Can too many frequencies or just wifi signals cause problems in a closed space? Why or why not?

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Reason why this came to me. I recently was using a digital audio board in a room with 300 people/cellphones, police/fire/emt with radios and multiple wifi networks. My ipad refused to connect to the audio board. So this got me thinking if it was possible to have too much wireless clutter in the air. Added bonus if anyone can explain how to avoid this problem but understanding if and how it happens is most important. Thanks!

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Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Yeah, absolutely. Wi-Fi and (any other wireless signals, for that matter) can overcrowd the airwaves, much the same way too many people speaking in a room can make it difficult to hear anyone.

Ideally, a Wi-Fi access point can communicate with only 5 or 6 client devices simultaneously. That’s if all of those devices are chatting on-air 100% of the time with no breaks, which is almost never the case. If devices took turns talking (and they do) you could realistically cram a few multiples of 5 or 6 devices onto the network with little issue. Beyond that, though, signal quality is gonna fall off a cliff, as the room starts getting too noisy for anyone to be heard.

There’s also the matter of routers only having so many IP addresses to hand out. How many that is can vary a lot depending on how it’s configured, but by default it can be anywhere from 50-ish to 250-ish. Could be more, but someone would have had to go out of their way to set that up. If these are all taken and you try to connect, the router will tell you to go kick rocks.

Think of connecting to Wi-Fi like you’re at one of those fast casual restaurants where you order at a counter and they bring the food out to your table. When you order, they hand you one of those table tents with a big number on it, so they know which customer you are. For the duration of your visit, you keep the number. When you leave, they take the number back. If you come back again another day, you get a new one, with whatever number happens to be on top of the pile at that moment. They only have so many, though, and if they run out, they can’t take any more customers until some of the other customers leave first.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yeah, absolutely. Wi-Fi and (any other wireless signals, for that matter) can overcrowd the airwaves, much the same way too many people speaking in a room can make it difficult to hear anyone.

Ideally, a Wi-Fi access point can communicate with only 5 or 6 client devices simultaneously. That’s if all of those devices are chatting on-air 100% of the time with no breaks, which is almost never the case. If devices took turns talking (and they do) you could realistically cram a few multiples of 5 or 6 devices onto the network with little issue. Beyond that, though, signal quality is gonna fall off a cliff, as the room starts getting too noisy for anyone to be heard.

There’s also the matter of routers only having so many IP addresses to hand out. How many that is can vary a lot depending on how it’s configured, but by default it can be anywhere from 50-ish to 250-ish. Could be more, but someone would have had to go out of their way to set that up. If these are all taken and you try to connect, the router will tell you to go kick rocks.

Think of connecting to Wi-Fi like you’re at one of those fast casual restaurants where you order at a counter and they bring the food out to your table. When you order, they hand you one of those table tents with a big number on it, so they know which customer you are. For the duration of your visit, you keep the number. When you leave, they take the number back. If you come back again another day, you get a new one, with whatever number happens to be on top of the pile at that moment. They only have so many, though, and if they run out, they can’t take any more customers until some of the other customers leave first.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yes this is absolutely a thing. Think of it like a bar. When there are only a handful of people there talking, the noise level isn’t bad and you can have a conversation. The more people that fill in, the louder it becomes and the harder it is to have a conversation. At some point, it gets so loud that you don’t hear something and the speaker has to say it again (retransmit) filling the air with even more noise. If enough people are in the space all talking at the same time, it becomes impossible to distinguish your conversation from the background noise.

Some systems/protocols try to minimize this by scheduling who can talk and when, like people who hand microphones to people asking questions from an audience, but that requires compliant cooperation from all the other individuals (devices) in the room.

There is a mountain of complexity when it comes to RF, but this is as simple as I can make it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are a number of things that could be happening here. The first is, yes, wireless interference. Wifi networks operate in certain distinct sets of frequencies, primarily in the 2.4 GHz range, the 5 GHz range, and more recently, the 6 GHz range. Within these ranges are a set number of “channels”, or blocks of frequency in which different networks can operate without interfering with each other. But if there are multiple networks operating on the same channel (or close to the same channel), which is particularly problematic on older networks that used only 2.4 GHz which only have a few channels that don’t overlap with each other, then yes, there can be interference. The 2.4 GHz problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are a ton of wireless devices that use that frequency range, and even something like a microwave oven can cause interference at that frequency. Thankfully, there are very few wifi devices these days that operate solely on 2.4 GHz.

Another possible problem is that you had too many devices connected to your particular wifi network, and either the wireless hotspot or the router was overwhelmed by all of the traffic trying to go through it, and you were dropping your connection as a result.

A third possible problem is just that there was just a configuration issue within the network, or some other hardware fault with the mixer or your iPad. There are some digital mixers, like the Behringer XR18, which have built-in wifi which is notoriously bad, you should always use an external wireless router with those.

In your particular scenario, the digital mixer should be on a dedicated, secured wireless network that nothing else (or very few other things) connect to, making sure that the wireless channel that it’s set to doesn’t overlap with any other permanent wireless networks in that area.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yeah, absolutely. Wi-Fi and (any other wireless signals, for that matter) can overcrowd the airwaves, much the same way too many people speaking in a room can make it difficult to hear anyone.

Ideally, a Wi-Fi access point can communicate with only 5 or 6 client devices simultaneously. That’s if all of those devices are chatting on-air 100% of the time with no breaks, which is almost never the case. If devices took turns talking (and they do) you could realistically cram a few multiples of 5 or 6 devices onto the network with little issue. Beyond that, though, signal quality is gonna fall off a cliff, as the room starts getting too noisy for anyone to be heard.

There’s also the matter of routers only having so many IP addresses to hand out. How many that is can vary a lot depending on how it’s configured, but by default it can be anywhere from 50-ish to 250-ish. Could be more, but someone would have had to go out of their way to set that up. If these are all taken and you try to connect, the router will tell you to go kick rocks.

Think of connecting to Wi-Fi like you’re at one of those fast casual restaurants where you order at a counter and they bring the food out to your table. When you order, they hand you one of those table tents with a big number on it, so they know which customer you are. For the duration of your visit, you keep the number. When you leave, they take the number back. If you come back again another day, you get a new one, with whatever number happens to be on top of the pile at that moment. They only have so many, though, and if they run out, they can’t take any more customers until some of the other customers leave first.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Bluetooth technology uses the 2.4 GHz ISM spectrum band (2400 to 2483.5 MHz). This is an EXTREMELY crowded spectrum and you can easily have issues with competing signals.

Relevant to your case, LOTS of phones still use 2.4Ghz band for wifi, so they could absolutely cause issues

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yes this is absolutely a thing. Think of it like a bar. When there are only a handful of people there talking, the noise level isn’t bad and you can have a conversation. The more people that fill in, the louder it becomes and the harder it is to have a conversation. At some point, it gets so loud that you don’t hear something and the speaker has to say it again (retransmit) filling the air with even more noise. If enough people are in the space all talking at the same time, it becomes impossible to distinguish your conversation from the background noise.

Some systems/protocols try to minimize this by scheduling who can talk and when, like people who hand microphones to people asking questions from an audience, but that requires compliant cooperation from all the other individuals (devices) in the room.

There is a mountain of complexity when it comes to RF, but this is as simple as I can make it.