LinksysWET11 - First look
OK, so I put in my order for the WET11, since it looked like JUST what I was hunting for - a cheap, Ethernet Client, that had signal strength, could work on any Base Station, and was managable from a web browser. I put in my order through Dell on one of their mega-sales and got it for about $100 delivered, so it's a good deal if it works.
Well, the WET11 is close, and so far, it works well.
Background: I've been suffering with WAP11's for over a year now, trying to get the AP Client mode to work with neighbors in a NAN (Neighborhood Area Network). The WAP11's finally got stable, but other problems plague them - heat makes the signal strength go WAY down, they still tend to go to sleep (one person has a timer to shut it off every night!), and they're not managable - so when there's no signal, you don't know if it's asleep, dead, or just doesn't like you today!
And no, I don't have an X-Box (but I do have a Tivo.. hmm..), so I can't comment on that aspect.
First: It's small. Nice. It's also got an easily replacable RP-SMA antenna - bigger than the Lucent's little thing-a-ma-bobs which are so easily breakable. RP-SMA's are easy to get, and seem to be a new standard among the non-standard connectors.
Next: It's got a power connector / wall wart that isn't huge. Nice - it won't take a lot of juice to run. 4-5.5 volts at 2.6-3.3 amps. It's also got a Crossover / Straight cable switch. HOO-FREAKIN'-RAY!! There's 4 lights - power, Diag (whatever this means!), LAN, and WLAN. Similar to the WAP11, they don't tell you much, except that the cables are working, and SOMETHING is happening - maybe.
Finally: The CD pops up (windows only) with a configuration wizard - most of the time it finds the WET11 on the 1st or 2nd try. It's easy to get done, but you have to remember to manually pull the power to reset it after you finish (maddening!). Fortuantely, the web configurator doesn't have this need - there's a soft-reboot (that works).
The WEB configuration software is pretty darn good. About the same quality you'd expect with any other Linksys gear (basic, but fairly informative, and with a total minimum of documentation).
Questions I had: Is the web config any good? Yep, good enough. Allows WEP, gives power / signal status (!!), and even scans for other base stations in the area, with channel and signal strength!
Does it go to sleep like a WAP11? I sure as hell hope not...
Replaceable antenna? Yep - even ships detatched. RP-SMA, as far as I know. One antenna port - none of that Diversity nonsense.
Does it get warm? Nope, not really. Much cooler than a WAP11.
Does it work with other base stations??? Please?? YES!! I set it to the SSID of my Apple Graphite Airport Base Station, and it worked like a charm first time! So, this means you can be freed of being stuck with WAP11's for Base stations and Clients - now you can get these WET11's for the Clients, and a nice shiny Cisco 350 Repeating Access Point. :-).
Does it have a DHCP Server in it? Nope.
Does it have a DHCP client in it? Yes.
Does it work behind a hub? Router? Dunno, dunno. (will be testing the router bit - but I assume yes to both).
If I know more, I'll post more...
Hope you don't ever need service on that bastard. I've been e-mailing Linksys support for six weeks now to get my BefW11S4 fixed (six weeks of "yes I restored to factory settings; yes I flashed up the bios; yes I flashed down the bios; yes I'm sure!!). They've finally agreed to repair it, but now I can't part with the damned router for work! Hands-down the most negative tech support experience I've ever had. -Cowboy X
- I guess I'm picking nits, but there's no such thing as an Ethernet "client". There's access points, and NICs, but the only thing that really distinguishes them is that an AP is usually a router or a bridge (a pair of NICs), and NICs usually can't go into IBSS mode w/o rewriting some drivers. -Brian Cain
<chainey> alright.. single node test, WET11. at link uses about 320mA @ 5V,
- transmitting at about 5Mbps draws about 508mA [saw a 518mA max].
Someone on #wireless, quite interested in the power consumption of the WET11.
Also, a link or two to the http://www.ubicom.com site, they who provide this solution to a number of folks. Product whitepaper: http://www.ubicom.com/solutions/80211b/product_briefs/IP2K-DPB-80211BST-33.pdf
FCCID for reference is PKW-WETAP11
I was concerned about power consumption on the WET11 to determine if I could use USB power (ie from a laptop) to power the unit. The results I got at max tx/rx indicated that it was possible. Since then I made a USB to coaxial power connector cable for the WET11 and it runs fine off USB power.
Linksys WET11 w/ Linux Ad-Hoc and Orinoco Cards
We are implementing Linux systems as base stations for an upcoming WISP. They are equipped with Agere/Lucent Orinoco WaveLAN (silver) cards (orinoco_cs) running in "Ad-Hoc" mode.
The Linksys WET11 devices work great with our Linux/Orinoco base stations when configured in "Ad-Hoc" mode.
We will be posting technical info / results regarding this project at the following site. It's not up yet because we only have test locations right now.
- --Jason Klein