Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Xbox 360's Jamming Wireless Signals?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the raspberry-i-hate-raspberry dept.

Wireless Networking 222

WirePosted writes "A report has emerged suggesting the Xbox 360's inbuilt wireless system for communication with wireless controllers and headsets is transmitting over a wide area of the 2.4Ghz spectrum, causing interference to WLAN's and other 2.4Ghz devices."

cancel ×

222 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1, Informative)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726470)

Oh like we didn't know this was going to happen.

I don't know what other IT guys thought when we found out the Xbox was using 2.4 Ghz for it's controllers, but I laughed out loud!

2.4 Ghz is one of the most badly managed spectrum for consumers. You have phone systems that take out access points, access points that take out phone systems, and no idea at all which of those systems will interact badly with another.

And you can't fix it either! Access points use a static channelization for their transmission, and controllers/phones use spread spectrum. Why is that bad??

It's bad because 2.4 Ghz is radio, carrying digital info, which due to the nature of the produced sign wave results in a signal distortion more commonly known as "bleed over". Without the ability to separate the signals by a large frequency, digital over analog bleeds all over the place. Additionally, spread spectrum ensures the signal will at some point transmit across the whole spectrum.

Add to that the fact that these antenna aren't tuned all that well....

Oh well 2.4 Ghz is a mess. No one likes to talk about it... and companies are still making equipment for 2.4 Ghz.

Caveat Emptor.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726540)

It's bad because 2.4 Ghz is radio, carrying digital info, which due to the nature of the produced sign wave results in a signal distortion more commonly known as "bleed over". Without the ability to separate the signals by a large frequency, digital over analog bleeds all over the place.

The hell? There is nothing magic about digital data that means you can't bandwidth-limit the outgoing transmission. There are plenty of digital radio protocols that use a very well defined slice of bandwidth, without any more bleed over than traditional AM or FM radio analog broadcasts. Just because the signal represents digital data doesn't mean you have to use square waves or something.

I suppose we should all be thankful that radio engineers are better educated than the average Slashdot poster...

(Of course, it's entirely possible there's something broken about the XBOX radio. It's also entirely possible it's just a spread-spectrum transmitter doing exactly what it's supposed to do in a largely unregulated piece of spectrum.)

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1, Informative)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726870)

"I suppose we should all be thankful that radio engineers are better educated than the average Slashdot poster..."

Rather, I'd hope "radio engineers" would take notes from the Slashdot posters. This way Slashdot posters, who have to trouble shoot wireless systems going down for no apparent reason, don't have to argue with "radio engineers" over a problem that is reproducible.

Also, you might want to ask why this "IT Director" (me) appears to know more about this problem than you do?

At any rate I've seen the sign wave off a couple of these wireless transmitters and it doesn't look clean to me.

But you know... I'm no "radio engineer". My license only reads "Technician".

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (3, Funny)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727092)

My license reads technician too. What is this "sign wave" you're talking about? Is it a stop sign? A sign from on high? I'm sure you can connect the dots in a QAM constellation to make many different signs.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727164)

If all you can point to is my typo- my comments must be on the mark.

Thank you- Sine Wave.....

I'll fix that next time.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727676)

He is laughing at your ignorance in this matter. You talk about sine waves, but you mean something else.
I'm thinking that you're talking about time domain representation of a signal. I'm giving you a hint: generally signal that is broader in the time domain is more narrow in the frequency domain.
Read about nyquist pulse shaping and some other basic consepts about communications.
Some things in your starting post were dead on, and I'm not arguing with them.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727902)

So you are saying he was wrong? I was convinced he was right. What a consept.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (2, Informative)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727832)

Fine, then. How would viewing a plot of a sine wave tell you anything useful? Wouldn't you rather look at the frequency domain to see how well your equipment is staying within its part of the spectrum? Are you sure you know what you're looking at? You may want to save the HAM and IT rank-pulling for the users in HR.

Waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727184)

At any rate I've seen the sign wave off a couple of these wireless transmitters and it doesn't look clean to me.
What was written on the sign? Was it a road sign? Was it muddy? I hate muddy road signs!

