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Another WAP220 issue

My customer is now complaining that his laptops connected to the new AMX access point drop in connection speed over time, and that he has to "re-connect" (I believe he is using the Repair option on the Network Connections dialog). When he does that, he's fine for a little while, but he is convinced the access point are "crap" because of this. I don't know what he is using to determine his network speed is dropping, I'll have to clarify that (after he calms down a bit after being assured I'm going to do something about it and not just tell him he's crazy or "live with it.").

I'm not convinced myself he hasn't always had this issue, but is just now noticing it because he is "testing" his new access points (there are three in the house, on non-overlapping channels, though only two are in range of each other). It seems to me one of the network caches is having issues, and it's far more likely to be a driver problem than an access point problem.

But if I am mistaken, and the new access points have in fact introduced this problem, what should I look for to correct? What could possibly cause this kind of thing?


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    I've found that letting Windows manage "my wireless settings" to be somewhat flaky, especially when several different access points are involved in the same area. The wireless card(s) may be configured to automatically connect to the nearest WAP, which can be tricky if :

    1)WAPs are not set up as repeaters

    2)Channels overlap (or don't, if they're repeaters)

    3)There is a good source of EMI (like an elevator motor or the margarita blender in the office kitchen) that can mask a nearby WAP, thus causing a laptop to connect to a further, "unpreferred" WAP, therefore causing a lower signal strength and connection speed

    4)There are "rogue" access points nearby from other tenants in the building

    You should do a wireless site survey, as described in AMX's introduction to wireless networks, and report back to the forums what you've found. It may be that site conditions have changed since you were last there.
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    DHawthorneDHawthorne Posts: 4,584
    Due to a death in my customer's family, I haven't been able to follow up on this. However, the one visit I was able to make, I had no difficulty whatsoever with my own laptop in connection speed and maintaining it. With an MVP streaming a dynamic camera image through the same access point, and while browsing the web and running his system, at the worst my connection dropped to 36Mbps, but always bounced right back up to 54 within a minute. This is all with using built-in Windows support, because I want to have similar a setup to what my customer uses, and I do not want to become his IT guy :). The access points were installed for his MVP's, and his ability to use them for laptops is just a bonus (though I sure hear about it when he isn't getting the bonus he wanted). I suspect there is a driver conflict with his laptops at this point.

    I did a rudimentary survey with Netstumbler. It confirmed the WAP200's have a better range - I can pick up all three access points from one location, when previously (consumer WAPs) I could at the most pick up 2. They are all on non-overlapping but different channels (1, 6, and 11). I tried setting them in repeater mode, but that way they were dropping and re-establishing their connections on and off every few minutes, and I didn't have time to play around with it. Ideally, I would prefer repeater mode, but it's hard to justify changing something that works in favor of burning time for a preference you are having trouble gettinng to work. There are no rouges in range of the area in question. I have yet to go in with a spectrum analyzer becasue I don't own one, though I am hoping to get my hands on one somehow to see what is going on at that house - I've even had trouble there with cordless phones, so I strongly suspect an RFI problem. It's one of the reasons I went with the AMX access points, so the stronger signal would punch through the noise.
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    wcravenelwcravenel Posts: 114
    WAPs etc.

    I have had problems with at least 4 recent clients having periodic dropouts, with generally accepted quality products, many different combinations, none of which included WAP200s. No consistency by manufacturer, no consistent conclusions. My Dell/Intel 2200 performed flawlessly in 3 out of 4 environments. 4th was almost certainly range limitation.

    Losing Windows management, updating firmware and stopping power management of wireless card are usually keys to success.
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