That’s right folks, a few days ago after many years of dependable service to the Geek With Laptop home office network, my Linksys WRT54G version 1.0 2.4 GHz broadband router died a horrible death.
It was bound to happen I suppose… *tears*
I was pushing my router to it’s limits and beyond with running custom Linux firmware which allowed me to boost the signal strength from the stock 28 mW to a blistering 251 mW and with doing that, it was also putting a strain on the 125 MHz processor in the router.
I did have an internal fan and extra holes in the case for cooling which is recommended if you’re going to push a stock wireless router over 60 mW but it died anyway, right in the middle of trying to wrap up a project too.
*fist of rage followed by more tears*
Ok, like a good geek, I have backup hardware, so I pulled out my backup router, another Linksys but a much newer version that couldn’t run custom firmware.
“That’s ok” I thought, I could at least get back up and submit my project while I searched for another version 1 thru version 4 Linksys WRT54G wireless router.
Man, I forgot how bad stock firmware was. Gah! Constant ups and downs, page refreshes, dropped connections. Yeah, I was not a happy geek at all.
I went to one of my trusty sources for hardware needed in a quick fast hurry which is craigslist.org and began my search.
No luck for anything fitting my needs or for a decent price. On to eBay.
Success! I found exactly what I needed, however with a slight performance increase. I found someone selling a version 3.1 brand new in the box.
Why is a version 3.1 better then a version 1?
It has a faster processor which runs at 216 MHz and it still has 16 MB of RAM and 4 MB of Flash RAM.
The only drawback with getting one of these routers version 2 and above is they don’t have all the front panel lights. Hey, I’m a geek, I like blinking lights.
The new router showed up in yesterdays mail. w00t!
I opened the box, checked everything out and flashed it with DD-WRT (dd-wrt.v23 SP2).
I also added in all my special settings, MAC filters, WEP and Radius Security, connected my 7dBi High Gain Antennas and back to smooth sailing.
I did make sure to set the power to 30 mW, just 2 mW over stock since I’m not needing to use my wireless signal at the Target 7 miles away from my house.
Things have been running smooth ever since and I can really see the difference with the processor upgrade from 125 MHz to 216 MHz.
Oh and I also found a version 1 on eBay as well which should be showing up tomorrow or the next day. That’s going to become my new back up router.
If you’d like help in hacking your Linksys WRT54G wireless router, let me know. I’ve done a few for family and friends.
To find out more about your own specific Linksys routers, check out the Wikipedia entry for Linksys WRT54G Series and variants WRT54GS, WRT54GL and WRTSL54GS routers.