with 5 ghz antennas and poor signal strength

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raulo1985
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Jun 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 13:29    Post subject: R7000: Issues with 5 ghz antennas and poor signal strength Reply with quote
Hi everyone. I’m having a little trouble making a repeater bridge link between two R7000 routers flashed with the latest Kong’s firmware (and with previous ones too). Everything works, but signal strength and throughput is very poor with the stock antennas and also with some omni directional antennas I had as backup (which have better gain than the stock ones). The distance between routers is about 20-25 meters. Since I have a clear line of sight and wanted to make use of AC speeds using the 5 ghz band, I installed two of these 5ghz directional antennas pointing at each other:


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015QG1UOM?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share


I kept two omni antennas on both routers and attached the directional antennas to the third ports of the routers with high quality (and short, less than 1 meter) LMR 400 cables, but the signal is worse than with the stock antennas (using the 5ghz band too). I switched the antennas to every port of both router and the results are the same. Is there something that I have to configure at firmware level to take advantage of these antennas's gain? I thought that this could be the ideal situation to use them, since the distance is not that great, I have a clear line of sight between both routers, the band is not crowded, and the quality of these antennas and cables is supposed to be good. I have tx power set to 500 for wl1, and both routers are configured as repetear bridge through AC, with 2.4 ghz band disabled, and tried with beamforming on and off. Everything else is configured as standard repeater bridge as per the site instructions, no fancy features activated. Does this interfere with MIMO or beamforming and that’s the reason of this? If so, is there any way that I can take advantage of these antennas's gain with ddwrt? I just want a point to point connection, both routers are connected to the rest of my network through wire (ethernet cables). Like I said, I already tried both antennas on every port of both routers, with poor results.


Thanks in advance!

PS: BTW, I was registered as compufan73, but forgot my password and couldn't recover the account, so I created this new one. I'm not that new here Smile
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paravox
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 12 Jul 2016
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 15:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
Try resetting the antenna tx power back to default—cranking it up can sometimes work against you. I assume you’re using 80 wide channels. Have you tried a site survey? Ideally you want a clear non-DFS, non-overlapping channel on 5ghz.
Dr_K
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Mar 2018
Posts: 437

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 0:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
1: Repeater Bridge is a "hack" & doesn't work at all on some hardware...& doesn't work well in any "real" heavy work enviroment on any hardware.
Use client or repeater then join the two subnets with firewall rules, Vlan's or real bridging. If that is what you truly need.

2: You only configure Repeater Bridge, client or repeater on one router...not both.

3: Your R7000's use 3...or at least 2 antenn's to achieve any AC connection...so using only one will never get you AC.

4: As already stated...cranking up signal stregnth "usually" only causes problems....or hardware failure...
Even worse when you are mismatching antenna that are trying to do the same thing.

5: Sorry to see what you spent on those antenna..
As you could have gotten a proven PTP standalone unite for the same or less money. From several different brand/manufacturers...All also "outdoor" rated.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

_________________
Location 1
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04-03-19) Gateway
WNDR3400v1 DD-WRT.v3.0-r35531_mega-nv64k (03/26/18 ) Access Point
WRT160Nv3 DD-WRT ?v3?.0-r35531 mini (03/26/18 ) Access Point
WRT54GSv5 DD-WRT v24-r33555_micro_generic (10/20/17) Repeater
Location 2
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04/03/19) Gateway
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04/03/19) Access Point
WNDR3700v2 DD-WRT v3.0-r35531 std (03/26/18 ) Access Point
E1200 v2 DD-WRT v3.0-r35531 mega-nv64k (03/26/18 ) Gateway(for trivial reasons)
2 devices: SXT 5 ac (mipsbe) RB 6.45.1 (06/27/19) PTP Bridge (0.8km/0.5mi)tx/rx866.6Mbps-1GbpsLAN

Thank You <Kong> & BrainSlayer for ALL that you do also to everyone here that shares their knowledge
raulo1985
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Jun 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 18:34    Post subject: Reply with quote
paravox wrote:
Try resetting the antenna tx power back to default—cranking it up can sometimes work against you. I assume you’re using 80 wide channels. Have you tried a site survey? Ideally you want a clear non-DFS, non-overlapping channel on 5ghz.


Thanks for your reply Smile . I'll try with default setting for tx power. Yes, I'm using 80 wide channels and did a site survey. Any suggestions about which channel should I use? The 5 ghz band is not crowded at all where I live.

Dr_K wrote:
1: Repeater Bridge is a "hack" & doesn't work at all on some hardware...& doesn't work well in any "real" heavy work enviroment on any hardware.
Use client or repeater then join the two subnets with firewall rules, Vlan's or real bridging. If that is what you truly need.

2: You only configure Repeater Bridge, client or repeater on one router...not both.

