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Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

donne
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 15-08-2007

Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

I have replaced a D-Link 604 wireless router with the Plusnet-supplied Thomson because I found that the D-link dropped the ADSL link every few days and required a restart.  However, the D-Link wireless signal was always reported 'very good' or 'excellent'.  I've now set up the Thomson and I find the wireless signal to be very variable, almost unusable, with continual drop-outs.  The only difference in set-up that I am aware of is the use of WPA encryption with which the Thomson was delivered with, and WEP which I chose to use on the D-Link.  I notice other reports of poor signal with the Thomson in this forum and I wonder if this is a feature of the router.  By the way, the computer end of my wireless link is a D-Link USB Wireless Adaptor which came with my original D-Link package.
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

You dont know if the router is sending a weak signal or your receiving a weak signal. As the wireless adapter is a dlink it would be optimized for use with the router which may have a bearing on it. Secondly are you on the same channel as the old router as this can effect it if someone close is on the same channel. Encryption will make a difference as there is more work to do 
donne
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 15-08-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Well, my D-link is turned off but I guess there could be external interference on the default channel used by the Thompson.  If I could work out the Thompson user interface, I may check or change the channel.  I'm not too hopeful of accomplishing this successfully.  When I tried to set encryption from WPA2 to WEP, I couldn't connect and ended up resetting the Thompson - incidentally, after reset, the signal strength was reported as 'very good'  while immediately prior to this it was 'low', still using the same D-Link adaptor.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,828
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

I had this problem - interference causes the same symptoms as a poor signal.
The real problem is the poor Thomson interface - you need to change the default channel to 1 or 11.
It can be done - can't quite remember how!  Embarrassed

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Thomson router
To change channel, log into the router at 192.168.1.254
Click on
Home network
Wireless - click on WLAN
Configure
look for channel select, change to manual and just below change to desired channel.
donne
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 15-08-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Thank you for the instructions on changing channel.  I managed to do this, setting the channel to 6, which was the default channel on the D-link (the Thompson had set the channel to 11).  However, I still continue to get the same poor wireless performance with dropouts, and these are also experienced by laptop users in the house, who don't use my D-link USB dongle, so I think that can be discounted as a source of the problem.  I have also tried (again!) to change the encryption type to WEP, but I have found it impossible to connect to the network after applying this change, the only solution being a reset which brings me back to WPA.  I think I shall reinstate my D-link wireless router - I'm really disappointed that Plusnet should supply a piece of kit apparently so unsatisfactory, both in performance and user interface.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,828
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Did you notice that you can't replace the aerial with a high-gain version either  Lips are sealed

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

A high gain aerial will not really help too much internally in a domestic environment.
A high gain aerial works by concentrating the radio energy into a narrower beam horizontally - ( ( like a lighthouse light beam ! ) rather than radiating upwards to the sky or down into the ground.
In a house the energy is constrained by the fabric of the building rather than disappearing it up into the roof or floor.
In an office or industrial environment, I would agree that an external antenna might help by positioning the aerial in a better position to get the RF energy out more efficiently.

VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,828
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

It's usually the case that the BT master socket is a few inches away from an external wall, whilst the PC user prefers to sit somewhere in the middle of the house.
So reducing the vertical spread (and possibly the horizontal spread) can be a good thing.
Even in a house.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Download netstumbler free from
http://www.netstumbler.com/
This will show any other stations near by and their channel and it also shows noise this may help to see if there is a free channel in your area
donne
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 15-08-2007

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Well, in the end, it turned out to be location, location, location.  I raised the Thomson halfway up the wall near the phone socket, mounting it vertically, and I got an extension cable onto my USB adaptor which again enabled me to raise it and choose a good position for wireless operation.  I'm now getting 54 Mbps reported speed and a much more stable and resilient wireless connection.  I haven't managed to change the encryption to WEP but since it's now working with WPA there is no need to experiment. 
I'm rather embarrased I've bad-mouthed the Thomson  Embarrassed
As for the discussions on high gain antennas for the router, I don't really see that would help in my situation, since I would want a good radio link in all parts of the house.  It seems to me that a better idea would be two antennas spaced several wavelenghts apart so that you would get some spatial diversity in the reception of the signal.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

Yes - diversity / triversity reception is a good method of receiving radio, but I don't know offhand if any wifi routers have this - as it needs two front ends in the receiver. And the aerials would not need to be very far apart at the frequencies used by wifi.
I don't have direct experience of wifi in a business environment - where you have multiple wireless routers around the premises, but aren't they then just connected to bridges so the selection is done at the ethernet level rather than by wifi receiver diversity ?.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
Thanks: 4
Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: Weak Signal with Thomson TG585

I have a Belin Wifi ADSL Router somewhere around that has 2 aerials. I think it's labelled "MIMO" to indicate the use of diversity.
http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=203415
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.