Anyway, GP is right, there is nothing special about an analogue signal that represents a digital signal. Although I'm not sure all equipment would be sending out a sine wave. Is there any reason not to use a square wave?

Re:Waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727730)

Square waves are pretty annoying, from a signals perspective. Look up "ringing" (boundary conditions + functions that are only piecewise continuous = yuck). Sine waves are much easier to process and don't have nasty harmonics...

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727404)

IMHO, anyone who calls it a "sign wave" not only once but TWICE doesn't deserve even "technician." It's a "SINE wave."

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727950)

There are plenty of digital radio protocols that use a very well defined slice of bandwidth, without any more bleed over than traditional AM or FM radio analog broadcasts

Bad example since as a percentage of channel width FM has about the widest guard area of any communications method. Irrespective of that the 2.4Ghz spectrum is ISM so as long as they meet FCC regs for total power and don't bleed too much into non-ISM spectrum they can be as rude as they want to be.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (4, Informative)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726542)

WiFi refreshes so often that most people dont notice the significant proformance drop

their internet connection is almost always the real choke point anyways.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726678)

Perhaps you are privy to some ultra-sophisticated bleeding-edge wireless technology I was unaware of (in which case please share), but on most home networks I connect to the choke point is the way the bandwidth slowly atrophies and then I have to reconnect every five minutes or so.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726846)

Get an AP point with 802.1n or download firmware that allows you to use channels 12-13-14 of the 2.4ghz spectrum. I have been using channel 14 for 3 years with virtually no disconnects.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727316)

Can I plug my NIC card into my AP point?

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727620)

I have been using channel 14 for 3 years with virtually no disconnects

Minor detail that you can't legally use that channel in the United States (or Canada?). Granted, the odds of getting caught are next to nothing, but I don't think this is a viable "fix" for anybody in the business world.....

Ultra-sophisticated (1)

wizzard2k (979669) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726878)

802.11a?

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727072)

as one of the others guys pointed out change he channel your on. I purposely scanned my neighborhood sorted out who has on which channel and then picked a clear one. Since most people use default settings picking an oddball one isn't hard. You also have several to choose from, at least you do if you don't have a cheap AP.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726738)

You have never lived next to me then :) I regularly have my card set to Israel channel spacing Xtreme highest speed :) Guranteed to jam all signals outside Israel :) I also have a mobile jammer :)

Is that a colon in your pocket (3, Funny)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726754)

or are you just happy to see me?

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (2, Insightful)

jamesshuang (598784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727250)

Tell me again when you live in an apartment building. I can currently see 43 wireless networks in iwlist. I actually see two outside the normal range (it's full of tech-savvy college students anyways). Wireless is useless here, I even bought a signal-boosting router, but it still only works reliably within 20 feet of it. All my computers have ethernet hookups, my friends have to deal with the wireless shit all the time because they're lazy and don't want to string wires.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21726740)

This deserves -1 Flamebait for misspelling 'sine'.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21726818)

It's bad because 2.4 Ghz is radio, carrying digital info, which due to the nature of the produced sign wave results in a signal distortion more commonly known as "bleed over"

Holy cow.

1) It's "sine" wave, not "sign"
2) A digital signal (as in a square wave) is a composition of sine waves. There is no "signal distortion" due to the "nature of the produced sign (sic) wave". And a pure sine wave at a single frequency has no (theoretical) distortion.
3) "Bleed over" is when the harmonics of the signal that fall outside the desired band are of sufficient amplitude to cause a problem. Proper engineering mitigates this effect. It has nothing to do with the "nature" of produced sine waves.
4) Oh, and in case anyone's wondering... If a pure sine wave gets clipped, it's no longer a sine wave. It's another waveform composed of another set of sine waves, mathematically an infinite series.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727050)

4) Oh, and in case anyone's wondering... If a pure sine wave gets clipped, it's no longer a sine wave. It's another waveform composed of another set of sine waves, mathematically an infinite series. The GP didn't mention clipping. And now I have to figure out that function's Fourier series. Thanks asshole.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726850)

It's not "badly managed", it isn't managed at all. It's an unlicensed block.