3: Your R7000's use 3...or at least 2 antenn's to achieve any AC connection...so using only one will never get you AC.

4: As already stated...cranking up signal stregnth "usually" only causes problems....or hardware failure...
Even worse when you are mismatching antenna that are trying to do the same thing.

5: Sorry to see what you spent on those antenna..
As you could have gotten a proven PTP standalone unite for the same or less money. From several different brand/manufacturers...All also "outdoor" rated.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Thank you too for your reply Smile . Here's some extra info:

1) I've used repeater bridge for a long time with my R7000s using the latest Kong builds, sometimes on 2,4 ghz, sometimes on 5 ghz (always AC). Throughput has always been good enough and with 0 issues (and signal strength and throughput has always been the same compared to repeater mode). I didn't know that repeater bridge was considered a "hack" though, but has always worked for me without issues. In this particular case, I tried with repeater mode too and the results were almost the same (same signal strength and throughput). Because of that, I tend to think that the problem is simply the environment, distance and the configuration of the antennas, not a firmware or feature problem. But that is just my theory Smile .

2) That's how it's configured. One R7000 as AP (5ghz, AC), and the receiver as repeater bridge. The connection is solid, but very slow. If I move both routers closer to each other (which is not an option for what I need), the speed goes up to what you can expect (with omni antennas).

3) For both routers, I'm using two omni antennas (with better gain than the stock ones, and they work as expected, I have tested them before), with the 5 ghz directional antennas attached to the third ports, both pointing at each other. As said, I've tried on all three port, with same poor results, but have always kept the other two ports with the omni antennas.

4) Noted. I guess it's kind of an idea that I got from a post from here that I read some time ago, that 500 was a good value por 5 ghz tx power. I'll try with default. Thanks for the tip.

5) Not to worry, I didn't purchase them, a close friend of mine bought them and ended up not using them, so he gave them to me. I just wanted to make a good use out of them since they seem to be pretty good, and thought this was the perfect situation (point to point connection, clear line of sight, not so great distance).

PS: any suggestions about where should I read about bridging with repeater mode? I really need to keep everything in the same subnet, that's why I've always loved the repeater bridge feature.
Dr_K
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Mar 2018
Posts: 437

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 16:57    Post subject: Reply with quote
raulo1985 wrote:
Thank you too for your reply Smile . Here's some extra info:

1) I've used repeater bridge for a long time with my R7000s using the latest Kong builds, sometimes on 2,4 ghz, sometimes on 5 ghz (always AC). Throughput has always been good enough and with 0 issues (and signal strength and throughput has always been the same compared to repeater mode). I didn't know that repeater bridge was considered a "hack" though, but has always worked for me without issues. In this particular case, I tried with repeater mode too and the results were almost the same (same signal strength and throughput). Because of that, I tend to think that the problem is simply the environment, distance and the configuration of the antennas, not a firmware or feature problem. But that is just my theory Smile .

2) That's how it's configured. One R7000 as AP (5ghz, AC), and the receiver as repeater bridge. The connection is solid, but very slow. If I move both routers closer to each other (which is not an option for what I need), the speed goes up to what you can expect (with omni antennas).

3) For both routers, I'm using two omni antennas (with better gain than the stock ones, and they work as expected, I have tested them before), with the 5 ghz directional antennas attached to the third ports, both pointing at each other. As said, I've tried on all three port, with same poor results, but have always kept the other two ports with the omni antennas.

4) Noted. I guess it's kind of an idea that I got from a post from here that I read some time ago, that 500 was a good value por 5 ghz tx power. I'll try with default. Thanks for the tip.

5) Not to worry, I didn't purchase them, a close friend of mine bought them and ended up not using them, so he gave them to me. I just wanted to make a good use out of them since they seem to be pretty good, and thought this was the perfect situation (point to point connection, clear line of sight, not so great distance).

PS: any suggestions about where should I read about bridging with repeater mode? I really need to keep everything in the same subnet, that's why I've always loved the repeater bridge feature.

1a: I never said it never works.. I said it never works well in any "real" heavy work environment on any hardware.

Due to the nature of the use of MAC address translation (MAT) as MAC addresses will not transverse its bridge, (proxy ARP) not compatible with some applications and protocols that depend on MAC addresses as same as above.
Witch become more & more apparent as you add 2 or more clients to your repeater bridge &/or client bridge simultaneously. On top of the potential ARP problems potentially caused on the Gateway.

1b: As far as repeater Bridge & client bridge being a "hack"

Stated in the wiki here on how to setup a Repeater Bridge (you did read it?), it links to two posts by BrainSlayer himself
https://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1097817#1097817
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=185212#185212
The second is in German & to save space here, I'll let you copy/past the post into any online translator yourself if need be.

