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Poddys 11-02-2007 05:00 PM

Signal Strength Variations
 
The signal I pick up from our local free network is weak (1 bar), and
sometimes I can connect well, sometimes it's flaky, and sometimes I
can't connect at all.

I don't know why the signal quality would vary so much. Is it due to
the humidity or temperature in any way?

Also sometimes I can detect only 3 wireless networks operating in our
building, but at other times up to 8. I'm sure thay aren't all
switched off. The building is a condominium and we are on the top
floor (7).


To try and boost the signal I purchased a Belkin Repeater (F5D7132)
which I hpped by having a better antenna than my Dell Laptop might
pick up the signal better.

Well it does sometimes, and I get a strong connection to the repeater,
but the signal strength to the original router is just as weak and the
connection is still as before - sometimes quite strong and at other
times I can't connect at all.

My questions are:

(1) What could cause the signal to vary so much, or is it just noise
on the line.

(2) Could I boost the reception in any way by using a different
antenna on the repeater?

(3) The incoming signal is on channel 11, and the repeater is set to
channel 11 also. Can I change channel or by using it as a repeater am
I locked into the same channel as the originating router?

Thanks in advance.
Frustrated........


Chuck [MVP] 11-02-2007 07:15 PM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 
On Fri, 02 Nov 2007 17:00:18 -0000, Poddys <Poddys@gmail.com> wrote:

>The signal I pick up from our local free network is weak (1 bar), and
>sometimes I can connect well, sometimes it's flaky, and sometimes I
>can't connect at all.
>
>I don't know why the signal quality would vary so much. Is it due to
>the humidity or temperature in any way?
>
>Also sometimes I can detect only 3 wireless networks operating in our
>building, but at other times up to 8. I'm sure thay aren't all
>switched off. The building is a condominium and we are on the top
>floor (7).
>
>
>To try and boost the signal I purchased a Belkin Repeater (F5D7132)
>which I hpped by having a better antenna than my Dell Laptop might
>pick up the signal better.
>
>Well it does sometimes, and I get a strong connection to the repeater,
>but the signal strength to the original router is just as weak and the
>connection is still as before - sometimes quite strong and at other
>times I can't connect at all.
>
>My questions are:
>
>(1) What could cause the signal to vary so much, or is it just noise
>on the line.
>
>(2) Could I boost the reception in any way by using a different
>antenna on the repeater?
>
>(3) The incoming signal is on channel 11, and the repeater is set to
>channel 11 also. Can I change channel or by using it as a repeater am
>I locked into the same channel as the originating router?
>
>Thanks in advance.
>Frustrated........


Paddy,

WiFi radio is unbelievably fragile - it's best at line of sight, and with
anything like ceilings, walls, and floors in the way, deteriorates considerably.
And not always consistently. There are dozens of factors which could explain
your problem, and they aren't always going to be consistent.
<http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com/2005/10/wifi-will-never-be-as-fast-as-ethernet.html>
http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com/2005/1...-ethernet.html

I believe that repeaters use the same channel for both incoming and outgoing
traffic, which is why you lose bandwidth by halves when you include a repeater.
What options does the manual for the F5D7132 offer?

--
Cheers,
Chuck, MS-MVP 2005-2007 [Windows - Networking]
http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com/
Paranoia is not a problem, when it's a normal response from experience.
My email is AT DOT
actual address pchuck mvps org.

Jim 11-02-2007 10:50 PM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 

"Chuck [MVP]" <none@example.net> wrote in message
news:9gtmi3di6b4jm8mc5rg2gk1opo4erhpssp@4ax.com...
> On Fri, 02 Nov 2007 17:00:18 -0000, Poddys <Poddys@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>The signal I pick up from our local free network is weak (1 bar), and
>>sometimes I can connect well, sometimes it's flaky, and sometimes I
>>can't connect at all.
>>
>>I don't know why the signal quality would vary so much. Is it due to
>>the humidity or temperature in any way?
>>
>>Also sometimes I can detect only 3 wireless networks operating in our
>>building, but at other times up to 8. I'm sure thay aren't all
>>switched off. The building is a condominium and we are on the top
>>floor (7).
>>
>>
>>To try and boost the signal I purchased a Belkin Repeater (F5D7132)
>>which I hpped by having a better antenna than my Dell Laptop might
>>pick up the signal better.
>>
>>Well it does sometimes, and I get a strong connection to the repeater,
>>but the signal strength to the original router is just as weak and the
>>connection is still as before - sometimes quite strong and at other
>>times I can't connect at all.
>>
>>My questions are:
>>
>>(1) What could cause the signal to vary so much, or is it just noise
>>on the line.
>>
>>(2) Could I boost the reception in any way by using a different
>>antenna on the repeater?
>>
>>(3) The incoming signal is on channel 11, and the repeater is set to
>>channel 11 also. Can I change channel or by using it as a repeater am
>>I locked into the same channel as the originating router?
>>
>>Thanks in advance.
>>Frustrated........

>
> Paddy,
>
> WiFi radio is unbelievably fragile - it's best at line of sight, and with
> anything like ceilings, walls, and floors in the way, deteriorates
> considerably.
> And not always consistently. There are dozens of factors which could
> explain
> your problem, and they aren't always going to be consistent.
> <http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com/2005/10/wifi-will-never-be-as-fast-as-ethernet.html>
> http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com/2005/1...-ethernet.html
>
> I believe that repeaters use the same channel for both incoming and
> outgoing
> traffic, which is why you lose bandwidth by halves when you include a
> repeater.
> What options does the manual for the F5D7132 offer?
>
> --
> Cheers,
> Chuck, MS-MVP 2005-2007 [Windows - Networking]
> http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com/
> Paranoia is not a problem, when it's a normal response from experience.
> My email is AT DOT
> actual address pchuck mvps org.


