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Wifi Interference

Hello

I work on a medium sized grade school campus and have 120 wireless access points.  I noticed that some of them do not work at all even when standing within a few feet of the AP.  Its enterprise level equipment, Aerohive Networks.  In general they have been fantastic.  

After analyzing the topology maps its seems that the access points that do not work are in close prox. to mechanical rooms.  In order to test it I moved one of the APs and it worked perfectly.  

Can someone tell me whats in a mechanical room that could cause interference? Also, does anyone have any recommendations for good spectrum analyzers that will allow me to detect wifi interference.  I am aware of aircheck and WIspy and an open to both but im curious as to what else is out there

Thanks
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gilmanschool
Asked:
gilmanschool
3 Solutions
 
Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
I assume your mechanical rooms have:
1. Lots of metal
2. High voltage power running big equipment

These are both good causes of aps not working well if at all. You could check the condition of the power at those locations, maybe low voltage or other noise on the lines but its probably the actual location.
I've never used either but I hear good things about channalizer.
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Darr247Commented:
I recommend the Wi-Spy units from MetaGeek. I own one (a 2.4x), but am not affiliated with the company in any way other than that.

Full bandwidth spectrum analyzers start about $4000 and go up from there... e.g. a portable 9000Hz to 7GHz Agilent (which would be sufficient for troubleshooting WiFi and most other RF applications), goes for about $12,000.

There are lots of things which emit RF between 2400 and 2500 MHz that would interfere with 2.4GHz WiFi.
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Rick_O_ShayCommented:
Interference would come from electric motors would be my guess.
Any chance you can have them turn stuff off temporarily to help isolate it for you?

I have Aircheck and like it and don't have any experience with the other analyzers.
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gilmanschoolAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the help.  I had no idea that equipment was capable of causing so many issues.
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Craig BeckCommented:
Mains substations or large transformers can cause issues too.  I had issues at a hospital where an 11,000V substation completely crippled the wireless signal in an adjacent workshop.
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