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Thread: Wireless Dropouts intermittant

  1. #1

    Exclamation Wireless Dropouts intermittant

    We've been having wifi dropout issues for many months. It's very intermittant.
    I dont see any direct interference. There are 2 wifi speakers that are very noticable but they are not over our channel. There are occasional brief spikes from neighbors, could that be it? It looks like the wifi is trying to briefly change channels, I'm not certain that is when the dropout happens but that's what I suspect.

    image:
    http://www.chipman.org/danatest%2095...022%202011.png

    wsx in zip: http://www.chipman.org/danatest.zip


    All help is appreciated. thanks, Kerry


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	danatest 955am may 22 2011.jpg 
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  2. #2

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    PS the speakers are Rocketfish wireless speakers.

  3. #3

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    Update, with all new equipment provided from Time Warner, same issue is happening on at least 2 computers still.
    I didn't have my wi-spy there today but when the wifi went out i could see a small strong level pulse about once a minute, then after several minutes it came back in.

    Cant someone take a look at my recording and respond, or offer any ideas about why, no matter what hardware we are using or what settings (all default currently) the wifi keeps dropping out. Time warner says thier signal is good now, and the hardware is good because i cant believe we tried so many replacments and it's still a hardware issue, so it's either wifi interference, or the signal on the cable is intermittant or there some sort of power supply glitch or we just have grimlins.

    If you guys dont see any interference on the recording... is there any way for me to monitor the cable signal?
    I was thinking to rule out the power supply I could put my UPS on the modem and router. But really power is such a long shot right, it's got to be the incoming singal is going bad or I'm missing something on the recording. Oh by the way did I ask if someone could look at my recording

  4. #4

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    What are the security settings for this SSID? If RF is OK maybe you could check AP logs, maybe TKIP countermeasures are being activated.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by leomezza View Post
    What are the security settings for this SSID? If RF is OK maybe you could check AP logs, maybe TKIP countermeasures are being activated.
    Sorry, just checked the attached graph, if it was a TKIP countermeasure the network would be off for 1 minute.

  6. #6

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    Can you turn the AP off for a while and make a recording without it in the recording? You might be just hiding something that is interfering with the AP's signal. Do that and make sure the recording WITH the AP on, has a vary prominent part where the computer is dropping off, in the recording.

    EDIT: It appears that there are some REALLY strong spikes going on throughout the entire 2.4 range. Normally I would think that is your computer searching for an AP, but they are pretty strong (red in this case) from 2400-2480 MHz or so. ARE YOU SURE those speakers are not trying to change channels? Because I see them doing it several times..

    Also, have you tried a different computer? Maybe the card is going on that one. I mean I see a (-13dB) spike. That is you computer probably and the Wi-Spy too close to it when recording. Get a usb cable and try getting the computer away from the Wi-Spy about 3 feet and make a new recording..

    EDIT 2:

    If you are the AP on channel 1 then it appears your AP is changing channels for some reason? Are the channels hard set? The AP is then moving over into the channel with the speakers and is probably getting killed, hence moving back to channel 1.

    Oxygen
    Last edited by oxygen69; 06-06-2011 at 01:00 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by leomezza View Post
    Sorry, just checked the attached graph, if it was a TKIP countermeasure the network would be off for 1 minute.
    It's what I think is typical WPA2-PSK I believe. We did see some 1 minute dropouts reciently and Time Warner did some kind of security reset reciently. Is this something that would be in the logs? I'm going to research TKIP countermeasures, let me know if you have any links about it handy. Thansk!

  8. #8

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    That's a great idea - recording with the AP off, I'll try to do that soon. (This is at my GFs house so I have to wait till I'm visiting and have time). The wireless speaks, it seems to me they only changed like one channnel and never came close to the AP channel 1. At least that is what I think, maybe the new test will show somemthing.

    Interesting note about using the Wi-Spy a few feet away. I'm learning a lot.

    I think the AP was hard set to channel 1, but I need to recheck. All the hardware has changed since I last looked at it.
    Let's say that the wifi wasn't hard set to 1 and this isn't a symptom of the netgear known firmware issue with intermittant dropouts (I believe this recording was done with a Netgear WRND3700v2). Before that we had the same issue with Cisco/Linksys E3000 and E2000. And at the end I tried a combo Motorola Modem/Wireless. Currently there's a modem from Time warner and some lower end netgear wireless.
    Anyway, if I make a new recording with the AP on and see the same channel switching, that probably indicates some spike triggering the APs auto channnel change function but so briefly that it messes up the whole connection? If that's the case then we should see something pop into channel one with the AP turned off....

