Airport Express WRT54G WDS

Thanks to Google and the Usenet Groups that are hosted here, I was able to decide to buy and make operational an Apple Airport Express last weekend. I skipped the hard part initally, and configured it to act as a client device so I could stream my iTunes music to my wife's surround sound system. There were a number of posts available describing how to configure the Airport Express as a Wireless Access Point using WDS to bridge back to my WRT54G, but I wanted to accomplish something specific and achievable in a 1 afternoon period.

The webpage that describes how to do this is:

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Tonight I found a website that pointed out that the stock WRT54G supports WDS, but only as a 'main base station'. For example, if you have an Airport Express and a WRT54G, the Airport Express can act as the 'remote base station', but you cannot reverse the roles.

It would make sense to assume that if you have two WRT54G, you would need to download one of the custom firmware modifications to allow one unit to act as a 'remote base station', but you could leave the other one with stock firmware now acting as a main base station.

Three comments on the webpage:

(1) Pay CAREFUL attention when it tells you to enter the MAC address of the WIRELESS side of your WRT54G into the configuration screen for the Airport Express. I wasted about an hour because I entered the MAC address of the INTERNET side of the WRT54G, and that just does not work.

(2) The website says that your only choice for security is WEP 64-bit, and later on the author points out that you can also fly naked with no WEP. I got it to work with WEP 40-bit. Only because we have a number of laptops and I did not want to reconfigure them all tonight. Despite the fact that 40-bit is not that great, it is somewhat better than no security at all. At least my neighbors can't free ride on my network.

(3) I upgraded my WRT54G v4.0 to firmware rev 4.20.7. I was running

4.20.6 before, and I am fairly certain that I figured out the MAC address mistake, and it still did not work, and then I upgraded the firmware, but I'm not the sort of person who takes notes, at least not until I get majorly frustrated.

If you want to figure out what revision of WRT54G you have, check out

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Then you will have to examine the underside of your WRT54G closely to get the first 4 characters of your serial number. Take a flashlight, and if you are as old as I am, your reading glasses too.

As I mentioned in my post to the audio groups, you can also use an inexpensive Toslink cable from Walmart (or possibly radio shack) to connect your Airport Express to your stereo system, if your system supports digital/optical connection. Also note that the Airport Express has a DAC built in.

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Corrections to my own post:

(1) The higher security is 128 bit (not 64-bit).

(2) I was incorrect about getting the full system to work with 40-bit security between the Airport Express and the WRT54G. *** My Airport Express was able to get an IP address from the WRT54G, and I could configure it, but a client connecting through the Airport Express would not communicate properly. ***

I'm not sure that I entirely understand, but everything is working now after I configured for 128-bit WEP.

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[POSTED TO alt.internet.wireless - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

Only those looking for open access points -- 40-bit WEP won't stop those that are actually trying. One of the nice things about the Airport Express is that it supports WPA.

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