Airport signal strength

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Le Ming, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Le Ming

    Le Ming Guest

    Hi all. I'm rather surprised. I just installed my airport network behind
    a dsl router, and even if my iBook is sitting just a few feet away from
    the Airport base station, I'm always 2 or 3 bars down from the max on
    the signal strength monitor.
    Disi I do something wrong? Is the iBook a poorly receptive machine? The
    signal strength is set to maximum in the base station setup btw...
    Else, i'd like to understand what the "signal robustness" and encryption
    options have as an influence on the overall performances... (sorry my
    english' noy that good but I hope you understand my point)
    Regards,
     
    Le Ming, Feb 18, 2004
    #1
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  2. Le Ming

    S.Tos Guest

    Le 18/02/04 10:23, dans
    1g9ckm2.o59zl213mzse8N%, « Le Ming »
    same thing for me, pareil, with a PBook 17", my PB is about 10 metres from
    the base station, and the monitor is 3 bars down

    however, just tested at 45 metres, outside, it works... so I'm happy

    bonne journée
     
    S.Tos, Feb 18, 2004
    #2
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  3. Le Ming

    Le Ming Guest

    Et si tu es a 45 cm?
    - And if you're 45 cm away from the ABS?-
     
    Le Ming, Feb 18, 2004
    #3
  4. Le Ming

    John Johnson Guest

    Did you connect the AP antenna cable? This is necessary if you are using
    the "regular" AP card; I don't know whether the "extreme" card has a
    separate antenna cable. I forgot to attach the cable on my G3 PowerBook,
    and got about 1meter range until I re-checked and found the cable.
     
    John Johnson, Feb 18, 2004
    #4
  5. Le Ming

    Le Ming Guest

    I'll double check tonight, thanx for the input!
     
    Le Ming, Feb 18, 2004
    #5
  6. Le Ming

    John Johnson Guest

    This is really good information (I'm not the OP, just commenting).
    If the problem persists, you may eventually wish to experiment with
    different channel settings (a second person and computer is VERY helpful
    here!). In one location I worked in, I got a 10 point gain in signal
    strength just by changing channels.

    "10 points of what?" you ask? I use a very helpful utility called
    MacStumbler (freeware, available at your favorite download site) to help
    me determine signal strength and pattern, determine whether other
    stations are in the area, and other things. It's strength scale goes up
    to..the highest I've ever seen was 87-90, right next to the BS. On this
    scale, 30 appears to be about the minimum strength for reliable
    connection, so gaining 10 points can make a real difference. If you
    don't use MacStumbler, something like it is absolutely necessary for
    serious wireless troubleshooting.

    [snip]
    It doesn't always take much change in location to solve this problem
    (should this be an issue for the OP), so it really is worth
    experimenting a little bit.

    Another important factor is the angle of the BS to the environment. The
    emissions from the BS are not spherical, and are stronger in the plane
    parallel to the bottom surface of the BS (at least on the old graphite).
    Obviously the pattern of an external antenna might be different, but
    adjusting orientation as well as location can have a real effect. Of
    course the effect could be negative.

    When experimenting with antenna location and orientation, the key is to
    go slow, change as little as possible at any given time, and try other
    things first. ;-) It's not hard, but it does take time and care so it's
    a good idea to check the simpler things first (e.g. antenna connector,
    channel number)
    ?????? I don't get this. If multipath is a problem, then you would want
    to move your antenna (either on the BS, at the computer-i.e. the
    computer- or both). Or are you talking about repositioning the antenna
    on the BS itself? I've never actually worked with the new Extreme BS
    with an external antenna, though I've worked with other antennas, etc.
     
    John Johnson, Feb 18, 2004
    #6
  7. Le Ming

    Ernie Klein Guest

    Just FYI - My brand new iBook and Airport exhibit the same behavior.
    The signal strength meter is always two bars down, no matter how close
    to the base station it is. I have tried different channels and
    locations - no difference, yet the range seems to be OK.

    --
    -Ernie-

    "There are only two kinds of computer users -- those who have
    suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure, and those who will."

    Have you done your backup today?
     
    Ernie Klein, Feb 19, 2004
    #7
  8. Le Ming

    Rod Smith Guest

    If you are using an Airport Base Station, check yout Multicast Rate
    setting. Setting it higher than 1 reduces my signal strenth drastically.
     
    Rod Smith, Feb 21, 2004
    #8
  9. Le Ming

    Le Ming Guest

    It is on 1 on my base.
    I was wondering as well if the signal robustness and wep settings had an
    influence on signal strength or quality...
     
    Le Ming, Feb 23, 2004
    #9
  10. Le Ming

    Rod Smith Guest

    I don't think so (stress on think, since my wireless networking
    expertise is near zero). I can't tell any significant difference with
    WEP enabled on my WiFi.

    Maybe you have a hardware problem. MacStumber reports a signal strength
    of 100 just a few feet away from my Airport Extreme Base Station and the
    signal remains robust enough in my iBook (old 802.11b card) that I can
    easily run Safari at the road in front of the house, at 95-100 feet
    away, with WEP enabled.
     
    Rod Smith, Feb 23, 2004
    #10
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