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Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-21-2013

Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

So I set up a "long range" wireless connection with another house about 6 years ago. It might have been longer. We are using 2 M2 nanostation AP routers. One is set up as client(recieve only) and one is set up in AP mode to broadcast. 

 

The AP is on the roof and has mostly lign of sight of the other house. A couple of bushes are in the way but its not been a problem. The client radio has had the antenna mounted on the side of the house for years.

 

Last week the radio lost signal on the client side. We thought maybe the new summer growth from the bushes caused the issue. We cleared out the shrubs like they havent been in years. We now have a nice clean line of sight. We still have no signal.

 

We then moved the router to a perfect line of sight but at a bit lower height(12ft off the ground). The client radio wont connect unless the whole router is outside mounted on the window. On top of that, we are only getting one fifth the speed of the main internet connection. For years we got 99% or so of the connection. I was so pleased when we set these up because of how the connection was almost as if it was hard wired.

 

The "run" is 582 ft from router to router. Clear line of sight. 

 

Is it possible that the routers have simply "weathered" so badly they are not outputing the same signal strength any longer? Nothing else has changed.

 

The AP has been on the roof and looks weathered but is still intact. The client radio has been inside and only the antenna was outside. We installed new antennas on both and that did not help either.

 

I am trying to figure out if I just need to buy new radios for both houses to make this work again.

SuperUser
Posts: 37,542
Registered: ‎06-23-2009
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Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

[ Edited ]

I'm confused, because you seem to use the terms 'radio',

'antenna' and 'router' almost interchangeably.

 

I'll ignore all the terms, and simply assume this is a pair

of NanoStation radios used as a link. Yes: it's possible

for a radio to have a failure in either its transmit or receive

function that reduces performance. It's also possible--but

maybe not likely here--that interference causes this. On

the 2.4GHz band, interference is likely in most areas.

 

If you didn't use the required shielded (FTP) CAT5e cable

and/or there was a nearby lightning storm, that could do it.

 

After 6 years of good service, consider a nice new pair

of NBE-m5-16 or NBE-5AC-16 radios to replace these.   Dave


> HQ in Seacoast region New Hampshire U.S.A.
> Ubiquiti Certified Trainer [UCT] for:
     UBWA [AirMax] / UEWA [UniFi] / UBRSS [routers]
UBNT.NH@gmail.com
New Member
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-21-2013

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

I am sorry for my "terms" not being correct.

Could I do this run with two M2 nanostations? Line of sight and under 600ft. I used them in the past on another clients home and they have worked over the last 5 years just fine.

 

From the POE to the unit, the cable is not shielded. I guess I should upgrade that also.

 

We have no other houses using any wireless internet nearby. Can a wireless home phone cause issues with internet connectivity and speed? In the clients house, within 10ft of the unit on the window is the base to a cordless phone. It could be either 2.4 or 5.8ghz. I should have looked.

SuperUser
Posts: 37,542
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Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

[ Edited ]

Again: I advise using NBE-M5 or NBE-5AC-16 radios.

They depend on a clear path between them.

 

Yes: always use shielded cables and connectors,

with a properly-grounded Ubiquiti PoE supply.

 

No: it's unlikely a phone would cause issues. With

radio, nothing is truly impossible.    Dave


> HQ in Seacoast region New Hampshire U.S.A.
> Ubiquiti Certified Trainer [UCT] for:
     UBWA [AirMax] / UEWA [UniFi] / UBRSS [routers]
UBNT.NH@gmail.com
Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎11-03-2016
Kudos: 79
Solutions: 5

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?


cowsgonemadd3 wrote:

I am sorry for my "terms" not being correct.

Could I do this run with two M2 nanostations? Line of sight and under 600ft. I used them in the past on another clients home and they have worked over the last 5 years just fine.

 

From the POE to the unit, the cable is not shielded. I guess I should upgrade that also.

 

We have no other houses using any wireless internet nearby. Can a wireless home phone cause issues with internet connectivity and speed? In the clients house, within 10ft of the unit on the window is the base to a cordless phone. It could be either 2.4 or 5.8ghz. I should have looked.


 

Some old cordless phones do operate on 2.4GHz, and I have observed those to cause massive interference with 2.4GHz wifi, and vice-versa (buzzing sounds when someone is using the network).  If that's the case with your cordless phone, get a new DECT cordless phone system.  They don't cost much and they operate on a band specifically set aside just for use by cordless phones, so should not cause any interference.

