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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

weak Airport Extreme signal


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Popejewish
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Hello, I don't really know what to do about this. I have a g4 powerbook and an airport express basestation. usually I'm hovering around 3 or 4 bars, but sometimes (and reasonably often) it drops down to 1 or 2, sometimes even none. I've futzed with the internet robustness and a few other things, and I can't for the life of me figure out why the signal is so weak. I live in a studio, the router is literally five feet behind me, there are no walls in the way (just a small houseplant), and still my signal is weak. Any suggestions?
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I could not explain this either, the same problem in my house, although some time when I am much farther away... the signal does not change and I can still use it.

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iWhat

 
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Here are two links below that might help somewhat. The first one will help you troubleshot the airport card for a solution. And the other will take you through a list of possibilities of what is messing up your signal. It might not help, but it's worth a shoot.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300530
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58543
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Popejewish
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hmm, none of those seemed to do much, then again it is chilling at a steady 3 bars right now. At my parents house I have no problem getting 4 bars with their linksys, but for some reason I almost never get up there with this airport extreme, even though I'm much closer to it (I even moved the plant)
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maybe the connection of your airport extreme is loose...take out your keyboard and reconnect it firmly.....
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jeXus
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I have an issue with my Airport Extreme too. It's a 200 dollar piece of decoration because I almost never use it. For on thing they have exchanged it three times and still it has issues. This last one they gave me has horrible reception. I used to be able to get a signal from downstairs while the ABS was in the third floor. Now I can't get it all. That's just the beginning, my real problem is the fact that my ABS randomly resets/disconnects itself. I have called Apple and troubleshot with the highest level tech at apple and they were stumped. Sending me on pointless trips to the so called "genius bar" techs. I still have the same problem. It was never resolved. So now I have white decoration of a UFO on my desk with a chrome apple for looks.
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thom
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Hello jeXus -- It appears I have the same problem. My range from my Apple Extreme is about 20 feet -- I am interested in any solutions that may come your way.

Thom
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It might be a defective airport card...
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I'd say most likely your getting interference from surrounding transmissions. Near any power lines, Cell towers, military base or government building?

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Quote:
I can't for the life of me figure out why the signal is so weak.
Well, recently Apple changed what the Airport meter icon actually shows:

Before 10.4 & 10.3.9 it showed you signal strengh, i.e. how good your reception was. Now it shows signal performance, i.e. how fast the data is being transferred.

So that would point to interference such as ed724 suggested IMO.
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I have a question: Do you have your settings to automatically connect to your wireless Internet? This may sound odd, but I had my iBook connect to my wireless internet automatically, and my wireless internet could reach to where I needed to. However, when I didn't have my iBook connect to my wireless internet automatically, the signal went down considerably. Now, I have my iBook to logon to my wireless internet automatically again, and now I can have my wireless internet reach to where I need it to again. It doesn't make sense to me.
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timboellis
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May be of some use, when I install wireless networks aound the county, I occassionaly have problems.

One problem that stupped me for weeks was that one customers site they would only get about 2 bars and kept dropping out.
When we wnt into the room it was to be installed in it kept lookign the connection altogether, even when the laptop was right next to the router.

However after 1 week of mucking about found that the problem was with a reciever used with Sky Digital the one that you can plug into the box that lets you recieve the signal around the house .

As soon as this was switched off it worked perfectly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popejewish
I've futzed with the internet robustness and a few other things, and I can't for the life of me figure out why the signal is so weak. I live in a studio, the router is literally five feet behind me, there are no walls in the way (just a small houseplant), and still my signal is weak. Any suggestions?
Enabling Internet Robustness will shorten the distance at which you can receive a signal. Only use it if you are close to the base station.

That said, do you have any 2.4GHz wireless phones in the house? They will degredate your signal if not make you drop connection completely when you are using them. Even when they're off, the base still sends a pulse to the handset, kind of like a "keep-alive". Expect to be bumped or signal to drop when the phone rings too.

No matter what channel you select in the base station options you can still have problems. I upgraded our cordless phones to a 5.8 GHz expandable set and never had this type of problem again.
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