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Aironet 1200 series dropping clients randomly in a specific area


I inherited a wifi network when I took over for network administrator at my manufacturing plant a couple of years ago and never had any issues with our wifi until the past few months. We are utilizing 13 aironet 1200 access points with a Cisco WLSE backend. AP 12 acts as the WDS backend and AP 11 acts as the RADIUS server.

For the past few months our RF gun users have been complaining of being dropped at random times throughout the day, mainly in the aisles I have marked on the image I attached. Also shown in the image is our current wifi setup with channels and number of access points. I have disabled certain access points to see if perhaps the problem went away, but it has made little to no difference. I have repeatedly changed the channels on our routers and enabled/disabled AP to see if any change has been made, but so far nothing seems to make any significant improvements. Generally they will turn in a list of being dropped from the AP at least 20-30+ times within 5 or 6 hours in the area marked in red in the attached image.

This all seemed to started happening when the power supply for both AP 04 and AP02 died at the same time, which you'll see is the AP on both sides of the problem area. I replaced the power supplies and even tried switching them with power supplies from APs that weren't being reported as having any issues. The only other thing is that maintenance has started to take down racks near AP01, and a new company moved in next door to our plant that only have two access points. They would be near the top side of the image.

I am at my wit's end because I can not figure out how to fix this. The only issues the AP are reporting, which may be related is I get numerous of these pretty much every day:

"Packet to client x.x.x.x reached max retries, removing the client"

I am admittely not an expert in WIFI networks, especially when they encompass multiple AP, so maybe I am missing an easy setting or something. Any help would be appreciated.


Hi Travis

This sounds like interference to me. Do you have a spectrum analyzer ?

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"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin

Hi George,

I had the same suspicions and I have actually purchased one this week. I am about to go setup a laptop to sit in the area all day to see if I can find some patterns to when they get kicked off.

I did take the attached reading yesterday afternoon, but I have no idea what kind of device could make such a impact like that over the entire spectrum.

Yea that's a problem! Looks like a wide band jammer of sorts .. You see the top screen amplitude. At -80 you are far from the interference. As you get closer (-35) you will be right on top of it ..

What you are seeing in wispy is enough to kick users across the band off the network ..

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"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin
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