Wireless signal strength

  dagbladet 18:12 11 Sep 2005

Just installed D-link G640T wireless running to laptop with D-link G122 USB connector. Given that we're in an ordinary 3 bed semi, mid 1960's construction so no solid granite walls or anything, I'm wondering if I should get better signal strength than I am currently achieving, which is as follows. PC always in Dining room.
Laptop in kitchen 8 feet away, in view, perfect. Laptop at bottom of stairs, 24 feet away, not in sight, fairly good. Laptop at top of stairs about 18 feet away including vertical distance, weak. laptop directly above PC albeit with the ceiling between them, nothing. Is this average/normal?

  Taff36 20:32 11 Sep 2005

Doesn`t sound it to me and I`ve set this router up a few times including on three floors in a 100 year old building! Lets experiment a bit more. Where exactly is the router in the house in elation to the other rooms/PC`s. Are any of the other PC`s wireless enabled? What electrics are near the router? Another phone for example?

  dagbladet 20:59 11 Sep 2005

Cheers Taff and by the way I went for this kit as you had recommended it on the boards. Don't take that as a moan, I am in no doubt that it's me and not the kit.

Situation is;
The (XP pro) PC is connected to the router via ethernet cable, no problems there. It is located in the extension next to, and facing, the original house back wall. If we cut a hole in the ceiling 7 feet above me and I was raised clean up, with the PC like the old organs at Blackpool I would be sitting on the extension roof in the rain, looking through my daughters window, where I would see her staring forlornly at a (XP Pro) celeron (1.2G) laptop that her dad promised to get wireless(ed) for her. The router is sitting on a 3ft tall CD case which is 1 ft to the left of, and slightly below the PC workstation, again up against the original wall. Immediately to the left of the cd case is the door from the extension into the original living room. If I take the Cd case (with router on top) to the fullest extent of the cable I can get it just through the door and inside the living room, It is now directly below the room where the wireless adapter is. The signal strength upstairs is slightly improved, however, the wife moaning about the trail of wires and unsightly old cd case etc, is causing significant noise interference at my end. Still with me?

  Taff36 22:16 11 Sep 2005

Brilliant - just like a picture! OK - Exterior walls are probably cavity and the roof on the extension will be single skin. Because the router is up against the wall the signal has to go through the roof and then through your daughters cavity exterior wall. The other route is through the old back wall and up through the floor. That`s probably why the signal is better just inside the doorway. (Someone tell me if I`m right about this!)

Let`s think laterally. Do you have another telephone socket, upstairs perhaps, or at the bottom of the stairs? I`m thinking move the router to that and then see if both computers can get a good signal. This is how I did it in my first post - the router is on the middle floor running off an existing telephone extension.

  dagbladet 23:51 11 Sep 2005

Thanks Taff. Sorry to be so long. I've had to drive to work (80 miles). If i moved the router to the other phone socket which is upstairs in the main bedroom, I assume I would have to get another wireless card/adapter and make both machines wireless. I'll give that one some thought. If you don't mind maybe you can help me further with the set up. Setting aside the distance problem I brought the laptop downstairs to work on the basic network config. On plugging the router in to the PC the connection established itself straight away, no bother. I plugged the USB adapter into the laptop and returned to PC and followed the XP wireless setup wizard, using the USB flashcard option to transfer the settings into the laptop. The connection was established but with a warning that it was an open Network with no WEP. I tried to run the wizard again and make a connection using WEP but the machine kept defaulting to the 'open' network and would not use the protected one. Any thoughts? I appreciate it's late and being at work I can't get on the machine until tomorrow night. Thanks again for your help.

  Taff36 23:53 11 Sep 2005

I found this on the d-link site. Sorry it`s so long but there`s no direct URL for it. More useful advice though.

D-Link Air lets you access your network from anywhere you want. However, keep in mind, that range is limited by the number of walls, ceilings, or other objects that the wireless signals must pass through. Typical ranges vary depending on the types of materials and background RF noise in your home or business. The key to maximizing range is to follow these basic principles:

1. Keep the number of walls and ceilings to a minimum - Each wall or ceiling can rob your D-Link Air Wireless product of 3-90 ft. of range. Position your Access Points, Residential Gateways, and computers so that the number of walls or ceilings is minimized.

2. Be aware of the direct line between Access Points, Residential Gateways, and Computers - A wall that is 1.5 feet thick, at a 45 degree angle, appears to be almost 3 feet thick. At a 2-degree angle it looks over 42 feet thick! Try to make sure that the Access Point and Adapters are positioned so that the signal will travel straight through a wall or ceiling for better reception.

3. Building Materials make a difference - A solid metal door or aluminum studs may have a negative effect on range. Try to position Access Points, Residential Gateways, and Computers so that the signal passes through drywall or open doorways and not other materials.

4. Make sure that the antenna is positioned for best reception by using the software signal strength tools included with your product.

5. Keep your product away (at least 3-6 feet) from electrical devices that generate RF noise, like microwaves, Monitors, electric motors, etc.

6. If you are using 2.4GHz cordless phones or X-10 (wireless products such as ceiling fans, lights, and home security systems), your wireless connection will degrade dramatically or drop completely.

For the average home, range should not be a problem. If you experience low or no signal strength in areas of your home that you wish to access, consider positioning the Access Point in a location directly between the Residential Gateways.

  Taff36 00:00 12 Sep 2005

Here`s my own simple instructions. I`m off to bed but will be around tomorrow morning and late evening. Good Luck!

Setting up WEP

Ok access the router admin with http:// before it of course. Go to the setup page and clicking the connection 1 button on the left hand pane. Select the WEP radio button and tick the enable box. Authentication type should be open.

Under select, select the first radio button and then set the drop down box to the right at 64. Type in an encryption key. For example A12345678B using ten hexadecimal keys i.e.0-9 and a-f. Make a note of the key!

Don`t forget to save your settings by going to the Tools Tab and select System settings – Save then the Back button that appears on the page (Not the browser back button) then the Restart AP button to reboot the router. You may have to wait for a few minutes. Now you`ll have to scan for the router on each of your PC`s and enter the same encryption key on each of them. You should be able to add the connection, once it`s established, to the profile which means it will remember it ad you won`t have to type in the key every time.

Suggest you print this out before you go!

  Taff36 00:02 12 Sep 2005

Last month D-Link released a firmware update for the router but I haven`t tried to install it yet. I`m havinmg a slight problem connecting a Sony laptop and the notes about the firmware mention Sony so maybe I`ll give it a go. Don`t think this will help with your particular problem though - will let you know.

  dagbladet 00:12 12 Sep 2005

thanks Taff. I'll keep you informed, and thanks for the original link. Reserved online for £50 drive to PCW an hour later and the fella takes one off the shelf priced at £79.99. Nice one.

  Taff36 06:41 12 Sep 2005

Morning! Just a thought before I toddle off to work myself - Check that the aerial is secure first! Then use the laptop with the USB adapter interface on, looking at the graphic signal strength and roam about the house - ask your daughter to gently rotate the aerial in different positions and try raising the router 6 foot off the ground. Log what happens to the signal strength.

  dagbladet 16:56 15 Sep 2005

Hi Taff. Well I appear to be up and running as per your instructions. Still got to do a few tweaks like can't seem to get the printer to share but the broadband is up on the wireless so thats quite some progress. Thanks for your help.


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