Bridge over troubled water?

Well, not really - just over water...

I'm ready to do an upgrade of the Senao 2611 CB3 Plus (Deluxe) Bridge/AP unit I have now.

It's a 'b' only protocol, and I want to go to the 'g' protocol capable type of bridge. The AP unit I have isn't important to be a 'g' capable unit, as it's solely conveying the information received from the bridge to me, close range, so I'll keep that one.

Ideally, it will let me scan the available AP sites available, and whether through some configuration program (windows zero configuration, Hawking configuration tool, their own?), point and click to the one I want to associate. That's because, now, in the 2611, I have to type in the SSID, and should there be more than one of the same name, hope it will associate the proper one. Where I am "docked" now has more than 2 such sets (depending on conditions; I'll see at least 2 sets of at least 2 with the same name, sometimes as many as 5), and typing in the SSID (the 2611 doesn't let me specify the MAC) isn't necessarily definitive. I'd also rather associate a known site, rather than a potentially private one, but that's a bit easier, in that the private ones likely will have some SSID which gives it away...

A second ideal would be that it used the same antenna attachment point, but that's only so I didn't have to buy a new pigtail, and a very minor enhancement.

Having a small power increase would also be useful (the Senao unit has either 100 or 200mw, depending on the country), so that I can reach out a bit further; my antenna lets me "hear" better. Given that some countries have more channels than the US, it might be useful to have an international version such as the Senao is so that it could associate on the transmitting channel, whatever it was, wherever *I* was.

I'm still wrestling over whether to power it directly over 12V (assuming it were that voltage) or use POE; the other components in my system use 12V, which is very handy, since it's all being powered via a

12V system.

I'll be putting it in a NEMA box, so being able to reduce whatever unit it is to a board would be helpful, just to save space.

I'm assuming I'll be setting it up over an ethernet connection, through my internal NIC, using a web interface, and that will be the modus, also, of specifying the SSID (again, ideally, point-and-click) to associate.

Putting all my begs in one ask-it, O gurus of all things wireless, is there such a beast which meets those unreasonable expectations?


Skip and Lydia, aboard, working to get wet

Morgan 461 #2 SV Flying Pig KI4MPC See our galleries at

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Skip - Working on the boat
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On 22 Aug 2006 10:34:47 -0700, "Skip - Working on the boat" wrote in :

True, but the client bridge is designed to automatically pick the best access point for a given SSID, and unless you _really_ know what you are doing and _really_ need to specify a given access point, you'd be well advised to let the client bridge do its thing.

Shouldn't be a problem given that legitimate public sites tend to have unique SSIDs. It's typically only illegitimate private sites that have non-unique default SSIDs (e.g., "linksys").

Probably not. Your antenna helps both sending and receiving, whereas more power only helps sending. Like the other issues you're (re)raising, we've had this discussion before:

More power probably won't help. As Jeff Liebermann puts it, "This is commonly known as an alligator, which is an animal with a big mouth and small ears. The xmit amplified [radio] can be heard over a much larger area than it can hear the replies from the [other radios]. Unless the [other] radios have a similar power amplifier, the system [becomes] asymmetrical, with more range in one direction than the other."

Thus I take it that you're going to again ignore advice and thrash about on your own. Forgive me for opting out of all that fun and just wishing you luck instead.

Most units can handle different standards, either with a config option or with a firmware load.


Take whatever you get apart _after_ you get it working (if you ever do).

Again, this ground has all been covered before.

I've already recommended a unit, but you seem to be ignoring that as well. So now I'll just wish you luck -- you'll probably need it.

Troubled water indeed. ;)

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John Navas

Well, I think I've proven adequately that I *don't* know what I'm doing. However, in an area such as I'm currently aground, there are several public free sites (some marginally) within range, some (a few) unprotected presumed private sites, and several pay sites, one of them a big-assed alligator. Oh, and let's not forget the AP which talks to my wifi, sitting right next to the bridge.

Guess which one the bridge goes to on its own? Stumped (no, I presume not - but for clarity...)? If left to its own devices it goes to the AP which is supposed to pass its signal to me. If I turn that AP off, it goes to the alligator, with whom I don't care to discourse.

So, as my only course of access, whether I was supposed to know what I was doing or not, I learned to specify the SSID of one of the public free sites. It's how I'm communicating, now, while Lydia's on the VoIP. I'd *rather* specify a different public site, as it's a better signal (closer - the others are downtown) but it's a 'g' only site. I can see it with a 'g' enabled adapter - but not get VoIP as the adapter isn't able to talk to the VoIP router.

Hm. Rereading what you've said, I *think* what you meant was being able to discriminate among several like-named SSID, through a client bridge which doesn't let you specify which of them you want to talk to. I agree, I don't want to be doing that, as I don't know what I'm doing in that case. However, I'm hopeful that paradox won't present itself in my travels - and if it does, likely the density (no, not *me*, the available stations) is such that others could be selected where the conflict doesn't occur.