Also a simple forum search of "repeater bridge is a hack" returned 53 matches, so don't just take my word...
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/search.php?mode=results

2: I was only taking you for your word in my comment... As in your OP you stated..
Quote:
and both routers are configured as repeater bridge through AC

3: I truly don't know how else to better explain my point that you are not seeing.

It will no doubt make the most sense if you teach yourself by searching the following...but not limited to:
"Why does my R7000 have 3 dual band antennas"
"How does my wireless router achieve speeds higher than 150mbps"
"How does the AC protocol achieve speeds higher than 600mbps"
"MIMO"

To answer your P.S.:

Not the only solution... Take a look at:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linking_Subnets_with_Static_Routes

_________________
Location 1
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04-03-19) Gateway
WNDR3400v1 DD-WRT.v3.0-r35531_mega-nv64k (03/26/18 ) Access Point
WRT160Nv3 DD-WRT ?v3?.0-r35531 mini (03/26/18 ) Access Point
WRT54GSv5 DD-WRT v24-r33555_micro_generic (10/20/17) Repeater
Location 2
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04/03/19) Gateway
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04/03/19) Access Point
WNDR3700v2 DD-WRT v3.0-r35531 std (03/26/18 ) Access Point
E1200 v2 DD-WRT v3.0-r35531 mega-nv64k (03/26/18 ) Gateway(for trivial reasons)
2 devices: SXT 5 ac (mipsbe) RB 6.45.1 (06/27/19) PTP Bridge (0.8km/0.5mi)tx/rx866.6Mbps-1GbpsLAN

Thank You <Kong> & BrainSlayer for ALL that you do also to everyone here that shares their knowledge
raulo1985
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Jun 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 23:14    Post subject: Reply with quote
Dr_K wrote:
raulo1985 wrote:
Thank you too for your reply Smile . Here's some extra info:

1) I've used repeater bridge for a long time with my R7000s using the latest Kong builds, sometimes on 2,4 ghz, sometimes on 5 ghz (always AC). Throughput has always been good enough and with 0 issues (and signal strength and throughput has always been the same compared to repeater mode). I didn't know that repeater bridge was considered a "hack" though, but has always worked for me without issues. In this particular case, I tried with repeater mode too and the results were almost the same (same signal strength and throughput). Because of that, I tend to think that the problem is simply the environment, distance and the configuration of the antennas, not a firmware or feature problem. But that is just my theory Smile .

2) That's how it's configured. One R7000 as AP (5ghz, AC), and the receiver as repeater bridge. The connection is solid, but very slow. If I move both routers closer to each other (which is not an option for what I need), the speed goes up to what you can expect (with omni antennas).

3) For both routers, I'm using two omni antennas (with better gain than the stock ones, and they work as expected, I have tested them before), with the 5 ghz directional antennas attached to the third ports, both pointing at each other. As said, I've tried on all three port, with same poor results, but have always kept the other two ports with the omni antennas.

4) Noted. I guess it's kind of an idea that I got from a post from here that I read some time ago, that 500 was a good value por 5 ghz tx power. I'll try with default. Thanks for the tip.

5) Not to worry, I didn't purchase them, a close friend of mine bought them and ended up not using them, so he gave them to me. I just wanted to make a good use out of them since they seem to be pretty good, and thought this was the perfect situation (point to point connection, clear line of sight, not so great distance).

PS: any suggestions about where should I read about bridging with repeater mode? I really need to keep everything in the same subnet, that's why I've always loved the repeater bridge feature.

1a: I never said it never works.. I said it never works well in any "real" heavy work environment on any hardware.

Due to the nature of the use of MAC address translation (MAT) as MAC addresses will not transverse its bridge, (proxy ARP) not compatible with some applications and protocols that depend on MAC addresses as same as above.
Witch become more & more apparent as you add 2 or more clients to your repeater bridge &/or client bridge simultaneously. On top of the potential ARP problems potentially caused on the Gateway.

1b: As far as repeater Bridge & client bridge being a "hack"

Stated in the wiki here on how to setup a Repeater Bridge (you did read it?), it links to two posts by BrainSlayer himself
https://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1097817#1097817
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=185212#185212
The second is in German & to save space here, I'll let you copy/past the post into any online translator yourself if need be.

Also a simple forum search of "repeater bridge is a hack" returned 53 matches, so don't just take my word...
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/search.php?mode=results

2: I was only taking you for your word in my comment... As in your OP you stated..
Quote:
and both routers are configured as repeater bridge through AC

3: I truly don't know how else to better explain my point that you are not seeing.

It will no doubt make the most sense if you teach yourself by searching the following...but not limited to:
"Why does my R7000 have 3 dual band antennas"
"How does my wireless router achieve speeds higher than 150mbps"
"How does the AC protocol achieve speeds higher than 600mbps"
"MIMO"

To answer your P.S.:

Not the only solution... Take a look at:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linking_Subnets_with_Static_Routes


Thanks again for your reply.