Cheese w/your whine....? (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726910)

"And you can't fix it either!

Gee, and here Apple has moved on w/5.8GHz for 802.11n :)

Re:Cheese w/your whine....? (1)

klubar (591384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727682)

Apple didn't invent 802.11n; you could have just as easily have said "linksys has moved on to 5.8ghz". Just because Apple uses it, doesn't mean they invented it. (Unlike what most Apple users think.)

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726942)

This is why I hate everything that's wireless. Devices interfere with each other, they have to be recharged all the time, and it's slow! I propose a revolution, a revolution where devices don't interfere with each other, they don't need to be recharged, and is fast! I propose the use of thin threads of copper for signal transmission and power supply. In fact, I am inventing the next BlackBerry killer. Imagine a phone which never drops a signal, never requires charging, and can transfer data at 1gbps. That's right, a phone that's wired! Now, I just need to make sure NTP doesn't sue the crap out of me for wired e-mail.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727746)

This is why I hate everything that's wireless

Wouldn't it have been better to say "I hate everything that's unlicensed wireless"?

Devices interfere with each other

I've never had an interference issue with a cell phone. Of course my cell phone is using a licensed band......

they don't need to be recharged

This is the single reason why I've never bought a bluetooth headset. Yet another device to charge. Somebody needs to give me a rational explanation for why mini-usb hasn't become the charging standard across the industry. Motorola is using it for all of their stuff (phones and headsets). Why is nobody else? Yes, I mean you Nokia.....

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727808)

This is why I hate everything that's wireless. Devices interfere with each other, they have to be recharged all the time, and it's slow! I propose a revolution, a revolution where devices don't interfere with each other, they don't need to be recharged, and is fast! I propose the use of thin threads of copper for signal transmission and power supply.
What a great idea!

Now, can you please tell me how to run a wire from my living room to the basement? I've been trying to string up the house with Ethernet so I don't have to use wireless and so far the only thing I've gotten wired is the Wii.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727132)

2.4 Ghz is one of the most badly managed spectrum for consumers.

That's because this band is essentially unmanaged. It is garbage spectrum, unusable by terrestrial radio astronomers and satellite communications. That's why so much unlicensed crap has been crammed into it. 900MHz is a lot better but the bigger-is-better mentality is what drives the sheeple thought process.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727382)

A radio technician license doesn't make you an expert. That's quite clear from your post.

Try being a Technology Director, with a radio license, and an EE from an excellent engineering school, plus 20 years experience in digital communications. I can personally tell you that it still doesn't make one an expert.

However, I can tell you you're way off base in your post. The whole point is that 2.4 GHz (not Ghz, BTW) is that it isn't managed! It's up to everyone to pretty much fend for themselves!

Good grief. No wonder it's a "mess" when people like you start talking about "sign" waves.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727666)

And you can't fix it either! Access points use a static channelization for their transmission, and controllers/phones use spread spectrum. Why is that bad??

Devices that use spread spectrum do not cause interference. They may add to the signal noise floor of the frequency band in use, but ideally it doesn't adversely affect any other users of the RF space. In addition, SS devices are not as susceptible to traditional RF interference (thanks to frequency hopping). I admit that I am not an RF engineer, and I haven't had to work with it in a long time but I don't think anything has changed in the past decade.

What I have found to be the most likely culprit is the cheap microwave ovens that you can find at retailers like Walmart. They leak 2.4 GHz RF like a sieve. Since there are XBOX 360s nearby, I bet there are more than a few of these low cost microwave ovens nearby too.

Re:Microsoft and Radio? Help us all.... (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727858)

Devices that use spread spectrum do not cause interference

"Devices that use spread spectrum do not cause interference with each other"

There, fixed that for you.

Seriously, anybody that has ever tried to use an analog 2.4Ghz cordless phone near a busy wi-fi network knows that they do cause interference. Hell, I can even tell when my wi-fi has a burst of activity if I'm using my bluetooth headset.... and bluetooth is supposed to avoid channels that are in use.

