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Author Topic: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi  (Read 23590 times)

FurryNutz

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Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« on: June 01, 2011, 12:31:00 PM »

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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2011, 08:48:43 AM »

Bought a 1 watt AP (1000Mw, +30DBM), no more problems with weak Wifi! 1/4 acre lot in LA, never seen less then -65Dbm ANYWHERE on the lot since I got the AP, don't care how many walls I have to go through!

2 houses down, in my car with an android phone(300 feet through walls houses and trees!), my WiFi becomes unusable (5Mbps). And for the little PUNK next store that kept changing channels everytime I did and parking himself on the same channel as me (every other channel was clear!), he has decided to choose another channel now! If he decides to pull his BS again (I have changed channels at least 10 times), I have also purchased a 14Dbd Yagi antenna for Wifi that can be pointed right at the little twirps house, if I decide to. But if he is a good boy, I will turn down my 1000Mw's and become a "GOOD" neighbor again. I have a Amateur license that allows me 1500 watts on WiFi, he starts his BS again and maybe I will do some "Moon Bounce" on the 2.4Ghz WiFi/ISM band at 1500000Mw.

Also, the Alfa usb/Wifi laptop adaptor (1000Mw) along with my 1000Mw AP also gives me very usable WiFi in the 50 acre park across the street from my house. These routers that put out 32Mw (Cisco, Dlink, Netgear, ETC.) are useless in a large home, I turned the WiFi on my DIR-825 off. For most houses I think 100Mw to 250Mw would work very good, just remember, we share the 2.4Ghz WiFi band with ISM people, microwave ovens and cordless phones, lots of cordless phones. It is a GREAT idea if you are using 2.4Ghz WiFi to use a DECT (1.9Ghz) or a 5Ghz home phone, but still, your mileage may vary.

The only way to cure weak WiFi is to remove the interference or obstacles or increase the power........ Increasing the power is cheap!
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FurryNutz

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 09:47:22 AM »

Nice man...I used to have a license. Been years since I was on the CB and HAM radio. I was a comm specialist in the Navy.

Where did you get this 1watt AP? What is it? Works good huh?
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 01:16:15 PM »

http://www.premiertek.net/products/networking/PL-APN.html Part#: PL-APN


The power goes down as the speed goes up, so even though you have a 1W amp, once you kick it into wireless "N" mode, the power and range drop a tad. I tried upgraded antennas and the ones that came with it actually worked much better, might try some of those 9Dbi antennas on Fleabay, 14IN long. I sold my Bird wattmeter a while back so I can only go by what the manufacturer says. I do know this and my laptop can talk line of site for 3/4 of a mile! Tried it from the other side of the park! 5 bars in Windozs, so I could have went further!

I am using it in AP mode only, no idea how solid the router is and I really like my D-Link Dir-825, this Taiwanese unit replaced a Linksys WAP54G. Thought about just getting an amp, but this was cheaper. I played with the power settings, 4 settings. Even at 25% it still has a better signal then the Linksys it replaced. Wireless 802.11 B is crazy long range, but I want "N"......

The receive on this thing is HOT! I did a "site survey" and it picked up a ton of stuff my laptop sitting next to a window did NOT, the AP was in the middle of the house, not by a window either. Put the directional (Yagi) on it just for fun, 5+ miles on the receive side (the next city over has free WiFi), I did not try to connect.

Ex RF Engineer, so the Ham license comes in handy, MOS: RTO, still have an active US Army Call sign and volunteer from time to time. No CB, house already looks like a Porcupine, the city made me get a license at home as a "telecommunications facility" so they could control the antennas, neighbors were worried I was NOT going to stop, my intrests are mainly high frequency(Microwave), so when they made me "license" my house, I was already done putting up the "long wave" stuff. Currently working as "other" then a RF Engineer for the government.

I was looking for an honest 9DB signal increase and this gave it to me. I would have settled for 150Mw and will probably turn it down after a couple of weeks of "Burn in" at the 100% setting. I see this site lists it as 200Mw to 630Mw real output, before antenna gain, the place I purchased it from said 1000Mw. Oh well, for 40 bucks it is doing much better then either the Linksys or the D-Link...... I keep having to check the darn Android phone, always "STUCK" on 72Mbps, the chip inside the phone must max at 72 Mbps (HTC Inspire), I know the signal strength readings from the D-Link maxed at -50Dbm next to the router, this new AP sends the signal strength off the scale when next to it and is running about -60Dbm 2 rooms away. Still might buy an amp for the D-link, but I would hate to loose my 5Ghz!

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FurryNutz

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 03:46:45 PM »

Thats kewl man..sure seems to make a good alternative to built in wifi. Seems that maybe this could be a good way to go. The 825 is a great router, been enjoying mine. Once the house gets closer to being done, going to figure out where to place things. Would be nice to use just one AP for all wireless have have good coverage. Does this do 5Ghz?
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 05:55:51 PM »

No 5Ghz, that technology is probably still a little expensive to go even 500Mw with 5Ghz. I am sure it is out there, but not for 40 bucks, probably need to add a zero to the 40 bucks and it would be more line of sight and walls would attenuate the signal even more. But at 100Mw-500Mw, it probably would still work OK. The problem, that is the only place there is spectrum left in the US in big cities.

