AntennaDownstairs in my living room, I have a Nintendo Wii and a Toshiba A3 HD-DVD Player. For a while now I’ve been trying to get them hooked up to the internet. With the Wii’s wi-fi, connection to the internet didn’t work most of the time. The signal was spotty due to the lack of antenna on the unit. It’s unavoidable that my wi-fi access point (AP) sits in one corner of my house on the 2nd floor, and my living room is on the other side. The HD-DVD player has an ethernet connection only and my house doesn’t have cat-5 ethernet wiring through the walls. So I need to find a way to connect these devices to the internet some how.

Linksys WRT54GLI read about using a DD-WRT firmware to enable a wi-fi AP to act as a wireless repeater.  I shopped for a compatible hardware last week, and I found the Linksys WRT54GL from NewEgg. The buyers’ comments claimed to be able to hack the firmware with ease. I thought it was the perfect hardware to do the job. It comes equipped with 4 ethernet ports which I can connect to the HD-DVD player. Since it was also $50 (including rebate), I figured I’d try it out.

I followed the instructions on how to install the firmware from the DD-WRT.com site and found the appropriate firmware image for Linksys. The setup was straight forward enough. I noted the importance of heeding the warnings such as using wired connection to upload the firmware, and having a second computer ready with internet connection in case I have to look up something. It was also handy to have another laptop to perform the tests. Here’s a photo of my desk during the test.

The installation was a success. With the new firmware, I proceeded in setting up the wi-fi AP as a repeater. My particular setup uses WEP to secure the network, and I noticed the firmware made it easy for me to connect the repeater to my main wi-fi AP by just typing in the passphrase, not the 20-digit hex codes. On the repeater, I also used WEP to secure it. I got the Wii to talk to the repeater and the connection to the internet is reliable for simple updates like the Wii Channel, News, Weather, and Check Mii Out. I haven’t done the “big” test using Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy, yet.

I also tested the HD-DVD player by using the Transformers web-enabled movie feature, showing info on the movie scenes, such as GPS tracking on the top right corner, robots info and health status on the left sidebar, and in-movie facts and figures on the bottom middle of the screen. I’m going to have to go through my other HD-DVD discs, such as 300 and The Bourne Supremacy, for more web-enabled features.

Now my living room is ready for more ethernet enabled devices. Maybe a SlingBox, Roku, or a Blu-ray set top player/:).

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4 Responses to “Set Up a Wi-Fi Repeater”

  1. I’ve found doubling power output to around 70 milliwatts on my Linksys router, which is possible with DD-WRT allows my wife to connect to the net much more robustly than before. Of course, upstream packets are still being sent at the same power from her office machine to the router, but it has improved connection stability somewhat.

    db

    David Bradley’s last blog post..Water, Water, Everywhere

  2. [...] I’m connected to the network via a Linksys wireless repeater, I can start experimenting with streaming-anywhere apps like [...]

  3. Sonja says:

    Hi
    thanks for this information with its containing links. But for security reason – I think you should move better from WEP to WPA.
    .-= Sonja´s last blog ..Baufinanzierungsrechner =-.

  4. rudyamid says:

    Even WPA is crackable now. Just search google and you’ll find lots of way.

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