    Thanks very much! I'm really looking forward to root causing this issue!

    PS: Let's assume it is the speakers, or something, popping into channel 1 and either forcing the AP to briefly change and then fail. Is turning off the speakers, or whatever is causing the inteference, the only way to fix this? What I've had in my mind to do is put in a WRT54GS which is real stable? and add some +9db antenna(s) on it. The antenna would cause it to be very strong, but would it cause it to also pick up the interference and then fail?
    Last edited by Wolfkc; 06-07-2011 at 01:28 AM. Reason: add + questions

  9. #9

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    If the network does not allow TKIP clients to connect the TKIP countermeases will not occur. Check http://www.my80211.com/home/2010/5/1...-the-wild.html

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfkc View Post
    Interesting note about using the Wi-Spy a few feet away. I'm learning a lot.
    Ya, while I like the Wi-Spy in that it is USB plug-able, the downfall to using it directly on the laptop is that the antenna is (many times) too close to the computer, hence picking up interference from the computer (like the LCD or hard drive). Also, unless you completely TURN OFF (power off) all WiFi/wireless, bluetooth, ect from the recording computer, you can end up with very skew'd results and miss things by them being hidden from the computers own wireless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfkc View Post
    Let's say that the wifi wasn't hard set to 1 and this isn't a symptom of the netgear known firmware issue with intermittant dropouts (I believe this recording was done with a Netgear WRND3700v2). Before that we had the same issue with Cisco/Linksys E3000 and E2000. And at the end I tried a combo Motorola Modem/Wireless. Currently there's a modem from Time warner and some lower end netgear wireless.
    Make sure the modem (I assume it is a cable modem) is also away from the wireless AP, if possible. Cable is notorious for leakage of all sorts of RF signals. That is probably why they replaced the modem already, in order to try and isolate if it was a leaking RF from the modem. Also with the AP off you will get a better look at this probably too, if it is an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfkc View Post
    Anyway, if I make a new recording with the AP on (it should be turned off) and see the same channel switching, that probably indicates some spike triggering the APs auto channnel change function but so briefly that it messes up the whole connection?
    Probably..... The spike doesn't mess up the connection per-se as the time it takes the AP to change channels, realign with wireless to the computers, and then start retransmitting is where the lag is.. When the AP is changing channels it is going to either channel 6 or 11. Since the speakers are transmitting in those area's, the speakers are then also kicking the AP out channel 6 and/or 11, then the AP is returning to channel 1. Of course, the (possible) spike/interference is making it change channels, if that turns out to be the reason why.

    Make a recording with the AP OFF and ON please.. Do it even in the same recording..with about 10-30 min separation from off to on. Also try zooming in on channel 1 from about 2400-2432 MHz. This will give a higher resolution to the recording and allow a better look at channel 1. Do it with the AP ON and OFF. Or try downloading Chanalyzer 3.4 [if you have a Wi-Spy DBx (v1) or 2.4x (v1)] this will allow greater control over the Wi-Spy without having to purchase Chanalyzer Lab. If you have a later model Wi-Spy, then the firmware won't work with v3.4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfkc View Post
    If that's the case then we should see something pop into channel one with the AP turned off....
    Hopefully.... or depending on how you look at it hopefully not.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfkc View Post
    Let's assume it is the speakers, or something, popping into channel 1 and either forcing the AP to briefly change and then fail. Is turning off the speakers, or whatever is causing the inteference, the only way to fix this?
    Simplest answer: YES

    Are there other ways to do it too, yes... Get a 5GHz dual band AP for instance..

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfkc View Post
    What I've had in my mind to do is put in a WRT54GS which is real stable? and add some +9db antenna(s) on it. The antenna would cause it to be very strong, but would it cause it to also pick up the interference and then fail?
    Well trying to out power an interfering device is not the best way to deal with a problem like yours. It may lead to other problems in the future.. Also, if you are going to do those sorts of things, make sure you are fully aware of FCC part 15 rules regarding unlicensed 2.4GHz devices and power limitations.


    Oxygen

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