WA3-50 in Repeater mode

Today I put the WA3-50 access point in repeater mode. In this mode, it picks up the signal of Krypton (a TP Link access point, located 10 meters away, behind a few concrete walls).

Some brands require repeaters to be of the same brand and other silly rules. The TP Link access point does not require that. Not that it would matter since the Longshine LCS WA3-50 access point will act as repeater for ANY brand of access point.


Status overview

To the right, you see the new status overview. A new section was added: the "Wireless repeater interface configuration". It shows:


Turning on repeater mode

To the right, you see part of the Wireless 'Basic settings menu'. To turn the WA3-50 into a rpeater, just

  1. Mark 'Universal repeater mode'
  2. Fill in the ESSID of the signal to be repeated (i.e. Krypton)
and that's just about it.....


Wireless security

If you now go to 'Wireless Seurity setup', you will see that there are TWO access points to choose from. When you put the WA3-50 in repeater mode, you will not loose the original AP. No, the repeated signal is added in, next to the already existing Xenon signal....

So, now the WA3-50 works as two access points in one:

  1. Xenon, the open access point, without any encryption
  2. Krypton repeated, with WPA passphrase encryption





Wireless site survey

The diagram to the right shows that the WA3-50 is alive.... The access points found here are:

It's time to take the Asus EEE laptop and start walking around to see how far my networks reach. The WA3-50 may have a rather long reach since it is mounted 5 meters above ground level.

Compare these results to the Site Survey of the TP Link TL-WA501G (aka Krypton) access point listed below. The main differences between the TP Link and the WA3-50:



Statistics

As you can see, the Wireless statistics section now also has an extra section. It makes a distinction betwen the

I had expected some kind of mathematic relation between the three parts here. Something like (maybe)
Ethernet LAN = Wireless LAN + Wireless repeater LAN
but apparently this is not the case...


Walking around with Nitrogen

The other day, the weather was fine (not very common in these latitudes), so I picked up the nitrogen laptop to which I had installed WICD just a few days before, to take a hike. The access point is at the orange dot. In front of the house is some shrubbery. Then comes 500 meters of grassland. Slightly to the right is a lump of concrete.
When I entered the red oval, Xenon still had 35% signal strength. That was at 120 meters. I disconnected and tried to reconnect. No problem, whatsoever. When the signal is weak, you may disconnect, but cannot reconnect. Apparently the WA3-50 is a power transmitter.

Since I could still reconnect I walked another 80 meters. I could disconnect and reconnect, although it took some more time now. Apparently 200 meters is on the limit.

So I walked back to the 120 meter point and walked 20 meters to the north. Now the lump of concrete (called an apartment block) was in between me and Xenon. Signal strength was down to 20 %. Data was till rushing in. But after disconnecting, the reconnect failed. Not very strange, if you know there's 20 meters of concrete and furniture in between.

When walking from the red oval towards the 200 meter point, I noticed that signal strength did not go down linearly. Overall it went down, but at certain points the signal strength exceeded that of the red oval... It looked like there are nodes of amplification and of extinction.

All in all, it was astonishing to see the range of this extremely tiny access point.


Page created on 10 October 2010 and