Swaping out a router to change SSID that is linked to AP 2000


Sep 6, 2011
Three Floor Apt Building.

What I do know is there is a AP 2000 on the 2nd floor using both PCMCIA slots with 802.11b and a WAF2400-1000BG (Amplifier) going in both directions horizontally down the halls. Using Vistumbler, I found 4 MACs associated with our Network ID. The two strongest signals available on all floors are the two MACs I found on the 2nd floor AP (AP 2000). I can't seem to pinpoint the other two MACs or Access Point, as the signals are not consistent enough to narrow down. They do seem to pick up consistently when going outside, so I'm thinking in the attic, but I checked and didn't see one. I get 100% from the two MAC addresses found on the 2nd floor AP almost 95% of the time on all three floors. Excellent signal ratio and so would like to keep existing setup even though quiet old by technology terms.

The problem is the technician or company we used prior is not in business anymore and supposedly the owner is incarcerated. Anyhow we have no way of knowing how to reconfigure most devices as it seems the previous technicians used a closed proprietary system and did not even share the credentials for accessing the network, or for allowing the transfer to another contractor.

Basically though we only require one minor change. We would like to change our Wireless Network ID Broadcast Name. We have recently changed names and need to update/change the broadcasted name (ESSID I assume) that is shown to visitors. From what I have gathered I have found what looks to be the source to the AP 2000, a Linksys WRT54GL. When trying to access the router with the known gateway, I get a message along with the username/password box, that the website is asking or reporting OpenWrt. I assume this mean this router is using the custom firmware OpenWrt? Also the router is directly connected via cat5 cable to the AP 2000 on the 2nd floor. With this direct connection, I don't understand the need for the OpenWrt firmware on this WRT54GL Linksys router.

Is it possible to reconfigured another router using the known info; Gateway, Static IP from ISP, and Network Broadcast Name (must change Name though), and swap it with the current Linksys WRT54GL OpenWrt router? It appears the AP 2000 DHCP is disabled since any direct connection via Cat5 cable gives me no IP other than than the windows generated APIPA. I'm concerned with this aspect of it, since I believe I will need access to the AP to update the SSID. I know I could reset the AP 2000, but without knowing the current configuration, I could make things worse (no internet). Just asking as this is what I'm going to try, just looking for opinions and suggestions for such a scenario. Worst case, I can always swap original Linksys with the custom OpenWrt back. The AP 2000 reset will be my last resort though.

Thanks and sorry for the long, drawn out question, especially me being a newcomer here.

If the router you are trying to replace is the one attached directly to the modem, you should be able to replace it with no issues. You will need to change the SSID names on the APs as well to match though. And anyone connected will need to reconnect. You can even do a MAC clone and setup the new Router to pass the old MAC address to the modem. Either way you will be out of connectivity for a while. If things fail to work for some reason, just plug in the old router. Although for something as trivial as a name change, I'd just leave it as is if things are working. A Rose by any other name and so on.