I did a room addition, I had them run Cat 6E when they had the walls open. Until just last weekend I had 3 AP's. My house is around 3K ft (2 stories), there are houses down the road a bit that make mine look small, at least 10k ft. How many routers do they need? My kids newest Xbox 360 with built in WiFi only picked up the router I just replaced at 3 bars and it would not even pick up my Dir-825, both of them are on the 2nd floor, my walls are NOT built out of steel or anything. The new high power router has the whole house at 5 bars in windows language. My Dir-825 is next to a window, over my garage, when I pull out I loose the router at the street, 30 feet maybe. I think the US power limit is 4 watts ERP for WiFi with no license. Heck, I would settle for 150Mw. It is tough if you have a lot of neighbors that all have WiFi, but the way the houses are built here, stucco and chicken wire (A pretty good Faraday Cage), 100Mw is not over kill, but if I have to run 3 routers all on different channels to cover my house, the band is covered 100% by me alone if I am not using overlapping channels.

I have a ATT 3G Microcell, I think it is 1.9Ghz at 5Mw, the thing is almost useless, I had to get a 2nd to cover 2 small portions of the house. I am not quite sure what these Engineers are thinking. They are trying not to pollute the airways, but 5Mw?

This is going to end up like the old 46/49Mhz cordless phones, 10 channels and everyone in the neighborhood has at least one. They are going to have to do something! The Taiwan router(sold at US stores, FCC accepted) has a 40Mhz channel setting, now that is EVIL and very fast! But uses half of the WiFi spectrum according to my spectrum analyzer.
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FurryNutz

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 07:04:49 AM »

Looks good man...have put that on the list if items to take a look at and possibly get for the addition. I'm going to do some planning next week and wiring and placement of the HW. Would be nice to use just one device for all WiFi.  :D
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 08:52:40 AM »

My house is about 15 years old, about 6 years ago we looked at houses a little further out of the city and they were fully wired with CAT 5 and RG6QS. They actually had an equipment room for the hardware where all the Cat 5 terminated, it was kinda cool, they also had HOA's. So we stayed and added on.

Last night playing with my new AP, I turned the "N" channel down to 20Mhz. I noticed a signal increase, which is normal, but my kid was on his Xbox 360 and the router and AP lights looked like high speed strobe lights. When I did a speed test through hardwire I was pulling about 10Mbps (9Ms ping, for 5PM 12 Mbps and a 9Ms ping is normal), when I did one through the new router the kid was using, I was only getting 2Mbps. This may be a problem, I know the Xbox is more packet intensive then data intensive. But by requiring so many updates for the game he is playing (VOIP plus movement), it appears to be slowing down even the "N" router. I really don't want to QOS him and kill his game play, but if I was streaming video(daughter watches missed TV on her laptop becuase of her hours)  out of this router and he was playing his game, both may suffer. The ping time through this router to a LA node is usually sub 20Ms, but when he was playing last night it was 100Ms. If you are an extreme user like my family, 1 wireless node may not cut it. I will try going back to a 40Mhz channel tonight and if he does NOT have to work, report back. Any input on the gaming usage of WiFi would be helpfull too. I have 2 boys with Xbox 360's (they have had their own jobs since 16 and bought and payed for the games themselves), a girl with facebook on a droid and my wife with a winbook, everything of mine is wired, but if I rearrange furniture, my streaming video is 5Ghz Capable. I may as well run 2 routers in "N" mode VS tying up 6 WiFi channels with one 40Mhz channel. I will have to think about this one. But the Dir-825 does not even break a sweat. Too funny! Being my other WiFi routers barely even clear the property line, 2 or 3 routers may be the only way! :(
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FurryNutz

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 09:48:56 AM »

Understand that man...I've put my xboxes in QoS alone with a couple of PCs that when online all together or xbox and a PC, they don't effect each other. I did notice that if I only had the xbox in QoS and not the PCs, I saw some lag. So putting the PCs in QoS seems to help that.

Gaming over wireless has always been a sticky one. I usually recommend G mode only at 2.4Ghz.  If the boxes support N mode at 2.4Ghz then I would definately test it out and see if they can game well. I do prefer wired over wireles for gaming though. I've got a buddy with 3 xboxes and 2 are wired, 1 is wireless. All do well in QoS, or Gamefuel has he's got the DGL-4500. You and use QoS for all devices or just a few. I think it depends on whats going on. Steaming and Gaming, I would definitely use QoS to ensure both are getting a fair share of bandwidth.
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 08:49:37 AM »

