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Thread: Display Oddity + Spiking Signal Strengths

  1. #1

    Default Display Oddity + Spiking Signal Strengths

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    I am a new user. Using 2.1.5.1393. In the image I've included, I deseleted all APs except GSC and Bearnet. then I added 2Wire309. Look how the trace for the latter is thicker than the others and fades out then reappears. the signal is NOT intermittent as the screenshot would lead one to believe. Is this by design or is it a bug?

    Also, I am seeing 2 nearby 2Wire APs that seem to jump WAY up in signal then go back down. In the second screenshot,

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    You can see GSC and Bearnet for reference and you can see the 2Wire units spiking. I see the same behavior with NetStumbler so I am sure this is not a bug. It COULD be my Thinkpad' Intel 5300 AGN chip but this only happens on a couple of 2Wire units. Considering that I am 7 feet away from Bearnet and GSC, and that I am in a single family dwelling separated by at least 150' from nearest neighbors, and that I know the APs for 3 of the 4 closest homes, I can't imagine how much power these units are running when they peak like that unless what I am getting in the display is not the signal strength at my laptop but rather a figure of merit that the APs are sending me about MY SIGNAL where they are.

    Thanks in advance,

    Phil in San Diego

  2. #2

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    Hello Phil,

    So the way in which inSSIDer works is that it pulls all the information it needs from your wireless card then displays it to you. Now with that in mind, I can answer your question

    So for the first one, the reason it's thicker is because you selected it in the networks table. When you select a network in the networks table, inSSIDer makes the line thicker so you can track it easier. The reason it's fading in and out is because for some reason your wireless card is loosing the signal then picking it back up, then losing it. This could be caused from several things and diagnosing a cause is a matter of having the right tools. I can't tell you what it is just from this screenshot. Could be lost packets due to interference of some sort, poor power supply to the AP, near the end of the AP's range, etc.

    The second screenshot is actually the way inSSIDer is supposed to function (how we have it functioning for now). So, when your wireless card receives bad data, inSSIDer receives that same bad data. The way we handle that is that we set it to null which in turn sets the RSSI to 0dBm which causes the spikes you see here. Again, the bad data could be caused by any number of issues which inSSIDer is unable to help you detect.

    I hope that helps,
    Stephen

  3. #3

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    Hi Stephen,

    You said

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Hello Phil,

    So for the first one, the reason it's thicker is because you selected it in the networks table. When you select a network in the networks table, inSSIDer makes the line thicker so you can track it easier. The reason it's fading in and out is because for some reason your wireless card is loosing the signal then picking it back up, then losing it.

    Stephen
    I disagree. If I have all the traces present initially, none of them is fading out. For the screenshot, I then deselected them all manually (rather than en banc with the check box at the top) except for my 2 APs. I then re-enbled the one in the screenshot. Only now does it get fat and fade out. If I wait long enough, it becomes thin (I guess that's by design so it doesn't stand out too long) again.

    Thanks for explaining why the other traces are peaking. If I had my druthers, I'd change the lost signal strength data to -100 or even less so it trends DOWNWARD vs UPWARD.

    BTW, is the signal strength value based on how strong my card/chip thinks the signal for that AP is, or is the number coming from the AP, telling me how strong IT thinks MY signal is where IT is located?

    Phil

  4. Default

    The signal strength value comes from your wireless card. We draw whatever values we get from the card - sometimes these values are bad or corrupt. See your second image. They probably send us a zero or a null value since the original RSSI is so low that it became corrupt. But because it is a zero and not a null, our software graphs it out.

    I have asked the developers numerous times to ignore any RSSI values of zero. I can't give a time when this issue will be resolved.

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