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 Post subject: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:53 pm 
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I'm debugging a low signal strength issue with my TP-Link N600 class router. Downloaded the Wifi Analyzer app for my Samsung GS4 and am seeing -40dBm for the 2.4GHz channel and -50dBm for the 5GHz channel when the phone is a few feet away from the router. Considering the router should be transmitting in the +10 to +20dBm range (10 to 100mW), it has me scratching my head. Is it the router, is it the tool? (not like I expect wonders of instrumentation accuracy with a free app on my cell phone..but 50dB difference seems a tad large).

Anyway, just wondering if others have any data points to share.

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:45 am 
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I don't understand these things, but in Signal meter mode in Wifi Analyzer -40dBm is max on the scale.

My local wifi is a pci-e card inside my file server. Tx-power set to 7, don't know what that makes in mW. With my Android device within a meter of the antenna Wifi Analyzer gives me -43dBm. Androids wifi-icon indicate maximum signal strength.

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:54 am 
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Location: ITALY
CA_Steve wrote:
Anyway, just wondering if others have any data points to share.


It may depends also of your phone receiver (and in case you may try something as: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... wifi&hl=en ): I use Metageek InSSIDer and Ekahau Heatmapper on Windows, more probably that not it might worth a double check with a PC.

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:12 am 
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Location: UK
CA_Steve wrote:
Anyway, just wondering if others have any data points to share.

Using Wifi Analyzer with an Android phone just a few feet away from a Billion 7800N gives -40dbm in Signal Meter mode, as already noted the minimum level. At around 6 feet I see -42dBm and at around 17 feet -56dBm, both in Signal Meter mode. If I use the AP List mode I get readings in the -28dBm to -30dBm range close to the router and -45dBm at the 17 foot mark. All of these figures are for the 2.4GHz channel.


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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:15 am 
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lodestar, I guess there are so many variables to be considered: how you handle the phone, which AP, which chipset, the more the bandwidth the less the strenght, and so on, in order to evaluate whether or not there is any issue.

On my Mediatek-based Lenovo, carefully handling it, at about three feet from the AP, the Farproc WiFi Analyser max on scale is 20dBm; still with that App I see 26dBm at about 10 feet, 38dBm at about 17 feet, while on another floor (and two walls in between) I still get -55dBm, but I'm operating a 30dBm Alfa Network AP: so what?

At any rate, with reference to the specific Farproc App https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... isnr&hl=en would look like a somehow better tool (for Android), and perhaps so it would go also for https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... yzer&hl=en (similar but simpler).

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Thanks. I messed around with different channels and picked up a few dB. I might mess with antenna orientation as well. All tests were done with phone sitting on a table. Orientation does matter (up to 10dB).

What blows me away is a neighbor 150-200ft away is within 10dB of my 2.4GHz signal in my den. This is through two exteriors walls (wood frame with stucco on wire mesh).

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:05 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
What blows me away is a neighbor 150-200ft away is within 10dB of my 2.4GHz signal in my den. This is through two exteriors walls (wood frame with stucco on wire mesh).


Ask him which AP he run! ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:38 pm 
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maybe you just got a dud? i had purchased an external antenna from radiolabs and had so much trouble with it.... turns out the inside of the antenna was not put together properly during assembly... the lead inside the whip only intermittently touched the coupling assembly. it was effected by temperature. as it heated and cooled the signal strength would drop, but not go out completely.

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:44 pm 
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The thing is under warranty. I could try the RMA route.

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 Post subject: Re: wireless router signal strength
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:37 pm 
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Not going to contribute directly as i have very little knowledge of that app/program you guys are testing. Personally i like to run my networks with dedicated functions, my ISP sucks where i live and gives us very basic routers, with very crappy wifi, so i just disable it and run dedicated access points, i recently bought an Ubiquiti UniFi AP Enterprise WiFi System Long Range, and by far the best access point i have ever used, the range is at least twice as my last dlink access point, wifi is very stable and ap has been up for week now, no issues whatso ever, im really pleased with the outcome, so much that im already planning to get a second one to cover all the house, the only downside it has it uses java app to search and setup the ap, but once you are done, there is no need unless you adding more.

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