Wireless Channels Clogged..

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Alex007

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Nov 17, 2005
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I have a Major delema here guys......
I just moved to a new neighborhood and I got a new ISP.
Provider- U.S. Cable,
Speed -5 Meg.
It's a Dynamic connection.
I only have the laptop at the new house so far... So I hook up my Belkin 54G wireless router
reset everything on the router Via. reset button and in the advanced interface... Reset the Cable modem...
New ssid
Turn on wep
Set to channel 6
Everything seems to work fine....
Then I notice on my wireless card signal meter on my taskbar says 24mbps. instead of 54 like always.... So I check my signal to noise ratio and its horriable... So I change the router
to channel 11 Same thing. Signal meterstrength says excellent but speed only says 36mbps..
So Heres the issue in a nut shell.. I have changed my router settings and tryed
every channel. starting with the dedicated channels 1,6 and 11 .and every one in between...
I have tryed it with ssid broadcast on , off. Wep on and off ... No firmware updates avialable...
Reset it 15 times and still my connection when wireless is hit and miss at best....
There is always a full signal meter on my wireless card meter and sometimes the speed even says 54mbps for a few minutes... but I cant get anywhere except big sites...
my old comcast home page always loads but I can never get to my email or any site in my bookmarks....It finds the sites on big servers fine google ,comcast,hotmail...
But I try to navigate to any random site and it says cannot be found....

But when I plug my laptop into the modem or router via ethernet cable everyting works fine..

I ran net stummbler and I see like 3 Access points. in range..2 are 54mbps 1 is 108....
Am I right in my deduction that my new neighbors are hoggin all the available channels
in my vacinity???????

I called belkin like 4 times and those stupid people in there overseas call center know nothing and keep giving me answers out of some manual that do nothing...../
there end all sotution is reset the router....or change the channel ....I have tryed all that and every of the 11 channels and still can't access my mail or navigate to a site with any regularity......
Please Can someone give me any suggestions..
Should I invest in a pre N router, 108mbps...will this help???
I remember hearing that If you use the speedburst technology in some new routers you can interfear with you neighbors connections...is this happening to me ??//
Can I steal some bandwidth back?? or get a more reliable connection with one of these??/
I am dyin here guys....I have to lay on a floor while I wait for my custom workstation to be built and surf and check my mail with a perfectly good wireless laptop plugged into my modem to get anywhere....
Nothing is more frusturating than being teathered by wires when I have all the gear to be wireless......
This would be the best christmas ever If I can get this question answered.....

Thank you all in advance happy holidays.....
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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106,543
The pre-N router has the same channel limitations, so I doubt that will help. One solution, which would involve replacing the wireless hardware, is to go to 802.11a. It runs in a different frequency band than 802.11b/g, and wouldn't see any of the interference you now see.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Mar 23, 2005
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Even thin metal will block radio signals. My router's signal shows at about 85% strength just outside my neighbor's house, and is not detectable inside their steel-siding house.

Maybe, with some experimentation, you could place a sheet of metal (maybe even a cookie sheet?) in the path between one of your neighbors' signals and your laptop.
 

Alex007

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
21
So I have to mount a cookie sheet or piece of metal by my couch, breakfast bar , workbench in the garage.....Everywhere I would use my laptop huh??? That dosent sound like the solution for me... Thanks though.... Damn Hardyboard I wish I had Steel siding right about now.. So 802.11a is the way to go huh... Was that the first standard? is it much slower??
If I have a 54g router with speeds going as low as 22mbps with this interference...
A 108mbps wouldnt help?? If the interference is knockin the 54g down 30mbps...
would that translate to a 108mbps router running at 78mbps with 30mbps of interference...
or is this math crazy... I just thought if it ran at 70-90 mbps with the interference the connection would still be better than my 54 g at full blast...
Thanks again any help is appreciated...
 

jiml8

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Jul 2, 2005
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2,634
Grounding a sheet won't matter at this frequency range; any metal sheet that is substantially larger in dimension than the wavelength of the signal is a virtual ground.

