Q

Problem maintaining connectivity between AP and clients

I have a site that requires 15 Linksys WAP54G devices. I have one set up as the access point and 14 set up as clients. I can not maintain connectivity between the AP and the clients. I have a 12dbi 4-foot antenna on each device that is mounted outside. I have all the devices on the same channel. The AP is linked to the computer via CAT5e straight-thru. When I shut down our software and run just Windows 2000 I can connect to each of the clients. How can I improve the connection and run our software at the same time? I have eight days to get all of this wireless up and running.

I assume that you have installed 15 WAP54G access point devices. On one WAP54G, you have left AP Mode set to the default, access point. On the other 14 WAP54Gs, you have set AP Mode to AP client and selected the MAC address of the "Remote Access Point" (the single WAP54G configured as regular access point). In this configuration, Ethernet devices plugged into each of those 14 AP clients should be able to reach the network connected...

to the remote access point.

I can't tell from your question how PCs are connected to the 14 AP clients, what software you are trying to run or what you mean by "shut down our software and just run Windows 2000." But here's what I'd do to verify that I had good connectivity before running any application software:

  1. Make sure the remote access point is connecting to local wireless clients first. Take a laptop with a wireless adapter, sit right next to the "remote" access point, and try to connect to the AP's advertised SSID. If a local wireless client can't connect to the AP, a remote AP client never will.
  2. Once your local client is connected, I would make sure that it receives a valid IP address for that network and can reach a destination inside the network. For example, the wireless client should be able to "ping" the Ethernet interface of the AP and another destination connected to that AP by Ethernet. If a local wireless client doesn't have network connectivity, there's no point in going further until it does.
  3. Once the local client has verified network connectivity, I would make sure that the nearest AP client can "see" the Remote Access Point by using the Site Survey button in that AP client's GUI. If the AP Client "sees" the remote AP, you will be able to choose the AP and the AP's MAC address and SSID will be copied into the WAP54G's configuration when you save the settings. Use the View Log button to verify that the AP client is associating with the remote access point. If not, you may need to adjust security or performance settings.
  4. Once the AP client is connected to the remote AP, I would connect a PC directly to that AP client using a crossover cable and make sure that it receives a valid IP address for the remote network. Verify that the PC can reach destinations inside the remote network, starting with the remote AP. After that works, you can connect PCs to AP clients using a hub and straight-through cables if you prefer. AP clients will not be able to communicate with other AP clients; they will only be able to reach the network connected to the remote AP.
  5. Repeat this process for all 14 AP clients. After you know you have sound network connectivity between PCs connected to AP clients and destinations connected to the remote AP, you can move on to run other applications on top of this network.
This was first published in August 2004

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