Finally got around to playing with "N" mode and the games. It appears the Kids XBOX 360 (new, black model) supports "N" mode and 20Mhz or 40Mhz channels (Built into the game), he said the the 40Mhz mode seemed snappier then the "G" router we had before, but it would lag at times. Playing around, it appeared it was the stuff that only supports 20Mhz channels that was causing a slight lag. So I currently have the new high power AP configured with "N" only and locked down to a 20Mhz channel and much like before with the 54G, it is playing nicely, no lags for the kids, no 5mbps on my Android, even light video streaming appears to be playing nicely on the "N" channel with the game, so it appears if you must share, mixing devices having 20Mhz and 40Mhz capabilities does not really work well and causes a slow down when the router must switch between 20Mhz and 40Mhz channels. Being I seem to get better range with 54G and it is compatible with just about everything (friends coming over, etc), I have to concur with you that getting a POSSIBLE 18Mbps from "N" mode is really not worth it. Plus, the slower you go with this router, the more power it puts out and the better coverage (from an engineering stand point this totally makes sense), I think I will stick with 54G and almost a 10 DB stronger signal in my office and around the house! If I really want coverage, "B" mode would put out the most power but it would come no where close to supporting my internet connection that I currently have. Mixing "N" and "G" while doing gaming I think would only cause problems for the kids, probably lag out when it has to switch between "N" and "G" mode. But I have no way to test this, no more straight "G" stuff laying around. After a couple of weeks, this AP for general purposes and complete coverage works well. I did a speed test through WiFi last night while the kid was gaming and got 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up (20Mhz "N" channel), he had some dropped audio, but I never use that much bandwidth anyhow on WiFi and QOS is off. Until DLINK comes up with a high power router, I am done. ;) ;) ;)
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FurryNutz

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 10:31:36 AM »

Awesome info man.
Ya you got it right when using slower connection speeds or modes, the power and range do go up. Specially if your using single modes on each radio. This is inherent to all WiFi routers. Nature of the beast. Was curious, did you set the routers radios for single modes only for gaming? Eh, forgot, you can't do the 5Ghz on xbox. LOL. Well, Single N should work well for gaming if left on single mode I believe.  I know my buddies DGL-4500 only does single band and there set up on Single mode G however he only has one xbox on WiFi, the other 2 are wired. My other buddy here in town I think we set them up on mixed G and N and there doing good with there wireless new xboxes.
Wifi is a funny thing. Hard to nail down sometimes.

Well you can try QoS as see if it might help. I set it up on mine however I don't use Wifi for gaming. If you do want to give it a go heres how:

Replace the From and TO Remote IP range of 0.0.0.0/255.255.255.255 with 65.52.0.0 - 65.55.255.255 for ports 53 and 3074 as this is the IP range for MS servers. Narrowing down the specific IPs helps cut down on all the unnecessary IPs that don't need to be used. I thought I captured this in my router. I guess I didn't set them up.  ::)

Im going to update the sticky in the DGL-4500 forum to reflect this update.
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 11:03:49 AM »

Thanks for the port info for the QOS, Microsoft is not really good about that.

The major gamer in the house related 2 things, single mode "N" or "G" seems better then dual/multi mode and also WPA2 VS WPA seemed better. I tested the pings last night, 9Ms for wired vs 27Ms for WiFi. If he is home tonight I am going to select "G" only and try the tests again. For my Android, looking at bank stuff and E-mail, as long as the ping is NOT triple digits, I could care less. Should have reset and did "G" last night, this is what my wifes webbook uses.

Bought these little USB 2.0/wifi dongles off of Fleabay for 6 bucks, they are about the size of my thumb nail, 150Mbps in 40Mhz "N" mode, proabaly even work better in "G".
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FurryNutz

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 11:48:06 AM »

Kewl man, let us know how testing goes. I think you'll find a good medium for gaming and general internet. Gotta love Fleabay.
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2011, 10:06:18 AM »

Not so pleased with "G". "N" mode seemed to keep a higher locked data rate then "G" did for the same signal strength. For example, same location, "G" mode 18mbps, "N" mode 72mbps. I could go out and get a lock on "G" mode at 54mbps close to the router, but as soon as I returned to the spot earlier tested it rolled back to 18mbps (3 walls/25 feet). The signal strength for both was right around -48db to -52db. That should have gotten me 54mbps, maybe it is the AP or the client I was testing with. I death gripped my Android, 5mbps from "G", 65mbps from "N", signal strength -55db to -60db. Forced "N" and "G" on the AP, used only single mode.

I repeated this too many times from around the house to be wrong, the downside, my laptop is "G" only.

Time for a new "G" only client vs the "N" dongles from Fleabay vs my 1 watt laptop "G" adapter........
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Patrick533

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Re: Article on Troubeshooting Weak Wi-Fi
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2011, 10:18:02 AM »

Hmm, below are the AP specs -73Dbm for 54Mbps in G mode or -73Dbm for for 300Mbps in "N" mode (40 Mhz channel). The Android puts out proably 15Mw on a good day vs the AP's 200Mw to 600Mw. So the AP is proabaly hearing the Android at -85 or worse through 3 walls at 25FT. Well theres your problem! Need a 1 Watt Android WiFi adapter! DONE!

Output power:
OFDM: 23 dBm 1.5 dBm @300 Mbps
OFDM: 23 dBm 1.5 dBm @54 Mbps
CCK: 28 dBm dBm @11 Mbps

Receiver sensitivity:
11n (300 Mbps) MCS015: -73 dBm;
11g (54 Mbps) OFDM: -73 dBm
11b (11 Mbps) CCK: -91 dBm

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