How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (4, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726502)

I would think we would have heard of this problem long before now. There are million of these units and when they are not displaying the red ring of death, you think this problem would be shutting down WLANs worldwide generating numerous WTFs. Microsoft also sells its own USB wireless adapter for the XBOX 360. You think the wireless adapter would be nuked by the wireless controller if this was the case.

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726548)

Yeah...this does sound a little suspicious. You think it would have been noted before. I don't have a 360 so I can't comment. What is the PS3 doing to avoid this I wonder?

Note that if this is true and the 360 really is using the 2.4ghz spectrum, you could point to this as evidence that selling their own wireless gizmo separately to make extra cash kind of came back to bite them in the ass - Sony would have figured this out pretty quickly when the wireless internet and the wiress controllers didn't work well together.

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (2, Informative)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726780)

The PS3 uses the bluetooth protocol to transmit data, which was designed to share 2.4 GHz with WiFi. MS, as usual, has reinvented the wheel, poorly.

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (-1, Troll)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727068)

Hahahahaha!! Tell that to all the people that whose PS3 controllers intermittently lose connection in the middle of a game and how you have to resync a PS3 controller with a cable. Oh, and then tell them about the sealed battery in the PS3 controller instead of using swappable packs or, god forbid, standard AA batteries. Lastly ZOMG the PS3 uses standard wi-fi that might interfere with other devices using 2.4Ghz!!

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (2, Informative)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727464)

  • The PS3 bluetooth implementation may be spotty, but that doesn't change the crux of the argument:
    1. Bluetooth is designed to play nicely with WiFi
    2. The PS3 uses the bluetooth standard, so it plays nicely with WiFi.
    3. MS designed a proprietary protocol, which happens to break WiFi.
    4. MS could have used Bluetooth as well, thus averting this problem.
    5. Thus, MS reinvented the wheel, poorly. (At least, given this metric)
    6. This is not out of the ordinary. MS has quite a history of breaking [microsoft.com] things [microsoft.com] .
  • Your comments about the battery have no context in this conversation. I'm not discussing the pros & cons of a PS3, merely the technologies used in various controllers.
  • Your comments concerning WiFi interfering with other devices is likewise irrelevant. Again, I wasn't discussing the console, but the controller.

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (0, Troll)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727530)

It's funny how the 360 is to blame and not the other way around. As others have said the 2.4Ghz isn't really tightly controlled so it only makes sense that devices will conflict. To add to the anecdotal pile, I have Wi-fi and a 2.4GHz cordless phone and have never had an issue when I am playing on my 360. Even on co-op games with 2 of us playing. As for my other points I was bringing up how poorly the Sony controllers were designed. I'd rather have the MS system which has never randomly disconnected on me than the PS3 BT which disconnects for my buddy all the time. So, in conclusion they didn't break anything and this is the usual Slashdot FUD.

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727800)

Bluetooth is designed to play nicely with WiFi

Bluetooth doesn't "play nicely" with WiFi. Bluetooth (from 1.2 onwards) was designed to remove channels that are being used from it's hopping sequence. But until it detects that those channels are in use (which may take quite awhile if your wifi network doesn't have a lot of traffic) you are still going to have interference issues. WiFi will usually "win", in that if either of the devices is going to be affected by the interference it's much more likely to be the bluetooth one.

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727584)

ZOMG! My wifi is interfering with my wifi!!! What I do?!! What I do?!?!

Re:How long has the XBOX 360 been out? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726788)

Sony and Nintendo both use Bluetooth controllers. Which is still 2.4GHz, but at least Bluetooth is fairly standardized and easy for other wireless device manufacturers to work around.c

That said, the X360 has been out for over two years now. If this was a major issue I think we'd have heard about it long before now.

Sounds like FUD (4, Interesting)

paranode (671698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726888)

There's a lot of stuff that operates in this range. From the article itself it merely says: "It's not clear whether the signal disrupts the college's WLAN access points or students' wireless notebooks. There is some anecdotal evidence, however, that it at least affects other radios in the same 2.4GHz band." Basically the article just talks about a 'strange' 2.4GHz signal that they found and didn't know where it came from. Turned out it came from the XBox 360 (and that is admittedly his "best guess"). No evidence or claim in the article that it is interfering with any WLANs, he basically just says they need to do more 'systematic testing' (that is, putting a bunch of 360s in the room to see if they can cause interference).

