Questions

Boost wireless signal from one building to another.

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Boost wireless signal from one building to another.

boxfiddler Moderator
Odd situation here. Our offices sit in two different buildings, about 25 feet from each other (if that). Our Internet and telephone connection are via Charter. A wireless router sits in one building, and the phones and Internet connection are used in the other building.

Every afternoon, and I do mean every afternoon, the phones and computers furthest from the building in which the router sits lose connection.

I'm thinking add a booster in our building. Am I thinking correctly?

We don't own either building and so are very limited as to what we can do with things. We haven't the funds to hardwire.
The router in place is:
Linksys WRT 300N Wireless-N Broadband Router

Handy dandy tips, hints, suggestions will be entertained and rewarded. Thanks folks!

etu
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    The Scummy One

    some Wireless access points can also act as a bridge.

    oops -- just get a repeater

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    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    boosting the power on the router that you have. Go into the settings and see what power rating it is set at, and crank it up a few notches. On the ones that I have seen, it is usually set to 4 or 5 of 10 by default

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    shasca

    Anything going on in either location at the same time as said outages?
    How old of equipment are we talking about.Things do wear out

    Any relation to daytime temperatures getting to the equipment at this time of day?

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    urban industrial/residential zone. Have no clue what goes on anywhere but here. Equipment new-ish. A year or so old. Temperature seems to have nothing to do with. Full range of temps winter through summer here. Everyday, in the afternoon, no matter temp, rain, snow...

    Everything internal to one building except whatever Charter's external box contains.

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    jdclyde

    That is the way to go, and linksys has a low cost solution that I used for years at my last job.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/wireless-access-points/wet54g-wireless-g-ethernet/4505-3265_7-30460920.html

    I then got a cable and external antenna (from Dlink) to get the antenna outside of the building so the walls would not interfere with the signal. (was a metal building I was sending to). This bridge then plugs into your switch, and the users don't know the difference.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    We got no steeenkeen switches. ****, at the moment we're not even p2p networked. Makes backup a pima.

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    0 Votes
    shasca

    Here is a Cisco/Linksys troubleshooting guide for lost connections.

    http://linksys.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/linksys.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3759

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    jdclyde

    I don't see anything about time of day that COULD effect your signal strength.

    If the transmitter or the receiver are getting worn, they can overheat and drop connection. Of course you have a spare one on hand for WHEN one goes down, right? Put that in place at one end, and let it go a few days. If it doesn't change, put the other one back and change the other end.

    The only other thing I would look at is where are the wireless compared to lunch rooms? Would microwaves cooking lunch cause interference?

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    The Scummy One

    could be from a neighboring building. If it happens about the same time everyday, it may be a daily event causing disruptions (in the building or a neighboring one).
    it may be overcome by a stronger signal (no HW purchase) or by a bridge/Ap installation.

    Aside from that, the source of the interference would need to be found.

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    jdclyde

    would do wonders for screwing everyone up.

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    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    likely not just at late portios of the day

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    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    There's got to some industrial or commercial something going on somewhere that's part of the problem.

    +
    0 Votes

    Get the app and run it in the morning when things are good to get a baseline. Then run it again when things start going south. You will either find another network on the same channel or eliminate rogue networks as a possible cause.

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    0 Votes
    ericswain

    Now this depends on the other business and the amount of clients that are connecting to another network. The simple broadcast isn't going to be the issue, but the amount of traffic that is jumping across wirelessly. If there is a business nearby that has heavy traffic in the afternoon then this would definatly explain their timming issue.

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    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    Wireless in wireless out?

    I hate networking...

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    why I need a device with an ethernet port?

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    The Scummy One

    I started browsing it and noticed that the Linksys bridge for G networks will do wireless bridging. Looking at D-Link and Linksys, I am not finding that ability for Wireless N

    I'll look around a bit more.

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    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    they only offer range expanders for 802.11 G

    N is backward compatible, so you may need to go with a G extender, but the drawback is, everything will slow down.

    It may be better to move the AP, or find out what is causing the disruptions. Heck, could it be when lots of people are leaving for the day and blocking a good portion of the signal?

    Also, have you looked at the router to pump up the power for extended range?


    They probably havent made them because of low projections for sales. These units are targeting homes, and 802.11N gets great coverage for most homes. It looks like commercial products may be needed

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    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    Whoever set it up put a password on it. I think I know who and have emailed him.

    Geeminy.
    Have I said that I hate networking?

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    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    DLink has a RangeBooster Wireless N device -- it is just a router -- lol

    Dont see anything there either -- I am doubting anything less than commercial products at this point.

