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WRT54GS will not connect wireless to WAP54G in repeater mode.

Posted on 2007-03-19
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Ok, after spending the past weekend troubleshooting I've decided to come to you fellows to see if we can get it work.
Situation:  Linksys AP WAP54G v2.0 (fw. 3.04) unable to connect wireless to Linksys RT WRT54GS v5.1 (fw. 1.52.0).
Setup:           Printer    ===    WAP54G )))   ((( WRT54GS === ADSL Modem
            192.168.10.150        192.168.10.2     192.168.10.1        192.168.1.1  

                                Wireless clients 192.168.10.100-192.168.10.110

Wireless clients, AP and RT are configured correctly, that is the same SSID, same channel (11), AP in repeater mode with RT wireless MAC address filled in, WPA2-AES security setup on all players.
AP and RT are in different locations and cannot be wired together. although that setup would work. PRT is connected to AP solely to make it wireless and be accesible to clients wireles connected to either the AP or the RT.
Clients can connect to AP, but then only the PRT is accessible or they connect to the RT and can communicate to the outside world, but cannot print!
The Intel Proset Wireless client shows the SSIDwith both the AP and RT MAC address.

Note: This setup has worked flawlessly until last Friday!

What's changed? That would also be first question I would ask if someone explained the problem to me. Well, wireless security on the RT has changed to WEP. This resulted in the split-up of the network. However changing them back to the original values did recover the dual access point network, however the AP and the RT don't ARP correctly. Network monitoring showd that after a reboot of the AP it does a ARP for 192.168.10.1 (RT), but it does not get a reply. When the RT is rebooted I don't see an ARP request ffor 192.168.10.2 (AP). So, it seems the routing table in the RT is either messed up, corrupted or otherwise not as it used to be.
All trivial and obvious options have passed, reset both the AP and RT back to factory defaults,  reconfigured both when everything was wired together, reloaded the firmware for the AP and upgraded the fw for the RT, but they simply don't want to communicate with each other without physical contact. Even tried to get it work with wireless security disabled. Downgrade RT back to 1.50.8 which was in charge before will be the next step, but I doubt that will help.
Similar setups have been discussed in the knowledge base, but neither has given the ultimate solution. Alternate OS firmware on the RT is not an option, since it is a v5.0
Hope someone in here will have a bright light or I will have to replae the RT.

Thanks,
Joop.
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Question by:JovAe
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by:jekl2000
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If you want to make your printer accessible wirelessly, you need to run the WAP54g in AP client mode, this essentially makes it act as an ethernet bridge, A repeater on the other hand takes a wireless signal from say, a wrt54g and repeats it to other wireless clients and vica versa.

If this is not what you are trying to accomplish, let me know....and we will take another path.
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by:JovAe
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Functional this will be same, however in this mode the AP cannot act as an access point for the wireless clients in the same room. Besides that, the WAP54g can only connect to another WAP54g and formally only repeater mode is supported from WAP54g to WRT54g. Anyway, I would be satisfied if it did work, but neither of the available modes,repeater, client nor bridge mode does work at the moment,  while repeater mode did the job fine until last weekend...
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by:jekl2000
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Ok, I didn't catch the part that you had clients connected to the repeater.  In your drawing above it appears you have the printer cabled to the WAP54g which is not
a valid configuration unless the WAP54g is in AP client mode.  I think what you need, is either another wap54g connected to the printer in AP client mode or an ethernet bridge such as:

http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1134692497433&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=9743339789B67



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by:JovAe
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The problem is not how and what is connected to the AP, whether it is is a switch or a direct client connection, remember this setup has worked before. The problem I have now is the AP and the RT not connecting wireless in any AP mode. Even without connecting anything  to the AP, in the most basic setup which would like something like this >>> Laptop === WRT54GS )))    (((  WAP54G <<<, the laptop should be able to access WAP54G when they are in the same subnet, where it doesn't matter whether the laptop will be be connected wired or wireless.
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by:jekl2000
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There are only 2 modes in which the WAP54 will talk to the WRT54 and that is repeater mode an AP client mode..... i understand that you want repeater mode but it will not work if there is a cable plugged into it.
You need to remove the cable from the WAP54g in order for repeater mode to work.
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by:JovAe
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That's obvious, that's why I draw a very basic setup in my previous comment without connected anything to the AP. In this setup the AP should be able to connect to the RT in repeater mode.
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by:jekl2000
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Whew, I must be a hard head today, took a while for me to get the picture. Appears you have done the most obvious and unobvious things.

I would re-check the mac addresses entered and compare.....if ARP is not getting communication established it sounds like a Mac issue.

