Microwave Ovens… Science’s little sabotager

Lately at work we’ve been having trouble with our Symbol 1060 handhelds running slow and/or disconnecting during heavy production times. We have tried separating the access points from the rest of the network through vlans, but made no progress.

We then called in an expert from “Bar Coding.” He had a nifty device called a YellowJacket Wireless Analyzer. This thing could detect available access points as well as measure interference. We began to do a sweep of the warehouse and didn’t notice any interference. Although, the closer we got to the cafeteria, the worse the interference got. I would estimate that we were about 60 feet away from the cafeteria and were experiencing a 1/3 degradation from signal strength. The closer we got, the worse the strength got and the worse the interference got.

Bastard Microwave

Bastard Microwave

It turns out that someone in the cafeteria was warming up their food in an industrial microwave that was located near the wall that separates the cafeteria form the warehouse. I always knew that microwaves were supposed to screw with wireless signal, but I never imagined it to be that terrible.

This blew my mind so much that I felt it to be necessary that I share this with the Internets.

Feel free to share any crazy wireless stories you may have in the comments.

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