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Thread: Wild zig zag of amplitude on Repeater

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  1. #1

    Default Wild zig zag of amplitude on Repeater


    I'm new to the forum and indeed the world of looking at wifi signals.
    I have a 3 storey house with a lodger on the top floor, he complained that his wifi signal was very weak so i installed a universal repeater.
    I became conerned that somethig was not right when both my laptop and my mobile phone struggled to obtain an ip address. my mobile phone drops it's wifi signal frequently since installing the repeater. My lodger says his wifi keeps falling off too. So I installed the inssider software after talking to a friend who is more tech savvy than me. I looked at the time graph. I could see both my original router and the new repeater, the original router shows as a fairly level line but the repeater is zig zagging all of the time. I wondered of ths zig zagging was normal?

    Thank you in advance for your help, like I said I am new to all of this


  2. #2


    Hi, Charlotte. I also have both a wireless router and a repeater. When my laptop is close to either one, the time graph signal trace for the one I'm quite close to is a solid, straight line, while the other signal zig-zags up and down, as you reported. And I see this on the channel graphs as well. While I don't yet know why the lower level signal zig-zags, I notice that it has always been the case. So, what I've been doing is averaging the signal level of one that zig-zags to estimate its overall strength.

  3. #3


    Thank you..
    I was wondering if this zigzagging was an indication of some kind of failure of the router?
    But it seems you are seeing the same there any explanation for the zigzag do you know?

    I anyone can offer any advice on ensuring that the lodger on the top floor has a wifi signal let me know! I'm suspecting his gear is at fault and not my routers...but I don't know how to prove this without causing agro!

    Thanks Charlotte

  4. #4


    Charlotte--As the forum indicates, I'm an amateur, but I can offer the following. I don't know why a wifi signal appears to jump up and down over time when viewed with inSSIDer, and I have yet to read an explanation of why. However, this should not stop you from deciding if you are providing a good signal for your renter. I'm not sure which version of inSSIDer you are using, but if you're using 2.0, you might find the new version somewhat more helpful. It includes a "Link Score" rating that takes into account the signal's strength as well as any co-channel or adjacent channel interference to your own APs. 100 is the top Link Score indicating the best situation for a device to have good data flow with that AP (access point) meaning a strong wifi signal and no significant interference.
    The instructions that came with your repeater no doubt described that it should be placed between your router and the area where you want to improve the signal level. At the same time, it must be placed close enough to the router so it will be receiving a decent signal from the main router. As signal levels drop, so does the data rate in wifi.
    The most direct check of wifi coverage would be for you to walk around the house with your laptop and inSSIDer. If there is a time when your renter isn't home and you could take your laptop up to that floor, you could see what sort of a signal is reaching that part of the house.
    As far as signal strength displayed with inSSIDer, the smaller the number on the scale, the stronger the signal. When a signal gets down in the low 70s, (low 70 dbm range), that's a pretty weak signal. On the other hand, a signal between 40 and 50dbm is quite strong.
    Besides signal strength, you should check for interference from other neighbors' APs. This info is shown in easy-to-read form on the inSSIDer 3.0 displays.
    Hope this helps some.


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