Working with Netgear WG302 AP? Firmwares and more...

I've got 4 or 5 WG302 Access Points.  None of them function properly.  2 newer firmware ones... Not Stable.  They need to be power cycled often.
3 older ones, Great but no support for WPA.  They can supposedly be upgraded to a newer Firmware... but first a bootlodaer must be upgraded via a Hyper Terminal. (RS232 serial)  I can not make this work on any of them...  Has anyone worked with these AP?s does anyone have any suggestions?

Netgear Tech support is baffled on both the reliability of the new ones, as well as the inability to Serial interface the old ones.  They have transferred me to level two tech support.. and I have baffled them as well... Now I'm waiting for Call backs from Senior Engineers.  
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nextgen00Asked:
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Cyber-DudeCommented:
OK
So, I'll provide you a better yet comarrition table:
http://wireless.gumph.org/content/4/7/061-roundup-wireless-ap.html

Hope that helps

Cyber
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sriwiCommented:
i bet in the end, in the end, they release new firmware to accomodate all of those problem.
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sunray_2003Commented:
Hi nextgen00,

Not worked on this but here is an idea ...
can you downgrade the newer firmware version to one version below and if yes , is the AP stable ?

can you work on those AP in a totally different network and start from scratch (i mean resetting them) to see if that would help.

I was working on this SMC AP this morning and had to start from scratch and finally got them working.. just a tip for you
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sunray_2003Commented:
nextgen00,

I see only 2 firmware versions here
http://kbserver.netgear.com/products_automatic/WG302.asp

So do you have 3.0.0 on the newer firmware ones and that 2.0.3 on the others?

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nextgen00Author Commented:
Ok.  Everyone give me a minute...  I'm going to post full Details, of the whole story.
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sunray_2003Commented:
nextgen00,

Go ahead.. Looks like tuff one for me to solve.. I am sure others are much better than me in networking ..
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nextgen00Author Commented:
Started with two WG302.  Both an OLD firmware 1.0.2 (original release.. not on their site anymore... Can't flash BACK that far)
     No WPA support, and other features missing.  But Solid.  Very Solid.
Bought 3 More WG302.. a later Relase, the 2.0.3 Firmware.
    Added WPA support as well as a few better options for management.
    Worked great for about 15 minutes to 2hrs after a configuration Change.
    Went through level one tech support in a matter moments.
    Finally got in touch with Level Two.  They sent me a pre-release 2.0.4 RC7 firmware.
    I upgraded one of the newer WG302 2.0.3 to a 2.0.4 RC7 using the TFTP method.
         This helped with stability, but only up to about 30 hours of uptime.
         Then I downloaded a 2.0.4 RC5  from another forum which supposedly fixes all.
         This seemed the same as RC7... maximum of 30 hrs uptime.  (All tests using WPA so far)
My Latest endevor...  Netgear sent me RMA attempt to replace one of the newer ones.  However the one they sent me was 1.0.5... so again, no WPA
   I figured... no big deal, I'll follow their directions and upgrade the bootloader using HyperTerminal and then the Firmware using TFTP.  Then Factory Reset and all will be fine....
   Well, long story short...  Spent about an hour with level two yesterday trying two different serial cables, three different PCs and two different WG302s.  None of them even show the boot sequence in Hyperteminal.  The guy was so stumpt that he said he was passing it on to the "Senior Engineers"  (I believe they are the old guys who will say: "Send him his money back and let him buy Proxim AP-700's"  At least this is what I hope.

Here is a thread with similar people having similar troubles:  (Caution: Some foul language)
http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/NetgearWG302
And:
http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,11177548~mode=flat

There are a couple of threads about it on that broadbandreports website in different areas... They all give about the same impression with no concrete answers.

Does anyone have experience with Upgrading these via the Serial interface?  Am I missing something obvious...  I'd like to upgrade one of these older Hardware/Firmware units to be an Old Hardware/New Firmware Unit...  My suspisions are all in the hardware of the new ones at this point.

To upgrade the bootloader I followed the steps on their (netgear's) website exactly, then tried about a dozen slight variations.

By the way?...  anyone have a reccommendation for a rich featured Reliable AP in the $220 range?
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Cyber-DudeCommented:
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nextgen00Author Commented:
The problem with the linksys is:
It's a router.  I need and AP
It's range is poor, I'd end up spending twice as much on antennas and extra Access point.
And I don't think it operates as a bridge and/or repeater either... Very handy feature.
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nextgen00Author Commented:
Not a bad chart of Routers and APs,
The DWL-7100AP isn't too bad looking, but it's antennas aren't detachable... and I don't think it's Plenum rated?
I'm Waiting for SMC to send me one of their units for a test

Thanks for the list.

Anyone have anything else on making the WG302s work?...  Has anyone looked at the source code... Maybe made their own Firmware?..
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