PDA

View Full Version : Why has my G5 iMac's wireless gotten so bad?




buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 08:34 AM
I've had my (rev. B) G5 iMac since August of 2005. My dad didn't want to pay the cable guy a couple hundred dollars to run a cable up into my room, so I have been relying on the wireless Airport connection. Everything was working fine for the first year or so, but the last few months the connection has gotten very poor.

Sometime I will be getting a good connection but suddenly the signal will drop from 4-5 bars down to 2 bars (like now) and I will get a very slow connection on none at all. Sometimes turning Airport on and off temporarily fixes the system but sometimes it just goes back to two bars with a slow connection.

Are there any tests I can do to check if the card is functioning properly? I don't think it is the connection since I can play my DS online with little problem from downstairs. It could be the location, but that doesn't make sense since I received a good connection for so long.

I am using Time Warner Cable with a Linksys router.


Thanks!



Queso
Dec 28, 2006, 08:36 AM
Are you using Interface Robustness? If so, try turning that off and seeing whether it helps. You may also want to change the channel your Wi-Fi network operates on.

buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 08:41 AM
I read about the interference robustness yesterday and turned that on but it doesn't seem to make much difference. Right now it's shut off and I'm getting a fine signal for the moment.

How would I change the wifi channel?


Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned that the router is located downstairs and my iMac is upstairs.

jpfisher
Dec 28, 2006, 08:45 AM
You can change the channel in the router's control panel, usually access by logging into http://192.168.1.1 -- the default password on your linksys should be 'admin'

I had the same issue with my G5 -- the wifi built into my DSL router was working fine for a long time and then it stopped communicating. Changing the channel remedied the problem; chances are the neighbors got something new that was interfering on that frequency.

pimentoLoaf
Dec 28, 2006, 09:16 AM
Microwave ovens cause these DSL things to drop connections very very quickly. It's almost always the culprit. If you don't have one, the neighbors do.

buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 10:35 AM
I had noticed that the microwave does cause a temporary loss of signal but my problems extend further than our use of it. I'll give the channel change a try.

Thanks for the help so far!

buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 03:35 PM
I've just got around to logging on to IP address. It looks like it's currently operating on channel 6. Should I just change it one channel or more? Also, my dad occasionally uses the wireless with his work laptop (IBM Thinkpad).. Will changing the channel affect his ability to access the internet?

igucl
Dec 28, 2006, 03:48 PM
I experienced this same sporadic wireless behavior with my iMac G5 until it finally stopped working altogether. When that happened, it also meant that my computer would kernel panic on startup unless I removed the airport card.

If enough people continue to have this problem, maybe Apple will do something about it. I'm not holding my breath, though.

buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 03:53 PM
I am also somewhat annoyed that I chose not to get AppleCare because I am now out of warranty. Hopefully changing the channel will solve my problems. I'm sure my iMac doesn't kernel panic on startup, but will you give a brief explanation of what that actually is?

igucl
Dec 28, 2006, 04:03 PM
I am also somewhat annoyed that I chose not to get AppleCare because I am now out of warranty. Hopefully changing the channel will solve my problems. I'm sure my iMac doesn't kernel panic on startup, but will you give a brief explanation of what that actually is?

While the gray Apple screen is up, a darker gray screen will drop down that says you need to restart your computer. Mine wouldn't get past this without removing the wireless card.

buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 08:48 PM
*knocks on desk*

Well I changed the channel from 6 to 5 earlier this evening and everything has been working well since the change. I want to give it a day or so before I declare a success but so far the change seems to be working well.

Thanks for the tip!

Jimmieboy
Dec 28, 2006, 08:54 PM
I've had my (rev. B) G5 iMac since August of 2005. My dad didn't want to pay the cable guy a couple hundred dollars to run a cable up into my room, so I have been relying on the wireless Airport connection. Everything was working fine for the first year or so, but the last few months the connection has gotten very poor.

Sometime I will be getting a good connection but suddenly the signal will drop from 4-5 bars down to 2 bars (like now) and I will get a very slow connection on none at all. Sometimes turning Airport on and off temporarily fixes the system but sometimes it just goes back to two bars with a slow connection.

Are there any tests I can do to check if the card is functioning properly? I don't think it is the connection since I can play my DS online with little problem from downstairs. It could be the location, but that doesn't make sense since I received a good connection for so long.

I am using Time Warner Cable with a Linksys router.


Thanks!

I've had a problem that was kinda the same. I worked out that it was our microwave. Everytime it goes on there is a major decrease in signal strength. Also some cordless phones interfer with you're signal.

ModestPenguin
Dec 28, 2006, 09:08 PM
at least it's not attracting ants! (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=138394&highlight=imac+attract+ants)

SuperCompu2
Dec 28, 2006, 09:24 PM
For best variation, its better to change the channel by 2-3 intead of just down one, you'll probably see better results in the long run if the signal is in fact the problem.

good luck!

aristobrat
Dec 28, 2006, 09:27 PM
Well I changed the channel from 6 to 5 earlier this evening and everything has been working well since the change. I want to give it a day or so before I declare a success but so far the change seems to be working well.
Hopefully that it's.

Most routers default channel is 6, so it's not unusual to see neighbors clobbering each others WiFi. At my place, my MBP picks up 4 neighbors all using channel 6. My MB picked up even more. :eek:

The other thing is that channels near each other (i.e. channel 5 is near channel 6) somewhat overlap each other, so if channel 5 doesn't change things quite as good as they used to be, try channel 1 or channel 11.

There's an excellent tool called iStumbler that you can download that will show you what channels the networks around you are using.

BigPrince
Dec 28, 2006, 09:46 PM
A couple hundred dollars to run the cable? Where do you live, I'll do it for cheaper :).

buffalo
Dec 28, 2006, 11:20 PM
For best variation, its better to change the channel by 2-3 intead of just down one, you'll probably see better results in the long run if the signal is in fact the problem.

good luck!

I'll go ahead and move it down to Channel 3.

There's an excellent tool called iStumbler that you can download that will show you what channels the networks around you are using.

Do I need this tool if I'm the only network that my Airport picks up? Occasionally I will get one more but it never connects.

A couple hundred dollars to run the cable? Where do you live, I'll do it for cheaper :).

We never actually called up TWC to find out. That's just what my dad thought it would cost.

aristobrat
Dec 29, 2006, 08:49 AM
Do I need this tool if I'm the only network that my Airport picks up? Occasionally I will get one more but it never connects.
Nope, it's just a tool that I think is fun to use, but if you don't have more than 1 or 2 networks around, it'd be kinda boring. heh