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Airport Signal Strength - Mac Networking

I usually open AP Grapher some time during the day to check signal strength, usuall it is between 50% and 65%. Today it is between 38% to 50%. It is seeming to spend more time in the mid to low 40% range. Question: What causes the signal strength to vary like that, somedays good, somedays OK and somedays (like today) very low. Thanks for any replies, AndyD...

  1. #1

    Default Airport Signal Strength

    I usually open AP Grapher some time during the day to check signal
    strength, usuall it is between 50% and 65%.

    Today it is between 38% to 50%. It is seeming to spend more time in the
    mid to low 40% range.

    Question: What causes the signal strength to vary like that, somedays
    good, somedays OK and somedays (like today) very low.

    Thanks for any replies,

    AndyD
    Andy Guest

  2. #2

    Default Airport signal strength

    I've just got an Airport Extreme Base Station, to connect my desktop
    machine to my laptok (G3 iBook) and Squeeebox.

    The signal strength does depend on where the laptop is, which is only to
    be expected.

    But what's the *practical* effect of a low signal strength? Does it slow
    the speed of an internet connection, slow file transfer speed, or what?
    There are places where my laptop gets no signal, but elsewhere the
    strength varies from around 60% or more down to just over 20%.

    --
    Send e-mail to the Reply-To address;
    mail to the From address is never read
    Daniel Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Airport signal strength

    Entity Daniel Cohen spoke thus:
     
    It is doubtful that your real problem is signal strength.
     
    Yes.
     
    Sounds like you have some interference in that room. When you install
    Airport in a fixed location, locate it where it will be and do a "Hard
    reset".

    You might find it locks onto a different channel upon booting.

    "Hard reset" means hold down a tiny button with a toothpick while rebooting
    the AE. When you access the AE in the admin utility you may see it has
    locked onto a different channel than the original one. This appears to be a
    method Apple uses to find the most noiseless channel available. Judging from
    the long reboot time of the AE from a HARD reset it is scanning all channels
    and comparing them all before choosing

    This kind of problem with Airport card/ABS Extreme can be caused by
    reflections of the signal, the technical term for which is "ghosting" or
    "multipathing". These reflections happen where the external antenna is
    parallel to certain reflective surfaces, such as adobe or concrete. The
    distance from a reflector is critical too, which is why either changing the
    frequency or repositioning the radiator fixes it.

    The disadvantage is that IF you have the external antenna like I do you must
    not move the antenna since it would change the distance to the reflective
    surface.

    I post this so often I'm making a FAQ out of it.

    -- Gnarlie
    http://www.Spectrumology.com
    Spectrumology is the science of chaos.


    Gnarlodious Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Airport signal strength

    Gnarlodious <invalid.> wrote:
     
    > It is doubtful that your real problem is signal strength.[/ref]

    I don't *notice* a problem, that's why I asked. But I'm not particularly
    involved in moving large files, so I might well not notice. that's why I
    asked. [/ref]
     

    About as I expected, but even at low levels it seems good enough for me. 
    > Sounds like you have some interference in that room. When you install
    > Airport in a fixed location, locate it where it will be and do a "Hard
    > reset".[/ref]

    I have (because of dropouts in the music through the Squeezebox) had to
    up the multicast level. This has stopped the dropouts, but at the cost
    of reduced signal strength.

    In one room I don't get any signal at all, which doesn't altogether
    surprise me. My apartment is large, long and rambling, so there can be
    several walls in the way. I think the issue is more likely to be walls
    than interference.

    Thanks for the information.


    --
    Send e-mail to the Reply-To address;
    mail to the From address is never read
    Daniel Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Airport signal strength

    Daniel Cohen <com> wrote:
     

    My problem, like Daniel's is with my music. I have a SLIMP3 connected
    to a Linksys WET11 which works just fine most of the time. I have
    significant music dropouts when my signal strength at the WET11
    approaches 40-45%.

    I don't have problems with anything else, my Internet connection to my
    iBook G4 (usually in the same room as SLIMP3 / WET11 doesnt' seem to
    have any problems. My sons iMac G4 FP doesn't seem to have problems,
    but sometimes (even when signal strength is above 50% and SLIMP3 working
    just fine) he will heve problems with his Win2000 he uses only for
    gaming (Star Wars Galexy). But he experiences problems with SWG even
    when the SLIMP3 is not running and the signal strength is above 50%,
    could be something to do with SWG server.

    Anyway, I am considering getting 2 Airport Extreme BS to use in a WDS
    mode. Has anyone here tried that with a SLIMP3 (or Squeezebox) and was
    there an improvement? 6r did going through 2 Basestations slow things
    down?

    Thanks,


    Andy
    Andy Guest

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