Has anyone tried the wireless router firmware replacement from Sveasoft? One of the touted advantages is a significant power boost. Haven't yet tried it myself and thought someone else might already have.
I've been using the Thibor version of the HyperWrt firmware for several years with good results. It also lets me double the power output of the Linksys WRT54G router/access point and has many other nice features as well. For all the details on the 3rd party firmware for Linksys routers, see http://www.linksysinfo.org
Awesome firmware upgrade for Linksys WRT54G & GS to boost the Xmit Power to 84 mw, far beyond the FCC requirements. The company is outside the US and not bound by such laws to increase the transmission signal. As far as heat dissipation, I have used it for 2 years and have not suffered any downtime due to modification to the firmware. I am still using the version "Satori-4.0" although the latest version "Tailsman/Basic v1.2.2" added additional router brand.
The following router models are supported:
In order to download the firmware upgrade, you join the forum group at $20.00/ year.
The main feature of the firmware is to take additional Linksys routers and convert it to a repeater/expander to increase the coverage. You can daisy chain wirelessly as many routers say about 300 feet apart (away from the main router) to extend coverage. This is excellent for 2 or 3 neighbors who decide to get a broadband service and split the monthly cost without suffering from low or weak signal due to distance. On the other hand, a standard WiFi Expander configure with a router (no firmware upgrade) has to be within range from the main router and the additional expanders can not be setup in series.
I believe the FCC limit for a WiFi radio is 300mw, but the typical consumer access point isn't capable of that much output. Even the Linksys at maximum of 84mw is still far below the allowable legal maximum. There are numerous firmware options available from the linksysinfo.org web site for free, no need to pay even $20 for one.
Darn! I've got a WRT54G-V5 and can't do much to help it along. DD-WRT has an upgrade, but it's minimal. Going to try adding a Linx rf amp to an old WRK54 (Walmart OEM, single antenna) and see what that does. I don't really care about all the hacks for 'radio off' and stuff like that, but would just like to provide a good signal for friends. We'll see.
A power upgrade is definitely a cheap way of extending the range of your router - but only to a reasonable extent
Firmware upgrades allow certain routers to increase output to as much a 251mw - the full legal limit allowed by the FCC. However, turning up the output to the full amount allowed by the hardware does not always provide the perfectly desired results. Try turning up your car stereo as loud as you can. Sure it is very loud and now everyone in the camp can hear it, but the quality is poor and you can no longer distinguish the lyrics. The same happens with the router, you get a boost in power but also a drastic boost in noise. Choosing a nice middle-of-the-road output power is ideal.
Second, turning up the output power will only increase the routers ability to send data away from the router, but will not increase its ability to receive data. Your friend on the opposite side of the campsite may be able to see and recieve data from the router, but using only a cheap PCMCIA card they will not be able to broadcast data back to the router loud enough for the router to receive it - thus leaving them with a failed or unreliable connection.
The absolute best upgrade for your money, if you must spend money, is always the antenna. Any Ham Radio operator will tell you such. A quality high gain antenna will improve the routers ability to receive and send data, resulting in better quality connections overall. Use an omnidirectional antenna in cases where mobile operators are spread out in all directions. Use a unidirectional antenna to gain optimal signal strength and quality when the operator(s) is in one general direction.
Using a WRT54G loaded with DD-WRT pumping out 100mw into a high gain directional antenna, I am able to maintain a wireless connection for about 1/4 mile using a hawking HWU54D on my laptop.
I guess that would work Karl. I have no experience with WiFi amps and have forgotten the mathematical relationship between dBm and milliwatts. Honestly, I prefer a simple and modest firmware power boost combined with a killer antenna. Best money I ever spent.