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View Full Version : [semi-OT] Advice about wireless problems



msherman
2007-11-21, 07:26
This isn't specifically a Squeezebox question, but there are a lot of
people here who are very knowledgeable when it comes to 802.11, so I was
hoping to tap into the group mind here for some advice.

I recently moved my server and router to another room in my basement,
and my wireless reception went south in a bad way. In the new location,
it's currently sitting on the top shelf of a rack of wire shelves[0].

[0]
http://www.rubbermaid.com/rubbermaid/ecommerce/product.jhtml?prodId=HpdProd190046&catId=HpdCat190080

Is it possible that the wire shelves are interfering with the 802.11
signal? All of the clients are either above the router or on the same
floor -- the wire shelving doesn't actually sit in the line of sight
from the router to any client. Could it still be the problem (and if so,
is it worth my time to try replacing the shelves with wood)?

Thanks for any tips,
- Marc

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-21, 07:35
Yes, the rack is possibly interfering with the signal, but probably your biggest problem is you have the router in the worst possible location.

I've always been told routers/APs need elevation, and I have mine about as high in my residence as I can, no reception problems even in my basement.

I understand the aerials radiate in an inverse cone-shaped pattern along the axis. Looking from above or below, there's a donut-shaped no-signal hole directly above the aerial and directly below.

Re-orient the antenna. It would be much better to have it leaning to the side if client devices are located directly above. This is why dual-antenna devices like the Linksys WRT54G are so good - you can orient one antenna horizontally to provide signal in the vertical direction, the other vertically to provide signal horizontally.

msherman
2007-11-21, 08:28
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> Yes, the rack is possibly interfering with the signal, but probably your
> biggest problem is you have the router in the worst possible location.
>
> I've always been told routers/APs need elevation, and I have mine about
> as high in my residence as I can, no reception problems even in my
> basement.

I've heard that too, but I don't understand it -- gravity certainly
can't be having an effect. I think it might be a misapplication of the
fact that for long distances over land, elevation helps avoid the
horizon getting in the way. That rule of thumb doesn't apply to placing
a router within a home.

> I understand the aerials radiate in an inverse cone-shaped pattern
> along the axis. Looking from above or below, there's a donut-shaped
> no-signal hole directly above the aerial and directly below.
>
> Re-orient the antenna. It would be much better to have it leaning to
> the side if client devices are located directly above. This is why
> dual-antenna devices like the Linksys WRT54G are so good - you can
> orient one antenna horizontally to provide signal in the vertical
> direction, the other vertically to provide signal horizontally.

Yeah, I knew about that and the antennas (on my WRT54G :) are already
optimally oriented in exactly the way you suggest.

- Marc

SuperQ
2007-11-21, 12:06
The dirt in the ground, and walls tend to absorb most signals, and reflect very few. The metal mesh of the shelf also probably distorts the signal some.

Antennas used in wifi APs tend to be omni-directional poles.

The signal is shaped like a donut with the antenna stuck through the hole. If most of your wireless use is on your first floor, it may be worth running a cat5 cable up to the first floor and placing your AP there.