Signal Strength

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybHk=?=, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. I am on a Toshiba Satellite laptop with a Motorolla modem and a Microsoft
    router. Until recently moving into a new home, everything was fine, and
    running on "Excellent" signal strength. In the new place, I am almost always
    on "Low" signal strength, and sometimes get booted offline. The router is in
    another room than the computer, but is only about 15 feet away. I have to be
    nearly on top of it to get better strength. My service provider says that it
    could be physically blocked or there could be static... How can I increase
    the signal strength so I don't get booted off? Could there be external
    factors? Help!!! Thanks.
    =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybHk=?=, Oct 27, 2006
    #1
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  2. =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybHk=?=

    Guest

    On 27-Oct-2006, =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybHk=?= <> wrote:

    > How can I increase
    > the signal strength so I don't get booted off? Could there be external
    > factors?


    If it's a USB wireless adapter you can add a simple reflector, it increases
    signal strength and reduces the angle of aceptance, so reducing
    the chances of picking up interfering signals from directions
    that are not in the line of site path.
    NetStumbler is good for seeing what's around you that might be interfering,
    what channels they are using, signal strength, SSID, whether secured etc.
    Some adapters are not supported by NetStumbler.
    , Oct 27, 2006
    #2
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  3. =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybHk=?=

    Mike G Guest

    Try swapping channels first on your router...most people leave it on the
    default channel and you end up with a lot of interference.


    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > On 27-Oct-2006, =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybHk=?= <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> How can I increase
    >> the signal strength so I don't get booted off? Could there be external
    >> factors?

    >
    > If it's a USB wireless adapter you can add a simple reflector, it
    > increases
    > signal strength and reduces the angle of aceptance, so reducing
    > the chances of picking up interfering signals from directions
    > that are not in the line of site path.
    > NetStumbler is good for seeing what's around you that might be
    > interfering,
    > what channels they are using, signal strength, SSID, whether secured etc.
    > Some adapters are not supported by NetStumbler.
    Mike G, Oct 27, 2006
    #3
  4. Carly wrote:
    > I am on a Toshiba Satellite laptop with a Motorolla modem and a Microsoft
    > router. Until recently moving into a new home, everything was fine, and
    > running on "Excellent" signal strength. In the new place, I am almost always
    > on "Low" signal strength, and sometimes get booted offline. The router is in
    > another room than the computer, but is only about 15 feet away. I have to be
    > nearly on top of it to get better strength. My service provider says that it
    > could be physically blocked or there could be static... How can I increase
    > the signal strength so I don't get booted off? Could there be external
    > factors? Help!!! Thanks.


    The problem could be caused due to Faraday caging or destructive
    interference/multipath fading.

    Faraday Cage:
    Avoid having any large sheets of metal between the two devices. They
    could be anywhere: in your walls, between floors, in the attic. These
    would introduce partial Faraday cages around the transceivers, reducing
    or blocking the signals altogether. The Wi-Fi waves are meant to make
    electrons move in certain direction in the attenna of the target, but
    if there is something else in between the source and target, then that
    thing will consume the energy in the wave in having its electrons move.
    Naturally, energy is conserved, so whatever energy is not reflective
    off the metal is wasted heating up the metal. If the metal sheet is
    thick enough and the penetration depth is small enough, none of the
    wave manages to survive to the other side of the metal. [Penetration
    depth is a measure is how short a distance is required going into the
    metal to kill off the radio wave. Shorter distances means that the
    metal is very good at killing the wave as it tries to go through.]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

    Destructive Interference/Multipath Fading:
    Both 2.4GHz and 5.6GHz are frequencies high enough, having wavelengths
    low enough, that multi-path destructive interference can easily occur
    in your home. Destructive interference is where humps of sine waves of
    Wi-Fi signals bounce around your house, reflecting off sheets of metal
    until, when they arrive at the target,they have managed assume opposite
    polarities and nullify each other. When the interhump distance is
    short, there is ample opportunity for the humps to find pieces of metal
    on their way from source to target, slam against the metal, invert
    themselves. This phenomenon is exactly what would happen if you went to
    your backyard, tied a 10 meter rope to an outside wall, sent a
    travelling wave from yourself to your house by stimulating a hump with
    a quick up-then-down vertical "jerk", and watching the hump hit the
    (brick) walk, invert it self, and start coming back. Depending on how
    far you are from the wall, the humps coming back from the walk
    (reflected) might interfere with the humps going to the walk, and the
    net result is that they would cancel each other out, to some extent.
    Of course, the humps leaving your person would be stronger than the
    humps coming from the walk, so the leaving humps would probably
    overpower the weakened reflected humps, but it too would be weakend. To
    calculate wavelength (inter-hump distance) see
    http://www.1728.com/freqwave.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fading.
    You should get a result under 1 meter for the wavelengths both Wi-Fi
    frequencies.

    To see which one of these situations is the culprit, use the calculator
    in preceding paragraph to calculate the distance between the top of the
    humps in the Wi-Fi sine waves [Naturally, 5.6GHz is 5600 MHz, and
    2.4GHz is 2400 MHz. Then, imagine the sine waves bouncing around off
    various metallic planar objects in your house. Then move the notebook
    around slowly, in amounts that are small multiples of the inter-hump
    distance. Observing this, if the signal strength changes dramatically
    for even short distances, the problem is at least mutipath fading. If
    it does not, but changes as soon as you walk around a particular wall,
    then the problem might be due to a partial Faraday cage (firewall in
    your walls or duct work for AC).

    Good luck,

    -Le Chaud Lapin-
    Le Chaud Lapin, Oct 29, 2006
    #4
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