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Old 8th Apr 2009, 14:55   #1
Ripper-X-
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weak wireless signal

I have a sky Sagem wireless modem/router & trying to connect to a pc the other side of the house with a wireless dongle, it seems the signal is to weak & wont connect. It works if i bring the pc close to the modem so i know it must be the distance, its only a cheap wireless dongle im using so is there something better/ stronger i could try?
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Old 8th Apr 2009, 15:11   #2
Maccy
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Which wireless dongle is it, a USB jobby? I've always found the PCI cards to be better.

Failing that, you could invest in a range extender although these can be pricey.

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Old 8th Apr 2009, 16:35   #3
malef!c
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What you could try is changing the wireless channel you are using.
Go for something like 6 as its not so well used so there may be better signal for you.
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Old 8th Apr 2009, 17:18   #4
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Originally Posted by malef!c View Post
What you could try is changing the wireless channel you are using.
Go for something like 6 as its not so well used so there may be better signal for you.
Thats what I would suggest 2, some channels have less interference so I have read.

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Old 8th Apr 2009, 18:05   #5
gaara
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agree with trying a different channel as well, in my home i had some major interference which disconnected the computer a lot.

if its a usb one you could try it on a usb extender, I use one to get a better signal.
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Old 8th Apr 2009, 19:20   #6
Ripper-X-
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I have tried a couple of different channels already but not all of them so i will give that a go, i have also put two usb extenders (with repeaters) together to get closer but still no good.
What i was hoping for was for someone to recommend something that might pick the signal up a bit better . . . . :/
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Old 8th Apr 2009, 19:54   #7
Bob Wya Jnr
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Hi op,

Microwave signals will partly reflect off walls. If the wireless router is positioned right next to a wall then the signal will partially cancel itself out. The best position is in the middle of a room, upside down (i.e. antenna pointing down) on the ceiling!!

Failing that... The lowest frequencies have the best range.

Is interference a problem (from other neighboring WAPs)??

What options does the Sagem WAP offer?? 2.4Ghz 11b/g??

Bob
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Old 8th Apr 2009, 22:40   #8
Ripper-X-
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The wireless router/modem is right next to a wall & in the direction of the other pc, so thats not good then.
I have no idea if im getting interferance from neighboring waps, how would i know?
In the options under "Mode" i see 54g auto, 54g performance, 54g LRS, 802.11b Only, options, which one is best, its on 54g auto at the moment.
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Old 9th Apr 2009, 07:21   #9
Bob Wya Jnr
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Originally Posted by Ripper-X- View Post
The wireless router/modem is right next to a wall & in the direction of the other pc, so thats not good then.
I have no idea if im getting interferance from neighboring waps, how would i know?
In the options under "Mode" i see 54g auto, 54g performance, 54g LRS, 802.11b Only, options, which one is best, its on 54g auto at the moment.
Ok so 54g LRS (Limited Rate Support) is a compatibility mode for older 11b Wifi cards (so not needed). I would try 54g performance as well to see if your dongle supports that. It may be a channel bonding option and if so that would probably only work with a Sagem Wifi card/USB stick.

Microwave signals, in the 2.4Ghz, band experience a big drop when hitting solid walls face on (the thicker they are the worse the effect) - entering a wall via a side and travelling right down a wall or obstruction will kill the signal dead!! Thes effect are very difficult to predict using more than rules of thumb (due to reflections, etc.) - it gets down to complex wave theory I'm afraid!!

But to keep things simple how many wall (faces) does the router wifi signal have to travel through to reach the other side of the house? Do you get any signal strength at all at this point? What is the rate? You should also test the wifi dongle after each intervening wall to see what the existing coverage of the WAP is like. If it is still active one room (/wall) away from the intended usage point then you are potentially in business... Otherwise you would probably need a better WAP.

If you are able to get a longer modem lead for the Sagem router... It would then be worth getting someone to monitor your laptop Wifi connection signal strength (at the other end of the house where you intend to use it) while you move the router around the room where the phone line is terminated (also changing the WAPs orientation in space can help). This will allow you to test for the best position for the router in the room.

To test for interference from 2.4Ghz devices you simply look for open WAP SSIDs (that your neighbours are running) or sniff for closed ones (more advanced). You can also try turning off any DECT phones you have - which operate in the same frequency band.

Unfortunately (from my experience) Cat5e cable will always give a better signal than any WAP!! It also has the added benefit that you not bathing yourself in additional microwave radiation at close quarters (disclaimer: this radiation is at such a low-level such as not to be harmful - why do my laptop instructions say to stay at least 20-30cm away from the dipole Wifi aerials in the back of it!!)

A Sagem branded router will undoutly work best with a Sagem branded USB stick or PC/Express-carrd!!

If you get really desperate you can pull your Sky assigned ADSL(2+) username + password (if they haven't told you these) off the router and use your own router - I gather... Also Sky might swap the Sagem model for a Netgear one if you hassle them!!

Bob
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Old 9th Apr 2009, 12:30   #10
Ripper-X-
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Hey Bob thanks for all that advice, im in the middle of something atm but will try it soon. Im also considering trying to run a Cat5 cable to the other side of the house, its gonna be tricky to do (hiding the cable) but might be worth it, thanks again. . . .
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Old 9th Apr 2009, 13:01   #11
Bob Wya Jnr
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Originally Posted by Ripper-X- View Post
Hey Bob thanks for all that advice, im in the middle of something atm but will try it soon. Im also considering trying to run a Cat5 cable to the other side of the house, its gonna be tricky to do (hiding the cable) but might be worth it, thanks again. . . .
Ripper

TBH Cat 5e is quite cheap these days. I have used it to network @ Gigabit speeds with my flatmates. Unless you really want to roam about your house/garden wired will generally beat wireless any day of the week. I am not talking about bandwidth here - since your internet connection is probably only 8-16Mbit - but latency, dropouts, general interference problems, and security are all issues with Wifi.

Bob
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