I have a problem with OP's comments that he can only hit the "big sites". Seems to me he is making an analogy between broadcasting and wired connectiions; from the perspective of internet communications there are no "big sites" or "small sites" - all are equal.

Also, OP has not identified his location and I have a problem with the idea that the interference is so severe that everything is affected. I would be looking elsewhere.

The first place I would start is the power system in the house. If it is not properly grounded, and if the power system is a bit noisy, then this is probably the problem. Keep in mind that these little wireless routers don't have sophisticated power supplies; they are dependent upon fairly clean power.

Then I would look at the architecture of the house; does it have metal studs that could be bleeding signal? Perhaps it is old and has been rewired along the way - and the old wires are stil in the walls? I would be surprised if wires open at both ends could cause this problem, but I wouldn't rule it out without checking.

Then consider motors around the area. Is there any motor nearby with bad bearings, or one that is arcing? Combined with a bad power system, a motor like this could certainly interfere with a wireless router.

Is one of the neighbors an electronics junkie? Antennas all over the house?

I don't buy the broad spectrum interference idea, unless there is some broad spectrum (ie "malfunctioning") source nearby.

In the worst case, go rent a spectrum analyzer and find out definitely.
 

Alex007

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
21
jIM, This is a 2 year old single family home in a small town of 5000 in minnesota....
The person I bought it from is an master electrician he wired it himself...800amp Main fully grounded with all the bells and whistles....I highly doubt the problem would be electrical..

As for the big sites little sites thing.... When using the router I can access Google and my comcast home page 93% of the time even with my wireless card sayin 22mbps...
But when I try any site in my bookmarks or punch in a random site in the url bar... it almost always says cannot find page try another spelling.....
I tought I would mention this because it seems odd I can only get the more well known sites with regularity.... I am not a guru by anymeans but I tought the more well know sites had more Servers or a more robust system for Throughput to the site.....
There is no metal studs in the home, And the room I am turning into an office is in the top floor of a 4 level split.. It is actually the furthest room from my ultility room with electrical and furnace Fan motors.....
About 2 blocks away a neighbor has what looks like a ham radio tower on his house and multiple Sat. Dishes.....
And I have no cordless phones in the house or anything else cordless...or 2.4ghz

I hope this Info helps to sort out the problem...
Any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated....
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Mar 23, 2005
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81,495
Alex007, I realized later that you'd also have to block the path from the offending signal to your router. Didn't mean that for a permanent solution; just trying to think of something to get you off the floor while you have only the laptop. :)

Like jiml8 I wondered about how 3 other signals messes up your network so badly. Admittedly I'm not talking from experience, but it seems that channel 3,4, 8 or 9 should be usable if the other three are on 1, 6 and 11.

Remember that wireless interference can work both ways--your new signal is now messing up somebody's network that used to work. I'm really leading up to this: meet your neighbors and discuss the wireless situation. Since their signals are so strong in your house, there is a possibility that they (and you) can lower the power of the router's signal and still get good results. Also, maybe the neighbors on opposite sides of you and farthest away can both use, say, channel 11 without messing each other up, freeing 1 or 6 for you.

I don't think going to the 108mbps systems would help you. You've pointed out that your ISP is giving you 5mbps, so your wireless speeds of 22mbps are absolutely no problem for surfing the internet. The problem is that with the interference most packets are not making it to/from your laptop and have to be resent. Even it they were being resent and corrupted at 90mbps, it's not likely that you would see much difference in your browsing.
 

jiml8

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Alex007 said:
jIM, This is a 2 year old single family home in a small town of 5000 in minnesota....
The person I bought it from is an master electrician he wired it himself...800amp Main fully grounded with all the bells and whistles....I highly doubt the problem would be electrical..
800 Amp for a residence????? WOW!. You must have electric heat, and a lot of it.

