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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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The Setup

Since I needed to really put the extended-range claims to the test, I ran both indoor and outdoor tests. My indoor tests used the same four location techniques that I use for all my wireless tests, which you can find described here.

For my outdoor testing, I set up a test range, which included both indoor and outdoor portions as shown in Figure 7. Each wireless router was set on a shelf approximately 4 feet (1.2M) high in my office at the rear of my home.

Outdoor Range Map
Figure 7: Outdoor Range Map

 

The first outdoor test point was 50 feet from the AP and about 6 feet lower than it. Successive test points were spaced at 50 foot (15M) intervals - give or take about 3 feet (1M) - at varying heights as determined by the relatively-level terrain. The test notebook rested on a 3 foot (1M) high non-metallic stand and the wireless adapter's antenna was pointed toward the AP at each location.

The test range was not what I'd call "open field" since there were a few trees inside the range as shown in the diagram. Fortunately, fall has hit in force where I live and most of the leaves were off the trees and saplings that stood between my notebook and the AP under test. To give you a better idea of the environment, take a look at the pictures in Figures 8 through 11. Since the target area is a wee bit hard to see, I've outlined it with a yellow box in Figures 9 - 11.

All tests used IxChariot on my 1GHz Notebook running WinXP SP2 with the other endpoint running on a dedicated Athlon64 3000+ WinXP Pro SP2 system connected to the router under test via my LAN's 10/100 switch.

I used the standard IxChariot throughput script, TCP protocol with 100,000 Bytes of data per transfer for the 11b tests and 200,000 Bytes per transfer for the 11g tests. I ran 1 minute tests in both uplink (STA to AP) and downlink (AP to STA) directions. The numbers you'll see are the average throughput results calculated by IxChariot.

 

Antenna's-eye view of target area at 50 feet
Figure 8: Antenna's-eye view of
target area at 50 feet

(click on the image for larger view)
100 foot view
Figure 9: 100 foot view
(click on the image for larger view)
200 foot view
Figure 10: 200 foot view
(click on the image for larger view)
400 foot view
Figure 11: 400 foot view
(click on the image for larger view)

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