1) Maybe it's because of my not-so-good English, but I just wanted to point out that I wasn't aware of repeater bridge having those kind of issues when using it in heavy work environments. I believe it's not my situation, though, since I don't need more than 150 mbps of throughput, and with good signal strength I can easily achieve those speeds. I'm always trying to learn, so thank you very much for the links, I'll give them a look.

2) Yeah, my bad on that phrase of my original post. One router is configured as AP, the other one as repeater bridge.

3) I was just trying to explain in a better way how I installed the antennas, that was just some extra info. The point is that every port of both router has antennas, two good omni antennas and one directional 5ghz antenna per router. I'm not trying to achieve full AC speeds, I'm kind of a noob but I understand that this antenna configuration could mess up MIMO and things like that. The thing is that I find it weird that I can achieve better signal strength using three omni antennas per router (still poor signal because of the distance) than with two omnis and one directional antenna pointing to the other one. I apologize for my ignorance, but if I change the standard antenna configuration (3 omnis), shouldn't it just mess with throughput (because of MIMO) but not with signal strength, specially if two of those antennas are pointing at each other? I'm getting really bad signal strength with these directional antennas, just wanted to know if they can be useful in any way for this situation in particular. Again, sorry for my ignorance regarding this, and believe me, I'll keep reading (I'm not lazy at these things), but I think it's always a good thing to learn from other people's experience too Smile .

4) A more concrete question. What would you do to acomplish my goal in this scenario? I mean, what would you do if you had two R7000s, enough omni antennas and two directional 5 ghz antennas, to achieve a point to point connection between both routers (20-25 mts between them, with clear line of sight)? Like I said, getting AC speeds is not what I'm after, 150 mbps is good enough, but signal quality is like 20% and throughput is around 5 - 10 mbps. With three omnis the throughput goes to 20-30 mbps (understandable, because of MIMO I guess), but signal quality also improves to about 35-40% (which I don't quite understand, since it's a lot better than having two good 5ghz antennas pointing at each other). Those values are almost the same when I configure the receiving router as repeater. 5ghz band is not crowded at my place. Just want to read what an experienced user would do in this situation, and if there's any way I can use these antennas, with these routers, in this scenario.

Again, thanks for your replies, and I'll keep reading too.
Dr_K
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Mar 2018
Posts: 437

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
To be clear....MIMO stands for Multi In Multi Out...2.4G, 5G or 5Gac...all the same...being multiple antenna at the same time

As far as messing MIMO up....that is what you are doing changing out only one antenna...

The signal strength is of all 3 antenna, so you are messing that up also...following?

Only way I know to "possibly" disable MINO is chousing an 802.11 standard that predates 802.11n

It is "Beam forming" not "MIMO" that is causing your discription of your omni antenna's signal stregnth & throughput improving a bit over time...

As far as what I would do....take a look at the last two devices in my signature...

They make cheaper ones now...as do other manufacturers.
That "theoretical" throughput is solid year round in all weather conditions. They can also do several kilometers/miles of you need them to. With clear line of sight of course.

Just to add...that throughput described in my signature is maxed out in my case because those units only have two antennas in each of them...

Not claiming to know for sure, but the only way "I" see utilizing those directional antennas is to buy four more..(waste of money as other solutions are way better for less money....

Or "possibly"....thinking out loud...combine all three antenna on the router into the one with some kind of splitter. As I think you said that your 2.4G band is disabled anyways..

Even if that somehow can be done...your speeds will nodoubt still suffer, just not as bad.

Still thinking out loud...If feasible...you could try making a curved metalic reflector around 1/2 each router to collect the signal from the other router & reflect it towards the antennas ... using the three omni antenna...a half a cantenna ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

_________________
Location 1
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04-03-19) Gateway
WNDR3400v1 DD-WRT.v3.0-r35531_mega-nv64k (03/26/18 ) Access Point
WRT160Nv3 DD-WRT ?v3?.0-r35531 mini (03/26/18 ) Access Point
WRT54GSv5 DD-WRT v24-r33555_micro_generic (10/20/17) Repeater
Location 2
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04/03/19) Gateway
R6300V2- DD-WRT v3.0-r39345M kongac (04/03/19) Access Point
WNDR3700v2 DD-WRT v3.0-r35531 std (03/26/18 ) Access Point
E1200 v2 DD-WRT v3.0-r35531 mega-nv64k (03/26/18 ) Gateway(for trivial reasons)
2 devices: SXT 5 ac (mipsbe) RB 6.45.1 (06/27/19) PTP Bridge (0.8km/0.5mi)tx/rx866.6Mbps-1GbpsLAN

Thank You <Kong> & BrainSlayer for ALL that you do also to everyone here that shares their knowledge
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