Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

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retiredtech
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Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby retiredtech » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:22 pm

We get complaints from users that there is poor or no connectivity in a certain part of the building and yet there is a 1041n AP right over their head. So what we have determined is that they power up their iPad etc. at one end of the building get connected to that AP and then go to the other end of the building and now they have very poor connectivity back to that AP. The iPad etc. does not automatically reconnect to the strongest signal like a cell-phone tower so they continue to get poor connectivity unless they go back to the original AP or turn off their device or WiFi and re-establish connection to another AP. Is this something others are having issues with and is what I describe the way this should work?

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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby drepouille » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:30 pm

I was also wondering about that just this past weekend. I was in the stake clerk's office on Saturday morning. The computer said the wireless signal strength was extremely low, but there is a 1041n in the ceiling just outside the office door. I walked around the stake center, locating all five 1041n WAPs, and watching my cell phone signal meter. It would show a low signal even when I was standing directly under a 1041n.

Since very few people were in the stake center at that time, I unplugged all five WAPs from their power injectors, waited, and then reconnected them. The problem seemed to go away, but I didn't know why.

By the way, it bothers me that the FM technician installed one of the 1041n WAPs about 20 feet away from (below) the 881W. That seems like a waste.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:59 pm

Unfortunately, the 802.11 standard suffers from a fundamental flaw (IMO) where the process of WiFi handoff from one AP to another has to be initiated by the client, NOT the AP's. So each connected device must make the decision when to jump from one AP to another and some manage do it better than others. For example, Apple products seem to roam far more gracefully than Android or Windows devices. There there are apps designed to help (WiFI Roaming Fix, for Android), but each client is responsible for their own roaming ability and there's not much we can do about it.

There are some better (smarter) AP's being developed, but they are still very pricey. One is the Aruba 220 Series AP, which, when combined with a ClientMatch™ controller, can force a client device to another AP when conditions warrant.

For now, we just have to live with the shortcoming the best we can.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby johnshaw » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:54 am

My experience is much different, Windows and Android devices do much better than Apple devices do in our Meetinghouses. Just my two cents, but in our stake presidency we had a 5 to 1 ration of non-apple devices and the only person that had issues in our meetinghouse was the Apple guy... (computer and tablet both) - as time went on, 2 more presidency members moved to apple tablets and started to encounter similar issues.

But as you said, it is a DEVICE issue, Client issue, mix between dhcp and Wifi protocols in play.... Also, if you have a 2nd User IP Subnet added, that will cause some issues internally as well as many times protocols are not configured at the router/firewall.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby johnshaw » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:55 am

drepouille wrote:By the way, it bothers me that the FM technician installed one of the 1041n WAPs about 20 feet away from (below) the 881W. That seems like a waste.


That bothers me a great deal as well. If only there were experts called that could assist them in their jobs to do what is best and right in meetinghouses.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:12 am

Mikerowaved wrote:Unfortunately, the 802.11 standard suffers from a fundamental flaw (IMO) where the process of WiFi handoff from one AP to another has to be initiated by the client, NOT the AP's.

Not sure why that's a weakness. I'd think it's up to the client to decide what's in it's best interest. The alternative is to be a victim of a bad network setup.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:15 am

drepouille wrote:By the way, it bothers me that the FM technician installed one of the 1041n WAPs about 20 feet away from (below) the 881W. That seems like a waste.


I can top that. In one chapel they put the 881W on top of the cabinets in the clerks office. Not my preference, but OK. The cable between them is maybe 3'.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:37 pm

russellhltn wrote:
Mikerowaved wrote:Unfortunately, the 802.11 standard suffers from a fundamental flaw (IMO) where the process of WiFi handoff from one AP to another has to be initiated by the client, NOT the AP's.

Not sure why that's a weakness. I'd think it's up to the client to decide what's in it's best interest. The alternative is to be a victim of a bad network setup.

Hummm... A bad network setup pretty much describes what we have now. :rolleyes:

As AP's become smarter, they will be able to hand off a device from AP to AP as seamlessly as a cell tower passes a conversation from tower to tower. That, BTW, is all done in the infrastructure. Data is gathered from the connected phones and combined with other criteria, such as individual tower loading, and decisions are made if a hand-off is needed. AP's could use very similar logic and even do things like hand-off to another band if available.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP

Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:33 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:A bad network setup pretty much describes what we have now. :rolleyes:

Would you rather it be the fault of the device or the network's fault? Which one is more likely to get fixed? If it's the device, the user has options. If it's the network, the only option is who to complain to.


Mikerowaved wrote:AP's could use very similar logic and even do things like hand-off to another band if available.

Maybe. The cell system was designed from scratch to be able to do hand-offs. I'm not sure as the WiFi protocol has that capability. Even if it did, it seems like it would require the cooperation of the device. (And uncooperative devices is what's causing the problem now.) Cells phones are typically bought from the service provider. I don't think they'd sell any device that proved to be less than fully cooperative. Members are not likely to start buying tablets from Cisco.
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Re: Connectivity issues with 1041n AP/1130G

Postby loompeter » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:19 am

The experience I have is associated with a different access point (Aironet 1130G). However I feel that this information may apply to other access points as well.
For quite some time, the Wireless internet was working well in our Chapel. Recently, there were some changes made to our Chapel, and one of these changes involved relocating the Wireless Access Point.

The Cisco 800 Firewall is located in the clerk's office which is at the front of the chapel and the (Aironet 1130G) access point was located in a room at the other end of the chapel (all on 1st floor). Hence, between the two units, provide sufficient wireless coverage for the 1st floor.

After the renovation was made, the access point was relocated to an inconspicious location in the chapel. (Perhaps the idea is to stretch the range - as to extend the coverage to the basement.)

Now there are numerious complaints that the wireless internet is not working in the rec hall which is located in the middle of the chapel(1st floor) where our priesthood lesson is conducted.

I understand that there are a many factors that can affect the operation of Wireless access points. The lesson I have learnt from this experience that the location and mounting of the access point(s) can make a big difference.

Other factors we should take into account is Radio Frequency Interference. Radio Interference can adversely affect the wireless connection speed (wether it be intermittent or continous). Unfortunately such interference can only be detected by specialised equipment, which can be costly. There are a growing number of wireless devices that are available that will interfere with wireless networks. (Eg cordless phones, wireless cameras/printers, blue tooth devices, etc...)
Also if there are a large number of wireless networks nearby (within range and in use), this can also slow down the chapel's wireless internet.

Who knows relocation of the wireless access point may solve certain interference problems!

Thank you all for your comments.


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