Author Topic: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?  (Read 13703 times)

greenbird

  • Calf
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« on: February 07, 2011, 05:26:48 am »

Got a refurbished of these Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh from Vietnam and flashed away the custom dd-wrt on it to put on the stock DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/07/10) std build 14896

I'm amazed at all of the settings that this router and dd-wrt gives far more than any other router that I've ever had... so there is a lot of potential there... But unfortunately, its range seems to be noyt as good as my venerable Netgear Rangemax.

I've played around with some of the wi-fi settings and can get the self reported signal strength up to 17 db (I dont know whether this is strong or not?) but I do know that it doesnt reach down to my loungeroom whereas my Rangemax does easily. It seems that the value I put in tx power below is basically ignored, as it makes no difference to what the router says is the output power under status/wireless.

I'll invest in a better antenna for the downstairs PC, but I'd also like to attack the problem from the router end by increasing the power of the output.

Does anyone know what settings are optimal for this router and firmware?

Current settings are

Wireless Mode = AP
Wireless Network Mode = NG Mixed
Channel Width = Dynamic 20/40
Wireless Channel = 1
Control Channel = upper
Regulatory Domain = United States
TX Power = 23 dBm
Antenna Gain = 5 dBi
Protection Mode = None
RTS Threshold = Disable
Transmission Minimum Rate = Auto
Transmission Maximum Rate = Auto
Short Preamble = Disable
Outdoor Band = Disable
TX Antenna Chains = 1+2+3
RX Antenna Chains = 1+2+3
AP Isolation =
Radar Detection = Disable
ScanList = default
Sensitivity Range (ACK Timing) = 2000 meters
Max Associated Clients = 256
MTik Compatibility= Disable
Network Configuration = Bridged


buddee

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 10:54:01 am »

The antenna chain setting should be

1+3

1+2+3

Anytime i try to use anything else, it seems to either cut radio range power or not work at all. You could try that setting and see if it helps with your range. Also on the Txpower, i lock mine in at 19dBm as it doesn't seem to go any higher and i leave my dBi gain for the antennas to 0.

Also for best practice use WPA2 personal mixed with AES only for any wireless security.


greenbird

  • Calf
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 01:53:29 pm »

Thanks mate

Tried that and for some reason, setting tx antenna chain to 1+3 actually reduced power to 15 dBm - where it was 17... that seemed to wreck the signal so that performance became so miserable I actually had to plug a cable in to change it back.

Strange that it would behave differently on mine from yours.

Is it influenced at all by the physical environment the router is in? Can't think why, but maybe thats a reason...


buddee

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 02:55:59 pm »

Yes but thing to take note with that is like i said, its locked at 19dBm anyhow, oh and i can get it to 25dBm to by switching it to that and just clicking apply, and then yes it'll show its 25dBm but thats not really what its at, if you take a spectrum analizer like say Xirrus Wifi Insepctor or inSSIDer, it'll show you the true dBm. Mine is always locked in at 19 so i just set it to 19 in the advanced settings and its stayed since.

The chains i believe have to be set like that in reference to the MIMO setup that the G300NH has, its a 3x3 MIMO unit, so the tx/rx chains need to be 1+3 | 1+2+3

You'll notice on your 2x2 MIMO N units that their defaults are at 1+2 | 1+2 because they have to use that chain set in reference to the MIMO arrangement, now its different for different modes, like if i ran the g300NH in G-Only then i could get away with using 1+3 | 1+3 because older G model routers only use a 2 antenna set, 1 for tx and 1 for rx. Yes i know, confusing to say the least.


greenbird

  • Calf
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 02:53:07 am »

Hmmm.. .thats disappointing that ddwrt would have such a misleading feature.

 

I think i'll flash back to the user friendly firmware - it makes using the NAS, etc a fair bit easier.

 

I'm chucking the Cisco USB dongle that I got from another router thats being used on my HTPC downstairs and replacing with one of these

 

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/1000mw-high-power-802-11b-g-n-150mbps-usb-wireless-network-dongle-with-5dbi-antenna-55123

 

and replace the antenna with one of these that I came across http://www.dealextreme.com/p/2-4ghz-11dbi-sma-omnidirectional-wifi-antenna-47783

 

If I cant get a better signal through boosting dBm, I can try through dBi

 

If it doesnt all work, well, its only cost a few bucks and it interesting to learn about :-)

 

BTW - I can't find anywhere or see a reason why the G300NH antenna config needs to be set at 1+3 and 1+2+3 for optimal performance... how do you know that?


buddee

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 09:12:33 am »

Because, look at the code source, you'll see thats how the chain settings work. Also if you don't believe, go ahead and start setting different settings and do your own tests. It'll show you for yourself.

Most of the time in dd-wrt, those advanced settings are as the title implies.. "Advanced" so if you don't know what you are doing, they figured you shouldn't be messing with it.


drmemory

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 1147
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 09:35:11 am »

you write that you are trying to get "down to' the other room.  Do you have the antennae pointed towards that room?

channel 6 is a little stronger than 1 or 11, try channel 6.

40MHz will cut the range, the option is for a wider bandwidth at shorter range. For more distance, keep this at 20MHz.


greenbird

  • Calf
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 01:44:14 am »

Hi drmemory,

 

Yep - trying to get downstairs and to the other corner of the house though foil backed plasterboard on the walls - its a wireless routers nightmare - thats why I'm so fixated on getting a good signal.