Nothing to see here...

Re:Sounds like FUD (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726974)

It's anti-Microsoft FUD so it has a place on Slashdot regardless of its merits.

Didn't notice (3, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726514)

Just a little anicdotal evidence but I have a 360 in the same room at my PC which is on wireless and two access points in that room as well. They all work fine at the same time.

Re:Didn't notice (2, Insightful)

Cabriel (803429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726812)

I concur with this guy. I've been using a Wii (built-in WiFi), two laptops, and the Xbox360 within five feet of eachother for about two months, now, and we've been relatively free of problems. There is a new issue with one of the laptops losing it's wireless connectivity, but the Xbox360 has been around far longer than the problem, so I'd be very wary of trying to make that association.

Re:Didn't notice (1)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726992)

Going to have to agree myself, running 2 desktops, 3 laptops, and the 360 on two access points, and I've noticed no interference. Seems like FUD to me.

Re:Didn't notice (1)

kidsizedcoffin (1197209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727096)

I don't find any problem close to the access point, however, one floor down, I have an 360 and a Wii. The 360 is the only thing on the floor that will get a wireless signal, the Wii and anyone with a laptop can barely see the AP, but cannot connect.

Re:Didn't notice (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727482)

but does it use the 802.11n transmission method? Anyway I think if there are multiple headsets enabled and they each take up like 3 channels, you'd probably be on the phone on an important call and suddenly receive a garbled "YEEEEAH MOTHER FUCKERS! THAT'S A HEADSHOT!" through the receiver.

Re:Didn't notice (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727588)

No, my access points don't use 802.11n. Also my phone wouldn't do that as my phone operates on digital signals from my access point and not analog signals. It's a skype phone made to work off of wi-fi.

Read TFNOTBOED (3, Insightful)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726528)

Read The Fine Note On The Back Of Every Device.

Something along the lines of:

(1) Tolerate interference from other devices. (2) .... something else that I forget....

You see, the FCC does not want to have to certify that each and every $3 wireless mouse keeps its emissions within 0.2 KHz of 945.343 MHz at a field strength of no more than 330 microvolts / meter.

Welcome to the Republican Spectrum of the Future.

Re:Read TFNOTBOED (4, Funny)

SengirV (203400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726666)

Welcome to the Republican Spectrum of the Future.

But the Dems are in charge of Congress, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore, right? 'bout time you realize that problem is ALL politicians, you partisan hack.

Well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21726928)

Obviously if the Dems had designed it, it would work perfectly and cost you nothing. They would just bill the taxpayers $50 for the $3 mouse, but that money comes from the sky so who cares??

Re:Well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727862)

Obviously if the Dems had designed it, it would work perfectly and cost you nothing. They would just bill the taxpayers $50 for the $3 mouse, but that money comes from the sky so who cares??
I totally agree - the taxpayers can't pay for that. Where will Bush get his money for his endless wars in the Middle East?

Re:Read TFNOTBOED (1)

HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727140)

But the Dems are in charge of Congress, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore, right? 'bout time you realize that problem is ALL politicians, you partisan hack.
FYI - all five of the FCC Commissioners were appointed by Republican President Bush and all five of them were confirmed by a Republican led Senate. The Democrats have only been in power in the Senate since January 2007 and no FCC Commissioners have been nominated or confirmed since.

Re:Read TFNOTBOED (1)

Zak3056 (69287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727410)

Your point is made, but his point still stands. The idea that the FCC under Bush created the problem of devices operating in unlicensed spectrum is absurd.

Re:Read TFNOTBOED (3, Informative)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726996)

Are you thick? These are very old regulations, and they have nothing to do with any one party. You could have at least looked up the regs first instead of proving to everyone that you don't know what you're talking about. Class B from memory:
  • The device must not create any harmful interference,
  • The device must accept any interference that may cause undesired operation.

Re:Read TFNOTBOED (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727534)

You are correct, but it's actually FCC "Part 15" - "Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation."