Will clients still connect to both units? (if you have the wap54 in AP mode)  



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by:JovAe
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Yep, that's what bothers me. Clients can connect to either, but  can only communicate to other clients connected to the same access point. This implies security settings are identical on all nodes, but as said before, even with security disabled there is no change in behaviour. The MAC addressses have been checked multiple times and I'm absolutely sure this setup is as it supposed to be.
I can see an ARP request send from the WAP after reset, but haven't seen it from the WRT. I'll check tonight with a laptop running the sniffer wired to the WRT and then do a reset. Maybe the ARP request from the WRT to the WAP is before the client is connected wireless.
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by:JovAe
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Checked ARP processing on both units and it appears the WAP is the only one doing an ARP request. This seems logical since the WAP has the MAC address of the WRT in it's repeater mode config, the WRT on the other is just waiting for incoming connections and does not have knowledge of the WAP until it does an ARP request, however this request does not reach it's endpoint and we're back to where we started. It get's me puzzling more and more.
Any meaningfull thoughts on this issue so far?
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by:radicalchief
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For WDS to work, don't you usually have to enter the other MAC address in both ends. Here the router should about the AP's MAC or it cannot create a bridge i/f.
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by:JovAe
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Nope, the MAC address is entered only at the AP side.
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by:radicalchief
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So the WAP is in station/client mode?
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by:JovAe
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No matter what mode it is in, ap, client, repeater or bridge. Neither can connect to the WTR. Currently reading an article about the WRT54G5 CFE how to flash the VxWorks OS in v5 WRT54G(S). Might be the final option to go and use the DD-WRT instead.
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by:JovAe
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Checked all settings again this morning and guess what? After reconfiguring both the AP and the RT appaerently a wrong gateway address had slipped in at the AP side, hence it could never contact the RT as a repeater.
Everything is working now as described in my initial question, AP in repeater mode with the PRT wired, now the clients can connect to both units again and access the outside world and print via the WAP.
Thanks to those trying to get the solution, but unfortunately nobody has earned the points, or can I give them to myself ;-)
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by:jekl2000
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I was basing my comments on your explanation: You said above that:

Network monitoring showd that after a reboot of the AP it does a ARP for 192.168.10.1 (RT), but it does not get a reply.

This is the gateway address that you had shown, so why would we suspect it was wrong?

You can have the points.....
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by:JovAe
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As a matter of fact, it DID an ARP request for 192.168.10.1, which had to be the gateway, but the gateway which was defined in the AP at that time was actually 192.168.1.1, used by the ADSL modem . Therefor it could not reach the RT.
See abstract below:

4 113 0.000 0.000 00:0E:35:E5:17:90 00:12:17:6F:A4:84 Ethernet
00:0E:35:E5:17:90 -> 00:12:17:6F:A4:84 Unknown
Ethernet: Source MAC 00:0E:35:E5:17:90 -> Destination MAC 00:12:17:6F:A4:84
Unknown
Destination MAC (hardware) Address: 00:12:17:6F:A4:84
Source MAC (hardware) Address: 00:0E:35:E5:17:90
Next level protocol type: Unknown
5 42 0.659 0.659 00:12:17:6F:A4:84 FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF ARP Request By
192.168.10.2 For 192.168.10.1
ARP: Client 192.168.10.2 sends an Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) request to
find out the hardware address of IP 192.168.10.1.
Requested hardware address type: Ethernet
Supplied protocol address type: IPv4
Requested hardware address size: 6
Supplied protocol address size: 4
Operation: Address Resolution Protocol Request
Sender's hardware address: 00:12:17:6F:A4:84
Sender's protocol address: 192.168.10.2
The target hardware address as known by the sender: 00:00:00:00:00:00
The protocol address for which sender wants a hardware address:
192.168.10.1
Ethernet: Source MAC 00:12:17:6F:A4:84 -> Destination MAC FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF
Address Resolution Protocol
6 42 1.888 1.229 00:12:17:6F:A4:84 FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF ARP Request By
192.168.10.2 For 192.168.10.1
ARP: Client 192.168.10.2 sends an Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) request to
find out the hardware address of IP 192.168.10.1.
Requested hardware address type: Ethernet
Supplied protocol address type: IPv4
Requested hardware address size: 6
Supplied protocol address size: 4
Operation: Address Resolution Protocol Request
Sender's hardware address: 00:12:17:6F:A4:84
Sender's protocol address: 192.168.10.2
The target hardware address as known by the sender: 00:00:00:00:00:00
The protocol address for which sender wants a hardware address:
192.168.10.1
 

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by:jekl2000
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That's OK, glad I could participate and glad you got it working.
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