Weak Wireless Signal



  • I've just replaced my Linksys WMP54G wireless card with a Netgear WG311T wireless card which is equipped with an atheros 5212 chip. Configuration was completed without any problems. However one thing I found out that the wireless signals couldn't reach as far as a normal wireless router. Even though I've linked the card with an external 9dBi antenna, it still couldn't cover up the entire house. Comparing it to my previous DD-WRT router, it could cover up the entire house even with its stock antenna. One thing I'm suspecting is that the signals are trapped within the casing  ??? could that be the cause ?



  • I'm a little confused. It reads to me like you've replaced a router with a wireless card. Are you using the wireless card as an access point on a router?

    db



  • @clarknova:

    I'm a little confused. It reads to me like you've replaced a router with a wireless card. Are you using the wireless card as an access point on a router?

    db

    I'm using pfsense with a wireless card to run as a wireless router..  ;)



  • I have weak signal too, I have a 9dbi antenna and in the same room my signal is 40-60% just outside the doorway in the hallway with direct line of sight its 12%, doesnt matter what mode it is in(ap, bss or adhoc). is this the norm for wirless cards and pfsense? (using NetGear RangeMax Wireless PCI Adapter WPN311 )



  • @calvinz:

    I've just replaced my Linksys WMP54G wireless card with a Netgear WG311T wireless card which is equipped with an atheros 5212 chip. Configuration was completed without any problems. However one thing I found out that the wireless signals couldn't reach as far as a normal wireless router. Even though I've linked the card with an external 9dBi antenna, it still couldn't cover up the entire house. Comparing it to my previous DD-WRT router, it could cover up the entire house even with its stock antenna. One thing I'm suspecting is that the signals are trapped within the casing  ??? could that be the cause ?

    Signal trapped in the case? Have you got the antenna built into the case? If not I cannot image this would be the cause as the antenna should radiate from outsite the casing.



  • Check the LoS path from your client to the wireless antenna. I've seen situations where the signal is nearly unusable because of a radio-opaque object in the path. In the most recent case I remember it was a wire mesh trash can a couple metres from the PC, but directly in the radio path. Caused the signal to drop to almost unusable levels. This can also often happen if you've got a rear mounted (ie. PCI card attached) antenna - the case itself gets in the radio path and all you can pick up are reflections, which really hurts signal quality. Either add a pigtail and put the antenna on top of the case or elsewhere it won't be obscured, or reposition the case so the antenna is on the side where you intend to use the wireless signal.

    To be honest though I gave up on using wireless with pfSense myself because of signal issues and packet loss when I tried it with an ALIX board. Now I just use WRT54GLs or Ubiquiti gear as APs where I need them; it makes positioning more flexible as well.


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