Linksys WRT 54 G signal trouble

Discussion in 'Silicon (v)Alley' started by Blazed Bacon, May 10, 2011.

  1. Hi guys, hope someone here can help me out. I've been using a Linksys WRT 54 G wifi router for years, it has worked perfectly well. However, in the past couple months, I have been having connection problems. I figured out yesterday that it is related to the wireless signal.

    At the couch in my bedroom, which is probably about 20-30 feet from the router, but through a couple walls/one floor (walls made with wood, plaster and lath, old house), the signal has recently been degraded to where download speed is erratic and often drops out completely. At my bedroom door, which is closer to the router, the signal works well (at least to the 2.7 mbps of our DSL connection).

    I figure this thing is dying, and I only need about 14 more months out of it before I move. Is there something I can do to increase its signal robustness? I'm hesitant to switch to a new N router, as many of the cheaper ones have internal antennas and still operate on the same band (and power output I'm guessing?). Reviews are spotty. Many of the 5 stars are just people for which it works well and had an easy setup.

    Could a new external antenna help? Also, does anyone know of the max effective coax cable length for an external antenna? An EE friend of mine said the impediances should be matched, but I don't know how to determine the impedance of the power amp in the radio. If a long cable could work I could place an antenna closer to my room.

    And if it would be better to get a new router, is there one someone recommends? I need a robust signal, not high throughput speeds (2.7 mbps max, lol). I also don't need 5GHz and that wouldn't really help anyway as it's more easily attenuated.


    RF is a bitch.
  2. If you flash the router with DD-WRT you can manually increase the signal strength, but I don't think that will help much.

    You are pushing the limits of an old 802.11g WAP. I recommend switching to a new 802.11n WAP that does not have "WR" anywhere in the name =.

    I'm confused. You say that as if it is a downside. :confused:

    I have a Netgear WNDR3700 that's been working great for me, but you seem very averse to any technology that is remotely new ;)
  3. We still use this same router in our house cause it's still clunkin' along like a tank. I've noticed that sometimes you need to leave doors open between it and it's destination. Other than that we have ours mounted on the wall so that might be helping as well. Post 420 I believe?
  4. Eh, it's not a downside that some people had an easy time with it but that doesn't mean it's great, just that it works well enough for them.

    And nah, I'm fine with new stuff. I'll get a new router and see if it helps. I can always return it if not.
  5. Well, went out and bought a linksys E1200. Setup was easy since I was familiar with the web interface and it works perfectly so far up here in my room.

    Although the freaking SMPS power adapter is a whiner...I hate those cheap things. Luckily the transformer for the old router is the same voltage and twice the current rating, and I know it's not gonna fail randomly.

  6. Woohoo! Gotta love (and hate) those interchangeable AC adapters. Electrical whine drives me crazy even more than hard drive seeking clicks.

  7. Huh, I actually like the HDD noises. I love the sound of the spindles spinning up. And the clicks are soothing. Not like I hear them much, this laptop HDD is quiet and mounted in a damping fixture, and I'm always playing music.

    But the thing with the chopper whine is that you can hear it from so far away; it's just piercing. They need to tune their shitty circuits to resonate faster. But they're made so cheaply that the ones that do work probably have widely varying frequencies from unit to unit. Whatever.
  8. Actually, fuck. I'm still getting crappy performance, and it's just like it was with the old one, only a bit better. It's still good at the door, but crappy at my couch.

    WTF. It was working perfectly earlier on the couch. Think this could be caused by thermal issues? The things not abnormally hot, but it was still cool earlier when I tested it working fine.

    Think maybe a different channel would work better?
  9. A different channel is definitely worth a shot. Are there any other electrical devices nearby that might be causing interference?
  10. I turned off the AC and fans, no change. They wouldn't make RF interference anyway. They're just induction motors.

    I'll try another channel and see. Right now the setting is Auto. But it's not like there are a ton of networks here, maybe 6 or so.
  11. Hmm, so this is interesting. I'm here at home and its around 3 pm, and the signal is performing well, transferring my DSL's max speed at all times.

    I have noticed that the signal problem happens mainly later, when most people would be home and using either their networks or possibly other interfering devices such as microwaves.

    To clarify, even at night now, this new router is performing better than the old one was. Unless I switch to g mode only, I dunno if this is n doing a better job or if the old one really was dying.
  12. Alright, so I got a 5 GHz router (Linksys E2000) and it seems to be working well. I can't compare it against 2.4 GHz n, but compared against our old 2.4 GHz g router (the WRT54G) it is woking properly. We'll see if any interference crops up, but as of now, it's working. It seems like the 2.4 GHz interference is interfering at this moment.

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