Linksys WGA11B and 54G Ad Hoc

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by B Frederi, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. B Frederi

    B Frederi Guest

    I just spent three evenings -- including two extended sessions with
    Linksys customer support -- trying to get a new Linksys WGA54G
    gaming adaptor working with a neighbor's existing WGA11B adaptor in
    Ad Hoc mode for head-to-head XBox gaming. I pretty much gave up, but
    my 15 year old son gave it one last try and ended up finding the right
    combination of variables to get things working.

    Here's what we've discovered; I hope this helps somebody else to avoid
    the problems we encountered.


    1. Our WGA11B unit had WEP Encryption enabled and a non-default
    password set (even thought the owner swears that he NEVER
    went in with the configuration wizard to change these). The
    Reset button did NOT return the unit to factory defaults. We don't
    know if this is a defective unit or if others behave like this.
    SOLUTION: Try setting the Channel to P1 or P2. On ours, these
    profiles were still unencrypted and allowed the unit to talk
    to our WGA54G.

    2. The physical switch on the WGA54G must be set to Infrastructure while
    the physical switch on the WGA11B must be set to Ad Hoc ("X") in order
    for the units to work in Ad Hoc mode. (Yep, you read that correctly.)
    The software setting for the 54G must be set to Ad Hoc.

    3. To change the software settings in the 54G using the Web interface, the
    physical switch must be set to Infrastructure. CHANGES MADE TO THE
    ARE IGNORED! This obscure little fact caused us to waste a whole bunch
    of time.


    These are the original notes I wrote, prior to pulling out the major points
    in the summary above. Much of the summary text is repeated, along with some
    additional info.

    1. The WGA54G *must* have the switch in the "infrastructure" mode for the
    web interface to have any affect. If it is in Ad Hoc position, you can
    still connect to the web configuration page and change values, but when
    you apply, the values are not written. This is a major curve ball.
    You think you've changed the unit to channel 5, for example, but it's
    actually still on channel 6.

    2. It appears that the WGA54G must also have the switch in
    infrastructure position to work in Ad Hoc mode with the WGA11B. Yep,
    that's right: to work in Ad Hoc mode, the switch needs to be in
    infrastructure mode (but the software setting must be set to Ad Hoc).

    3. This may just be a defective WGA11B unit that we have, but...

    - it will not reset to factory default values no matter what we

    - it behaves as if WEP encryption is on, and a non-default
    password is in effect, even though the owner claims that he
    never ran the setup disk. And since it won't reset, we can't
    disable the password or disable the WEP encryption

    - BTW, if you've lost the setup CD and need to download the
    wizard, you'll have a hell of a time looking for it on the Linksys
    web site -- it's not under support and not under the downloads
    section. Instead, go to the Product page for the WGA11B and look for
    a text link at the bottom of the marketing blather.

    4. IF your WGA11B exhibits the same bizarre behavior ours does, all is
    not lost. My son discovered that the P1 and P2 profile settings still
    have WEP disabled. This is ultimately what allowed us to get the two
    units talking to each other.

    5. By the way, although the WGA54G needs to have its physical switch in
    infrastructure mode to work in Ad Hoc mode, the WGA11B needs to have
    ITS physical switch in Ad Hoc (Crossover or "X") mode to work in
    Ad Hoc Mode.

    6. We ended up NOT needing to do any of the following things that I
    flailed around with for two evenings: don't explicitly dumb down
    the transmission speed: leave it in Mixed Mode and Automatic
    transmission Rate; don't screw around with authentication or cloning
    mode; don't change the unit's IP from the default of;
    don't worry about weird SSIDs (the WGA11B seems to append the channel
    number whenever you change the channel -- "linksys 6",
    "linksys 4" etc. In P1 and P2 mode, ths SSID remains "linksys").
    SSIDs are not supposed to make any difference in Ad Hoc mode, but
    I'm not sure if that's true of these Linksys units.

    7. If possible, start off trying to get the two units to talk to each
    other by hooking them up directly to two computers; don't bother
    hooking them up to XBoxes until you can get the Wireless lights
    on BOTH units to come on. (We had several times when the Wireless
    LED on the 11B would illuminate, but we couldn't get the same LED
    to light up on the 54G until we put the 11B on "channel" P1 and set
    the 54G switch to infrastructure, and made the correct settings in the
    54G web page.) Use the Setup page of the WGA45G web configuration
    utility to view status as you try different thing: the "available
    networks" section will show you how the WGA11B looks to the WGA54G:
    the SSID it's using, what channel it's on, and most importantly,
    whether the 11B is in Ad Hoc mode, and whether WEP encryption is on.
    If it is, a little padlock icon appears to the far right.

    8. On the other hand, this page can show wacky info that still makes
    no sense to me: the WGA54G can show up on its own page as an available
    network and imply that you can connect to it (i.e., connect the
    54G to itself). The tip-off that this is the unit itself is that
    its signal strength appears as "100%". Also, the other unit may start
    showing up multiple times, each time with a different MAC address.
    I have NO idea what this was all about.
    B Frederi, Apr 16, 2004
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