I’ve been having tons of wireless network issues lately. At work, which is not surprising being I work at tech company – only God knows who is running what service on their laptop or who is running the microwave in the kitchen across the hall. More worrisome, I’ve been having issues at home too.
So I get home last night and settle down write some documentation in DocBook format. I’ve been writing a custom XSLT in a valiant attempt to unify the documentation process at work. xsltproc is called to perform the transformation on the XML data and create HTML and PDFs as output. Fairly straight forward, right?
I start streaming from iTunes to my Airport Express. Currently, I’m using an Airport Extreme running 802.11N at 5GHz only and an Airport Express running 802.11G for my iPhone and visitors without 802.11N compatible laptops. The Express is wired to a LAN port on the Extreme and is connected via a TIP fiber cable to my stereo.
All of the sudden VPN and VNC sessions start dropping like hell. wtf mate? Long story short my xsltproc process went from 30 seconds to 5 minutes because of remote URLs being referenced as DTDs. I know, I know. My night was pretty damn exciting.
Of course I jump to conclusions and start blaming Leopard. Well after punching the wall a few times I sat down. It turns out it only happens when I have my Airport Extreme in 802.11n 5GHz mode. As a rudimentary example, my download speeds form kernel.org went from 30KB to about 700 KB when I went to 802.11n 2.4GHz only. Not sure what is wrong but I blame Apple Just kidding. If you look at this image you will see a dip in the graph in the center when the Extreme reboots to go from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz. When it comes back online notice the distinct dip that is in the signal, communication quality, and signal to noise ratio. Not sure if the issue is hardware or interference related but given a similar amount of noise is seen at 2.4 GHz I’m guessing it is hardware related.Spencer Shimko 31 October 2007