In any case, don't believe anything, master electrician or not. Verify it. Make sure the particular outlet you are using is grounded - and I mean really grounded, not merely having a 3 wire outlet. Make sure that ground and neutral are not swapped. Your problem could certainly be due to a power system problem; make sure you don't have one rather than just assuming you don't have one.

As for the big sites little sites thing.... When using the router I can access Google and my comcast home page 93% of the time even with my wireless card sayin 22mbps...
But when I try any site in my bookmarks or punch in a random site in the url bar... it almost always says cannot find page try another spelling.....
I tought I would mention this because it seems odd I can only get the more well known sites with regularity.... I am not a guru by anymeans but I tought the more well know sites had more Servers or a more robust system for Throughput to the site.....
Larger sites will certainly have more digital bandwidth available, but this is irrelevant to the signal strength that you receive at your wireless computer. The existence of such a problem actually points away from a radio issue.

There is no metal studs in the home, And the room I am turning into an office is in the top floor of a 4 level split..
Is this where the wireless router is? Where is the modem to the ISP? How is that connected?

It is actually the furthest room from my ultility room with electrical and furnace Fan motors.....
If there is a malfunctioning motor anyplace on the same side of the utility transformer as your wireless router, then that motor can and often will feed noise into the power lines, which will appear throughout that side of the transformer. Could be your neighbor. But if you really have 800 amps, you probably have your own transformer. What kind of heat do you have?

You might try some RFI shielding on the power that feeds the wireless router. Filters will be found in good quality power strips, but cheap ones won't be so equipped. If you have a UPS, power the router from the UPS.

About 2 blocks away a neighbor has what looks like a ham radio tower on his house and multiple Sat. Dishes.....
This could certainly be your problem. Some amateurs are cavalier about maintaining appropriate narrowband signals when they crank up the output on their linear amps. I have seen this happen quite often. Also, if he has a directional antenna and it is pointed your way, he could just simply be swamping the front end of your router - regardless of whether he is operating legally or not.

If he is operating legally and is swamping your router, then you need a router with a more selective front end and better shielding (might also apply to your pcmcia card). If he is operating illegally and generating out-of-band signals, or signals at improper power levels for the frequency he is using, you can stop him but it will be a bit difficult because you will have to document that he is out of spec. You will need the services of an RF and microwave expert to accomplish this. I could do it for you but I don't live close to you.

I suggest you talk to the neighbors and see if anyone else is having problems with wireless internet or wireless phones. Phone problems are less likely because of lower bandwidth requirements. Should you establish a pattern in the neighborhood, then you might have enough indirect evidence to approach the radio amateur and see what he is doing.

But first, verify that your power system is in good shape and correctly wired. Even master electricians make mistakes sometimes.
 

jiml8

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Jul 2, 2005
Messages
2,634
Oh, I do have to say this as well.

As earlier posters pointed out, you could have a bad pcmcia card or a bad router. You need to do something to rule that out.
 

Alex007

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
21
Thanks for all the tips guys,
I have tryed all 11 channels
I will be talkin with the neighbors today Terry, Thanks..
My heat is forced air, The 800Amp. is because he was a car buff and had a couple welding rigs in the Garage...
I busted out the monster cable power conditoner for my home theatre and hooked into that...No difference......
The modem is in the office wired via coax, the router and modem are both plugged in the power conditoner...

I think I will just have to Switch over to 802.11 a it's on the 5ghz frequency and should not have the same interference....I heard thats the military standard..From my buddy in the Gov... he works on computers... And said they use it bacause there is much fewer devices on that frequency.....
Does this look like my best bet....
I will have to have a talk with the Ham Radio Neighbor.... But I don't want to get him in trouble....
Thanks again guys your great..........Alex...
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
894
Here's one more possibilitiy. Albeit a "grey" area.

Some AP manufacturer's such as Hawking make AP's that are universal (i.e. are made to work in EU bands)

Hawking AP and cards will work up to channel 18 in the 2.4GHz spectrum.
 
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