By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Dec 6th

PC problem #2

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Harry Wilkes23/09/2019 10:53:15
avatar
729 forum posts
60 photos

My laptop a Toshiba despite receiving a strong Wifi signal is behaving as if the signal is weak, unless the laptop is inline of sight with the router it in most cases will not connect. I purchased a new Wifi card Intel AC3160 (not one of intel's best I'm told) fitted the new card only to find it was just the same,I do have a USB Wifi adaptor which works fine so anyone got any suggestions ?

Thanks

H

Howard Lewis23/09/2019 12:45:17
2440 forum posts
2 photos

If you can manage to hard wire it, you will find that the speed about doubles, based on my wife's laptop.

If possible, avoid having any metal between the laptop and the router.

My keyboard is WiFi, and sitting on a metal support, only 450mm away from the dongle, it was slow, hesitant and sometimes useless. Got rid of the metal, and all is well. Without the metal the maximum range is at least 600mm They don't like Faraday cages up'em!

Howard

peak423/09/2019 12:50:44
avatar
901 forum posts
85 photos

At a wild guess, could it be the internal WiFi aerial or its the connection to the card.
The aerial may be in the screen surround, and either the connection come loose, or the mylar flexible ribbon cable fractured.

Bill

David Jupp23/09/2019 13:33:21
701 forum posts
17 photos

Check for new firmware for the card. If you are managing card via Windows, try the utility that came with the card, if using the utility try doing it directly via Windows.

You might just be unlucky and have a card that doesn't 'play nicely' with your WiFi base station - in which case, try a different brand of card, one that uses a different chipset.

I once wasted half a day trying to get WiFi connection to a PC working - the fix was to change the card, then up and running in 2 minutes.

Also check for new firmware for the base station - though once I've had to roll back to previous firmware to maintain connections to a particular device.

Though built to a common standard - not all devices are completely interoperable!

Harry Wilkes23/09/2019 13:55:47
avatar
729 forum posts
60 photos

Thanks for all replies

peak4

I am considering a problem with the aerial but have not got the confidence to pull the screen apart , maybe I should add that the laptop worked fine for a number of year all around the house, I have done all the usual stuff updated drivers/firmware,communicated with Intel etc . I have thought of put a meter across the aerial connections of the wifi card but don't know if that would work ! The pic below show the problem laptop on left and the wife's Sony on the right both machines been of a similar spec

wifi _2.jpg

Peter Sansom23/09/2019 14:56:31
60 forum posts
2 photos

WiFi is best line of sight with no obstructions, even structures in teh house, chimneys, electric cable locations and water pipes as well as wall materials will impact the signal.

The 2.4Ghz range has better distance than 5GHz as well. We moved house recently and I decided to use the higher speed WiFi in the firewall. Bad move, the laptop gets no signal inthe office and the rest were flaky. Laptop only worked if I used another Access Point (AP) to use as a bridge. Dug out an old Cisco Wireless AP, signal better but low speed, connections more stable, laptop still does not work without the bridge.

Purchased a new high speed AP, mostly stable, work laptop still needs bridge.

Best option relocate internet point to Office, and hardwire work laptop. WiFi AP will be closter to center of the house, all should be fine.

Don't troch the antenna in the laptop, you can do nothing, if possible use an ethernet cable.

I am speaking as a senior network engineer employed by a major US telco supporting Data Center networks, I used to be Cisco certified on wireless but let it lapse as it was nto needed.

Rik Shaw23/09/2019 15:05:43
avatar
1313 forum posts
352 photos

Before further expense, check BIOS to see if you have accidentally disturbed settings for the motherboard WIFI slot. If BIOS = OK then next thing to do is get access to the flat cable going from the screen to the motherboard. Flip the retaining clips on motherboard and re-seat the cable. Check cable for splits/cracks while you are at it.

Good luck

Rik

 

Edited By Rik Shaw on 23/09/2019 15:07:04

SillyOldDuffer23/09/2019 15:46:55
4843 forum posts
1018 photos

Interference from a neighbour's wifi is a likely cause especially on 2.4GHz. As 2.4Ghz is also a general purpose band used by radio control, cordless phones and microwave ovens etc, it can get noisy! Some people fit boosters and external antenna to extend range indoors and the enhanced signals can blast other people. Interference is rarely bad enough to break wifi. What happens instead is the network asks for multiple repeats until the message gets through - the symptom is poor performance.

Routers vary too. My next door neighbour's wifi signal is stronger than my own and there are two other networks also putting in loud signals. A network sniffer run on a linux laptop upstairs detects up to 30 networks, most of them weak fortunately. It would be far worse if I lived in a block of flats on a crowded city estate.

By default most wifi routers fire up on 2.4Ghz Channel 6. Some are clever enough to detect if the channel is already in use, and switch to another but this may not help if the selected channel was coincidentally quiet when first tested.

Try downloading a network sniffer like Wireless Wizard. The Spectrum Analyzer/Channel Scan function will show your signal quality, identify other networks in range, and suggest an interference free channel.

Channels are changed by logging into the router and finding the appropriate menu. Some routers can asked to scan for a quiet channel automatically.

As people are always buying new computers and changing provider, it can't be assumed that a quiet channel will stay that way. Although 5GHz is generally much quieter it's not so good at penetrating walls but you can always install a WIFI Range Extender.

Dave

peak423/09/2019 16:26:11
avatar
901 forum posts
85 photos
Posted by Harry Wilkes on 23/09/2019 13:55:47:

Thanks for all replies

peak4

I am considering a problem with the aerial but have not got the confidence to pull the screen apart , maybe I should add that the laptop worked fine for a number of year all around the house, I have done all the usual stuff updated drivers/firmware,communicated with Intel etc . I have thought of put a meter across the aerial connections of the wifi card but don't know if that would work ! The pic below show the problem laptop on left and the wife's Sony on the right both machines been of a similar spec

Normally speaking, it's not hard to get the bezel off the screen case, so you can see what's happening.
I'd do a search for an on-line service manual for your specific model.

If it's a common problem with that model, there's a good chance that there might even be a youtube walkthrough.


I normally keep a few old credit card, so I can thin the corner with a block plane, or sharp chisel. It works well as a gentle tool for releasing such bezels; If you know any guitar players, a worn out plectrum works well too.

Bill

Stuart Smith 523/09/2019 18:25:46
39 forum posts
7 photos

If your laptop has worked ok up to now and your wife's laptop works ok, it is not likely to be adjacent networks or equipment that is the problem.

The easiest solution is to use a USB wifi adapter. Modern ones are very small and seem to work ok. This avoids the risk of damaging the laptop when taking it apart to try to fix the problem.

Stuart

Usb dongle

Nick Clarke 323/09/2019 18:26:44
avatar
420 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 23/09/2019 15:46:55:

Interference from a neighbour's wifi is a likely cause especially on 2.4GHz. As 2.4Ghz is also a general purpose band used by radio control, cordless phones and microwave ovens etc, it can get noisy! Some people fit boosters and external antenna to extend range indoors and the enhanced signals can blast other people. Interference is rarely bad enough to break wifi. What happens instead is the network asks for multiple repeats until the message gets through - the symptom is poor performance.

Totally agree. Easily the most likely

Your wife's laptop could easily have a more sensitive receiver, so comparisons are not always straightforward. I have about 8 laptops in use (some more so than others) in the house, not to mention Raspberry Pis and Amazon Echos, and I teach with up to 15 laptops in the same room. The individual differences, even between supposedly identical machines can be far greater than you might think.  

Channel 1 is the default 2.4GHz WiFi channel and if a lot of neighbours have changed ISP or got new routers there could be a lot of people using the default channel. You need to look at what channels are being used near you and pick one that is not the same as everyone elses.

I use a tool a called inSSider to check for channel clashes which is very good and easy to use, however while it used to be free they charge for it now. WiFi Analyzer Tool from the Microsoft store is very cheap and sometimes on offer FOC. Both give a visual display of channels in use nearby so you can choose the least used.

Something else to check, but less likely to be the problem - When you switched the WiFi card did you reconnect the wires from the internal aerial and the same way round?

 

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 23/09/2019 18:34:27

Bandersnatch23/09/2019 18:40:06
avatar
1280 forum posts
40 photos

A more basic thing to check first: wifi routers have a means of setting the wifi power in their setup. You ought to first make sure that the power isn't turned way down.

(Adjusting this power can be a useful method of limiting the wifi range so that it's more difficult for script-kiddies to detect outside your house, but it's possible to go too far ...)

SillyOldDuffer23/09/2019 20:06:52
4843 forum posts
1018 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 23/09/2019 18:26:44:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 23/09/2019 15:46:55:

Interference from a neighbour's wifi is a likely cause especially on 2.4GHz. As 2.4Ghz is also a general purpose band used by radio control, cordless phones and microwave ovens etc, it can get noisy! Some people fit boosters and external antenna to extend range indoors and the enhanced signals can blast other people. Interference is rarely bad enough to break wifi. What happens instead is the network asks for multiple repeats until the message gets through - the symptom is poor performance.

Totally agree. Easily the most likely

...

Something else to check, but less likely to be the problem - When you switched the WiFi card did you reconnect the wires from the internal aerial and the same way round?

 

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 23/09/2019 18:34:27

Except now I've read Harry's post more carefully, I think interference is unlikely. His wife's computer is OK, and the Toshiba works with a USB Wifi Dongle. (It is possible that - like me - Harry has 5Ghz and 2.4Mhz networks with the same name; thus it may be one of the networks is misbehaving.)

However, Nick's suggestion that the antennae are plugged in the wrong way round is a good one! The 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz antennas aren't interchangeable, but would still work poorly.

Are the coaxial plugs seated properly? They are fiddly to fit!

dsc06158.jpg

The other possibility is the coaxial cable is damaged where it enters the hinge to get behind the screen in which case the cable needs replacing.

dsc06161.jpg

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 23/09/2019 20:11:22

Harry Wilkes23/09/2019 21:18:33
avatar
729 forum posts
60 photos

Thanks again for all the suggestions

Dave I was careful with a aerial cables and I do not think i reversed them however on this model the back cover comes off very easily so when I get 5 I may swop them around to see if it makes any difference yes

H

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Ausee.com.au
Eccentric Engineering
Warco
emcomachinetools
Eccentric July 5 2018
Tee London LMES 6th Dec
ChesterUK
Allendale Electronics
cowells
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest