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Author Topic: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?  (Read 3425 times)

Offline birdastrompgman

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Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« on: December 02, 2012, 06:55:48 PM »
My trusty N7-8gb isn't picking up wi-fi very well.  Side-by-side with my N7-16gb, the latter sees 2-5 neighborhood SSIDs, while the former only sees one.  I figure I may have damaged it in one of many mini drops to the floor.  Yesterday and today, the N7-8 isn't getting a connection from my favorite seat in the house, while my laptop and N7-8 are working fine.

But yesterday, during heavy rain outside, I noticed my laptop's download speed was crawling at 50 kb/s.  I moved the laptop closer to the router, and the download speed sped up 20 times faster.  I'm wondering if my N7-8 will regain a connection from my favorite seat when it dries up outside.  What's your guess?




Bird has seen >650 North American bird species
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Offline matt

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 10:14:32 PM »
I'm guessing the antenna wire came loose. Does it have one? Find some tear down pics. Rain outside should reduce interference from the neighbor's wifi. Wifi connection manager has a setting to repair connections. No it doesn't solder, just a tcp/ip fix, I believe. It'll also show dbm levels you can compare to the other tablet.

Just reread, if the laptop also has problems you can see what other networks are on the same channel. There's some overlap so try to clear used channels by a couple or three.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 10:43:52 PM by matt »

Offline bjs229

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 11:05:48 PM »
My guess is it hardly ever rains in California.:D

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Offline fxsarge

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 09:09:07 AM »
I've seen rain mess up WiFi so I would wait first. Thats the easiest thing to do.

Offline matt

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 10:01:20 AM »
Depends on the broadband. If cable or twisted pair, degraded insulation can let water in and change capacitance or short the wires. I've got fiber optic to the house, but they cap me at 5mbs=~700kBs.
If thats the case, it can take a day or so to dry out. And it will get progressively worse as the water freezes.

If you go into router settings, check the wifi transmit power level adjustment. There may be some logs to view for transmission error.  Since the tablets and comp.   
are so different, checking field strength of signal could isolate one problem to antenna wire. If dbms are the same then channel interference then software. I'm getting -60dbm at 35 ft from router. -35dbm at 2 ft.

Also, speedtest is useful for throughput to web servers, but I haven't found anything for lan throughput only. That could help isolate a problem as before or after the router.

Offline birdastrompgman

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 10:20:59 AM »
I ran a bunch of side-by-site speedtests, & determined my Nexus 7 8gb has a problem. I called Google support last night & got a RMA. They will replace it under warranty, and/or charge me if I caused the problem.

It's probably a loose antenna wire, but I'm not confident I can open it without damaging it.

I'm not the lowest of the low, but I am the slowest of the slow.

Bird has seen >650 North American bird species
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Retired 9 yrs, and loving it

Offline loociddreemr

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 07:10:56 PM »
The back pops open quite easily. You can pop it open with your fingernail even. The antenna is inside the back cover. You should switch covers and see what happens.

Sent From my Razr Maxx (iKreaM.4.1.2.AOKP) via Tapatalk 2

Offline matt

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 08:45:48 PM »
The back pops open quite easily. You can pop it open with your fingernail even. The antenna is inside the back cover. You should switch covers and see what happens.

Sent From my Razr Maxx (iKreaM.4.1.2.AOKP) via Tapatalk 2

Interesting, is it one antenna for wifi, gps, nfc, and blue tooth?

How does it connect to pc board? Maybe just reseating the cover would work.

The tablet has been rooted with symlink and directory bind mods, be nice to have an easy solution.

Offline birdastrompgman

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 09:16:26 PM »
Thanks Ryan, Matt, Barry (hope I didn't overlook anyone),

I looked at a couple of teardown videos, grabbed a plastic knife, and started to pry the back cover off.  It was already loose.  I got it off, and found the  wi-fi antenna.  It's clearly labeled, and connects with two contacts to spring-loaded contacts on the motherboard.  I replaced the back cover, went to wi-fi setup, and found half a dozen neighborhood SSIDs.

