Several members have built WIFI repeater systems for their RVs using an external antenna, a bridge and a wireless router. While the system works, some have reported occasional problems, and no one seemed to have complete answers to those problems. In a previous post, I indicated that one of the problems may be related to IP addressing; and now that I have build my system, I can report that my diagnosis is correct; although, the exact nature of the IP addressing conflict is now better understood by me.
It is imperative that devices on your local network have different IP addresses. If not, you will have to change the address of one of the conflicting devices. Also, it is essential that the IP addresses in your local network be in a different address space than that of the external network; otherwise, the router won’t be able to determine if a message from your pc is to be routed to your local network (LAN) or to the internet (WAN). The address space of 192.168.x.x, where x is in the range of 0 to 255 is the private address space available. To prevent potential conflicts with devices on other networks, you should change the address space of your bridge and router to one that is not commonly used. For example, my D-Link router has a default address of 192.168.0.1 and my D-Link bridge is 192.168.0.30. I changed my router to 192.168.255.1 and my bridge to 192.168.255.30. Instructions on how to change the addresses are included in the following setup steps. Setup can be accomplished using a cable or wireless connection, but the following instructions are for wireless. Note that there are two types of Ethernet cables. Most devices will automatically detect and connect to either type of cable; however, if your devices do not have automatic detection, ensure you use the correct cables.
PC initial setup[ul][*]In the Network Connections window, right click the wireless connection icon and select Properties, Internet Protocol, Properties, and check Obtain an IP Address Automatically and check Obtain DNS server address automatically.[*]In Internet Explorer select Tools, Internet Options, Connections, LAN Settings. Check Automatically Detect Settings and clear all others boxes.
Router Initial Setup[ul][*]Right click the wireless icon in the system tray, view available networks, select your router (may be called default or the brand name) and connect.[*]Access the router’s setup windows using Internet Explorer and the router’s IP.[*]WAN – set to obtain IP automatically from the ISP.[*]Wireless – Set SSID to a name you select for your network. Enable SSID broadcast. Set to infrastructure mode (may also be called multi-point). Since many networks use channel 6, using a different channel for your network may improve operation. Disable encryption.[*]DHCP – set the range of assignable addresses so that the IP of your bridge is included.[/ul]
Bridge Initial Setup[ul][*]Connect cable from bridge to one of the router’s LAN ports. Access the bridge’s setup windows using Internet Explorer and the bridge’s IP.[*]Set operating mode to infrastructure (or may be called multi-point).[[*]Change the IP address of the bridge. The subnet mask must be 255.255.255.0.[/ul]
Router Final Setup[ul][*]Access the router’s setup windows[*]Change the IP address of the router[*]The subnet mask must be 255.255.255.0.[/ul]
Connecting to the Internet[ul][*]Access the bridge’s setup windows using the new IP address[*]Perform a site survey, select a network and connect[*]Move the bridge cable to the router’s WAN port[*]Restart browser[/ul]
Most all problems I have encountered have been related to one of three types of IP addressing errors: bridge or router is in same address space as the external network; or two devices within a network have the same IP address (Windows will give an error message); or the PC or WAN port of the router are not set to automatically obtain an IP
The PING command can be used to find problems. Select Start, Run, enter cmd. An MSDOS window will open. Type ping followed by a space followed by the IP address of the device you want to contact. Press enter. Four messages will be sent to the device. The response time should be in the order of 1 ms. A long time may indicate that there is a duplicate IP. No response means that the device is not accessible. You can also enter a named address after ping, e.g., www.yahoo.com. A successful reply indicates that you were able to access both the DNS and the web site.
Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.
* This post was
edited 11/13/05 02:55pm by rwwoods *
Very good tutorial. I've been meaning to try to explain this in a thread for some time now but havent found the time, your explaination is very good. Thanks for your time and effort in posting this somewhat confusing process. I use my bridge, router and external antenna all the time. I also open my WiFi network to other travelers in the parks we are at so they can connect to the internet easier. I've been using this same system for almost 3 years now, works great!
Excellent tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to make the post. Those of us who followed your 'struggle' to accomplish this setup celebrate your success. Your tutorial should lessen the 'pain' for others.
Thanks for the detailed summary. I had hoped to get to try to work on mine this weekend but am not able to because of needing to prepare for a big design review presentation at work scheduled for the end of this month.
Again great work. I hope to put this info to use soon.
SnoBear, you are correct. Private addresses open to anyone are in the range of 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255. I was thinking, incorrectly, that the complete Class C range of 192.0.0.0 to 220.127.116.11 was available. I will edit my post accordingly.
