Tricky Wireless Setup - need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yadmonkey, May 2, 2007.

  1. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #1
    I've set up a bunch of networks without problem, but this one is turning out to be a doosey... It's simple in principle - there's a cable modem on one side of the house and an iMac G5 on the other. Based on the distance of these machines, you'd think that a simple router would be sufficient, but it's not. The signal (from their Belkin) is weak and inconsistent.

    So I set up a Belkin range extender in between and while it helps a bit, the signal is still inconsistent and often weak.

    I'm guessing at this point that there's some sort of interference going in in the house and indeed, there are some appliances in the path, though the range extender bypasses them somewhat.

    Can anyone recommend the next step? Is there any reason to believe an Apple Basestation plus Airport Express would produce better results? Is there a decent antenna which could be attached to the iMac G5 for better signal strength? Which would you try first?

    BTW, the problem isn't the iMac itself. The same problem existed for the older iMac, as well as two laptops I've tried in the same room. Also, the Belkin router gives great reception in other rooms in the house. I do suspect that the Belkin range extended might be a POS though. Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    What model router and extender are you using?

    Do you have any devices that could be causing interference (most commonly microwaves, cordless phones, etc.)? ...Even if these devices aren't directly between the AP and the computer, they can still cause interference throughout the house.
     
  3. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #3
    The router is F5D7230-4 and the extender is F5D7130, both Belkin.

    There is indeed a microwave - can those interfere even when not in use? The cordless phones are not 2.4 ghz.
     
  4. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/PHL
    #4
    Have you tried to change wireless channels? Maybe download a wireless sniffer
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    I'm going through a similar thing, and changing channels helped dramatically, but I still have my wireless go dead about once a week.

    Essentially for me, my Cat 5 comes in at two separate locations that are not near my iMac, :apple:TV, Wii. The interference I'm suffering from seems to be my neighbors who have recently added plenty of new wireless networks, three of which come in as high or higher than my own.

    What I'm planning on trying is using the Airport Extreme to create a wired network between the three "remote" devices and connect that to my Airport Express.

    Ultimately getting two pre-N routers (i.e. using a second Airport Extreme to extend the range of the first) should make you less susceptible to interference at 2.4 GHz since they'd use 5.4 GHz spectrum as well. Unfortunately the 5.4 GHz has shorter range to start with and is incompatible with non pre-N devices...

    B
     
  6. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #6
    Indeed, I've tried every channel available. What would I use a sniffer for?
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    You can see quantitatively which channels have more or less interference or noise.

    B
     
  8. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    To see which which channels (if any) are being used nearby (so you can pick a different one).



    EDIT: ...or, I guess I was thinking of something else. :confused:
     
  9. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #9
    Cool - I'll check that out. Thanks!
     
  10. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/PHL
    #10

    Have you heard company called airmagnet? We use their stuff to jam other wireless signals in our stores. Although it's expensive equipment but works well. Here is the Link to the site
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    I recommend iStumbler http://www.istumbler.net/ it helped me finally diagnose my issues and make decent corrective action.

    Yeah, I've actually seen their stuff from the IT guys at work*, but I think It'd be cheaper to run Cat5 down to the point I need it than adding enterprise class WiFi hardware to my house. :p

    * They were looking at it to locate rogue networks in the building.

    B
     

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