Boxing Day (Or: My Foray Into Wireless)

As a computer guy, I spent boxing day as I sort of figured I would… setting up other people’s new electronic toys. Seems that FireflyMom got herself a new monitor, wireless router and wireless USB network card (really quite cool actually) and needed someone <pointed look> to set them up.

The next hour or was was spent unpacking boxes, plugging things in, running in between the office on the top floor and the in-law suite in the basement (where the cable modem was set up currently) and trying to get things set up. I first got the new wireless router set up and it worked quite nicely. It was a USR and pretty much, “just worked”. The web interface was nice, and to get the router part of it going (the computer in the in-law suite was plugged in via a cable as it was right there) basically it was just a matter of plugging things in. Of course I was asked to hook up the roomers printer “since I was there”.

The wireless part of it wasn’t quite so simple. I tried with encryption, and without, called Silverstr for help, tried with different settings, and without. I figured that since the wireless network card could see there was a wireless network to connect into, it was in range. No matter what I did I couldn’t get the stupid thing to connect. I think it did connect for about 3 seconds, and I was about to scream with happiness when I saw a little bubble pop up and say “connected at 11mb/s”… but it was replaced with “Wireless network unavailable” immediately after. It was only after dinner was finished that I thought that maybe just to make sure that I had things configured properly (with shared keys, encryption and whatnot) before I discounted that as the reason that things weren’t connecting.

Go back downstairs, disconnect access point, reconnect rommer’s computer to the cable modem directly, take WAP upstairs, find powerbar, and plug in.

bing connected to wireless network. Seems that the “300m” wireless distance that is advertised is calculated on a different plane of reality. So I’m not sure what they can do. I did my job though. Of course, at the end of the day a couple of hours of work and the net result is that I unpacked and plugged in a monitor. Gotta love being a techie sometimes 🙂

2 Comments on “Boxing Day (Or: My Foray Into Wireless)”

  1. I use my Dlink AP periodically, mostly when I decide to surf/code from the recliner in the other room. But I find that even with only a single interior wall inbetween, that I only get around 50% signal strength… just wavering between “orange” and “green”.

  2. Depending on your WAP, you can get a signal booster to increase the gain. You could also check what materials are between the WAP and the endpoint. If there is solid concrete or steel, you might want to move either end to get around it. If it says it can reach 300m, chances are they mean line of sight, or with minimal interferance. As an example, in my place walls are easy to penetrate, where slate floors are much harder.
    I think USR is now owned by 3Com, so I would gather a check on their site may show if they sell boosters or not. I use linksys gear here, and they have lots of different boosters to choose from.