haunted house - signal killer

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by roise_r, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. roise_r

    roise_r LI Guru Member

    ok, either i am stupid or the walls of the house i am trying to put wireless access on, are made of high density mixture of concrete and lead. I already changed two Linksys wrt300n routers, which are supposed to work with G devices, and i bought an external NIC PCMCI adapter - a G card with SFX integration, which is also supposed to be a part of the N standard. I returned the first 300n, thinking it was broke, because it couldnt send the signal literaturly 1 wall away. So there it is, just a regular house. everything looks normal as long as you dont try to run wireless in it. i already tried like 3-4 times in three other locations including inside my solid concrete apartment. the 300n router provides great performance even without the 300n NIC card, but just with another G NIC with SFX enabled. i live in 6-th floor, still having signal when going down on the third floor. just for the info, there are 5-6 Solid concrete walls between, including floors and ceilings. but if i install absolutely the same topology, same router and NIC into the "haunted" house, i get dead signal just beyond the first brick wall....??? if i ping the router from my wireless laptop, i get normally, 1 or =1 milliseconds, but if i ping the router inside the House, even if i am !2 feet! away i get 1,3,15,14,7,300,2,7,55,37,112 etc. the ping is so inconstant, as if where to ping Pakistan... the house owners claim that their house is just made of the most regular red backed bricks and also they have some basic cold isolator material, but only to the outside walls. i am talking about dead signal just beyond a wall inside the house, just between the living room and kitchen for example. (tested at different locations around the house) I am out of ideas:(, pls, if any one has some more experience on wireless interference, and to the question ..."what kind of alien energy!!! could cause just a regular house not to allow just the most regular wireless connections" ... pls pls let me know, cause i am running crazy over here... 10x in advance
  2. Pinchy

    Pinchy Network Guru Member

    I ran into this in one office too. Turns out they had old flourescent tube lighting on the wall, and the ballast was giving off so much EMR it was a wonder we weren't all glowing green :wink: . What gave it away was when someone turned off the lights - my signal strength went from 30% to over 90% instantly. They replaced the ballasts and tubes, and it worked like a charm after that.

    Another possibility is that the power mains for the house run through that wall. Try moving the router across the room as a test to see what happens to the signal on the client.

    Good luck!
  3. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    All very interesting, depending on the age of the house it could just be the power lines period. As suggested the way to test is turn off the circuit breakers to one area of the home and run a long extension cable, but be aware if the wiring is really old and unshielded it could still cause issues though the signal should be better. Along the same lines back in the day when i used to troubleshoot dsl we used to see flourescent lights, microwave ovens, power lines, magnets on large home speakers and street lighting causing issues. As you have noted you know the equipment is good now its just trying to figure out what is causing the interference and seeing if there is anything you can do about it. Good luck and let us know.
  4. roise_r

    roise_r LI Guru Member

    hi and thanks for replying... well , i can guarantee that no funky lamps run through the house, all the lamps are standard lamps with bulbs. and the power installation is the most standard and runs near the floor in about 10inches high... as in any other structure... i thought that the TV (a large tube TV) was the source of interference, so i not only placed the router elsewhere in the room, but also tried different rooms, ... no luck... :)
  5. danix71

    danix71 LI Guru Member


  6. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Cordless phones, a power transformer nearby, a wireless video link, or, and my 90% bet, a HAM operator within 400 yards. Whatever it is, I doubt that the walls have something to do with it - this sound like all-over interference.

    Turn off the N, or turn to G-only, so you have 1 channel only that you work with at a time (N could be using 2 or more channels at a time). Then try the channels 1, 2, 3,..., x (x=11 or 13 or 14) one after the other and see if you get better signal with 6 feet between AP and client in same room. Once you have the best channel, try the thru-wall again.
  7. roise_r

    roise_r LI Guru Member

    thanks HennieM... it's been a while though, but you made me remember old times, when i used to work back in bulgaria... I moved up, i am in america now:), but i didin't solve the problem with the interference anyway, still have no idea what it was :)))) the owner said he didn't have time to jurk with it... he just made me pull some UTPs from his cable modem to his desk and to his leaving room ... "The truth is still out there..."
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