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    arjaym

    1. Find a nice location wherein your Wireless Router should be in place with no humidity disruption and sometimes it should not be touched by anyone. hehe

    2. Sometimes move the antenna of your Wireless Router and direct it to a nice direction. It happened ones when someone bring his own laptop in the office and he notice that he can't connect to the internet using wireless connection. What I did was, I just moved the antenna on right position. And so it was, he already got his connection.

    3. Lengthen the signal of your Wireless Router.

    I hope some of my tips would help.

    Thanks.
    -Arjay

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    0 Votes

    I'd appreciate more details before suggesting anything.

    1. I'm not clear how your network is setup. If there are no connections between buildings how is the wireless router connected to the Internet?

    2. How many users are you talking about?

    3. What are the buildings made of and is there anything in between the two buildings (trees, powerlines etc.)?

    4. What kind of traffic would be sent across the wireless connection (any streaming media)?

    5. Are there any windows facing each other where you could have directional antennas pointed at each other?

    6. Are there any other wireless networks in the immediate vicinity?

    7. More detail, please?

    "Every afternoon, and I do mean every afternoon, the phones and computers furthest from the building in which the router sits lose connection."

    What I don't understand is the phones and computers furthest from the router are in the building with the Internet connection according to your first statement. So why are they connecting to the wireless router if it's in the other building?

    Also the fact that it's a repetitive problem and if the devices that are dropping are indeed connected to the wireless router, it (as The Scummy One mentioned) suggests that some sort of RF interference is being activated at that time and causing the problem.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Building A is where their internal equipment is located, also. Two boxes, one of which is a modem. Router is in Building A, also. Picks up signal from modem, somehow. I can't get to the modem to check it out. (This is on my list of things to change, btw.) All equipment is located quite close to the floor.

    Computer usage is in Building B, 2nd floor (no doubt at least part of the problem is in 1st floor level Bldg. A to 2nd floor Bldg. B). 4 laptops, 2 desktops, in 3 different rooms. Each room increasingly distant from Building A. I wouldn't think any room is more than 100 feet from router. Even my desktop suffers from a loss of signal strength in the afternoon and it is near a window closest to Building B.

    The distance between Building A and Building B is at the most 25'. Likely less. No trees, or anything else for that matter, between buildings. Both buildings are brick, quite old, with plaster walls. I'm not going to be able to hard wire the office building, though that is what I'd prefer.

    There are windows facing each other. My first step on Friday is to move the router to a window in Building A. And try to get into it to see what it's settings are.

    I have no idea what other wireless networks may exist in the vicinity. Streaming media is not quite irrelevant. Sometimes, seminars are attended via the web. Not often, but seminar speakers do occasionally need to stream through the connection.

    Computers are not, as yet, networked. They will be, once I get this problem ironed out.

    etu

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    0 Votes

    Great information.

    Now I get the picture. Actually all the users are networked via the wireless router. They may not be talking to each other, but they are on the same subnet and so on.

    You can check for other Wi-Fi networks in the area, by looking at your Wi-Fi client application and seeing if any other networks show up. There is a freeware progam called NetStumbler that will do the same thing. It's actually a great way to determine signal strength as well:

    http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

    That's the first step. Next it's going to be important to get into the router and as you mentioned determine how the router is attached to Charter's gateway modem.

    If you can't get the password, it will be a matter of resetting the router to default condition. The reason for this is if there is indeed interference, you may have to change the broadcast channel to avoid the interference.

    You are most likely correct about the height difference having an affect. Besides going through brick, I'd bet that there is a lot of steel that is blocking the signal as well.

    For your Friday test, you may want to make a simple parabolic antenna for the existing router. It will really help focus the RF towards your building. Check out the link, these antennas do help a great deal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0uYtm-b3O4

    You have lots of options to make this work better. How much money is available? Since you are concerned about Web casts, that would in my opinion rule out a repeater. As using a repeater cuts your available throughput bandwidth in half and that would be divided amongst all of the active users.

    The final setup depends on knowing more about what you have right now. Sorry for asking so many questions.

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    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    But I'll revisit this Friday after I've run through the variety of suggestions offered here.

    Little to no money available. Didn't know that about a repeater, thanks.

    +
    0 Votes

    Or place anything metal behind the router so it bounces the signal towards the other building.

    +
    0 Votes
    arjaym

    Nice mike. In that way, the signal might take effect bouncing the signal towards building 2. Also please increase or lengthen the speed of his connection so that it can reach on the other building.

