2014-06-26 02:36:24 UTC
high-speed wi-fi is working fine and people are ecstatic about it. Some
people. Others can't connect. There are currently 8 wi-fi access points
and a couple extenders (which weren't my doing).
One especially vociferous resident complained that he can hit an extender at
low speed (of course) but not the wi-fi hotspot 20 feet from his door. I
was incredulous. With so many WAPs surely he must be able to hit something.
He has a MacBook. Hmmm...grumble grumble...
I brought in my PC with my trusty NetStumbler on it (which looks at each
hotspot it can see and repeatedly checks signal strength, graphs it out, and
saves the whole mess for later viewing. Well, NetStumbler showed me that at
the guy's desk in his apartment, the slow extender can be seen and the WAP
20 feet away can be seen, but I couldn't connect to it reliably. Odd.
At his desk the signal is fairly low and a bit spotty (the graph isn't
steady but dips a bit from time to time). PC in hand, I walk through the
apartment and out the door to the hallway. There are two thresholds between
his desk and the hallway, which may have been part of some previous
configuration of the apartment.
As I cross the last threshold the signal BOOMS in.
Well, a little thought here. The hotel was built in 1915, after the 1906 SF
earthquake and fire. I guess the place was built to last. A handyman they
have told me that sometimes he drills to hang something like a fire
extinguisher or other necessary item and he hits steel just the other side
of the plaster/lathe wall. Then I was told by a resident who's somewhat of
an expert in downtown buildings that, not only is the building likely made
with steel beams, but also concrete and the walls were likely covered with
aluminum wainscoting before the many times it was painted over.
So, it looks likely that the place is SO well built that highband UHF can't
even penetrate it!
My solution looks like it'll be this: put WAPs on the floors above and below
the trouble spots, since the resident (several, actually) CAN hit the
extender on the floor above. So, it looks to me like while the walls are
super-sturdy, the floors and ceilings are probably conventional wood and
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