 

But what I still dont understand is why everyone can apparently get a better dBm level than me...

 

e.g. http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/myincludes/image_page.php?/images/stories/wireless/buffalo_wzrhpg300nh/buffalo_wzrhpg300nh_peak_output_compare.jpg

 

shows a benchmarking company got more than 10x the output that mine reports on its admin page.

 

Is the value on the admin page wrong?

 

hi buddee - but not knowing what ur doing, busting stuff and having to put it back again is 1/2 the fun, don't you think?


drmemory

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 1147
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 08:37:47 am »

In the current Buffalotech DDWRT FW, the reporting of Tx power doesn't properly display. We're working with DDWRT to get a more accurate reporting of the power.


buddee

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 03:46:30 pm »

Of course it is, i fix bricked routers via serial/jtag all the time :)

Also as far as the power (dBm) not working correctly, that has more to do with the madwifi driver that is being used here, i don't think madwifi can properly adjust these values, if you look at the madwifi project timeline, it hasn't moved in a LONG time. But the main sacrifice in this now is that madwifi functionality wise works, WDS and alot of functions work properly with madwifi.

But with madwifi, you can't do txpower tweaks, the link rate is always at 150 no matter if you use 40 turbo or not because madwifi can't properly handle these modes etc. etc. and last i knew ath9k wasn't ready for prime time either, and more factors is that Atheros was just bought by qualcomm, so Atheros development in general has come to a screetching slow down. Now its a waiting game.


drmemory

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 1147
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 04:35:01 pm »

madwifi only went up to 11g, not 11n fior this chipset.

The Buffalotech 11n units use a different driver.


buddee

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 05:10:37 pm »

Last i checked in the dd-wrt source and forums, madwifi is used in all Atheros dd-wrt builds.

 

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=441373


drmemory

  • Big Bull
  • *****
  • Posts: 1147
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2011, 05:17:46 pm »

Still, mad wi-fi does not apply to 11n.

It is impossible to use the mad wi-fi driver for 802.11n


ccassells

  • Calf
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2011, 08:26:42 pm »

I've been researching this issue for quite some time in a vain attempt to make DD-WRT work for me on a WZR-HP-300GN. First, I purchased the WZR to replace a WHR-HP-G54 also running DD-WRT to make a move to 802.11n, and gigabit ethernet. I want network coverage at a neighbors houseso having a high power router with good range and edge network performance was important to me.

The WHR-HP-G54 had been serving me faithful for years running DD-WRT, with excellent performance and range, with often time 19-22mb/s at the neigboor location. When I switched to the WZR-HP and DD-WRT the performance at the same locations that had excellent peformance using the WHR + DD-WRT, were totaly unusable with terrible network peformance under a megabit tranfer rates if any transfers at all could occur, and poor signal/noise ratios, with DD-WRT indicating 18-19db/m if I played with it in signle channel mode.

After spending days reading about the issues with DD-WRT and the madfi driver, doing my own performance surveys and comparing the old WHR to the new WZR it is clear that the DD-WRT wifi drivers are not working well on the WZR.

I have both the WHR-HP-G54, and the WZR-HP-G300NH both loaded with the DD-WRT. The HP-G54 is using DD-WRT 15962, and I've used the DD-WRT 15962 and the what was it 14988 build that buffalo has. Using an ipad and viewing the s/n quaility and bandwidth test app... This is what I found.

The WHR-HP-G54 at the same physical test locations using an ipad had a consistentaly higher s/n, and bandwidth than the WZR-HP-G300N. When at my neighbors house using their desktop computer, with the HP-G54 as the router to connect to, their computer was able to get 11mb/s downlink speed and a s/n of 39. The WZR-HP using all builds of DD-WRT was at 20-25 s/n ration and only 500kb/s downlink speed. Both routers were in the same location, and each was only used one at time.

The bottom line at distance for me the WHR-HP-G54 clearly outperforms the WZR both using DD-WRT.

I switched the WZR to openWRT and range problems were solved. OpenWRT can set the TX power to 28, and now the router has better range than the WHR-HP-G54 and better performance.

There really is a problem with DD-WRT and the WZR-HP-G300HN. I can tell you the wifi on the WZR does not perform well. It seems to consistently offer lower performance and shorter range than OPENWRT using the same client devices, and not moving the router from its default location and only changing firmware.

I like DD-WRT been using it for years. But on the WZR DD-WRT is not a good match. The wifi driver obivously has performance issues and needs to be fixed. My recommendation is stick with the stock firmware, or move to OpenWRT. I don't like OpenWRT's user interface, and using it always feels like an intelligence test. But DD-WRT simply dosen't work for me, the range is too short, and the edge network performance is aweful.


greenbird

  • Calf
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Optimal wireless settings for Buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2011, 09:46:10 pm »

Hi ccassells,

 

I think that ur probably right - I havent been very impressed with the range of the WZR - its marginally better than others, but much worse than my old Netgear WPN824 RangeMax.

 

I was just looking at openwrt - since I've got dd-wrt on the buffallo now, can you vouch for the instructions in

 

http://www.joewein.net/blog/2010/09/04/installing-openwrt-on-wzr-hp-g300nh-from-dd-wrt/

 

One important detail that maybe is completely obvious to everyone else is... what address, username and password do I use to get to the firmware with putty?

 

 

?