    +
    0 Votes
    mafiachild1985

    I know you have gotten 6 trillion pieces of advice but I will just throw one more piece out there. First thinks first I am sure you have tried all the easy stuff first (moving the router place to place making sure there are no microwaves or cell phones interrupting the signal etc.) I am sure you are aware that you can actually change the antennas on your router. Do some research on your router and see if you can switch out to a stronger signaled atenna. you have a wireless N which I think opperates at about 1500 ft (at least the Blekins do or claim they do) see if you can't get a stronger atenna. OR go to cisco.com and get one of these bad boys... http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6216/index.html

  • +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    some Wireless access points can also act as a bridge.

    oops -- just get a repeater

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    boosting the power on the router that you have. Go into the settings and see what power rating it is set at, and crank it up a few notches. On the ones that I have seen, it is usually set to 4 or 5 of 10 by default

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    Anything going on in either location at the same time as said outages?
    How old of equipment are we talking about.Things do wear out

    Any relation to daytime temperatures getting to the equipment at this time of day?

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    urban industrial/residential zone. Have no clue what goes on anywhere but here. Equipment new-ish. A year or so old. Temperature seems to have nothing to do with. Full range of temps winter through summer here. Everyday, in the afternoon, no matter temp, rain, snow...

    Everything internal to one building except whatever Charter's external box contains.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    That is the way to go, and linksys has a low cost solution that I used for years at my last job.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/wireless-access-points/wet54g-wireless-g-ethernet/4505-3265_7-30460920.html

    I then got a cable and external antenna (from Dlink) to get the antenna outside of the building so the walls would not interfere with the signal. (was a metal building I was sending to). This bridge then plugs into your switch, and the users don't know the difference.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    We got no steeenkeen switches. ****, at the moment we're not even p2p networked. Makes backup a pima.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    Here is a Cisco/Linksys troubleshooting guide for lost connections.

    http://linksys.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/linksys.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3759

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I don't see anything about time of day that COULD effect your signal strength.

    If the transmitter or the receiver are getting worn, they can overheat and drop connection. Of course you have a spare one on hand for WHEN one goes down, right? Put that in place at one end, and let it go a few days. If it doesn't change, put the other one back and change the other end.

    The only other thing I would look at is where are the wireless compared to lunch rooms? Would microwaves cooking lunch cause interference?

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    could be from a neighboring building. If it happens about the same time everyday, it may be a daily event causing disruptions (in the building or a neighboring one).
    it may be overcome by a stronger signal (no HW purchase) or by a bridge/Ap installation.

    Aside from that, the source of the interference would need to be found.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    would do wonders for screwing everyone up.

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    likely not just at late portios of the day

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    There's got to some industrial or commercial something going on somewhere that's part of the problem.

    +
    0 Votes

    Get the app and run it in the morning when things are good to get a baseline. Then run it again when things start going south. You will either find another network on the same channel or eliminate rogue networks as a possible cause.

    +
    0 Votes
    ericswain

    Now this depends on the other business and the amount of clients that are connecting to another network. The simple broadcast isn't going to be the issue, but the amount of traffic that is jumping across wirelessly. If there is a business nearby that has heavy traffic in the afternoon then this would definatly explain their timming issue.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    Wireless in wireless out?

    I hate networking...

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    why I need a device with an ethernet port?

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    I started browsing it and noticed that the Linksys bridge for G networks will do wireless bridging. Looking at D-Link and Linksys, I am not finding that ability for Wireless N

    I'll look around a bit more.

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    they only offer range expanders for 802.11 G

    N is backward compatible, so you may need to go with a G extender, but the drawback is, everything will slow down.

    It may be better to move the AP, or find out what is causing the disruptions. Heck, could it be when lots of people are leaving for the day and blocking a good portion of the signal?

    Also, have you looked at the router to pump up the power for extended range?


    They probably havent made them because of low projections for sales. These units are targeting homes, and 802.11N gets great coverage for most homes. It looks like commercial products may be needed

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    Whoever set it up put a password on it. I think I know who and have emailed him.

    Geeminy.
    Have I said that I hate networking?

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    DLink has a RangeBooster Wireless N device -- it is just a router -- lol

    Dont see anything there either -- I am doubting anything less than commercial products at this point.

    +
    0 Votes
    arjaym

    1. Find a nice location wherein your Wireless Router should be in place with no humidity disruption and sometimes it should not be touched by anyone. hehe

    2. Sometimes move the antenna of your Wireless Router and direct it to a nice direction. It happened ones when someone bring his own laptop in the office and he notice that he can't connect to the internet using wireless connection. What I did was, I just moved the antenna on right position. And so it was, he already got his connection.

    3. Lengthen the signal of your Wireless Router.

    I hope some of my tips would help.

    Thanks.
    -Arjay

    +
    0 Votes

    I'd appreciate more details before suggesting anything.

    1. I'm not clear how your network is setup. If there are no connections between buildings how is the wireless router connected to the Internet?

    2. How many users are you talking about?

    3. What are the buildings made of and is there anything in between the two buildings (trees, powerlines etc.)?

    4. What kind of traffic would be sent across the wireless connection (any streaming media)?

    5. Are there any windows facing each other where you could have directional antennas pointed at each other?

    6. Are there any other wireless networks in the immediate vicinity?

    7. More detail, please?

    "Every afternoon, and I do mean every afternoon, the phones and computers furthest from the building in which the router sits lose connection."

    What I don't understand is the phones and computers furthest from the router are in the building with the Internet connection according to your first statement. So why are they connecting to the wireless router if it's in the other building?

    Also the fact that it's a repetitive problem and if the devices that are dropping are indeed connected to the wireless router, it (as The Scummy One mentioned) suggests that some sort of RF interference is being activated at that time and causing the problem.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    Building A is where their internal equipment is located, also. Two boxes, one of which is a modem. Router is in Building A, also. Picks up signal from modem, somehow. I can't get to the modem to check it out. (This is on my list of things to change, btw.) All equipment is located quite close to the floor.

    Computer usage is in Building B, 2nd floor (no doubt at least part of the problem is in 1st floor level Bldg. A to 2nd floor Bldg. B). 4 laptops, 2 desktops, in 3 different rooms. Each room increasingly distant from Building A. I wouldn't think any room is more than 100 feet from router. Even my desktop suffers from a loss of signal strength in the afternoon and it is near a window closest to Building B.

    The distance between Building A and Building B is at the most 25'. Likely less. No trees, or anything else for that matter, between buildings. Both buildings are brick, quite old, with plaster walls. I'm not going to be able to hard wire the office building, though that is what I'd prefer.

    There are windows facing each other. My first step on Friday is to move the router to a window in Building A. And try to get into it to see what it's settings are.

    I have no idea what other wireless networks may exist in the vicinity. Streaming media is not quite irrelevant. Sometimes, seminars are attended via the web. Not often, but seminar speakers do occasionally need to stream through the connection.

    Computers are not, as yet, networked. They will be, once I get this problem ironed out.

    etu

    +
    0 Votes

    Great information.

    Now I get the picture. Actually all the users are networked via the wireless router. They may not be talking to each other, but they are on the same subnet and so on.

    You can check for other Wi-Fi networks in the area, by looking at your Wi-Fi client application and seeing if any other networks show up. There is a freeware progam called NetStumbler that will do the same thing. It's actually a great way to determine signal strength as well:

    http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

    That's the first step. Next it's going to be important to get into the router and as you mentioned determine how the router is attached to Charter's gateway modem.

    If you can't get the password, it will be a matter of resetting the router to default condition. The reason for this is if there is indeed interference, you may have to change the broadcast channel to avoid the interference.

    You are most likely correct about the height difference having an affect. Besides going through brick, I'd bet that there is a lot of steel that is blocking the signal as well.

    For your Friday test, you may want to make a simple parabolic antenna for the existing router. It will really help focus the RF towards your building. Check out the link, these antennas do help a great deal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0uYtm-b3O4

    You have lots of options to make this work better. How much money is available? Since you are concerned about Web casts, that would in my opinion rule out a repeater. As using a repeater cuts your available throughput bandwidth in half and that would be divided amongst all of the active users.

    The final setup depends on knowing more about what you have right now. Sorry for asking so many questions.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    But I'll revisit this Friday after I've run through the variety of suggestions offered here.

    Little to no money available. Didn't know that about a repeater, thanks.

    +
    0 Votes

    Or place anything metal behind the router so it bounces the signal towards the other building.

    +
    0 Votes
    arjaym

    Nice mike. In that way, the signal might take effect bouncing the signal towards building 2. Also please increase or lengthen the speed of his connection so that it can reach on the other building.

    +
    0 Votes
    mafiachild1985

    I know you have gotten 6 trillion pieces of advice but I will just throw one more piece out there. First thinks first I am sure you have tried all the easy stuff first (moving the router place to place making sure there are no microwaves or cell phones interrupting the signal etc.) I am sure you are aware that you can actually change the antennas on your router. Do some research on your router and see if you can switch out to a stronger signaled atenna. you have a wireless N which I think opperates at about 1500 ft (at least the Blekins do or claim they do) see if you can't get a stronger atenna. OR go to cisco.com and get one of these bad boys... http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6216/index.html