Is this normal??

  Keithrow 09:51 02 Jan 2006
Locked

I have just installed a Belkin wireless router, f5d7231 high speed, to connect my desktop and wife's laptop.

All is fine when the two are sitting side by side next to the modem and router. However, when I move the laptop upstairs, we live in a basic 3 bed modern home, the signal drops to low or very low.

The strange thing is, when the laptop connects initially, if it's in the upstairs room, it shows an excellent signal strength but after a very short time, or after a click on the keyboard/mouse it goes straight to low.

Is this normal? My wife's laptop is a Dell, Latitude with a 'Truemobile 1150 series mini pci card. It has a p4m 1.8GHZ proccessor.

Any help would be much appriciated.

Keith

  mgmcc 10:47 02 Jan 2006

<<< after a click on the keyboard/mouse it goes straight to low. >>>

Are you plugging a "wireless" mouse and keyboard into the laptop? Either of these could cause a problem.

When upstairs, is there a "cordless" phone close to the laptop? These are among the worst offenders for interfering with wireless networks.

Close proximity to a central heating radiator can also cause wireless signal problems.

...I even came across a case where the wall cavities of a modern house were lined with aluminium foil for thermal insulation and that just killed any signals outside the room with the router!

  Forum Editor 11:15 02 Jan 2006

the causes of dropped or reduced wireless connectivity are legion, and I would guess that on average I receive half a dozen calls a week from puzzled clients who have suddenly seen their connectivity signal strength drop for no apparent reason. I use the word 'apparent' because of course there always is a reason - finding it can be a nightmare journey.

The big trick is to start moving things - obvious culprits are any devices which emit radio signals - cordless phones, microwave ovens, even mobile phones being used nearby can do it.

Theorists will say this or that can/can't be the culprits, but in my experience almost any large metal or masonry object can be suspect.

  Keithrow 11:32 02 Jan 2006

The mouse is a corded one, we can't get the hang of the laptop's own pointing area, don't know what it's called.

There are no other wireless devices nearby, I use a wireless keyboard and mouse on my desktop PC and this has no effect on the signal when the two PC's are sitting together in the same room.

My main problem, in my head anyway, is why the signal starts showing as 'excellent' but almost immediately drops to low or very low. I can't think of any reason why a signal would change from one to another without any apparent changes in environment. The change in signal strength is often seen when the keyboard or mouse is used.

  mgmcc 13:43 02 Jan 2006

<<< The change in signal strength is often seen when the keyboard or mouse is used. >>>

It could just be that use of the mouse/keyboard prompts a "screen refresh" or an update of the information being displayed. That isn't necessarily the cause of the signal strength dropping.

Have you tried running the wireless connection with a different Channel number? As there is some overlap in frequencies, if you are still on Channel 11, try changing down to something like "7" or "4" and see if that helps.

  Keithrow 14:29 02 Jan 2006

I wondered whether the use of mouse or keyboard triggered a refresh but still can't understand why, without any change of position it can connect as 'excellent' and then after 'refresh' drop down so far to low or at times very low.

I've tried changing the channel, it's now on channel 4 as although the different channels made little or no difference to signal strength, channel 4 seemed as good as any.

I can't move the modem, it's connecting via MTL Broadband and I can't move my PC, it has to be connected to the modem and router. This being the case, is there anything I can do to try to increase the signal strength or prevent 'signal drop out'?

  mgmcc 14:42 02 Jan 2006

<<< There are no other wireless devices nearby, I use a wireless keyboard and mouse on my desktop PC and this has no effect on the signal when the two PC's are sitting together in the same room. >>>

While these might not have an effect when the laptop is beside the router, once the laptop is moved some distance from the router, the wireless keyboard/mouse might then have an adverse effect on the signal. Try shutting down the PC and totally disabling the mouse and keyboard - remove all batteries - and see if that makes any difference.

  Keithrow 15:29 02 Jan 2006

but to no advantage. The same thing happened as soon as the connection was made, excellent shown and all bars full and shining back at me. After about 10 seconds, the signal was down to just 2 bars and flagged as low.

  mgmcc 16:50 02 Jan 2006

I think you need to try placing the laptop in different places upstairs to try to track down what it is that you are close to that causes the problem. It's now down to "trial & error" with locations.

  Keithrow 17:50 02 Jan 2006

Many thanks for your patience mgmcc.

I'll do some investigative work on placement and see what I come up with. The limiting factor is that my wife will be working from home with the laptop and so will not have many options as to position, the upstairs bedroom/office being the only available slot.

Thanks once again.

Keith

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