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Signal Quality Fluctuation

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by adlerfra, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. adlerfra

    adlerfra LI Guru Member

    In the Device List, the signal quality of my wireless laptop connection constantly fluctuates over a range of about 45 to 61. My laptop is about 8 feet away from my WRT (Buffalo WHR-HP-G54) and exhibits this behavior even while I am not using the laptop for any other activity. I have tried different channels and repositioning my antenna but I always observe the same behavior. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 600M running with Widnows XP SP2 using the Dell Wireless 1450 Dual-Band WLAN Mini-PCI card. I use WPA-2 AES authentication. Is this normal behavior or is there a problem with my configuration/setup?
     
  2. rcordorica

    rcordorica Network Guru Member

    As long as your connection is stable and speeds are good I wouldn't worry.

    Right now the highest quality on my network is 31, lowest 15 (WRT54GLv1.1). And even though I don't get 54Mbps on every client, my network is stable and speeds are more than sufficient for my Cable internet.

    Your signal fluctuations are probably caused by interference. You can try increasing or decreasing your beacon interval.

    More beacons will provide your client with a stronger signal indicator and perhaps reduce the fluctuation.
     
  3. adlerfra

    adlerfra LI Guru Member

    Ok, thanks. My current setting for the Beacon Interval is the default 100. What value would you recommend to try next?
     
  4. rcordorica

    rcordorica Network Guru Member

    Since your router runs at 200Mhz (assuming no overclock) you should try a beacon interval of 100 (default) and work your way down.

    Try 50, then 25. You can try for lower but not all of my clients connect unless the beacon interval is > 20.
     
  5. MacJube

    MacJube Network Guru Member

    I doubt if the beacon interval will make any difference at all here; your laptop is telling you that the beacon is being picked up at 45-61%, regardless of its rate. When the client is only eight feet away from the access point, your signal quality should be fluctuating around 100%. Three possible reasons for seeing low signal quality at such a short distance are:

    [1] There's heavy interference in the immediate area (e.g. 2.4 GHz cordless phones or another AP on the same channel), especially if you're in an office building or apartment building.

    [2] The power output on the AP is very low. I'm not familiar with your model, but check to see if it has adjustable power output and try cranking it up.

    [3] There are antenna connection problems on either the client or the AP, and the signal is not radiating properly or being picked up properly.

    The first thing to try is to ask someone else with another wireless laptop to see what sort of signal strength they're getting from your AP. That will establish if the problem is on the AP side or the client side. Good luck!
     
  6. azeari

    azeari LI Guru Member

    Thats not exactly true. Being 8 ft away will most definitely result in a high signal STRENGTH, but not necessarily QUALITY.

    Usually the quality fluctuates as wireless traffic transverses between the client and router, the increase in traffic results in some data being lost(a natural phenomenon for 802.11b/g/n), and subsequent retransmissions, and this is reflected in your signal quality.

    Of cuz, there are a myriad of other possible causes, such as interference, signal noise.

    For the buffalo, the built-in signal amplifier might result in slightly increased noise levels, and higher signal strength, but then again, this shouldn't affect performance.

    As long as performance is acceptable :p dun tweak it too much
     
  7. adlerfra

    adlerfra LI Guru Member

    I tired different values for the Beacon Interval but it didn't make a diiference.
    I then decided to turn off the wireless AP portion of the Buffalo and instead hooked up my my Linksys WAP54G running HyperWAP Firmware Version: 3.08 -HiPower 1.04 with transmit power set to 84 mW. Signal Quality is now more stable as measured by the Buffalo Wireless Survey although it has dropped to 37 +/- 3. When I roam aabout the house, the Signal Strength as measured on the laptop varies about the same as with the Buffalo and is even a bit stronger on the average.
     

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