Bridges, not yet houseboat redux

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.

Reply to
Mike Easter
Loading thread data ...

On Thu, 1 Jan 2009 16:15:51 -0800, "Mike Easter" wrote in :

Take it step by step:

  1. Keep all security off until it's fully working.
  2. Start with just the wireless Ethernet client bridge wired to a computer. Get that working.
  3. Wire the wireless access point to the wireless Ethernet client bridge, and wire a computer to the wireless access point. Get that working.
  4. Get a wireless computer working on the wireless Ethernet client bridge.
  5. Turn on WPA PSK (Personal) security. (No other security matters.)

Tell us how far you get.

Reply to
John Navas

I am unable to get (either/or) a WinXP or a linux system (I have two separate experimental systems which when integrated are using the same LAN) each with an integrated ethernet nic (both are NVidia mobo support chipset based) to use the AP431W configured as an APclient to access the wireless LAN. That is, I don't know how to configure the 'network-ness' of either of those systems to use such an APclient via their integrated ethernet nic-ness.

I have been able on the XP system to 'see' the webconfiguration page for the 431 'briefly' while connected wired ethernet of the AP to integrated ethernet of the XP system. But now I can't anymore.

I have the xp system configured to be on the LAN and the APclient to be (default) on the LAN, while the gateway is which is also the address for the webpage of the router.

When the connection was temporarily working, I could see the APclient xx.250 webpage configuration, but the XP wasn't actually otherwise on the LAN because I couldn't see the xx.1 router. Nor ping it.

I have trouble 'dealing' with the windows/browser relationship. Windows doesn't think it is on the internet, so it won't let me look at an address like even if that address doesn't require me to be on the internet. I have two choices with a browser, work offline, which won't even try to access the http address or work online, in which windows realizes that it can't get online.

I have a whole different set of problems in trying to deal with the linux networking configuration.

Reply to
Mike Easter

This is a bad/ inaccurate/ confusing par considering the topology.

Configuration for this experimental construct: XP ethernet wired to 431 which is configured as an APclient (not as an AP). So, the only access the XP could have to the LAN would be if it could access it thru' the wirelessness of the AP, but it can't. So, the XP isn't actually on the LAN, it just wants to be.

Reply to
Mike Easter

With some experimentation on XP concerning what I'm calling the default gateway of the LAN connection, eg changing the default gateway to the .250 of the 431 APclient (instead of the .1 of the router which I'm trying to connect wirelessly with), I can now see the .250 APclient which is connected to the ethernet port of the XP consistently. But I cannot see or ping the router or anywhere beyond the APclient's configuration page.

Reply to
Mike Easter

OK. Well it looks like you got your connection to the Client working. That's a good start.

Let's see: Is there still security or mac address filtering set on your main wireless router? That would be a culprit.

Assuming not, I'm going to refer to your 431's instruction manual to check settings.

------------------------------------------------------ Quote: If you want to set the AP431W to a mode other than an Access Point, write down the following values for your existing wireless router or AP:

  1. SSID (Network Name)
  2. Channel Number
  3. Wireless Security Settings

The AP431W needs to use the same wireless settings in order for it to work properly. You may gather this information from the web configuration utility of your wireless router.


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.

Step 1 Select AP Client and enter the MAC address of the remote AP [OR] click on the Scan button for any available wireless network.

Step 2 Select the desired wireless network from the list.

Step 3 Click Apply to save the changes.

Step 4 Once the Access Point has restarted, you may disconnect it from the wireless router and connect it to the Ethernet port of your computer or game console, and reboot the Access Point.

End quote.

---------------------------------- OK. These instructions ARE confusing. They don't mention actually entering the same SSID and channel into your wireless settings, maybe you need to do this.

And then they act as if the 431 was connected by wire to your wireless router, but never mentioned doing this. I doubt that does any good anyway.

But steps 1,2,3 are important.

When done, applied and rebooted, go to the setting status page and make sure your mode, SSID and channel all look good.

Also, you may want to verify that the AP client has the router IP as it's gateway and DNS. Tell your XP machine to go to the 431 address for gateway and DNS.

Ping away.

If still stuck, hard reset the 431 (use the physical button) and build up the settings again.

If still stuck, study this:

formatting link
and for more clues, try to wade through this:
formatting link
Once you get it, it should be easy enough. Be sure to save the configuration file (administration>backup) so you can recover the working settings if it gets mucked up again.


Reply to
seaweedsl Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.