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5 GHz band between dual-band router and bridge


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#1 agorjest

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 01:25 PM

I have a NetGear RangeMax WDRN3300 Dual-Band Wireless N router and a D-Link DAP-1522 Dual-Band Wireless N Bridge. A desktop PC without a wireless adapter is connected to the bridge via ethernet and is able to access the internet great under normal circumstances. However, whenever one of our cordless telephones is in use, the signal fades and almost completely drops, leading me to believe the router and bridge are communicating on the 2.4 GHz frequency (the phones operate on that frequency).

However, I also use a laptop which has a wireless G adapter and picks up the signal directly from the router with no interference when using the phones. My router is set on the dual mode: "Up to 270 mbps on N 5 GHz and 54 mpbs on legacy G 2.4 GHz".

When the DAP-1522 is in bridge mode, it does not allow configuring to 5 GHz band as you can do in AP mode, so I'm assuming it will take whatever frequency the router sends to it.
Any ideas on why my laptop is not getting interference, but the PC connected to the bridge is getting interference?

Thanks!

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#2 Orecomm

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 11:02 AM

How close is the Bridge to the phone base station ? How close to the base router ? Chances are the signal in the 5Ghz band isn't strong enough at the Bridge for it to link - 5Ghz is affected much more by walls and other obstacles than 2.4Ghz - so it's linking on the 2.4Ghz band. It's probably not the best signal even then, so the phone is pushing it over the edge. Try relocating the phone base station or the bridge. Often just a couple of feet can make a big difference. Take a look at what obstacles are between the wireless base and bridge, try to avoid major obstacles like water heaters, refrigerators, heaters and ducts, and masonry walls. One device or the other should give you some kind of signal strength indication so you can try "tuning" your setup. If either device has external antennas try setting one antenna horizontal and the other vertical, and/or rotating the device so the antennas are perpendicular to the direction to the bridge.

Wireless really is magic, you just need the right incantations to make it work.

#3 agorjest

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 02:28 PM

Orecomm,
Thanks for your response. The bridge is about 10 feet away from the phone base station I used when testing. The router is 2 floors down in the basement. On my laptop at least, the signal from the router shows as excellent (not sure how to check wireless signal strength on the PC, which is Windows XP). I am getting solid download speeds on both the PC connected to the bridge and the laptop. Does the router automatically decide which frequency to send the signal on based on environmental factors? What if I change the router setting to "Up to 130 mbps on 5 GHz", instead of doing the dual band setting. I lose half the speed but would that eliminate interference?

#4 Orecomm

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:21 AM

That's a pretty good router if you are getting an excellent signal two floors up. You can try setting the router to use 5Ghz only and see what happens. If it works well right away it should avoid most interference issues. You will at least know if it is able to maintain a link at 5Ghz. If not, then you know that you are subject to 2.4Ghz interference. You would also be able to turn off the 5Ghz band if it doesn't work, no sense clogging up a band that doesn't work for you, and that would stop the possible case where the 2.4Ghz band gets crappy and the bridge tries, but fails, to switch to the 5Ghz band. Then we just have to deal with the phone interference. You can try putting power line filters on both the phone base station and Bridge to make sure you aren't coupling signal that way, and if it's possible to move them farther apart it would help. I suspect the phone is frequency hopping spread spectrum which means it uses the entire 2.4Ghz band so changing channels on the bridge/AP probably won't help, but you could try. Stick to 1, 6, or 11, whichever is least used in your area. Use NetStumbler to look around at signal levels and channels. If you want to get really techie and impress your friends and acquaintances you could get one of the new generation mini spectrum analyzers like this for about $35 that will show you precisely what is going on in the interference department, but that doesn't really solve the problem. Let us know what you find.




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