Poor 5GHz coverage [FIXED, old phone at fault]

Hi!

I noticed having really crappy coverage with the 5GHz band.

For example when being only 2 meters away from the router the phone shows a weaker signal for the 5GHz network when choosing what network to connect to.

Following numbers I got using my Nexus 4 phone (with plastic cover) using the WiFiAnalyzer (open-source) by VREM app.

Being next to the router, about 2 meters away I have -46dBm for 2.4GHz and -67dBm for 5GHz.

When being away about 6m but with direct line of sight I get -53dBm for 2.4GHz and -74dBm for 5GHz.

But if I step around the corner, 2 more meters, I get -68dBm for 2.4GHz and -93dBm for 5GHz.

The analyzer shows Turris Omnia is the only router here in the whole 5GHz range, using channel 36. In 2.4GHz there are a few overlapping neighbors, but nothing too bad, using channel 13.

I have the LTE module and antennas installed too, though it’s not doing anything yet. Not configured and no SIM inserted.

I did tighten the antenna mounting as instructed, a few were indeed loose. However shouldn’t have anything to do with the coverage.

Is this normal for 5GHz or should I check the antennas or something else?

If you have tighten the antenna’s as instructed, are the antennas also as tight as possible to the RP-SMA connector?

Second thing that you could try to confirm if indeed the 5 GHz has a problem, try to test it in a different environment …for example… a different room(s). If this occurs, then try to use a different device to test the signal. Because the Nexus 4 is already like 4 years old (first release November 2012)…

IEEE 802.11ac is a wireless networking standard in the 802.11 family (which is marketed under the brand name Wi-Fi), developed in the IEEE Standards Association process,[1] providing high-throughput wireless local area networks (WLANs) on the 5 GHz band.[1] The standard was developed from 2011 through 2013 and approved in January 2014.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac

Or in other words, Nexus 4 was using a draft(development version of 802.11ac), while the final version of the 802.11ac was released back in January 2014.

Let me know how it went.

In my case, poor 5G signal was about antennas not perfectly installed.

Also i pointed one antenna horizontally and second one vertically, third one a bit to side and back. I noticed on first time, that during installation of antennas , it got wiggling and later on i found that those small wires were disconnected.
There is also video-quide how to install and/or fix that wiggling.

BTW: when no client is connected, those ‘graphs’ shows no signal …, that bit confused me on first time (that’s why i checked those wires and all around those antennas on first place … ).

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Thanks for the reply. The connectors should be good as I checked them when I installed the LTE module and its antennas, but not too thoroughly.

I’m using 802.11n on both radios as I don’t have many 802.11ac capable devices. I didn’t think the Nexus 4 supported it at all. I have a Nexus 5 available as well for testing and a Thinkpad x230. Not sure any of them know of 802.11ac.

I will try to do the checks you recommend soon.

Did changing the one antenna horizontal, one vertically and one a bit to the side change the signal?

In the past i have experienced to keep the antennas straight to have a better signal performance, so for example getting the router on the wall, so the antennas are straight up.

I looked up on the web, i see that Nexus 4 indeed supports 802.11n (2.4 GHz/5 GHz), the Nexus 5 however, also supports 802.11ac.

Forgot to mention it. Do keep in mind that walls block A LOT of signal, while glass less. So like you said …around the corner, is normal for blocking signal.

Let me know how it all went.

5GHz poor results are due to the Nexus 4 itself.

I held both N4 (no cover) and N5 (slim plastic cover) side by side in hand and while both reported comparable and OK 2.4GHz reception (the N4 a few dBm better actually) this was not the case for 5GHz.

While the N5 reported about 5dBm lower for 5GHz compared to the 2.4GHz signal, the N4 reported about 25dBm lower. I tried walking around and switching hands, made no difference. Conclusion: Nexus 4 5GHz antenna/chip sucks.

My laptop does not support AC, it’s got a A/B/G/N chip. However I discovered that it’s able to connect to the AC 5GHz network using N. Also the reception is good where the N4 fails completely.

In the end I have the following setup with different SSID so I can manually choose:

  • 5GHz AC with 80MHz wide band (I’m the only 5GHz user here) - usable by N only devices too.
  • 2.4GHz N with 20MHz band for older and crappy devices.

I still love and use my Nexus 4 phone. It’s running Android 6.0.1 thanks to CyanogenMOD. I got it in December 2012, a US model brought here by a friend from the US for Christmas. 4 year anniversary next month!

My iPhone 5s (but none of my other dozen or so wifi devices) was losing its Wifi connection both while in use and after the phone was left in standby. Hostapd would report “Deauthenticated due to inactivity (timer DEAUTH/REMOVE) issue” messages and take down the connection.