SuperUser
Posts: 37,542
Registered: ‎06-23-2009
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Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

What Matthew says is true, but these 2.4GHz phones

haven't been sold in many years, and haven't been

popular for a decade or more. It's always possible....


> HQ in Seacoast region New Hampshire U.S.A.
> Ubiquiti Certified Trainer [UCT] for:
     UBWA [AirMax] / UEWA [UniFi] / UBRSS [routers]
UBNT.NH@gmail.com
Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎11-03-2016
Kudos: 79
Solutions: 5

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?


Dave-D wrote:

What Matthew says is true, but these 2.4GHz phones

haven't been sold in many years, and haven't been

popular for a decade or more. It's always possible....


Yeah, they are ancient, but you never know.

New Member
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-21-2013

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

People keep old tech for "as long as it works" quite often. I think it looked like a newer phone system. 

I will give these new "directional" units a try instead of my omni directional ones of the past. Thanks

Member
Posts: 207
Registered: ‎01-23-2016
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Solutions: 2

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

Just had one of these phones pop up at a client.
Cost me ages just because i wasn't expecting it anymore.

Client apperently found it on his atric , and found it convienent to use.
Never made the correlation until i by accident found the base station...
Hit myself in the head when wireless 2.4 immediately returned upon disconnecting the power to the base station..

Moral of the story.... Never assume Man Happy
New Member
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎01-08-2014
Kudos: 3

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

[ Edited ]

I recently got rid of a microwave oven that spewed enough 2.4ghz band interferance it became a problem for the wifi.  It was broadband, and made a mess of the whole 2.4ghz band, so picking a different channel wasn't a solution.  Well, 5ghz was.

 

2.4ghz is part of the ISM band, industrial, scientific, medicine.  It's basically an unlicensed free-for-all.

 

Does the problem come and go?

 

Try and run speed tests or continuous pings or use a tool that plots signal strength over time to see if it is actually varying.  Use the built-in tools in the AP's to see what signal numbers you are getting.  Run a spectrum survey too to look for co-channel congestion.  Having a stand-alone tool is also helpful.  I have a tool called WiFi Explorer that is great for this.  It's a Mac app, but there are lots of similar apps for other platforms.  WiFi Explorer not only reports signal strength, it also tells you signal-to-noise ratio.  You can have decent signal, but if the incidental RF noise is high for some reason, then your performance suffers.

 

Your question: Do devices lose power?  Another related thing to ask is do receivers lose sensitivity?  Yes, both are possible but either way that isn't normal.  They don't typically just wear out.  It could happen because something has degraded.  Dirt, moisture, insects moving in.  Check all connectors and their contacts, both plug & socket.  Check cable terminations.  Take the AP's apart and look for bad things like corrosion from moisture.  Swap power supplies from one AP to the other to rule that out.  That stuff far more likely than lightning damage, and frankly if you had that happen, you'd probably have other problems.

 

Here's the real kicker: The more you are in a rural area, the more likely you are to encounter interference.  That seems counter-intuitive, but think of where people are putting up unlicensed high power connections to get between things far apart.

SuperUser
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Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

I'll go with most of that--except for the bottom paragraph.

 

I haven't seen a rush to put up weird unlicensed rf devices

in the States at least. Sure, there are some, but they're

not at all common. Cities are still far more rf polluted

than the country.   Dave


> HQ in Seacoast region New Hampshire U.S.A.
> Ubiquiti Certified Trainer [UCT] for:
     UBWA [AirMax] / UEWA [UniFi] / UBRSS [routers]
UBNT.NH@gmail.com
New Member
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎01-08-2014
Kudos: 3

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

Dave, I wasn't implying rogue pirate microwave links across the prairie.  I’m just pointing out that rural areas have far more RF activity going on than people expect, which can catch users by surprise.

 

I’m warning against situations where people are putting up mission-critical links (think broadcasters) using off-the-shelf unlicensed links.  That is perfectly legal of course.  It’s just that critical links should be using licensed bands with coordinated frequencies, polarizations, locations, heights, etc.  Of course all that costs much more, but if one cannot tolerate a link working one week then mysteriously not working so well the next week, that level of reliability has a price.

 

New Member
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎01-08-2014
Kudos: 3

Re: Do Ubiquiti routers lose signal strength with time?

Also, I have an engineer friend out of town who has a purpose-built "garage" with ridiculous electrical service to run his giant Tesla coil.  So you just never know what they are doing down the road there...

 

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