WRT54Gv5 Performance in Repeater Bridge WIreless Mode

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Bradley Culter
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 12 Oct 2019
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 17:15    Post subject: WRT54Gv5 Performance in Repeater Bridge WIreless Mode Reply with quote
Yesterday, I succeeded in doing the first reflash to DD-WRT micro in my old router.

I was doing this because I had hoped to use it as a wireless bridge from my AT&T Router/Gateway to solve my home networking problem.

My problem is that the pre-wired CAT5 cables seem only to carry TIP/RING reliably and fail to carry even 10B/T Ethernet.

I was happy and marginally optimistic so I registered as a forum member to say "Thanks!".

I immediately proceeded to use these very good instructions I found on how to setup DD-WRT in "Repeater Bridge" mode: https://blog.flashrouters.com/2018/02/19/how-to-set-up-a-repeater-bridge/

First time I tried, I succeeded in my goal, which is a testament to the quality of DD-WRT. Kudos again to all who made it possible.

Sadly, however, the performance is really disappointing.

I'm not sure what the most useful test is for performance but I have been using the ookla Speedtest program (app) running in Windows 7 Pro for tests inside my house.

My service is 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps Upload and I can usually get 19-20 download speed when wirelessly connected directly to the AT&T gateway and 25-30 when wired to the gateway.

But with this route from my ISP to

ADSL wire <-> AT&T Gateway <- RF -> WRT54Gv5 <- wire -> HP EliteBook 8740w

performance is pretty bad.

First trial the Speedtest couldn't connect to the internet. So then I used the browser and found it could connect to the internet fine. So I retried Speedtest.
It worked this time but with very low numbers:

Normally PING time is 24-26 ms. With the repeater bridge it is 41 ms.
Download speed was 0.02 Mbps, Upload 0.20.

A retry yielded 28 ms / 0.19 Mbps / 0.70 Mbps
and another retry yielded 33 ms / 0.18 Mbps / 0.36 Mbps

But after opened a browser and did some normal DDG searches, I got better speed test results. Typical GOOD speed test results yield 28 ms / 5.00 Mbps / 3.00 Mbps.

If I connect wirelessly to the virtual AP, performance is ALWAYS so low as to be useless.

Is poor performance the primary reason that the wiki has so many assertions that say get rid of your WRT54Gv5 - get a WRT54GL?

I had thought maybe the reason was related to the other caveats regarding this model, of which I read many repetitions: "low memory causes hangs", "not as many features", "many have bricked theirs during the first reflash because they didn't follow the steps"

Or perhaps, my setup of Bridge Repeater is incomplete and as a NOOB, I need to learn to use a lot of the other features available in (even) this micro version of DD-WRT to tune the performance.

I'm thinking of going ahead and reflashing DD-WRT into my other wireless router, a LinkSys EA6900 I got at Sams Club back in 2015 and was using until I switched ISPs to AT&T this past spring.

The EA6900 has lots more RAM and FLASH and seems that it MIGHT be supported by DD-WRT.

My EA6900 is V1.1 Hardware. (See pic of label attached)

In this list: https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices#Linksys_.28Wireless_a.2Fb.2Fg.2Fn.2Fac.29 Only V1.0 of the EA6900 is listed.

But this post seems to indicate two users with the V1.1 EA6900 succeeded in using DD-WRT on this router: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=312972

Because of the apparent contradiction and my present NOOB status, I'm a little afraid of trying to use the EA6900 but with the bad performance of the WRT54G as a repeater bridge, I may be forced to try.

ea6900 MAC and SN and FCC label for post.jpg
photo of label on my EA6900 with redacted CSPs.
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ea6900 MAC and SN and FCC label for post.jpg

Bradley Culter
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 12 Oct 2019
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 18:35    Post subject: Some good news about the performance Reply with quote
When I was doing my tests with the newly programmed and configured WRT54Gv5 in bridge repeater mode, the router was sitting on my desk a few inches from the notebook I was using as the management/test device.

In this position, this secondary router is about 3.5 feet off the floor and about 50 ft from the primary router (gateway) which is about 10 ft off the floor. Three wood/sheetrock walls are between them.

When I lifted the router off the desk just a couple of feet above its location, performance increased to 6+ Mbps download and 4+ Mbps upload -- to a wireless client!

I haven't measured the wired speed yet but this is so much better, I'm encouraged again, and it makes me appreciate DD-WRT so much more! It may be usable without further work (seeing if there is newer micro firmware than this 2009 version)

So I'm going to install it about 8 feet off the floor in the same office, but about 3 feet more distant from the primary router and start using it to see how it works.

Bravo DD-WRT!

The version from 10 years ago seems to be solving my problem! Awesome!

I can only imagine how much better the current builds are -- which makes me even more interested in becoming a DD-WRT guru (building code and porting to other routers) to pay back the community.

I may look into loading DD-WRT onto my EA6900 after all.

Joined: 18 Nov 2015
Posts: 1252
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 20:24    Post subject: Re: Some good news about the performance Reply with quote
Bradley Culter wrote:
I may look into loading DD-WRT onto my EA6900 after all.

You might be interested in this install guide by egc:

R7800 x2 kongat & BS WDS AP & Sta-- R7500V2 BS std WDS STA-- WZR-HP-AG300H BS std WDS STA
WNDR3700v4 BS std WDS STA-- Nanostation M2 AirOS-- LocoM2 AirOS
R6200v2 41491std using R6250.chk WLAN Repeater Archer C9 v1 OEM WAP

DDWRT Policy Based Routing Guide by egc
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