Wordy-gurdy about the experimental preparation for the houseboat idea:
I don't understand bridges, specifically in the context of my trying to use an Airlink AP421W and an Airlink AP431W to perform in a way compatible with my plan for the houseboat. (See Houseboat repeater of Dec 09, except this isn't about repeating, but bridging.)
The idea for experimenting with my own network prior to the houseboat situation was wireless router AR325W wireless> AP431W wired> AP421W wireless > wireless nic computer
Yesterday I put this together and I would swear that it was working exactly as intended. Then something changed and nothing worked. Now in the course of troubleshooting and reconfiguring I've had to flash/upgrade one AP's firmware twice, hardware reset that device twice, and my experimenting with reconfiguring my router in places I didn't understand screwed it up so that I had to hardware reset it to get it where I could see it to configure it (back to normal) again. My big problem is whatall I don't understand and therefore (I'm whining because) I don't know how to troubleshoot this rig.
Here's what was working briefly yesterday. On one end, my wireless router AR325W configured to wireless with WPA. In the middle was AP431W configured as an APclient (with the WPA & the router's SSID configured in) which was ethernet wired to AP421W default configured as a 'regular' AP also with WPA for the wireless nic . On the other end was a wireless nic on a computer and it all worked. All Airlink devices & modelnos.
(I just realized while typing this that I should temporarily do an experiment with nothing WPA/ed.)
Now that it doesn't work, I realize that I have no way to troubleshoot what is flying around where. When things aren't working properly, I can't see either 431 or 421 AP's web configuration page from anywhere/ either end. The wireless computer (on the opposite end of the bridge/s) has no connectivity via the bridge. In this proximity arrangement, it can actually see the router which the bridges (or APs) are supposed to be accessing A 'base' computer directly ethernet connected to the router can't see either one of the APs in the test configuration described.
The lights on the APs don't seem to be much good for anything with my limited ability to interpret them. There is only a power, LAN & wlan light. The airlink docs don't help me, since they just restate the same language I don't understand in the first place.
The only way I can see either AP 421 or 431 is to have it ethernet wired to the router, the 'configuration mode' - which allows me to configure it 'appropriately' (which is where my ignorance lies). As a minor issue/aside, I also can't get a change of password to hold in the 431, but all kinds of other changes work and save, such as changing the access address.
Both of these APs are supposed to be mostly similarly (multi-) configurable as:
AP431W (pasting in verbiage from airlink) Access Point - This mode allows your wireless computers to connect to your wired network. (Default mode) AP Client - The AP Client mode converts the Access Point to a wireless network adapter, allowing the network device such as your computer or game console to become a wireless client. AP Repeater - The AP Repeater mode converts the Access Point to a wireless repeater. By extending the wireless signal of the source AP/wireless router, the wireless coverage is expanded. WDS (Bridge) - The WDS mode converts the Access Point to a wireless bridge. It bridges the network clients from physically separate LANs into one virtual LAN. WDS with AP - The WDS mode converts the Access Point to a wireless bridge. It bridges the network clients from physically separate LANs into one virtual LAN and allows wireless clients to connect to the network via the Access Point.
... and then it has little pictures to illustrate those modes, none of which pictures are exactly what I'm trying to do.
The operating modes of the 421 are very similar to that of the 431 above except the last WDS w/ AP isn't listed.