Ever since Woot sent me a Motorola WA840G by mistake, it’s been augmenting my parent’s wired network as a wireless access point. It’s been working great for their needs (connecting my old Pismo via its Airport card).
When I got home today for a Thanksgiving stay, I decided I’d update the firmware on all their network devices. The old Linksys router’s firmware hasn’t been updated in quite a while. That’s fine because the thing is rock solid. The Motorola access point had a new version with many new features, so I updated it.
Other than having to configure everything again, it all looked good. That is until my brother told me that my old Powerbook couldn’t connect. I tried turning the card off and on again and restarting. No dice. I decided to turn everything off and then on again. Of course, that’s when Charter decided to have some issues.
Regardless of those issues, I should still have been able to connect to the access point with the old Powerbook. I couldn’t. I thought maybe I had turned off 802.11b compatibility (the Pismo has regular Airport while my current Powerbook has Airport Express). Visiting the WA840G’s configuration page showed that it was set for “compatibility” but the other options were “performance”, “LRS”, and “802.11b only”. I’ll be damned if I could figure out what “LRS” stood for, but it afforded extra compatibility for 802.11b clients according the description.
Once that was set as the operating mode, the Pismo connected to the access point perfectly. I really wish this was explained better in Motorola’s documentation, but it’s worth noting for those having problems, even if I don’t know why it works.