Author Topic: Wireless Router with internal switch  (Read 1249 times)

Yamasculia

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Wireless Router with internal switch
« on: October 29, 2008, 10:42:20 pm »
Hi Everyone,

I'm about to make my first jump into LinuxMCE land as it looks like a fascinating project. It's an incredible piece of software, I've not seen anything like it before.

Here's the thing though, I currently have a Wireless router (with internal 4 port NIC) supplied by my ISP and since I rent my flat have no chance of installing CAT 6  :|

So I had originally planned something like: Internet -> Wireless Router, probably connected via 100mb Ethernet to the core and then wireless to my Media Directors. Core would still perform DHCP but I can't see a way of making it the gateway.

Thing is as I trawl these boards it's becoming more and more clear that this isn't going to work (at least not without a fight). Given my setup, without buying a 2nd wireless router I can't really use LinuxMCE as it wants to be used.

So I was wondering, I'm pretty handy at this kind of stuff and I enjoy a challenge but it's also clear that I've got my work cut out for me. Has anyone got anything like this working in the wild? I've not really seen any on the wiki or forums but perhaps I didn't search right.

Anyone had any success with a setup like this? Or is it just too far from LinuxMCE's standard architecture to work?

Bumaster108

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 11:10:57 pm »
If you want to use wireless to your cores, you can try creating a wireless bridge.  To do this, you would need to buy a wireless access point for your core and one access point for each of your media directors (possibly more depending on the number of MDs you want and the number of connections supported by the bridges).  Each access point should be connected through ethernet to the computer.  I've used this method for connecting various parts of the house before I had cable and it worked fairly well.  I've never tried streaming video over it, though.

Chris

colinjones

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 11:52:20 pm »
You have 2 architectural problems

1. As you identified, the MD access would be through the "external" interface of the LMCE core server - you will not be able to get this going without a huge fight. That architecture is not supported, it will disable a number of the features and likely be unstable - do some searches on the forums for singe/1 NIC to see the previous discussions/flame wars!

2. As bumaster108 points out... to clarify, you will not be able to boot MDs wirelessly with just a wireless card - this is because the MD system boots using PXE from the BIOS. Even if you purchased a second wifi access point for the internal network to resolve point 1, when the BIOS starts PXE you will have no ability to configure the wireless card to associate with your internal WLAN, set the encryption levels or keys, etc.

As mentioned, to resolve point one you need a dual NIC (standard architecture) core, with a wireless AP on the internal network. To resolve point 2, you could either setup a pre-configured wireless bridge plugged into each MD's ethernet interface. Or possibly using boot to USB thumb drive with a GRUB loader on it which you could then string together some utilities that would allow you to load drivers for the wireless card, set it to associate, then manually kick off the boot process - but this would probably only work after you have initially built the MD image. Either way, I wouldn't recommend it as it will be a lot of work to set up, and streaming video over wireless can be very subject to interference from microwave ovens and cordless phones, etc...

It is a pain, but you would be far better off to run cables and hide them under carpets/rugs, nail them to skirting boards etc!

Yamasculia

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 12:31:21 am »
Blast! T'is as I was beginning to suspect!

Still thanks for the prompt and extremely detailed replies, both of you!!!

Going to have to have a think about this...

Am I right in thinking that a Hybrid Core/MD can work with 1 Nic? I'm sure I've seen some Wiki entries to that effect.

If so can I still use orbiters (Nokia 770s) and a Soundbridge (Squeezebox like MP3 player) in other rooms with LinuxMCE? Both should perform fine over wireless.

If that's the case then only having 1 place to view video is not too bad (no worse off than I am right now) and I still get to have music follow me around the place plus all the other cool stuff. Then next time I move I can make sure I'm cabled up nice for the full experience.

colinjones

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 12:57:20 am »
It CAN work, but that is the fight I was talking about. You should read all about the 1 NIC vs 2 NIC stuff on the forums and wiki first, and be sure of your networking knowledge before venturing down that path. And be aware it is very frowned upon as re-engineering the system so you will have difficulty raising interest for assistance if you have problems!

Yamasculia

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 11:09:54 am »
Understood, thanks for your help.


Yamasculia

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2008, 04:57:08 pm »
Having considered my options; including at one point using a wireless card in my core as my second NIC and setting it up with HOSTAP to be an access point. (Something I may revisit when wireless N drivers for Linux are more mature, but I have a feeling right now that it may well be the end of me).

I've plumped for some Netgear HDXB101 ethernet over power adapters and a two nic setup. Might start a new thread and see if anyone's had any experience.

Rukus

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Re: Wireless Router with internal switch
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 03:17:38 am »
Hi all,

This is really disappointing.  I was going to try connect an MD to a usb wireless adapter, which would then attempt to PXEBOOT off a wireless router on the internal interface on my core.  There really isn't a point if you can't stream TV or Video.  Thanks for the info guys, I had been wondering whether this would be a possibility at all. 

Core/Generic Hybrid MD
Motherboard: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core
GPU: GPU: XFX PVT84GUDF3 GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3