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Thread: Flaky network with no other beacons around, wil the wi-spy mini help?

  1. #1

    Question Flaky network with no other beacons around, wil the wi-spy mini help?

    Hi,

    I'm a managed service partner and installed lot's of Wifi networks. Mostly without any analysis tools, other with the help of our etherscope II to find a less crowded channel. If i only knew about inSSIDer before buying that yellow thing...

    No I recently got a call from a company if I would check their Wifi network as its almost unusable. They have a new 2 floor office building and installed one Apple Airport Extreme using 802.11ac. I didn't even know there was ac or how it worked . Went in with the etherscope and saw more noise than signal on channel 1. As the etherscope has an old wifi adapter I could'nt see 5GHz. Seems ac uses that band as well I was blind. As I'm not that fond of Airports I said I'd come back with two 'real' AP's: HP M220 AP's (802.11n). Read up on ac and while I was looking for something to replace my etherscope I stumbled upon inSSIDer. Well I could buy 30 inSSID'ers for the money I spent on the Fluke and quickly decided to buy the bundle with wi-spy mini. Saddly the dutch distributer did not have them in stock, I'll have to wait a couple of weeks.

    Today I went back in to the customer, now equiped with two new HP M220 and my old HP 2710p laptop (has a/b/g) with inSSIDer trial.

    Opened it up and Saw only one wireless network being the customers but the link, although staying connected, goes up and down as you can see in the screenshot below

    Click image for larger version. 

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    QUESTIONS
    1. I was surprised my old 2710p laptop could see the n network in the 5GHz band. Can I conclude that any supported adapter that has a, b and g can see n networks in inSSIDer?
    2. If my laptop would have a 802.11ac adpapter, it would identify the KOMONO network correctly as ac instead of n?
    3. Looking at the top right graph, would it be safe to say non-wifi RF signals are interfering with our wifi?
    4. Would the wi-spy mini I've ordered with inSSIDer office help me identify the source as I've seen chanalyser movies do? O, its a microwave oven or maybe a wireless DECT Phone ?
    5. If wi-spy will not, will buying a dbx and linking it to the inSSIDer do?
    6. Link Score: well, as you can see it's 100 right... does it not take in considaration what the consistancy of the signal is? it is really unusable, one minute we have 100Mbps down (speedtest.net) the next minute remote desktop crashes or Skype video becomes a stop motion movie, but then really r e a l l y s l o w

    So I unplugged and removed the Airport, hooked up the M220's and.... nothing, I could login and configure them through the wire, connecting to them was a no go... Link Score 37, AP is sending packets as hell, but received nothing (status page). Two DOA AP's from HP would be like winning euromillions. I'll check them out in our office tomorrow and never go to a customer with new AP's without testing them first

    Hoping you guru's would help me...

    Best Regards,

    Jurgen

  2. #2

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    I'd recommend the WiSpy DBx Pro with Chanalyzer because the WiSpy Mini is limited to the 2.4 GHz band.

    802.11ac is the latest incarnation of wi-fi offering gigabit speeds in the 5 GHz band.
    IMO 2.4 GHz is too cluttered to be useful as the link score of 37 indicates.
    Old Mod by the Sea

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. We just ordered the dbx+chan Pro via our dutch distributor.

    Could you find the time to reply to my other questions?

    3. Looking at the top right graph, would it be safe to say non-wifi RF signals are interfering with our wifi?
    6. Link Score: well, as you can see it's 100 right... does it not take in considaration what the consistancy of the signal is? it is really unusable, one minute we have 100Mbps down (speedtest.net) the next minute remote desktop crashes or Skype video becomes a stop motion movie, but then really r e a l l y s l o w

  4. #4

    Default

    3. It is safe to say that, but there can be reasons other than non-wifi RF for a fluctuation in signal strength such as mechanical changes in the environment along the signal path - antenna movement, intervening objects, etc. In this case the drop in signal strength seems to be somewhat regular. It could be caused by cycling of machinery or equipment.

    6. As far as I know the link score is an instantaneous measure of co-channel and overlapping channel activity and their relative signal strength. In the case presented the signal strength is a strong -52 dBm with no co-channel or overlapping channel activity, thus the 100% score.
    Old Mod by the Sea

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks ua546,

    Good tip on the machinary. I'm awaiting the delivery of the Chanalyser and Dbx to go back to the client and find the source of the interference

    Regards

    jurgen

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