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Wireless signal issue

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi

I am having a problem with the wireless in our office,  I sit in a different office to the Access Point so there is one wall between me and the device.  The signal I get is Very Good.

However, there are users in a open plan office about 20m from the access point and they get a low signal at best; generally they can't connect at all.  I can only assume there is something causing interference in that area.  I have looked and we have a light sensor and an alarm sensor in that area.  There is also an old, wall mounted wireless AP but it is powered off (don't know what it was used for as was before my time).

Can anyone suggest what might be causing the issue or any way I can test for interference?

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:blackadder999
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10 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:ddyer1970
ID: 24745485
Do they have cubicles?  Laptops or desktops?  If desktop, try moving their antenna above the cube wall.  If laptop, try with the laptop above the cube walls.  

Are there arches between the AP and their desks?  Girders in the arches might be interfering.

Try taking a laptop with good signal at the AP and work your way to the low signal area.  Stop at about 5 m intervals, disconnect and reconnect.  Test the connection speed at each stop.

Low signal strength isn't necessarily a killer.  That's why testing app speed is important.  Even a low strength signal can be a "good" connection.  Are they actually seeing performance problems, or just "low signal?"
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Author Comment

by:blackadder999
ID: 24745584
It's all laptop users.  I tried a walk around with a laptop and it was only about 10m form the AP when the signal started dropping.  There are no arches with girders or anything like that.  Like I said, the only thing I can see are these wall mounted boxes....

Problems not just a low signal but that most the time they can't get a signal at all.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:QEMS2
ID: 24745669
could you not just cable another wireless access point closer to them at all? maybe a pain but could be worth it.

Have you tried a different access point in case the one you have is old/faulty or just not very good at sending out a stong enough signal?

What hardware is the access point?
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Author Comment

by:blackadder999
ID: 24745723
It's a Cisco Aironet 1130.  I have suggested installing an additional access point but the managers aren't prepared to part with the money when it should work ok.
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Expert Comment

by:QEMS2
ID: 24745928
Just looking at the cisco seems pretty good and should do the job really.  Can you use a web browser and check the settings on it at all? What channel is the wireless on, can you put it on its own channel so there is minimal interference? I think it is channels 1,6 and 11 are the best to choose from.
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Expert Comment

by:ddyer1970
ID: 24746419
Can the existing AP be moved, or would that impact reception in another direction (like your office)?
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Author Comment

by:blackadder999
ID: 24746466
I can't access the AP but I could get someone to do ir remotely and check the channel.  I was looking at moving the AP and seeing if the problem moved to be.  Not such a big problem as I have a cabled connection anyway.  May affect users in our hotdesk area though who generally use wireless.
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Expert Comment

by:ddyer1970
ID: 24746674
What wireless do the laptops have?  Are they all about the same age.  We've seen stuff like a bad batch of radios in a particular model/batch.
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Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 24746822
Any cordless phones in the area?  Even on the floor above or below?  They could be creating a "bubble" of interference.
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ddyer1970 earned 1000 total points
ID: 24746906
Good catch, Johnny.  What frequency is the AP using? a/b/g/n?  And what can the laptops handle?  I know that a lot of our network stuff here at the college we have to hard set in the configs since the auto-detects/connects don't work well for us.
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