Signal Drops Randomly Please Help :)

Ok folks here is the deal. I am a end user who has been receiving service from the same wifi company for approximately 5 years now. Over the course of this time, while having some ups and downs, they were able to provide us with fairly descent service. Over the past year or so, however, they have been expanding the operations and it seems that the quality of the service that we are recieving has gone down hill. Recently we were switched to a new tower and a 900mhz canopy system which performed absolutely flawlessly for the first 2 weeks or so of operation. Now the connection has become almost unusable. I am experiencing random time outs that may last anywhere from a minute block to up to like 20 minutes depending usually the time outs are very short like with only 4-6 time outs on a ping then it streams perfect again. Our connection isnt the strongest it fluctuates in the 70’s then it will drop completely to 106 there is NO in between. Also here is the big thing. I found out that the ISP has installed a AP very close to our house with i believe a sectoral antenna pointing away from our house. I think that this occured right about the same time that our flawless service went bad. I have been reading on the forums about sync and timing which i think is the problem but i have no idea how i prove this. I think that our ISP’s new AP and or its users are interferring with my noise floor causing my connection to drop. At this point in time our isp has sent techs out to try to realign our antenna to get us a better signal which goes from perfect to nothing in a blink of an eye. Now i am just a dumb end user that really has no real access to there networking other than being able to access the radio located on my house. So what i am hoping for is that you guys can help me figure out what is going on so that hopefully i can get my isp to fix the problem. Currently at this point our isp has told us that we can either live with the current connection as it is or they can come and remove the equipment neither of these 2 options i am happy with. I am a video game player and these random time do not allow me to play. Also this isp is the only high speed isp available in our rural area so i am stuck between the rock and the hard place and the isp unfortunately knows it. To be very honest you folks are prolly my last hope at getting the situation fixed. So i beg of you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help. I will get you any information i can assuming i know how, have access or you can tell me how to get it. Once again please help i am at whits end. I know i didnt provide much tech info as i didnt know what to provide, but if you tell me what you need to know i will try my best to get it to yah … :slight_smile: thanks :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Can you make changes to the SM? If not there will be very little we can help you with.

ummm… i feel really stupid asking this but what is the sm and how would i do that ?

i can access the radio ? like see the alignment tools and that stuff and signal levels. ?

please advise thanks :slight_smile:


The SM is the Subscriber Module or Radio on the roof. If you have access to the device and can log in or if there is no password then I need you to click on Tools-> AP evaluation and post the results here. I also need you to Click on Configuration-> Radio and post what Color Code your SM is set to. And I need you to post the distance from the front page that the SM reports when it is registered.

i would be weary of changing/ messing with the SM if your ISP owns it. i know our policy for end users is one warning. second time we disconnect them and collect the equipment.

ok here is the results of the AP evalutation
Current entry index: 0

Index: 0 Frequency: 906.00 MHz ESN: 0a-00-3e-92-6b-65 Other (RC: 1 CC: 1)
Jitter: 3 RSSI: 1308 Power Level: -77 Beacon Count: 17 BRcvW: 1 FECEn: 0
Type: Multipoint Avail: 1 Age: 0 Lockout: 0 RegFail 163 Range: 4263 feet TxBER: 1 EBcast: 0
Session Count: 111 NoLUIDS: 0 OutOfRange: 0 AuthFail: 0 EncryptFail: 0 Rescan Req: 0
FrameNumber: 1702 SectorID: 0 Color Code: 15 BeaconVersion: 1 SectorUserCount: 22
NumULHalfSlots: 11 NumDLHalfSlots: 37 NumULContSlots: 0

color code = 15

air delay ? distance = 2.42 miles <— is that what you wanted ?

hope thats what you wanted if not i will try again :slight_smile:
thanks :slight_smile:

High session count + reg fails = problem that could be related to interference.

Do you have any baby monitors or other 900MHz equip. in your home? If not then call your ISP and politely offer to pay them for their time/equip. [u:220wpkns]if[/u:220wpkns] they can improve your link. A connectorized 900 w/ a M2 914-ISP yagi will narrow the beam width and should improve your link.

I see 0 control slots on the AP that you’re connected to and it would be a good idea to set it to at least 1 (Read more…). If the tech that you are speaking with will not cooperate then ask for a manager and plead your case.

I think the problem is related to interference. I think the intereference is coming from the AP that they installed very near my house.

No i dont have any 900 mhz stuff in my house…

I read the stuff you posted about control slots and it seems to me that they would have over 10 users on that tower for sure. Is that something that i can change or is that something that needs to be done on the ISP’s end ?


What kind of Antenna is on your roof? If you do not know the model can you describe what it looks like and how big it is. The more details the better. A picture is even better.

If they installed a second AP near your house that is causing interference you should see it on the AP eval page which is the reason I asked for that information. Unless of course the new AP is not Canopy.

The distance of 2.42 miles means that you are relatively close to the AP. What does the terrain look like? Pine trees? Oak trees? How far between each tree approx?

With 22 users on the AP (sector user count) they should definitely be running at least 1 control slot. If all of their APs are not sync’d then there is nothing you can do except ask them to sync everything and add 1 control slot at least. You could also point them to this list and this thread specifically to try to get them to interact here. They can provide details about layout of their that you wont be able to know and we can help them set things up correctly.

If you can run a spectrum analysis with that SM and post the results after 10 minutes to here that will help. Go to Tools-> Spectrum Analyzer and press enable. Let it run for 10 minutes no more than 14 and take a screenshot of the results and post it here.

AP eval shows -77 signal. In my area that is not even close to good enough. I require -72 or better. If you can do the spectrum analysis we can tell you if a different antenna or slight move of the equipment will really help.

- Matt

pics of the antenna … ure015.jpg … ure014.jpg

they have tried a few different antennas on the roof over time but this is the current one.

As you can see we have trees. However, i really dont think they are the issue for the following reasons.
1. when we first were installed on the brand new AP our service was flawless for a period of at least 2 weeks.
2. connection is better a lot of times when the weather is terrible ie rain/wind (for example it was storming so hard one night that we lost our direct tv satellite signal but we didnt lose internet connection)

also the trees dont extend more than 100 yards then its pretty much open farm ground / rural area to the water tower AP. There are rolling hills to however i dont think they are the issue as they dont move and we had the 2 weeks of the perfect service. i could be wrong heheheh…

Did i mention that i think that the New AP that is located really close to my house i think is routed through the AP that i connect to. i dont know if that matters in the equation or not?

We have been using this company for like 4-5 years and it has functioned reasonably well also indicating that quality service is possible. But it seems each time they expand there territory the service gets worse and we disconnect a lot more. /cry … ectrum.jpg

thats the spectrum analyzer i hope i did it right. i left it run for like 12 mins but i gotta tell yah it didnt look like it was doing anything… I didnt notice any numbers changing. did i mess up ?

wow i think that is everything that you asked for hope it helps


Looks like a M2 17dBi yagi. The noise floor looks high on all the neighboring frequencies. I’d try moving the antenna higher and lower and around to see if you can get a better signal at a different location. You really need the headphones to do that accurately.

Make sure under the configuration you have 2X mode disabled.

Surprisingly enough it looks like you already have a 6’ m2. They make a phaser harness for it so that you can connect a 2nd yagi. :wink:

According to spectrum (be sure to disable it) the noise floor on 906 is -77, and your AP eval shows -77, therefore you need to be at least 3-5dB below -77 to maintain a stable link. Without a doubt you should have 2X Rate disabled since you need to be at least 10dB below the noise floor. Two tabs over from where you ran Spectrum Analysis there is a Link Capacity Test tab. Change the duration to 10 > start test > copy and paste the results in your next reply.

You could always check the pole to make sure that it’s plumb as well as adjusting the yagi’s azimuth (left to right) a tad while someone reads off the power level and jitter to you (if you don’t have a wireless device).

alright i did the link test these are the results.

Stats for LUID: 3 Test Duration: 10 Pkt Length: 1522

Downlink RATE: 1838284 bps
Uplink RATE: 216268 bps
Aggregate RATE: 2054552 bps
Pkt Xmt (Act/Exp): 176/0
Pkt Rcv (Act/Exp): 1482/0

Downlink Efficiency: 99 Percent
Downlink Index (Act/Max): 99/100
Frag Count (Act/Exp): 35955/35904

Uplink Efficiency: 43 Percent
Uplink Index (Act/Max): 43/100
Frag Count (Act/Exp): 9655/4224

BTW… during the time when we had no issues there was a duel antenna like you were talking about hooked up. And like i said b4 connection was perfect till one day it went :frowning:

hope this is what you needed :slight_smile:


Your uplink % is horrible and ideally should not be less than 90%, especially if you have 2x rate disabled. Under Configuration > Radio > what is the transmitter output power? 26dB is default and 28dB is max.

transmitter output power is set to 26dB

you look like some of our neighbors here…and our company did exactly what you describe and one of our customers had exactly the problem you did. except our customer was on a utility pole and 3.5 miles from the uplink tower :slight_smile:

your ap evaluation won’t show a new AP unless you have ALL 900 frequencies checked (actually , just the 900 frequency checked that they’re using for the new AP). If their new AP is also 900 (i feel sure it is…there are plenty of trees there looks like our back yard) - they need to make sure their new AP is on a non-overlapping frequency…

point your ISP here…we can help them. Where are you?

According to spectrum (be sure to disable it) the noise floor on 906 is -77, and your AP eval shows -77,


Umm. The spectrum analyzer is obviously going to show the noise floor at the same level as the AP Eval. It's picking up the AP.

With 30% up and 99% down, it is most likely interference at your home. it may be reflecting off of something. I would try moving the radio a few ft one way or another. away from any type metal or pine tree

i disagree…90% to 100% down means signal is coming into the local radio just fine…the 30% up means trouble at the AP. We saw this recently when our radio was located too close to another 900 mhz AP on the tower owned by someone else. We moved 10 feet from their radio and all was better…of course you still had to match control slots, use a nonoverlapping freq, and match max distance and downlink percentage.

It could also be an overlapping frequency from the new AP that is causing both APs to clash. However, is this is the issue, you’re not the only customer complaining.

Your foliage looks similar to mine however much more sparse. That is a 17 M2 Yagi which is pretty much the most powerful antenna you can reliably use for your setup. The spectrum looks just as I would expect it to. It was consistently reporting the same reading which is a good thing. And that reading matches the AP eval which is also good. The link test is a major problem. Downlink represents problems at the SM and Uplink represents problems at the AP. Since you cannot see this other AP they put up then there is very little left I can suggest for you to do. Your ISP has to resolve whatever the interference or conflict is at the AP you are connected to. Canopy equipment requires a good uplink and downlink signal to stay connected. The disconnects are a factor of the problem your ISP is having at the AP. This list will be more than happy to help them if they will come talk to us here. I strongly urge you to have them talk to us here.

The only option I can think of left for you is to find a local tree company and have them install your unit (with the 3’ version of that antenna) up in the top of the tallest tree. By removing all of the foliage in your path you might be able to increase your signal strength enough to stabilize your link. If you plan to go this route send me a PM and I will go over everything you will need to know to help insure the tree install is successful.