Chuck: Perhaps he is seeing what happens near the end of the broadcast
range. A weak signal has an especially hard time getting through the
slightest obstacle.
Jim



Poddys 11-03-2007 02:05 AM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 
Sounds like you could be right, thanks.
The signal is weak, but sometimes pretty good.
I was hoping as I said that a better antenna on the repeater might
pick up better than the internal one on my laptop, but not really any
better.
It's weird how it comes and goes though, sometimes pretty good and
sometimes no connection at all.
If it was just the 1 network I would understand, but to vary from 3 to
8 detected networks seems odd to me. I'm sure the others aren't just
switched off.
Will keep trying to reposition the repeater to get a better signal.

I will check the manual to see if I can change the channel. I know
how to do it in Access Point mode, but it's unclear as to what
functions in Repeater mode.

Thanks to both of you.


Jack \(MVP-Networking\). 11-03-2007 05:27 PM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 
Hi
If the Source of the Wireless is Not yours there is very little that you can
do about it.
You cannot change the channel of a Repeater since it depends on the channel
of the source.
One Radio (which is all the regular Repeaters bellow $500) cuts the
bandwidth into half and there is nothing that can be done about it.
You can improve what you get if you build you own Two Radio repeater system.
Buy a second Access Point equipped it with High gain directional Antenna and
configure it to a client Mode. (http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Modes.html ).
Connect the RJ-45 port of the new Access Point to the port of your old
Access Point.
Change the old Access Point to work as a regular Access Point (Not a
Repeater) change the channel of the old Access Point to the best channel for
local Wireless.
By doing the above, you created your own dual radio repeater system for the
cost a second Access point and a directional Antenna (should be less than
$100).
Jack (MVP-Networking).

"Poddys" <Poddys@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1194022818.509547.185600@o3g2000hsb.googlegro ups.com...
> The signal I pick up from our local free network is weak (1 bar), and
> sometimes I can connect well, sometimes it's flaky, and sometimes I
> can't connect at all.
>
> I don't know why the signal quality would vary so much. Is it due to
> the humidity or temperature in any way?
>
> Also sometimes I can detect only 3 wireless networks operating in our
> building, but at other times up to 8. I'm sure thay aren't all
> switched off. The building is a condominium and we are on the top
> floor (7).
>
>
> To try and boost the signal I purchased a Belkin Repeater (F5D7132)
> which I hpped by having a better antenna than my Dell Laptop might
> pick up the signal better.
>
> Well it does sometimes, and I get a strong connection to the repeater,
> but the signal strength to the original router is just as weak and the
> connection is still as before - sometimes quite strong and at other
> times I can't connect at all.
>
> My questions are:
>
> (1) What could cause the signal to vary so much, or is it just noise
> on the line.
>
> (2) Could I boost the reception in any way by using a different
> antenna on the repeater?
>
> (3) The incoming signal is on channel 11, and the repeater is set to
> channel 11 also. Can I change channel or by using it as a repeater am
> I locked into the same channel as the originating router?
>
> Thanks in advance.
> Frustrated........
>



Poddys 11-04-2007 01:30 AM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 
Thanks Jack, that sounds like a good plan.
Thanks to a good deal from buy.com I got my repeater for under $10,
now I just need to look for an access point that can act as a client.
Doesn't look as if many do. Also need a decent antenna.
I plan to do some good research before I buy.


Poddys 11-06-2007 04:41 PM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 
I went to CompUSA last night and purchased a TRENDNet Dual-band 7/5dBi
Indoor Omni Antenna with Mounting Base, 802.11a, g, b (TEW-AI75OB) to
see if a better antenna would make a difference to my signal strength.
Not having anywhere decent to use the base for the antenna, I screwed
it into my repeater and for a while I thought my reception was
improved, however later last night and also this morning I had trouble
connecting.
I did some speed tests last night with the original and new antennas
and there was about a 5% improvement in speed, which could have just
been due to internet traffic or other factors, so it really hasn't
made a difference at all.
However, maybe if I could find an optimum location for the repeater,
which I have failed to do so far, that might help.


Jack \(MVP-Networking\). 11-06-2007 07:27 PM

Re: Signal Strength Variations
 
Hi
High Omni Directional Antenna when used indoor does not really improve much
(if at all).
Since you have only one radio you can not put on it a directional Antenna.
So you are back to square one.
Another avenue to research, is to try a High Power Wireless Router that can
work as a Repeater.
Like this, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833162134

Disclaimer - I have no connection with any Brand that manufactures Network
Devices (or any other computer hardware) of any kind, nor any connection
computer's hardware vendors. My comments are as a frame of reference based
on hardware that I buy with my own money.
Jack (MVP-Networking).

"Poddys" <Poddys@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1194367262.184126.307850@v3g2000hsg.googlegro ups.com...
>I went to CompUSA last night and purchased a TRENDNet Dual-band 7/5dBi
> Indoor Omni Antenna with Mounting Base, 802.11a, g, b (TEW-AI75OB) to
> see if a better antenna would make a difference to my signal strength.
> Not having anywhere decent to use the base for the antenna, I screwed
> it into my repeater and for a while I thought my reception was
> improved, however later last night and also this morning I had trouble
> connecting.
> I did some speed tests last night with the original and new antennas
> and there was about a 5% improvement in speed, which could have just
> been due to internet traffic or other factors, so it really hasn't
> made a difference at all.
> However, maybe if I could find an optimum location for the repeater,
> which I have failed to do so far, that might help.
>




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