I believe that you should stay in the 192.168.x.x address space. The address space of 192.167.x.x may be someone else's valid IP address any could cause routing problems for you and them.
The 192.168.x.x is a special range of address that you are free to use on your private network, but you can't just pick another range because you want to. IP addresses are assigned by higher authority.
You can accomplish the same thing using 192.168.x.x
running third party firmware like DD-WRT on A Linksys WRT-54G / WRT-54GS can turn a simple Wi-Fi router into a completx full feature Wireless Lan network as cheap replacement for professional Lancom and Orinocco access points. You can use as a repeater and or bridge even though your Linksys does not match other hardware that you are connecting to.
Here are the features:
* 13 languages
* 802.1x (EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) encapsulation over LANs)
* Access Restrictions
* Adhoc Mode
* Client Isolation Mode
* Client Mode (supports multiple connected clients)
* Client Mode WPA
* DHCP Forwarder (udhcp (http://udhcp.busybox.net/))
* DHCP Server (udhcp (http://udhcp.busybox.net/) or Dnsmasq (http://thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/doc.html))
* DNS forwarder (Dnsmasq (http://thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/doc.html))
* Dynamic DNS (DynDNS (http://www.DynDNS.org/), TZO (http://www.TZO.com/), ZoneEdit (http://www.ZoneEdit.com/))
* Hotspot Portal (Chillispot (http://www.chillispot.org/))
* IPv6 Support
* JFFS2 (http://sourceware.org/jffs2/)
* MMC/SD Card Support
* NTP client in a client-server basis
* Port Triggering
* Port Forwarding (max. 30 entries)
* QoS Bandwidth Management (Optimize for Gaming and Services / Netmask / MAC / Ethernet Port Priority)
* QoS L7 Packet Classifier l7-filter (http://l7-filter.sourceforge.net/))
* PPTP VPN Server & Client
* Ntop Remote Statistic
* Syslog to remote server
* Routing: Static entries and Gateway, BGP, OSPF & RIP2 via (BIRD (http://bird.network.cz/))
* Samba FS Automount
* Rx/Tx Antenna (Select or Auto)
* Show Status of Wireless Clients and WDS with System Uptime/Processor Utilization
* Site Survey
* SSH server & client (dropbear (http://matt.ucc.asn.au/dropbear/dropbear.html))
* Startup, Firewall, and Shutdown scripts
* Static DHCP Assignment
* Style (Changeable GUI; v.23)
* Supports New Devices (WRT54G V3, V3.1, V4 and WRT54GS V2.1, V3, V4), however not WRT54G V5 as this uses another OS and has less memory.
* Telnet server & client
* Transmit Power Adjustment (0-251mW, default is 28mW)
* Wake On Lan client (WOL (http://ahh.sourceforge.net/wol/))
* WDS Connection Watchdog
* WDS Repeater Mode
* Wireless MAC Addresses Cloning
* Wireless MAC filter
* WMM (Wi-Fi MultiMedia QoS)
* WPA over WDS
* WPA/TKIP with AES
* Xbox Kaid (Kai Engine (http://www.teamxlink.co.uk/))
I'm new to this group also, and I am looking to do the same thing as in: Get a good strong Wi-Fi signal in my RV. My initial thought was just to use a "repeater" to grab a weak signal from an antenna and have it resent from the repeater and then the Laptop would simple connect to the distant access point like normal.
After reading this thread and some others, it is apparent that it is recommended that I use a "bridge" connected to a wireless access point that would then establish a sub net per say in the RV.
Questions I have are:
1) Can a repeater be used to accomplish a direct wireless connection to the distant access point?
2) Can a omni directional antenna be used to connect to either a repeater or bridge device in the RV. Seems it would be far easyier to use an omni antenna instead of a directional one that you would have to "aim".
3) Is there anyway to configure a system such that you just pull up and turn on your laptop and have it "discover" all of the wi-fi connections available?
1) The repeaters that I know will only work with hardware from the same vendor. So that won't work since RV parks use various hardware vendors.
2)Use an omni so you don't have to aim it. It works with any type of system you build. A directional antenna may have higher gain, but it must be aimed.
3)Only if you use an adapter on your laptop. The repeater systems using a bridge must be setup in a more complicated way that I outlined at the beginning of this thread.
Great work. This will help a lot of people. Based on the number of posts we get on this subject, how about suggesting to the moderator he put this as a sticky?
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