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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter Pick of the Week
AP Grapher imageThe macosxhints Rating:
10 of 10
[Score: 10 out of 10]
A short and simple Pick this week ... in the course of setting up the new house, I was trying to find the best spot for the Base Station; the range with my 12" PowerBook is not all that great and seems very location-dependent (even with an external antenna attached to the Base Station). So I was looking for something that provided a bit more detail on the signal strength than just 0 to 4 bars. After some digging, I found AP Grapher, which did exactly what I wanted it to do -- a real-time graph of signal strength, with options to display link and comm quality, as well as signal and noise (though those were always zero for me). You can also control the rate of updates; increasing the rate takes more CPU time, of course, but makes it a bit easier to keep an eye on the signal.

After some walking around the house with the PowerBook in hand and AP Grapher running, I think I've managed to find a spot for the Base Station where I've got the whole house covered.
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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: wgscott on Mar 10, '04 11:14:15AM

I wish my house was big enough to have this problem. Congratulations on the move.



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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: robg on Mar 10, '04 08:17:58PM

That's what's odd -- it's really *not* that big a house! I'd estimate that it's only about 30 to 40 feet from the den to the family room, and yet the signal was basically gone by the time I got there without repositioning (and the external antenna).

Our iBook does much better with range than the PowerBook...

-rob.



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iBook vs. PowerBook AirPort reception
Authored by: OSXgenius on Mar 11, '04 04:14:05AM
Our iBook does much better with range than the PowerBook

Funny...that's the same experience I've had in comparing my trusty old Pismo to my new iBook G4. Now that you bring this up with current generation PB's, could it be that Apple is intentionally doing this?

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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: DocMan on Mar 10, '04 11:36:42AM

This should also be good for tracking Airport outages. I've been having problems with my AEBS and my AlBook intermittantly being unable to see each other.

Doc



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AP Grapher solved my problems
Authored by: castellan on Mar 10, '04 12:49:11PM

I live in an apartment, and there's a lot of signal noise around, so when I set my iBook up in the bedroom as a jukebox and morning/evening email station, I was perplexed that it wasn't seeing the basestation just 23-feet away. Worse yet, the signal spiked and dropped at random times.

Not only was AP Grapher able to help me put the iBook into a good orientation for reception (weird, but I had to yaw and roll the iBook ever-so-slightly in 3D space), but it helped me figure out that part of the problem was a neighbor's SpeedStream basestation that was extremely "noisy".

I love it, and it'll be in my utilities folder from now on.



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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: cynikal on Mar 10, '04 12:49:35PM

Correct me if i'm wrong but, doesn't the Internet Connect.app have a signal meter that has about 10 or so bars? that's better than the 4 bar indicator.. And if you want to see what else may be around you in terms of 802.11b, check out KisMAC (search on versiontracker/macupdate).

But nothing ever seems to help in determining the source of a wireless signal (like i want to know whch one of my neighbors (i live in an apartment building) has an open wireless access point so i can tell em about it), since the signal seems to bounce around and stuff.



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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: roncross@cox.net on Mar 10, '04 03:24:31PM

It actually has 15 bars. I counted them. RLC

---
rlc



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YellowJacket - A complex AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: NeutronMonk on Mar 11, '04 05:55:47AM
If you really want to get serious about graphing WiFi...YellowJacket PDA attachment

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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter
Authored by: tidjj on Mar 10, '04 04:41:24PM

As soon as I read this, I download this tiny piece of code.
I'm running a Belkin F5D7010 PCMCIA card pluged in my TiBook G4 867 and it works. Unfortunately, the signal and noise graphs are stuck to zero but the quality ones display well.
Even if the Internet Connect app displays meter, AP Grapher traces the history and makes it easier to evaluate the best position of the base station (in my case, a Belkin F5D7630-4).

*****



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AP Grapher - A simple AirPort signal strength meter Warning
Authored by: ars on Mar 13, '04 10:23:44PM

I have now twice observed that my wireless connection to a netgear router dies completely, when I keep AP Grapher continuously running in the background. Only quitting AP GRapher and resetting the netgear router gets my connection back up. I don't know whether this is specific to my setup or not. I'll ckntact the developer too.



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