Author Topic: WZR-HP-G300NH and Gargoyle/Openwrt  (Read 406 times)

Moosewala

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WZR-HP-G300NH and Gargoyle/Openwrt
« on: September 22, 2020, 04:32:17 pm »
Well, I received a refurbished wz-hp-g300nh today to replace my whr-hp-g300n (which I sold).  As you may (or may not) know I have been frustrated with both the 'user friendly and dd-wrt (both buffalo branded and community releases) performance in managing the atheros chipsets.  I decided to test out Gargoyle/Openwrt to see if anything it is any better.  I also decided to test the signal strength between the versions, all measured with the unit in the same exact location/position at a distance of 22 ft.   I used InSSider to take the measurements.

 

This unit came loaded with the 'user fiendly' fw.  I have it setting right next to my wzr-hp-ag300h so that I can compare the signal strength between the 2.  I also used the signal measured with the 'user friendly' as a baseline for all further tests.  User friendly=-50, wzr-hp-ag300h=-50.

 

Next I upgraded to the buffalo released dd-wrt 16783.  As expected it had the TX power limited to 17dBm.  While I had the dd-wrt firmware loaded, I also ssh'd to the unit and saved off the mtd partion data for the u-boot, u-boot-env, nvram, and ART partitions, so that if anything really drastic happens I have them to restore.  dd-wrt=-51

 

Next, I tftp'd Gargoyle 1.3.14.  Setting up Gargoyle as an AP was extremely easy.  I was somewhat surprised (ad slightly dissapointed) that the Gargoyle web interface would not allow a TX power setting above 20 dBm.  You could set the power to 27dBm via the CLI, but anytime you uodated anythig with the Gargoyle interface (or re-booted) the power went back to 20 dBm.  Gargoyle w/TX @20dBm=-47

 

Next, I decided to see if I could fix that nasty restriction of 20 dBm of the Gargoyle interface.  I found the controlling script (/www.basic.sh) and found the edit of the tx power input.  I changed the limits to 30 and retried the interface.  Now I can input 0 - 30 dBm using the Gargoyle interface.  One thing to note: if you put in a value greater than what the regulatory limits are (27 dBm in the current version of Gargoyle/Openwrt), the entry will not be written to the wireless config file and will default to 20 dBm regardless of the setting by the Gargoyle interface.  Gargoyle w/TX @27dBm=-45

 

Next, I decided to see if I could increase the TX maximum power to the max allowed by the FCC.  To do this, I modified the regulatory database (regulatory.bin) and set the limits to 30 dBm.  I rebooted and checked the limits reported in dmesg and sure enough, I now have things set at 30 dBm max.  Used the Gargoyle interface and set TX power to 30 dBm.  Gargoyle w/TX @30=-44

 

In summary here are the measured RSSI's:

wzr-hp-ag300h w/dd-wrt:            -50

wzr-hp-g300nh w/user friendly: -50

wzr-hp-g300nh w/dd-wrt             -51

wzr-hp-g300nh w/gargoyle @20dBm: -47

wzr-hp-g300nh w/gargoyle @27dBm: -45

wzr-hp-g300nh w/gargoyle @30dBm: -44

 

One other note:  The advertised max data rate was 300(N).

 

So... the ath9k drivers in Openwrt work great!  Tx power CAN be managed!

 

As an AP, Gargoyle is easy to set up and seems to have most of the features that would be needed.  So far it seems stable.

 

If you are wanting to use it in client mode, though it seems to have it's limitations although you can set it up vi the Openwrt UCI.  I have some more testing/exploring to do for client mode.