Googling that hostapd message brought up postings (some years old) wherein other folks had the same or similar troubles, usually suspecting either the Wifi card drivers or firmware.

After reading of suspected Wifi radio interference, and then encountering the antenae tightening youtube video, I reflected upon my TO’s own loose antennae assembly adventure. I then opened up my TO and found that the left antennae pcb module had only one antennae cable attached. The detached cable’s head was pinched up against the inner casing wall. After carefully reconnecting, I tightened everything down, put the TO back together, turned it on, and now everything works perfectly.

It occurs to me it might be helpful to draw folks attention to fixes such as these at the top of this forum. Also, it miight be very helpful to be able to refer to an up to date reporting system describing fixes that have being issued and installed via the automatic updates going out to the installed TO base.

cz

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In default (vertical up) i had something like 55-62% with a bit side/back position for that 5G antenna (i had to play with it little bit to find best position) i have now 65-80%. So for me, it helped.

Good to know. Thanks for the information.

What i also forgot to mention was, 2.4 GHz uses longer wavelength compared to the 5 GHz which uses shorter wavelengths.

By using longer wavelengths the 2.4 GHz can be reached from a further distance compared to the 5 GHz. BUT, 5 GHz using shorter wavelengths can achieve higher speeds. So in is just what you want. Also, it many times depends how much power the phone transmits through the antenna. The more power, the better the reach, but off course the lesser battery life.

I am planning to use 5 GHz for most of the time, because 2.4 GHz has just become waaayy to overcrowded especially when you are living in a apartment XD.

BTW, about CyanogenMOD, is it stable on the Nexus 4? I used it in the past on other phones and many times apps like camera would crash. It was fast, but not stable. So how do you experience it now? Does it happen occasionally that still some apps crash or have you not experienced something like that?

One more note from my testing.

In our block of flats UPC is widely used. There are very crowded 1,6,11 channels. Some are using ADSL lines and O2 is putting defaults on channel 2,13.

Scan and analyze the situation using iwlist wlan0 scan | grep \(Channel and iwinfo commands together with wifi-analyzer/wifi-radar apps on my android phone.

I choose my new channel(s) and force my APs to use it. By default it pick something initially but at that point : my old connection was up (O2 adsl) with old wifi, Upc modem has two APs by default (before putting to bridge mode) so at point of bringing up Turris, there were too many APs around, like i make it even more overcrowded.

  • 2,4G sits now on channel 9, with width 20MHz and it is having 70-80% quality, with nosie around -96dBm ; before it was max 70% on quality and -93 on noise…
  • 5G sits now on channel 44, with width 80MHz and it is having 75-85% quality, with noise -100dBm ; before it was max 75% on quality and -95 on noise …

I’ve abandoned 5 GHz because despite the spectrum being much less condensed (on 5 GHz I had a channel all to myself) and me sitting two metres from the router (so there can be no issues with signal penetration) I’ve experienced interrupts in connection. I’ve tried 20 MHz and 80 MHz bandwidth but it did not affect the experience.

5 GHz is for sure proven, if many times things aren’t doing as they suppose to be doing, then one can be sure of it, that it is a driver or hardware related issue.

After a few days of use it’s about the same. 2.4GHz is really good, 5GHz is a bit weaker, but not an issue.

CyanogenMod on the N4 is stable. They don’t update quite as often though, the last update was several months ago. As for camera I started using Open Camera by Mark Harman. The default one wasn’t stable indeed, even when using official Android 5.1.

Were/are there more applications/os that aren’t stable?

The default Camera app was the only problematic one I encountered. Though to be honest I didn’t use it much as I preferred the Open Camera app.

I did have an issue with the phone freezing and rebooting (rarely, like once a month) using the original Android ROM versions 5.x. Have not had this issue with CyanogenMod Android 6.0.1 at all.

Thanks, this is what i needed to know. Because i also was having such problems back then. Phone freezing, some apps crashing. This sadly is a indication to me that it is not stable. I mean in situations that you are seriously in need of using your phone, the LAST thing that you want is such problems.

So sadly i wont be using it. Then the only choice what remains is a Chinese phone Xiaomi maybe…and with a stable rom and having the possibility to keep on updating.

What I’m saying is I had freezing issues with original ROM, but not anymore with CyanogenMod 13.

I re-checked all commections of the HF cables, switched antennas (had some laying around, but not perfect ones). Situation got even worse.

I ordered 5 brand new HF cables (different model than what is already in the router). All with RP-SMA (pigtails). And 5 dual-band 5dBi antennas from ALFA which have been looking quite good in the datasheet.

What I am going to do is removing the filters that join the sigbals from the 2.4g and 5g cards. Connect every HF port of both cards to its own antenna directly. I’ll let you know of that improves the situation. Have my doubts.