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Old 05-08-2010, 07:26 AM   #1
stevo1210
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Default My wireless woes

I have this problem with my wireless and its driving me insane. Basically, my WRT54G Linksys router isn't being picked up by some of my PCs, unless I refresh the WZC wizard a few times in Windows. What's wrong here?
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:33 AM   #2
seanc
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Default Re: My wireless woes

What's the history of the router? Any recaps? Checked out the insides?
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Did you check or enable

"Connect if the network is not broadcasting"

http://www.windowsreference.com/wind...dcasting-ssid/

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo1210
I have this problem with my wireless and its driving me insane. Basically, my WRT54G Linksys router isn't being picked up by some of my PCs, unless I refresh the WZC wizard a few times in Windows. What's wrong here?
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: My wireless woes

The router is still under its 3 year warranty, so I haven't recapped it. But it's done this since the day I got it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #5
retiredcaps
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Are you running the latest Linksys firmware or some variation like Tomato or DD-WRT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo1210
The router is still under its 3 year warranty, so I haven't recapped it. But it's done this since the day I got it.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:17 AM   #6
stevo1210
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Not the latest firrmware... I haven't updated it since the day I got it... maybe I should give that a try.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: My wireless woes

the wrt54g series are much nicer once flashed with tomato or dd-wrt.
the caps usually give a year of service before the unit goes unstable.the new shiny curvy ones that replaced these even shorter.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:53 PM   #8
retiredcaps
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Even though Linksys is owned by Cisco,it is run as a separate division/business so that means that the Linksys home/consumer products only get about 1 major revision (and some minor fixes) of code. This code lasts about 18 to 24 months and then there are no more updates.

This is the same for all major home routers link Dlink, Belkin, etc because of the low gross margins these products make.

By going to latest Linksys version or third party you get the latest patches and bug fixes. You may want to consider tomato or dd-wrt because they "regularly" get updated with new features and bug fixes from the software development community.

When you update firmware, pay close attention to what hardware revision your router is. Depending on the hardware revision (usually a sticker on the underside of the router), you may be restricted by what you can run because of the amount of flash memory in the router.

In a way, upgrading firmware to the latest is like recapping to all new caps, but without the expense of buying new caps or soldering.

Even though I'm a newbie on this board and to caps, I have been in the network field since 1989 (started with Novell Netware 2.11 and Arcnet).

PS. You never did answer if your windows clients are set to "Connect if the network is not broadcasting". Also, some software on the routers default to NO broadcast SSID for "security purposes".

PPS. I have an older Linksys 802.11b router and it is still running on the original caps. I only upgraded to 802.11g because I got a good deal on a used router off kijiji. I would try the firmware upgrade first and check your clients (as per above) before even thinking about a hardware issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo1210
Not the latest firrmware... I haven't updated it since the day I got it... maybe I should give that a try.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: My wireless woes

dd-wrt for the win. I have 2 of them up now and they are fairly stable. One was ditched by a commercial client because it kept dropping the connection. Once flashed it does this no longer.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Think I'll try dd-wrt on mine. I'm not using it, because it's picky about when it will power up - sometimes it will just light the power led dimly.

I've recapped it and tried a different PSU, same thing, unless I missed a cap.

As long as it powers up and doesn't die once it's up, it should be OK.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:23 PM   #11
retiredcaps
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Post pics of motherboard and backside.

I doubt dd-wrt will help because this sounds more like a hardware issue.

Did you replace all the caps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanc
Think I'll try dd-wrt on mine. I'm not using it, because it's picky about when it will power up - sometimes it will just light the power led dimly.

I've recapped it and tried a different PSU, same thing, unless I missed a cap.

As long as it powers up and doesn't die once it's up, it should be OK.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
retiredcaps
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Default Re: My wireless woes

One other thing to check is to see if the DC jack is loose or not.

I have a Motorola cable modem which I would disconnect from the DC jack side whenever it was not in use. Eventually over the years I probably stressed the DC jack and now it only works if you wiggle it. Once it is on, it stays on.

Also check for solder cracks/joints/rings on the motherboard.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Yeah I had re-capped it - forgot to mention that, doh.

Just opened it up to see what I'd put in, found I'd put one non low ESR 220uf 25v panasonic NHG in, just replaced it for an FM - seems fine at the moment. The others are panasonic FC 100uf 16v
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: My wireless woes

No dd-wrt or Tomato for me, I have a v7. I suspect Stevo is in the same position.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: My wireless woes

I have run the micro versions too. I have a v6 and a TM (mega version). Also add the extra caps that they left off.
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Check out Windows event viewer - system

Had a client system which wouldn't connect, showed weirdo network events, plus problems with their disk

Not worth trying to build when the foundation is shaky
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: My wireless woes

I love my good ol' WRT54GS...it is very old now (can't even remember when I got it ). However it has been rock solid for years and years now even with the original crap caps. Maybe one day I will recap it .

Originally I used HyperWRT by Thibor firmware. It was quite nice, essentially the stock firmware but with a few fixes and small additions here and there. However it seems like support for that firmware has ceased. I then moved onto Tomato firmware...loved it. I then tried Victek's Tomato RAF...this was just perfect for me. It is essentially the original Tomato firmware but with a few tweaks and additions here and there. I have had some interest in VPN lately. So I have just installed and setup TomatoVPN. Pretty neat how I can runa VPN server directly on a cheap router. Have not done much with it so far so I can not judge how good it is. However it is working fine and is stable.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: My wireless woes

Firmware updates are important to enable the latest security features.

I had a D-Link DIR-524 which had hardware support for AES and WPA2, but was not implemented in the firmware. An official firmware update enabled AES and WPA2. Also, I have a Linksys WRT55AG which supports WPA with AES (but not WPA2) - the majority of non-WPA2 routers others have hardware support for AES, but is not enabled in the firmware .

Turning off SSID broadcast can cause interference to all wireless networks (including yours) if they all happen to use the same channel, so many leave SSID broadcast on, to make finding their wireless network easy, especially in some buildings with 'dead spots'. As I said elsewhere, I only turn off SSID broadcast if it is in a corporate environment.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:05 AM   #19
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Default Re: My wireless woes

SSID broadcast off doesn't do squat. You can still scan and pick the AP up with site survey tools.

Neither does mac authentication if you use any clients at all.
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