I recently moved my 802.11b router to the room next to our living room and quickly started having signal trouble. Nothing shocking about that, except I moved it to a location that was the same distance from my laptops as it was before, and line of sight, by the way. So what could cause such a drastic state of affairs?
Microwave oven? No.
Solid Walls? No.
Concrete, Metal, Bullet-Proof Glass? Nope.
Since I couldn’t find the source of the problem, I was certain it had to be my wireless card or wireless antenna. Nope and nope.
After one week of experimentation, and about $1,000 worth of my billing time, I finally stumbled on the problem. Attached to our living room is a studio. Between the studio and the living room is a doorway. To keep the cats and dogs from turning the studio into a barnyard, we put up a wood framed screen door. While wood has a low level of interference, it turns out that the metal mesh screen in the door was preventing the Airport signal from leaving the room. Now we’re talking a distance of less than 10 feet, line of sight, transparent, and yet I couldn’t even get one bar.
I’d love to know the physics of why this happens, if anyone out there can explain it.
Got the answer?