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Rv wifi with flashing a linksys router

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KD4YSH, May 22, 2015.

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  1. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can use it to tap into both open, and secure networks.

    Sharing the wifi connection from your cellphone using the router as a repeater has some advantages.

    Case example:

    Suppose you are at field day or something and a group of you are doing computer logging, QRZ lookups etc. at the same time. Routing the wifi from the cellphone, through the router will result in a more powerful signal for better coverage, and since it's a network device by design, it can handle multiple IP connections and network traffic better than the cell phone on it's own does.

    Another example involves the idea of tethering one cellphones data plan connection through the Wifi router, and sharing it with multiple other cellphones, tablets etc. with no data plan connection capabilities. That can actually save money because if you have the Wifi repeater, you can share the data connection through the wifi router to all the other phones without requiring each phone / device etc. to subscribe to it's own data plan.

    There's other similar scenarios where a wifi repeater comes in handy especially when using it from an RV, or outdoor location situation.

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  2. N0AMT

    N0AMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have done this very thing with DD-WRT flashed onto an old Linksys WRT-54G, with a high gain antenna on the roof of the RV, and the standard wifi rubber duck inside the RV.

    It works and works well for reaching out to pull in the wifi signals that are otherwise too weak for my phone or PC to pull in.

    There are a few drawbacks:

    1) DD-WRT was not designed to be an intuitive, user-friendly GUI for repeating WiFi signals. The typical repeater setup was:
    a) Connect to router via wifi
    b) Open wifi router IP address in browser and login
    c) Open the page containing the scan button and scan for available networks.
    d) Pick the network to connect to, write down the encryption type and SSID
    e) Open the security page, set the encryption type and password as noted before.
    f) Wait for changes/reboot.
    g) Open another page and enter the SSID to connect to.
    h) Wait for changes/reboot.
    i) Check for connection. If failed, start over.

    2) Speed -- Wifi is slower than a wired connection, but we aren't using simple wifi, we're using wifi connected to another wifi, so the latency is increased dramatically.

    It most certainly has it's uses, and I use it often while on the road in the RV, but it's not simple or smooth.

    I'm currently working on a Raspberry Pi driven solution that will connect to one wifi network as a client via a wifi adapter with external antenna port (high gain antenna on roof), run as an access point via another wifi adapter (no external antenna) using hostapd and bridge the two connections using iptables.

    I have gotten it working with a few bugs to hammer out. Once I have time to fart around with it some more, I'll build a GUI front end to handle the entire process in an easy intuitive manner using the HDMI out port, so I can simply switch my TV input, select the network from the list, click repeat, and enter password if applicable. Done.
  3. KD4YSH

    KD4YSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello and thank you for your is it the left antenna i remove to run to my outside omni antenna and leave the right one on the router? In traveling will it just pick up any available open wifi i do not need to know any ssi numbers or anything trying to keep it simple thanks
  4. KE0RG

    KE0RG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think we need more detail about what you're trying to do with what.

    First: What is your goal -- Connecting to the internet while moving down the road, or connecting to the internet at a specific destination, or connecting to the internet at random "fixed" locations throughout your journey?
    Second: How much security and privacy do you want or need for your connection?
    Third: What equipment are we starting off working with?

    If you're looking to catch Wi-Fi signals (open or otherwise) as you travel down the road, you're going to want a cellular or in-motion satellite system instead... and even with a booster and high-gain antenna, you're still going to run into problems with lost connections due to obstructions, terrain, or lack of towers. Still it will be much better than the open road where you'll only pickup Wi-Fi from other passing vehicles or mobile hot-spots... or perhaps the random house or office near the road, but only for a VERY short distance. And most of those sources are likely to be closed / private.

    At one specific destination, a much more workable solution, especially if you plan to park there for awhile, but we still need to know the answers to the last two questions. And then you'll have to determine what the WiFi offerings are there.

    If you're looking for multiple "fixed" locations as you travel... it might be best to do some planning ahead and determining what facilities your parking spot may have available. Perhaps change your itinerary slightly to better facilitate your internet needs.

    As for the second item on the list, privacy and security. Please be aware that EVERY USER CONNECTED TO THE SAME Wi-Fi NETWORK will have access to your network traffic (not that most are aware, but...) So, please DON'T use open networks or unsecured (http vs https) pages for anything you aren't ready to have compromised. Be aware that your devices will also communicate in the background updating statuses and feeds and email - they will be sending your usernames and passwords over that connection, unless you've configured them not to do so. I used to have a machine specifically setup for surfing the net for information that was not sensitive - it never touched my personal login info, so I had no problem using it on open, public connections. Now, unless I'm where there's a trusted Wi-Fi connection (and there's still risk there for the truly paranoid), I use my phone's hotspot - I can control who is on that network, and only my ISP, the gov't and the sites I visit are snooping on me. That said... as long as you're aware of the dangers, and still want to proceed...

    What equipment are we trying to work with? This will help us determine compatibility and accessories and connectors or adapters that you're going need, or should watch out for. Your router may already have the ability to be a bridge or repeater, and it may be automatic (not likely that I've seen), or you may have to manually configure it at each location. Or there may be a third-party firmware flash (use caution with these)... or it simply may not be possible with what you currently have.
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. KD4YSH

    KD4YSH Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. KD4YSH

    KD4YSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    George thank you for your information I need to look deeper and see the direction I will be going.

    Thank you again
    KE0RG likes this.
  8. KE0RG

    KE0RG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're welcome Joe. Good luck on your search and decision. Stop back if you need more advice or have more questions.
  9. W9CMG

    W9CMG Guest

    I'm late to this thread, but you may be thinking of ham's who flash the memory of wireless routers (those that are amenable to this) for software that is used to create a 2.4 gig ham mesh network. This is being done in urban areas (high population of hams) for data sending over some distance. It's legal because it's in a ham band and power can be increased.
  10. KD4YSH

    KD4YSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello and thank you, I am well familiar with the ham mesh net setup but this is for someone in an RV to be able to REACH OUT while on the road or parked in an area to be able to receive internet.

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