Monday, September 20, 2010

In which my old Billion 7402G becomes a Wireless Access Point

Currently (or at least an hour or so ago), my home network was powered by a Billion 7404VGO. Luckily, the previous home owners who did the renovations also had good sense to wire the place for Ethernet to several positions in the house.

And that's a good thing, because the main panel for that wiring is stuck in one corner of the house, the study, and that makes wireless access to the rest of the place, including the veranda, a little bit flaky.

So tonight, I hooked up my old Billion 7402G to act as a Wireless Access Point in the living room, where most things wireless are doing their accessing. This will mean a stronger signal for wireless devices on the veranda as well. This is a little note on how I did it.

Firstly, I took a note of my existing subnet and gateway. 192.168.66.254, nice a memorable. I then unplugged my computer from that and hooked it into the old router, and waited until the DHCP came up with something useful. It was on 192.168.1.X, so I pointed my browser to http://192.168.1.254/ and luckily I could still remember what the old password for the web interface was.

Now, I'm not sure that I did the next bit right, but it worked out in the end. First, I turned off DHCP Server, and set it to DHCP Relay, and pointed to the existing router at 192.168.66.254. Next, I changed the address of the router to 192.168.66.253. At that point, I lost the connection to the router, because it's IP had changed, and there was no further DHCP set up on it to provide a proper IP address to my computer. A small voice in my head mentioned that probably wasn't the smartest move, and luckily I just do programming, not any type of network support.

So I plugged my computer back into the network, and plugged the old router into the new one. I then accessed the old router via http://192.168.66.253/ and saved the config!

Now that I could access the old router via the new router, via the browser, it was time to swap the wireless part over. I disabled the wireless on the new router, and enabled the wireless on the old one. I made sure to keep the SSID and password the same, under the same type of encryption. I then used my iPhone to make sure that side of things were all good.

After doing one more Save Config, I moved the old router into the living room, and plugged the cable from the router into the wall where the TiVO used to go, and plugged the TiVO into the router. I then checked the DHCP table on the new router, but couldn't see an entry for the TiVO. As it turns out, the TiVO isnt connected to the network all the time, so I used Annikas laptop to test the router.

First, I made sure the wireless was still working. Well, that was a problem. The wireless seemed to be working, in that there was a connection and the signal was strong, but there was no internet access. I knew that I wanted some sort of bridge, but I couldn't find any solid documentation on it, so I put the router into 1483 Bridged IP LLC mode, with NAT enabled. Now, since I've got nothing actually plugged into the WAN port, it shouldn't make a lick of difference, but somehow, it did. The internet became available to the laptop, via wireless.

I then disabled the wireless cared, and plugged the laptop in to the router via cable, and that worked too. I should note that the, now wireless, router showed no DHCP Table, nothing in the NAT Sessions and nothing in the Wireless Association. Actually, looking at the Wireless Associations now, it has two entries, but the IP Address is unknown and the MAC is populated. These are probably the house hold iPhones and I think the unknown IPs are because the DHCP is handed by the newer router.

If anyone does know how to set up a Billion 7402G as a wireless access point properly, please feel free to drop me a line.

2 comments:

  1. I think you're trying to get the 7402G to join an existing wireless "net", in which case you'll need to configure WDS on both routers, and you'll have to drop your security to WEP not WPA because Billion never got round to implementing WPA security on bridged systems.

    Thats's the limit of my knowledge though, unless I get hold of a cheap BT homehub in which case I'll give it a try.

    Incidentally only the master router should have DHCP, turn it off on the secondary.

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  2. Oops I read it again, the routers are connected by cable so its fine, just give them different IP in the same subnet and link a LAN port of one to a LAN port of the other, no bridging needed (they're switches, they figure it out automatically), just turn OFF DHCP on the billion so there's no conflict.

    I guess if you turn off ADSL on the Billion you'll eliminate some light-blinking.

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