Linksys range extenders

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aclawson
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Linksys range extenders

Postby aclawson » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:24 pm

This is an older building, very large and sprawling, with more brick/masonry/steel than is used in most new construction, so I'm finding that my wireless signal doesn't quite reach far enough for the clerks in the two wards that use this building. (Walking down the hall with my laptop I find that I'm about 10 feet short of having a connection).

I've upgraded the antennas on the Cisco WAP with +7dB replacements but still just out of range, so I'm going to have to use a range extender.

Has anybody gotten the Linksys WRE54G to make a significant difference in signal range/strength? Can anybody recommend +gain external antenna for linksys network cards?

This is even the easy building.... one of the other buildings has a much more difficult configuration to bounce the wireless signal through.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:40 pm

Your issue is range. Many Church buildings in which wireless access has been installed use the Cisco 1200 series WAP (wireless access point). For buildings such as our stake center where range is known to be an issue, additional WAPs are installed. Like your building, ours is a much older building with cinder block, reinforced concrete and steel construction. Because of this construction, stringing cable to the two additional WAPs was not feasible and they were set up as repeaters. As such they do not need to be wired to the network. We have full coverage in our building. Or at least we get adequate signal strength to the important rooms such as clerk offices.

I would first check with your FM group to see if Church headquarters is willing to provide additional Cisco WAPs to solve the range issue. The reason I would do this is because even if you do decide to use the Linksys range extender one of the Church standard network configurations, moroni or LDSAccess, will have to be installed on it to work with your network. The Linksys product may not be supportable by the GSD/OTSS, second level technical support. They are the only source to get either of these network configurations installed.

If they can support a non-standard network device such as the Linksys WRE54G I have another suggested product to use instead because it is cheaper. I found that the Linksys WRE54G costs about $89 on-line. A lower cost alternative is the Linksys WRT54G wireless router. It can be found for around $45 or less.

Since the firmware of the WRT54G is based on Linux components it is governed by the GNU General Public License, or GPL. Several individuals and companies have taken the source code for the WRT54G and expanded the capabilities. One such capability is to use the WRT54G as a repeater. And since open source means free, you can get the code to reprogram a WRT54G with repeater capabilities at no cost. Some evaluators describe the re-engineered code to be more reliable than that provided by Linksys even with the added capabilities.

One very small negative is that you have to locate the code to reprogram the device. That is not really an issue since I found it in less than twelve seconds in a Google search. The procedure to load the code is exactly the same as a Linksys firmware update.

aclawson
Senior Member
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:28 pm
Location: Commerce Twp, MI

Configuring the range extender

Postby aclawson » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:55 pm

Is there any special trick to configuring the range extender? Has anybody been able to get it to work?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:24 pm

aclawson wrote:Is there any special trick to configuring the range extender? Has anybody been able to get it to work?
If you check the documentation for the Linksys WRE54G you will find:
The Linksys WRE54G requires specific firmware versions installed on a Linksys wireless router or access point to connect. If the wireless router or access point did not meet the minimum firmware requirement, the WRE54G will not connect.
Further in the same documentation is this note:
NOTE: If you’re using a non-Linksys wireless router or access point, contact the manufacturer to get the wireless settings.
This means you must contact GSD/OTSS at 866-678-2763 and ask for second level tech support for your issue. They are the ones that must contact Cisco under the Church's service support contract.

Even if the firmware of the Cisco WAP is compatible with the WRE54G, GSD/OTSS must have remote access to it to install the nework configuration information such as the pass key. They will not give that information out for you to do it.

See my post above.


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