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Bekijk de volledige versie : Need advice: get a WL-500g or not?



Pse
01-08-2006, 03:28
Long version (you may skip this):
Hi! I need some advice for my next purchase =). I've been moving some stuff around my place and now I'm facing a problem: I have two not host-based printers which do not have their own print servers (they are both USB printers). Being HP printers, getting two print-servers from them would be costly, so I've been analyzing the possibility of getting a router (which I also need, BTW) with an integrated print server. As I'm sure you already know, most routers do not allow more than one printer, which is not the case with most (if not all) Linux based routers, such as this one.
Now, I've been going around these forums all day long and think I have found the answer to most of my questions, but as I'm a bit short in cash I do not want to make any mistakes, so I'll post what my needs are and what I've gathered through my searches in these forums =). I'd appreciate any recommendations or comments.

Short version (you may skip to the questions):
1) I need support for two USB printers connected at the SAME TIME.
As far as I know, none of the WL-500g models support that without messing with their firmware. Since it seems it's quite unlikely I'd end up with a borked router by flashing a new firmware, I wouldn't mind going through all that.
Oleg's great work has allowed getting two USB printers working at the same time since 1.7.5.6-CR2 by getting two p910nd daemons up. Yes, I know it is not recommended to set up two printers this way, but as I said before I'm short in cash and cannot afford two separate print-servers, one for each printer.
The command I should run is: nvram set bootCmdX="/usr/sbin/p910nd -f /dev/usb/lp1 2" (are there man pages out there for these commands?).
I can live with some configuration problems such as changing the ports each time the printers are turned on in a different order and such. I'll probably try making a script or something to make the switch automagically if allowed by the tools in the root of the router, but even if that doesn't work I can live with that.
Please note that using the parallel port is NOT an option, nor is LPR printing (big print jobs).

2) Bidirectional support.
It'd be nice, I think I read somewhere it's already available in the new firmwares (I may be hallucinating, though).

3) Good sensitivity/coverage (or 'to Premium or not to Premium?').
I'm not particularly concerned with transfer speeds, but I do need a good area of coverage, since my environment seems to be quite problematic for WiFi signals (I'm getting -87dBm 6 metres away through two or three concrete walls; TX power is around 18dBm). I'm considering directional antennas for the clients. I've read that the WL-500gP has 'Broadrange' technology, which could help in my case. I also know you can up the output power level to 84mW by issuing a command.

4) I need a router to do some simple NAT stuff and share an internet connection.
Works out of the box. :eek:

Very short version (questions):
- So, am I making the right choice? Are there other routers/devices that can provide me with all these things at the same price point? Or should I go out right now and get a WL-500g(P)? :confused:

- In case I get the WL-500gP, will I have any problems upgrading to Oleg's firmware? I read there have been some issues with his firmware for the Premiums. Can I flash to other models' firmware? :confused: