Do wireless cards lose sensitivity over time?

I am having a problem with a Linksys WPC11/WDT11 insertable PC card/ desktop combination on an XP PC.

It installs both something called WIreless LAN and a Linksys configuration utility. On boot the generic looking Linksys WLAN utility called Version 3.0a (April 9 2002) using driver 1.07.37 which inserts a monitor-like icon in the systray opens up and connects to the WPC11. The Linksys configuration utility WLAN monitor v 1.5 (copyright also 2002) also inserts into the systray but says it cant find any WPC11 card! The standard windows utility doesnt work as it recognises that something else is controllng the card, though occasionally I see it trying to operate and failing while the WLAN is aimlessly scanning

In any event the WLAN starts up and starts scanning and sees nothing whatsoever. There are about 30 networks in my immediate area including one DD-WRT_VAP which is in direct line of sight and only 15 feet away.

The lights on the card light up and blink normally and the utility scans and scans and just doesnt see anything at all. I have noticed it try to attach onto something for a second or two but normally it just scans and scans.. Sometimes it "ASSOCIATES" and shows NOT the SSID but the MAC address?? and then after less than a second it starts scanning again. The Tx shows 0 all the time while the Rx wavers between 450 and 650 while it tries to associate with something, usually on channel 6 which seems to be its favourite channel.

The only thing I can think of is that somehow the card has lost all sensitivity over time. Actually I have two or three of these cards and none of them seem to work properly. They do very occasionally link onto an AP while in a router without the WDT11. T(hey are all completely firmware upgraded)

Does anyone have any idea what is going on please?

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I reckon it's more likely that you now have more wireless network traffic in your vicinity than you had before, therefore the signal to noise ratio is getting worse, leading to poorer reliability. Although you'd have to be very unlucky for 15 feet not to be close enough to counteract this.

Did they work in the past?

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No my point is that these cards never seem to have worked well in any computer, whether with the 'adapter' or by itself and the traffic (on all channels, they wont work on any channels they scan) is about what it has always been. I couldnt believe that Linksys could have put them out on to the market with sensitivity this bad: They didnt start reducing the quality of (components and memory in) their WRT54G routers until some years later, , so I wondered whether sensitivity had dropped off in some way. I dont suppose there is any way of measuring this.

Especially when they wont even pick up a DD-WRT router 15 feet away!

But there is definite evidence for what you say irrespective of an prolbem with either this linksys card or its utility: In the evenings where I live, the networks do slow noticeably or stop completely. It happens every evening and seems to happen on all networks (we have TimeWarner, RCN and apparently FioS here so I dont know which local networks use which carrier but I HAVE noticed that ALL networks seem to suffer from degradation of signal/speed EVERY evening)

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I wonder if it is possible that it is really the piss-useless Linksys utility dating from 2002 which is at fault?. It uninstalls WZC from services when it installs!

I reinstalled WZC by editing the registry and enabled the windows connection and suddenly the card started working!!!! Not particularly well but at least it works and sees lots of networks and even manages to connect to one and get onto the Internet.

Having uninstalled the utilities (both of them) I wonder how I can get rid of that stupid utility icon in the systray (the single monitor with the aerial coming out of the top which doesnt look like a windows one) or will it just defer to the Windows one whenever I reboot?

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Bring up the task manager and kill some likely looking processes. When the icon disappears, you've found the culprit. Can't guarantee it won't destroy your system, of course. You could then locate the offending binary and delete. Or perhaps look in services.msc. Have fun!

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