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94 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 96070 19-Jan-2012 17:19
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Hi

I have a large old two story double brick house that just kills wireless.  I have two wap54g's, one in the roof and one in a cupboard in the kitchen.  The WAG160N modem is in a server rack, also in the cupboard.  I also have a significant other who declines to have little bits of tech lying around, so I cant move the boxes.  Currently all the AP's have different SSID's and different channels.  This is a pain as when I move around the house with phone or Ipad I get less and less signal from a given AP, but it does not drop enough to lose the signal and renegotiate to a new AP. 

I was wondering can I name them all the same SSID, put them all on the same channel and password/security and just wander around and it will seemlessly overlap somehow?  Any other solution?

Cheers
Ivan

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  Reply # 570915 19-Jan-2012 17:45
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borgia: Hi I was wondering can I name them all the same SSID, put them all on the same channel and password/security and just wander around and it will seemlessly overlap somehow?  Any other solution?

Cheers
Ivan


Try putting them on different channels, several apart (e.g. 1 and 6), with the same SSID / security, and that should work. Make sure you've only got one device doing NAT and DHCP so there are no conflicts from that side of things.

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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 570985 19-Jan-2012 20:08
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A single SSID is the normal way of doing this, however you do not under any circumstances want to use the same channels as you're just creating interference with yourself.

Channels 1, 6 and 11 are the only channels that can be used that don't overlap so these should be used.


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 573547 26-Jan-2012 12:46
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Thanks for the asnswers, I have this in place now as per advice, but it doesn't seem to work well.  I move my iDevice from one "zone" to another, and despite there only being one SSID and the reception say maximum strength the device always requires me to renew lease or turn wifi off and on.  After resterting the wireless it works fine.

Is this an apple thing or would it be the same for other wireless devices (I havent got any to test).

Thanks again.

Ivan

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  Reply # 573587 26-Jan-2012 13:44
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I tried this and it wouldn't work, Windows 7 treated them as seperate networks, despite having the same SSID (with or without security). I suspect it was also using the MAC address of the AP, I can't think of any other identifying feature that it could use to differentiate between the two APs. I searched the internet and posted here but never solved it. I now have a more powerful AP that covers the whole house.

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  Reply # 573591 26-Jan-2012 13:47
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How is each AP configured in regards to DHCP and NAT?

Both APs need to be in the same subnet, so as the client moves from AP to AP, the TCP/IP settings are not changing.

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  Reply # 573780 26-Jan-2012 19:04
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Also both SSID's need to have the same spelling / case.

Eg.

YourName is different to yourname





Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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  Reply # 573894 26-Jan-2012 23:00
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Yes, both APs were on the same subnet, one was simply an AP passing all traffic, the other a combined AP/router/DHCP server.
Good point re case sensitivity, perhaps one was capitalized and the other was not. I'll have to dust them off and see.

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  Reply # 574226 27-Jan-2012 20:52
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sbiddle: Channels 1, 6 and 11 are the only channels that can be used that don't overlap so these should be used.



This is true for 802.11b, but if you're using 802.11gn then you should be able to use 1, 5, 9, 13 without having overlapping channels as they now use a 20MHz channel width and not the old 22MHz channel width of 802.11b which did require channels 1,6,11

You can see this with firmware like Tomato which automatically allocates channel 5 if you select channel 1 on a 40MHz channel width and/or even the humble WAG120N on a 40MHz channel width.

The Windows application inSSIDer displays these channel boundaries very well.

And I think we can safely say 802.11b is gone, unless flared pants and platform shoes make a come back.

The one downside is locked down American WiFi cards, which only support channels up to 11... damn you America!!!!

However as sbiddle writes, the idea behind channel separation is sound.

You mentioned a WAG160N [wild hand flailing and hissing sounds].
If you notice the WiFi 2.4GHz speed peaks at approx 2Mbps and even in situations where you think it should be better, it's still 2Mbps then check the firmware version. 

If you're running firmware Ver.2.00.20 Annex A, then downgrade to firmware Ver 2.00.17 Annex A.
This should solve the 2Mbps max throughput 'bug'.

At a friends place and had a look at his WAG160N as his WiFi only ever gave 2Mbps download.
Downgraded the firmware and now he gets 12Mbps over WiFi.

I've mostly used Range extenders which use the same channel and SSID as there role is to mirror the original WiFi AP and then boost the signal at the expense of some bandwidth during transition.

I take it you have Ethernet to the routers in the roof from your comms cabinet.

I've generally used the same channel and SSID (case sensitive names) and not used other channels as I like to smile and wave to my neighbours. But that's just me.

I have an olde WAG120N which I've set up at the other end of the house on Ethernet to boost the signal for my Android 802.11g phone. I get 12Mbps(broadband) of data speed and streaming music anywhere I can go with just underpants on. And with pants, on I can get coverage throughout the section.

That said, my Linksys E4200v1 with Tomato firmware has a deceptively good 2.4GHz signal and may be holding the signal and maintaining the buffer(music) due to the fact the WAG120N has 'assisted' in 'boosting' the signal but not cutting over.
After all, I'm only streaming 40Kbps and all it needs is for the signal to be maintained just enough to get the 40Kbps+ data stream.

So standing in places in the house that had -85dB or lower signal(E4200) and moving about (Mr bean has nothing on the way I dance) would, without the WAG120N, have dropped the signal. And this is for longer than the streaming music buffer would hold. 

I have connected at one end of the house and then gone to the other end and shutdown the WiFi AP I've just come from.
Then I have done the same in reverse by shutting down the E4200v1 2.4GHz AP.
Some times my music has 'reconnected'(bounced) without intervention from me.
xiialive (Android Market) just 'bing bongs' and then reconnects and keeps going.
Any HTTP connections would be seamless due to stateless connection.

Using the same channels for both WiFi 'routers' OR using different channels (same SSID) I get the same throughput on a binary FTP. So using the same 2.4GHz channel doesn't impact data throughput using my network/firmware.

This of course may not be the case if you have may devices all talking to different modem/routers using the same channel, but in a home using only a couple of devices at any one time you'll probably get away with it.
 
By only using the E4200 I do get better throughput on laptops in most places in the house, but that has more to do with 300Mbps 40MHz compared to the WAG120N 150Mbps 40MHz.

If one got a 802.11n 300Mbps Range extender with optional Ethernet/Ethernet over power AP, this'd be better than using some old banger 802.11g/802.11n(150Mbps) router/modem to support greater coverage, in my case at least.

Another area to be aware of is BSS overlap on the 20/40Mhz channel width. If running one AP at 20MHz and another at 40Mhz there is a fair chance they'll not coexist. Some firmware can acknowledge this, but I've never tinkered with it.

Some 300Mbps 40MHz and 150Mbps 40Mhz AP won't play well together.

If attempting to maintain consistent SSID between 802.11n modem/routers and 802.11g modem/routers, made sure the 802.11n modem/routers are in mix mode (802.11n/802.11g) and not set as 802.11n.

There's really no reason to use 802.11g(54Mbps, 24Mbps usable) routers/modems these days as one can pick up a good 300Mbps 802.11n router/modem for less than a tank of petrol.

So in summary and as proof of concept it does work.

Check BBS overlap, check 802.11 mix mode,  SSID name case sensitivity and possible AP bandwidth incompatibility on a few devices which still may work if dropped to 20Mhz channel width.

Using an E4200v1 I have household coverage for Android 802.11n and any Notebook, netbook using 802.11gn(E4200) and with the WAG120N my Android 802.11g is a go anywhere 'beast' with a signal maintained above -70dB most of the time.
And if I don't shutdown a WiFi AP to force handover, music streaming is seamless throughout the house.
Obviously, in my environment the WAG120N would not be used as any sort of long term solution.

So are we all looking forward to 802.11ac??? ... [silence]. Laughing

Gosh, what a long woffily person I am.. 









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  Reply # 574248 27-Jan-2012 22:50
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DrStrangelove: I get 12Mbps(broadband) of data speed and streaming music anywhere I can go with just underpants on. And with pants, on I can get coverage throughout the section.


Yes long, but this bit was especially good.

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  Reply # 574265 27-Jan-2012 23:34
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DrStrangelove: I get 12Mbps(broadband) of data speed and streaming music anywhere I can go with just underpants on. And with pants, on I can get coverage throughout the section.


So pants improve wireless signals? It certainly is a dark art.

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  Reply # 574287 28-Jan-2012 00:49
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Skolink:
DrStrangelove: I get 12Mbps(broadband) of data speed and streaming music anywhere I can go with just underpants on. And with pants, on I can get coverage throughout the section.


So pants improve wireless signals? It certainly is a dark art.


Laughing

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  Reply # 574331 28-Jan-2012 10:07
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My old galaxy 5 and the laptop will happily change between APs with identical configurateions, but the galaxy S2 will hang onto a far away AP with no bars and barely any traffic working till I turn off wifi and turn it back on.

I have tried setting a minimum speed on the AP's but I have a couple of dinosaur devices which are 802.11b only so it breaks those if I set a min speed of 18 or something. Setting the min speed means that the phone gets kicked off the AP when it cant do something vaugely usable as I walk away from the AP towards another one and it moves over, but its anything but seemless with about 2-3 seconds of downtime. Skype calls do not drop etc tho when it happens.




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  Reply # 574353 28-Jan-2012 11:23
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Thats right - AP roaming is not designed to be completley seemless.
But
You do have some control over the switchover.

Your windows based device will allow you to set more agressive roaming or to keep on to the same AP by means of a slider bar.

- Right click the wifi network interface in your device manager (not network connections control panel)
- Select properties
- Go to the advanced tab
- Select the entry that resembles roaming
- Slide the bar in the correct direction accordingly.

One end will be agressive which means get a better signal sooner. The other end will be casual where it will try to hang on to an AP even if a better signal is avaliable for a less interrupted connection.
This is useful for areas where you are sitting in between two AP's of equal strength and the laptop is having a hard time deciding when to change AP. 

 




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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