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Low signal level problem

I am using the Cisco 350 card in an office environment, but my signal level is "very low" or "low" now at all times. I use a Dell CPiA laptop that, until a few days ago, always registered a "very good" or "excellent" signal strength.

The laptop is about 20 feet from the transceiver/router. Another laptop in the office with the same Cisco card always registers "excellent" signal strength.

I located the two computers (mine and the other one just mentioned) next to each other; mine registered "very low" and the other "excellent." I swapped Cisco cards and the results were the same, i.e., "very low" on mine and "excellent" on the other.

The BIOS on my Dell was updated and the Cisco driver is 02/14/03 dated.

The card slot appears to be intact, because wiggling the card and flexing the computer case never makes any difference in the symtoms.

Any suggestions on why the signal level is so low? I do NOT have connectivity when it reads "very low" or "low."

Thanks!

Jim

Kindly post responses here, but if possible please send to:

jtalens@rcn.com

5 REPLIES
Cisco Employee

Re: Low signal level problem

Jim,

What version ACU NDIS and firmware are you running ??

If you have a mix match of these versions then you can get the exact symptoms you described

The latest version of ACU now has an auto install feature that will update all 3 parts of the software to minimise the chance of this happening in the future

New Member

Re: Low signal level problem

Hi, and thanks so much for responding!

Um, I regret to say I am not sure what ACU NDIS is, but the computer is a Dell Pentium II 366 MHz laptop with XP pro. The firmwhere there was just updated to what Dell calls A018, an upgrade from the earlier A015 version. But that upgrade, done a week ago, did not help.

Is the ACU NDIS mismatch you suggest a matter of mismatch between my computer and the LAN??

Jim

Cisco Employee

Re: Low signal level problem

Jim,

ACU = Aironet Client Ultility this is what you use to configure the card

NDIS = is the windows driver

Firmware is on the client card and can be updated via the ACU

If you are running a Cisco Aironet 350 card then it is recommended to use the ACU to configure your card.

By the sound of it you are running something that Dell have put together ?? Are you sure this is not one of Dells old True Mobile cards, they OEM'd these cards but used their own Software and drivers ??

If it is the latter then you will need to contact Dell to make sure that all parts of the software are upto date.

If you have a Cisco Aironet 350 then I recommend that unistall any current software you are using for this and install the latest version of ACU from our website which will automatically do the NDIS and firmware for you. Do NOT do this on a Dell badged card !!!!!!!

New Member

Re: Low signal level problem

Thanks again! Since our earlier exchange, the ACU has been reinstalled. More than that, apparently there is an option to use the XP pro (Windows) utility client rather than the ACU. That choice may have been at the heart of this problem, because once the ACU was re-selected the symptoms disappeared!

It is indeed a Dell computer, an older Latittude CPi, but the card is the Cisco 350. FYI, one of the first efforts I made was through Dell, but two hours dropped calls, failed transfers and ultimately a chat with a supposed expert in Banglore (India) proved largely useless. Even a wireless "expert" in Texas (Dell) led to an "I dunno but must be the Cisco card" response. I knew it wasn't the hardware because swapping cards yielded no change. One guy at our HELP DESK claimed it was inadequate power from the power source in the computer! While I may not know about the software side of things, even I figured that this last suggestion was a desperation guess. Finally, we returned to using the ACU and bingo! This was curious because the Windows utility did work for some weeks, but ultimately led to the symptoms I posted. I do not recall any changes of any kind that would have prompted the failure, but in the two weeks since returning to the ACU it has worked perfectly!

Again, thanks very much ffor your help.

Jim

Cisco Employee

Re: Low signal level problem

Glad it is all working now Jim.

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