Wireless Woes

My 802.11b wireless network drives me nuts.

I bought a new Linksys G AP because I was experiencing drop-outs with my 4 (that’s right 4) other APs. I set the new AP up (in B mode only) is less than 10’ from my notebook, with no other access points or wireless devices enabled (except my neighbor who gives me a single bar on the XP signal strength thing).

Using the built-in adapter in my Acer C110 Tablet PC (Intel Centrino chipset) I get a dropped connection roughly every 5-10 mintues. I discovered through the Acer website that turning off 802.1x authentication for the wireless profile fixes the actual connection drops, but I still see the signal strength drop regularly.

Using a Cisco 340 adapter, the Link Status Meter bounces between Excellent and Good (staying mostly in Excellent). It never gets above 84% signal quality and 94% signal strength.  Using the site survey, every once and a while I will see a black-gap in the green bars. But the connection never seems to drop like it does with the Intel part.

Using a Lucent Orinco card I get similar results to the Cisco. Reasonable signal strength with an occasional dropout, but no loss of connectivity.

I’ve tried different channels on the AP with no real difference in behavior.

What is interfering? How can I further diagnose it? Shouldn’t I be getting rock-solid “Excellent” signal strength while I’m only 10′ from my AP?

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

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