Intermittent signal

A friend is having intermittent wireless problems - signal fading, dropping out completely. I've checked with NetStumbler and the pattern is as follows:

- A spike of signal every 121 seconds (-40 to -60db) for an irregular period

- Followed by a block of steady signal (-25db) for on average 2 mins

- then back to the spikes every 121 seconds This pattern happened with two routers - an old BT wireless router and a new BT HomeHub, so it's not down to the hardware.

I've checked for obvious sources of radio interference but can't find anything obvious apart from a BT wireless phone base station and handsets which I unplugged from mains.

Any ideas anyone? Any pointers would be gratefully received.

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I don't understand. Is there a spike of "signal" or "interference" every 121 seconds? I'll assume interference. Could you please describe what you're seeing a bit better being careful to differentiate between signal and interference? From where are you getting your signal strength numbers?

-25dBm (not -db) is a very strong signal and is probably nearby. My wild guess (probably wrong) is a streaming video system over wi-fi, that buffers it's output in roughly 4 minute intervals. Look around for a Tivo box with a wireless adapter.

How about location? Can you move the router closer or farther away from the nearest window to see if it's coming through the window?

Also, have you tried attaching a directional antenna to a client radio and attempting to determine the direction it's coming from? If difficult, a simple reflector will work.

See list of possible sources at:

I have lots of ideas (and experience) but I need a better description.

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Jeff Liebermann

Jeff, I just wanted to take 20 seconds and say "thanks" for the information you've been posting. I am brand new to wireless... having been a computer hardware guy for 21 years. I fixed them, built them, sell them and have kept them running for my customers for all those years.

Recently I've been dragged, kicking and screaming at first, into wireless internet provision. So far I've only used Tranzeo Units in the 900 MHZ band. I must say I am enjoying it immensely.

Here it is again 3 am my time here in Vancouver and this is the third day in a row I've spent all night reading your stuff. I'm clipping all of the goodies and studying like mad. Most of all, your posted links to the various resources have added so much value for me I felt I had to just go off topic for a stint to say thanks. It must be both frustrating for you and a lot of work. But it is well appreciated!

thanks, Nick.

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