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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Weak Airport Extreme signal

Weak Airport Extreme signal
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Mar 29, 2007, 12:32 PM
 
Just got a brand-new Airport Extreme 802.11n. Running in 5GHz, n-only, wideband, WPA2-Personal encryption.

Signal strength (according to iStumbler) is 63% when I'm (literally) 3 feet away on my MBP. No other wireless devices are on, and there are no cordless phones within 30 feet. MBP is a Core Duo with the n-wireless card upgrade (which gives me better reception than the old g-card).

I can bump the signal up to 74% by going to the 2.4GHz spectrum, but no other options seem to increase it.

Net effect: can't put the Airport where I'd like to, as I get no signal (~17%)to the AV room.

That's a long way of asking this: can I boost the 5GHz signal on the new Airport Extreme? An antenna (I've only seen 2.4GHz antennas, and the new AE has no antenna port)? Changing settings (keeping in mind I don't want to lose throughput and require security)? Anything?

Thanks,
v.m
     
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Mar 30, 2007, 03:47 AM
 
I have an n-capable MBP and the n base station too. I'm having some issues of my own with the setup.

Anyway, have you tried the new AirPort Base Station Update yet? You can use it to update the firmware of your base station. Some reports on the web indicate that it fixes throughput issues.
     
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Mar 30, 2007, 08:53 AM
 
Simon:

Thanks for the info. I should have checked for a firmware upgrade (DUH!). I'll try flashing it this evening and post back

v.m
     
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Mar 30, 2007, 06:50 PM
 
Unfortunately there was no firmware update. I guess we're still stuck.
     
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Mar 30, 2007, 07:21 PM
 
Have you tried to connect to another router, such as a linksys or netgear. While I don't have a airport, I have noticed that with my linksys running wireless g and my imac using the built in wireless, i have the same problem. There are times that from less than 2 feet, the signal will go down below 50%
     
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Mar 30, 2007, 07:28 PM
 
I only have Apple routers. The difference is g vs. n.
     
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Mar 31, 2007, 09:05 PM
 
Well, I ensured I had all the latest updates, etc. etc... no improvement. I guess that's the performance I get. Which leads me to my next question...

How can I determine if this weak signal is due to the AirPort's transmission or the MacBook's receiver?

I don't have access to another 'n' machine, and I really don't care at all about g-band rates. I have a separate g-network (which is not running currently to eliminate the possibility of interference).

v.m
     
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Apr 1, 2007, 09:14 AM
 
You take your MacBook somewhere that has a "known good" hotspot, like a coffee shop or something. If the MacBook gets a decent signal there, it's your router. If it doesn't, it's probably the laptop.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Apr 6, 2007, 11:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
You take your MacBook somewhere that has a "known good" hotspot, like a coffee shop or something. If the MacBook gets a decent signal there, it's your router. If it doesn't, it's probably the laptop.
If I connect to my Buffalo router on G I get a good signal, but that's not really an apples-to-apples comparisson (no pun intended). Maybe there's something about the 5GHz band?

v.m
     
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Apr 11, 2007, 10:22 PM
 
Another Airport Extreme issue...can't SEND e-mail...worked fine with my old Linksys router...I have three other Macs that can all send e-mail with no problem...when I eliminate the AE and connect directly to the Comcast cable modem, it works fine.

What is the Airport Extreme doing to my outgoing e-mails [on only one of four computers]???

Very weird and very frustrating.
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:40 AM
 
I also have a weak signal problem with the new Airport Extreme (and, yes, I've upgraded the firmware).

A Mac sitting next to the Airport detects 100% signal, but 2 rooms away (around 30 ft) and the signal varies from 2% to a maximum of 20%. The building does have a concrete/steel structure, but the old Airport worked well. I've changed channels and tried diffferent band widths plus tinkered with practically every other manual setting, but the AE simply doesn't seem to be powerful enough - I'm picking up a stronger signal from my neighbour's Linksys router!

My question is the same as volatile.memory's first post. How can I boost the signal? There's no antenna port like the old Airport so - and this may be a long shot - is there any USB or RJ45 device out there that can increase the output signal?
     
   
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