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Overlooked bargain - Linksys WRT54GL.

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    Overlooked bargain - Linksys WRT54GL.

    Many people are familiar with the Linksys WRT54G family of wireless routers. The original models were Linux-based, open-source, had a decent amount of memory, and could be flashed. This led to a number of alternative firmwares, with various extensions to the factory-supplied capabilities.

    In recent years, Linksys "value-engineered" the device, switching to a non-Linux embedded RTOS, and reducing the installed memory. This put the kibosh on the alternative-firmware capabilities of the device. To their credit (after, I believe, much wailing and gnashing of teeth by their user community), Linksys brought out the WRT54GL (L for Linux) version. This unit can be flashed with the old favorite alternatives. Unfortunately, IIRC, it came out at about twice the cost of the non-L WRT54G.

    This seems to have changed - both NewEgg and Amazon are selling the WRT54GL for $50.

    Why is this device significant? While it's often useful to have additional/spare wireless routers available, it's the other capabilities of the device that lead to its appeal. One relevant case in point is that if you flash it with Tomato - http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato - you can, by checking a box in one of the configuration screens, tell it to be a wireless bridge with a four-port switch. I paid, I think, $80 each for a couple of Buffalo bridge/switch units, when you could still get them, and they have compatibility problems with some of my devices.

    The WRT54GL/Tomato combination is especially useful just now, since I've just purchased two ethernet->quad serial port widgets (see recent thread in this subforum), and the WRT54GLs are the perfect way to be able to put the serial ports exactly where I need them.

    - Dennis Brothers

    #2
    I am using a WRT54GL which I flashed with software from www.sveasoft.com which has been very stable and flexible. The main clear benefit to me has been easier port forwarding and adjusting some of my antenna power and transmition rates. If you at all enjoy tinkering this hardware gives you all kinds of options.
    James

    Running HS 3 on Win10 .

    Comment


      #3
      That's a very cleaver use with the serial ports. Made me think about the flexibility it adds. However I am wondering how robust the serial data would be via wireless? I sometimes have disconnects with my wireless (D-Link Gamer Router) and seems that dropped packets might wreak havoc on a serial connection? Any thoughts?
      Mike

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        #4
        Most protocols are 2-way so retry/recovery is often part of the handshake. It is also often the case that real time systems send periodically so missed data usually wil not matter. It all depends upon specifics, but likely will not be an issue for anything we do with HA

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          #5
          I used a WRT54Gv2 for a long time. I briefly had Sveasoft's firmware. That was a TERRIBLE experience. Rip-off. Author's unethical. Instead....

          I then went to DD-WRT. Totally free. Great.

          But my needs, though I'm geeky, are met by the features in commonplace routers today; not so a few years back when the WRT54Gv2 was new (runs embedded linux as does the GL).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mwaite View Post
            That's a very cleaver use with the serial ports. Made me think about the flexibility it adds. However I am wondering how robust the serial data would be via wireless? I sometimes have disconnects with my wireless (D-Link Gamer Router) and seems that dropped packets might wreak havoc on a serial connection? Any thoughts?

            I have a D-Link Gamer router (DGL-4300) with the same problem. I flashed it to the firmware version 1.9. I think this version will fix the wirelessly connectivity problem. Also, while I do still have my DGL-4300, I was so fed up with it, and bought a WRT54G on craigslist for $20 and flashed it with DD-WRT. This wireless router works much better than the D-Link ever did.

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              #7
              I have been using the WRT54GL now (3 of them) with DD-WRT for a few years now. I have also set up my sister, neighbors and friends with same. I haven't had any issues. I also have used the Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 (currently have setup in the attic). Mine are currently all set up as AP's. I have one set up in FL which is both AP/FW.
              - Pete

              Auto mator
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                #8
                Wow...make my wifi-router look bad...

                But, you only really need to get what you need...whoah, did that come out of my fingers?!

                I'm using a 22MPS SMC router, which...apparently for it's time, has a LOT of the Tomato features built in. It's drawback...? It only does "legal" 11mps wifi...and if I want to get 22mps, it only works with their proprietary wifi cards. So, I leave that feature off, as the only wifi thing in my house is my two pdas. Beyond that, everyone plugs in with Gigabit ethernet :-) I think the only thing that my router doesn't do is bridging. But it does a TON of things that I don't think I'll ever use. I've been so impressed, it's one of the pieces of my home network that I just don't touch...as it works!

                One of the benefits to building new I guess! That and ensuring I've got future tubes to pull anything new that I need (you know, when Fiber or <XXX> technology becomes cost effective and everyone wants it. I'll still be able to "drop down" to Gigabit. Probably not the new 10GPS standard (which I think requires Cat6+). I've got Cat5E, which is good enough for me!

                --Dan
                Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Stevech View Post
                  I used a WRT54Gv2 for a long time. I briefly had Sveasoft's firmware. That was a TERRIBLE experience. Rip-off. Author's unethical. Instead....

                  I then went to DD-WRT. Totally free. Great.

                  But my needs, though I'm geeky, are met by the features in commonplace routers today; not so a few years back when the WRT54Gv2 was new (runs embedded linux as does the GL).
                  Glad to know about DD-WRT. I will give it shot. I did have some bugs with Sveasoft that I had to work around.
                  James

                  Running HS 3 on Win10 .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am considering gig (as we travel to a tangent here) but initially only between the servers. The house is wired with CAT5 (aside from my multiple AP's and 100 full duplex works fine for transfers of movies (4.7 gigs / HD movies). It does OK streaming for now. I don't do any MM streaming with the wireless other than the Kodak picture frame that I bought. With the wireless I am really OK with just one running but over did it a bit. In addition to the Linksys/Buffalo have another AP in the garage thats a combo ethernet jack and AP. Its made for hotels etc and works well. Its very small - the size of a single wall switch box- no footprint.

                    BTW the Buffalo is considered a better AP than the Linksys and they are selling them again in the US. For a while there were some issues with it so you could only buy it in Canada or EU.
                    - Pete

                    Auto mator
                    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
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                      #11
                      I have gigE as do many. And two of my LANed PCs have gigE. And I have a decent gigE switch (hint: D-Link: NOT! that lemon cost me lots of lost time due to a screwy and odd failure mode).

                      I found that my dual core AMD4200 and AMD3800 file/video server can exceed 100BT speeds significantly only for certain kinds of transfers- big files, skipping applicatons, and so on. But most NTFS folder shares and the like don't benefit much from gigE. I also found that it takes a very fast CPU to run the IP stacks in Windows fast enough to fill up the available bandwidth. My older/slower PCs, doing the same transactions, can't max out 100BT.

                      But, with gigE cheap now, may as well use it for all new things.

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                        #12
                        Yes been testing streaming 720p off of the Raid 5 server via the network at 100 megs and it works well via the MCE & generic media player I have setup. Comparing the playback on the network versus a file residing on the box I don't see much of a difference. BUT would like to be able to copy a file (like a movie) between servers a bit faster (therefore the GigE). I don't utilize WLAN for any of that stuff at this time having purchasing an MCE extender and having wireless on my MCE and Multimedia box.

                        Steve, what consumer level (and priced) GigE switch are you using? I would like to install one in the small server farm.
                        - Pete

                        Auto mator
                        Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                        Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                        HS4 Pro - V4.1.11.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                        6.10.0.104
                        HS4 Lite -

                        X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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