I'm in the process of restoring my Nandroid backup now, having just re-rooted the device. 

Yahoo!

I'll post a photo later.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:21:09 PM by birdastrompgman »
Bird has seen >650 North American bird species
Rooted Nexus 7
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Retired 9 yrs, and loving it

Offline bjs229

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 09:59:09 PM »
Wow! You party way harder than I do Bird. I haven't had the stones to take my cover off. I heard you can break the clips. Is that true? If not, I might just take a look around now that mine is in out if warranty condition.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Offline birdastrompgman

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 11:40:09 PM »
Yo Barry,

I had to give a teardown a try before shipping my tablet off.  Since the cover was loose (from a mini-drop), I just ran my plastic knife and thumbnail around the lip of the rear cover to free it.  I think it would be difficult to break the clips, since most people know not to push them in farther than necessary.  Once you have a gap between the screen/glass and the rear cover, you're separating them, and no longer pressing on the clips.

Pictures.  First photo below shows the Wi-fi antenna in red, the NFC antenna in yellow, and the GPS antenna in blue.  They're all housed in the back cover of the Nexus 7, shown on the right side of the photo.  The screen, motherboard, battery, speakers, etc. are all in the top unit on the left side of the photo.

Second photo (below) is a close-up of the Wi-fi and NFC antennae.  Notice the copper contacts at the top of the Wi-fi antenna.  The loose rear cover caused the wi-fi antenna to lose contact with the motherboard.  I probably lost NFC and GPS antennae, too, but didn't notice their loss.

Third photo shows the Wi-fi antenna contacts on right, and their corresponding motherboard contacts on the left.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 11:44:20 PM by birdastrompgman »
Bird has seen >650 North American bird species
Rooted Nexus 7
49.5 mpg avg for 53k miles in non-hybrid Scion xB
Retired 9 yrs, and loving it

Offline bjs229

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 11:48:58 PM »
How do you know about Yo bird! Rocky movies? That's a Philly expression! :) Thanks for the pics and the explanation. I didn't know you had to send yours back....

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:09:11 AM by bjs229 »

Offline birdastrompgman

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 12:33:40 AM »
Since I fixed it myself, I didn't have to send mine back.

I did a lot of traveling in my job - England, Ireland, Spain, Israel, Palestine, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Netherlands, Hawaii, and Philadelphia ;).

I walked across the Ben Franklin Bridge to Camden one summer evening.  When I got there, the Camden PD waved me over, and told me to get off the bridge, because they were going to lock it.  They wouldn't let me walk back, as the Philly PD had locked the other side.

So there I was, in Camden at dusk, locked out of PA and looking like a rich white tourist, in shorts with an expensive SLR camera, and nothing in my pockets but a $20 bill and my room key.  The Camden PD told me where the train station was, so I walked there (it had a police substation inside the train terminal), bought a ticket, and rode back to Philly.  South Street never looked so good!
Bird has seen >650 North American bird species
Rooted Nexus 7
49.5 mpg avg for 53k miles in non-hybrid Scion xB
Retired 9 yrs, and loving it

Offline bjs229

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 04:10:48 AM »
Camden at dusk? SLR camera?= lucky to be alive. Lol

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Offline birdastrompgman

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Re: Does rain affect Wi-fi distance?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 07:53:15 PM »
It didn't seem funny at the time :D

I got curious, & took the N7 apart again. I didn't even need a tool. Just push your thumbnail in the gap between the front glass and rear cover. Doing it that way leaves zero possibility you'll break a clip.

I'm not the lowest of the low, but I am the slowest of the slow.

Bird has seen >650 North American bird species
Rooted Nexus 7
49.5 mpg avg for 53k miles in non-hybrid Scion xB
Retired 9 yrs, and loving it

 


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