A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

February 21, 2011

Networking, Technology

Sometimes, help comes from the oddest sources.

As you can probably tell by my last post, I really don’t like compromising on technical matters.  But I had to compromise a little in order to achieve the download speeds that I wanted.  Consequently, I chose to “relax” my desire to use DD-WRT.

But I couldn’t live with the compromise.  So that’s where a little innovation (and some off-the-shelf “hair grease”) came into play.

The problem was simple: when I connected the new router to the new cable modem, I was seeing abysmal throughput.  And the challenge only came when using DD-WRT.  So it seemed fairly clear that there was a problem with DD-WRT and how it managed the WAN port connection to the cable modem.  Since both the cable modem’s downstream link and the router’s upstream link were attempting a gigE connection, I suspected that the issue dealt with auto-negotiation of the WAN port.

What could I do to bypass the code problem?  From the simplest viewpoint, all I needed to do was change the hardware between the two devices; I needed a little dab of low-cost grease that could shiny up the problem.  So I bought a cheap tin of techno-Brylcreem: a Netgea GS105.

Brylcreem was a pomade used for your hair.  Pomades were made from beeswax, petroleum jelly and a little wax.  These off-the-shelf components would make your hair shiny – and practially immobile!  🙂  The GS105 was the “off-the-shelf” component that both the cable modem and the router would seamlessly connect to.  Hopefully,  this would be a classic work-around for the problem that DD-WRT was having with the Cisco DPC3010.

Did it work?

Absolutely!   The GS105 was the little dab that made my network quite shiny.  Once installed between the two devices, my bandwidth (as tested by Speedtest.net and Speakeasy.net) was back to my contracted expectations.  W00t!


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