Agreed. However, I still have to specify what of the available sites I am to address. If I were to take my laptop downtown, park myself on a bench near the campus, and fire up windows zero configuration, I'd see the public access points nearby, the campus signal (which I'd either have to be a student, or know one of them's passcode, neither of which is interesting to me, in order to use), several encrypted private sites, and so on. I look at the available ones, choose the muni free wifi, or the St. Pete City Docks freebie, or one of the others, click the mouse, and off I go.

OTOH, if it's a bridge, rather than either a built-in or wired adapter, it's going to want to lock onto the strongest signal. (Well, that's a presumption - might well be wrong - based on the behavior of my current bridge. Of course, I'd prefer the bridge I buy to be a point-and-click variety, if they exist.) If it happened that one of the private sites were the strongest signal, I'm stuck. If it were a pay site, and both other weaker public sites were available, I'm stuck, too. So, I just want to be able to aim at something, whether I have to type it in (less preferable) or point-and-click, and proceed.

And, FWIW, among the pay sites, publicly available within earshot of my location (without having to go downtown), there are (depending on the time and weather) at least 3 and usually 6 with the same name. Point and click resolves that, whereas typing an SSID doesn't. Of course, in this case, they're all different flavors of the same ice cream, so it's really not an issue. If I were a subscriber, the strongest site (in that instance) would be fine. OTOH, in these cases (the different flavors of the same ice cream), they also are considerably stronger than the public access sites, so just letting the bridge do its thing won't work for me.

I'm clueless, I agree. Worse, apparently, I'm a slow learner. Must be the over-60 bit, cuz I used to be a quick learner. However, that little point I have learned and can at least control partly (if I wanted to go to a specific one of the pay sites, rather than just the strongest, I'd be out of luck with my current gear) is how to make my current gear go to a specific site.

More of my cluelessness, I presume. I'd been under the impression (quite possibly the mis-impression) that antennae dealt in dBi, having to do with gain in receptivity, and that amplifiers dealt in dBm, having to do with gain in transmit power.

What I think I understand you to say is that if I can hear it, it doesn't matter what power with which I transmit, the other end will hear me as well. Is that correct? If so, that should make my search easier.

OTOH, I wonder why it is that Senao and others sell amplified bridges, and even more providers sell amplifiers to go in line with an antenna, amplifying whatever signal they're given. Remember, I'm clueless - I'm not being argumentative - I'm trying to buy a clue.

Heh. I need all the luck I can get.

Cool. So I don't have to look for something specifically designed for multi-cultural use; it's typical?

Of course. I'd assume the bridge's antenna connection would be the same whether in its little plastic case or not. I haven't even hauled what I have up in a bucket to simulate height advantages, yet, so caution is my sore point, not being reckless :{))

My apologies - I don't spend much time in this group, and have a few other things going on, so it likely slipped by me. I'll see if I can find it.

Not Simon and Garfunkel, but it will do ;{))



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Skip - Working on the boat

On 22 Aug 2006 18:58:17 -0700, "Skip - Working on the boat" wrote in :

Which is why you should be sticking with advice until it's at least working. Then and only then should you go off on your own. It's been very frustrating trying to help you because you don't follow advice.

Since you again leave out details, I have no real idea what's going on, but I'm guessing that's with blank or "any" SSID, which is NOT (repeat NOT) what to do! Give it the specific SSID of the wireless network you want to connect to, and it should only connect to an access point with that SSID. REPEAT: ALWAYS SET A SPECIFIC SSID! DO NOT USE BLANK OR "ANY" SSID!

No such conclusion is warranted. It's not working because you're not following my advice.

That's what I thought you were asking. (Perhaps I'm just dense, but it's often hard for me to make sense of what you're saying.) I was simply telling you that's a bad idea.

You specify the specific SSID of the desired wireless network.

Sure -- that's point-and-click to specify the SSID. Manually works just as well, even in Windows (Advanced Settings -> Wireless Networks ->


It's dead wrong. Makes no matter whether it's a wireless router or a WIRELESS CLIENT BRIDGE (use correct terms or there will just be more confusion!), it still selects the wireless network by SSID!

Nope. You're confused. The Senao works just like any other wireless client bridge.



You can do that now.

Nope. You're making invalid assumptions. Point and click just sets the SSID. The device then selects the best access point automatically. Manual type-in of the SSID works the same way.

Wrong again.

Fair enough -- all the more reason to follow advice carefully.

It does that now. You're just confused about what's going on.

No. Read more carefully and stop making assumptions. What I wrote is that higher antenna gain helps both sending and receiving, whereas higher transmit power helps only sending, and thus won't help you (unless the other end also has higher transmit power, which it probably won't). Bottom line: HIGHER POWER PROBABLY WON'T HELP YOU. IF YOU NEED MORE RANGE, GET A BETTER ANTENNA.

They know you're more likely to buy them if they sound "better" (even when they're not).

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