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Identify the source of wireless interference

I am trying to identify the source of wireless interference within my home. I know that there is something causing an issue near my kitchen and have been trying to identify it for some time.

The kitchen is located in an extension on a traditional stone built home in the UK. I first realised that I had an issue with my Television as I tried to use wireless video extenders. Whilst the transmitter and receiver are only around 3 or 4 metres apart, more times than not, the picture flickers and the sound has a 'heartbeat' noise. On some occasions I will not have any issue with the tv.

When using the laptop on wireless from within the extension, I can be working away with a 70% signal and then it will drop out. After waiting a few minutes, the signal will return.

I have tried the following to try identify the issue
- Switched off all electrical items in the kitchen
- Changed the operating frequency of my router, DECT phone and wireless TV transmitters

Is there some way that I can determine what is causing my issue?

Many thanks

Aidan
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aideb
Asked:
aideb
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5 Solutions
 
biofishfreakCommented:
The kitchen is a dangerous place for RF signals... The microwave is the biggest culprit. Do you know what frequency your wireless TV transmitter works on? I would imagine either 900MHz or 2.4GHz. The DECT phone shouldn't cause any issues though. Your stonewalls are also very tough for RF to pass through.

Is there any way you can relocate/ redirect any of the transmitters to pass through as few walls as possible? Remember that running through a corner is like passing through two walls. Try different heights too since power lines might be causing some issues.

You could also try making some parabolic reflectors for your wifi router (cheesy, but they actually work) http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/ and then use this parabolic calculator to get really nerdy http://mscir.tripod.com/parabola/
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aidebAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion.

I have downloaded the template and have a go at creating the directional antenna to see if that can resolve the issue.

I will let you know how I get on.

It is really strange that even with the kitchen appliances switched off, I still have the issue.

Cheers


Aidan
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aidebAuthor Commented:
Right, I tried the directional antenna and it does make a difference everywhere other than into the extension. I have moved the wireless router into the back room and attempt to use my laptop in the Kitchen (Only around 2.5 metres away). The signal drops away periodically. I cannot for the life of me work out why!
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biofishfreakCommented:
Hmm... It could be your router is bad. One surefire way to fix things is to get a 802.11n router and laptop card, though I'm sure you're not looking to spend any money.

If at all possible, try getting a different laptop onto the network. Also, try updating your laptop wireless drivers and the firmware on the router (don't forget to backup/ write down any settings!)
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aidebAuthor Commented:
I have now bought a new router and placed it in the room next to the kitchen. Believe it or not, it still struggles to make it the 3 metres to the kitchen! DOH!
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amprantiCommented:
The fridge or a bad microwave (leaking 2.4GHz device) can be the root of many problems...
Also, a wall with lot of power cables can produce a lot fo problems
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biofishfreakCommented:
Ampranti has a good point. To isolate this (and sorry for not thinking of this earlier, unplug the microwave, then the fridge, then both (if need be) and see what the signal looks like when each or both is powered down. That should provide some insight into what is causing all the interference.
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sandercraigCommented:
A very good thing to check for when the signal drops, is if someone is using a cordless home phone. Some of them interrupt the 2.4ghz wireless frequency. One of the easier fixes is change the channel on the router every time this happens until you find the right channel where it stops happening. My Microwave and cordless phone used to do that to my router, i picked channel 9 and it stopped.
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amprantiCommented:
Moreover, I dont know if you can find for a few hours a spectrum analyzer or a laptop with AirMagnet Analyzer installed (and a supported card)

Doing a walk in your house will present the signal level and you will easily identify where this noise comes
from
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aidebAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the info!
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