Re:Read TFNOTBOED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21728008)

* The device must not create any harmful interference,
* The device must accept any interference that may cause undesired operation.

Isn't there a third law?

* The device must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Yes, read TFNOTBOED (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727160)

.... something else that I forget....

Well the whole thing says:

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

The part that you forget is the part says "this device may not cause harmful interference". I'd say that this is pretty relevant.

I hate 2.4ghz... (1)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726538)

This reminds me of my stepdad asking me the question, "why does my laptop's wireless connection intermittently fail?" -- there are far too many answers. Phones? TVs? Microwaves? Any wireless toys? Any appliances? Neighbours? Orbital mind-control lasers? And now X-box! You never know what can be kicking you off the network.

I almost miss shoving wires through filthy ducts...

Re:I hate 2.4ghz... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726606)

Orbital mind-control lasers
Wrong frequency. You're off by 1GHz.

Old News (5, Interesting)

JedaFlain (899703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726574)

This isn't really new news as shown by this [slashdot.org] article from 2005. It talks about Wal-Mart's problems with some of it's 360 kiosks causing problems with their wireless inventory system.

Re:Old News (1)

Scruss (1130173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727106)

This is true, I worked at walmart at this time in the electronics dept. and we had to shut them down for a while. The xbox rep came in a few times and then we turned them back on. I do not know what they did to "shield" the xbox but it didn't bother out scanners again.

xbox wireless (1)

blanks (108019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726590)

The ironic part to this is so many people have complained about the xbox wireless losing connection or just working just plain badly. I guess Microsoft didn't think how badly the controlers would interfear with the wifi card for the xbox.

This isn't just a problem for microsoft though it will most likely be a problem with any console that deals with wireless lan access and wireless controllers that both function in the 2.6 spectrum.

Re:xbox wireless (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727054)

For the record, my Wii seems to have problems with the wireless. If I leave the WiiConnect24 on, after a couple days the wireless router stops responding, and it doesn't kick back on until I turn off the WiiConnect24 , even after I reboot the router.

Re:xbox wireless (1)

James McP (3700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727450)

It's probably your router. I've got a cheap access point that every so often stops transmitting any data over the WAN port until I do a hard power cycle. Internal data transfers work just fine. I figure it's either a a malformed packet kills the software for the external port or a buffer that gets corrupted.

The problem was originally pretty sporadic (like every couple of months) but the ocurrence rate spiked when my TiVO went on the network and increased the overall load.

Re:xbox wireless (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727138)

I have a Wii connected wireless, and there's a 360 in the house as well. Two computers, one on each side of the 360. One loses connection alot, the other seems fine. I think it has more to do with the piece of furniture blocking the signal more than the 360 is causing problems.

Not just the x-box (2, Interesting)

methano (519830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726598)

I know we're supposed to hate MS and love the competition (and I do), but my wife claims that the Wii is also messing up the WiFi signal to her laptop.

2.4GHz: The Wild West of RF (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726718)

Even microwave ovens use 2.4G. There are so many different comms using 2.4G it is suprising anything works.

Re:2.4GHz: The Wild West of RF (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727388)

This is why I searched so long (and found! Yay!) a phone that still used 900MHz. One less thing to crowd the wireless at home.

Re:Not just the x-box (3, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727602)

I'd have thought that if the Wii was messing up a laptop's WiFi connection, it would also have been messing up its OWN WiFi connection. Coupled with the fact that it uses an international standard (bluetooth) for its wireless controllers, which is used by millions of other devices without problem, it seems unlikely that it's messing up WiFi signals.

The 360, on the other hand, doesn't have WiFi, and has wireless controllers that use a proprietary (I think) wireless system, on the same frequency spectrum as WiFi. There's every chance that it interferes.

Not surprising... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726650)

...given all of the other hardware-related problems that Xbox 360 has had with overheating [news.com] , brittle solder joints [ezinearticles.com] , optical disk scratching [llamma.com] , and general instability [slashdot.org] .

Re:Not surprising... (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727642)

The RROD is well known and the 3 year warranty was implemented by MS to deal with that. The optical disc scratching is overblown and is usually the result of some moron moving the console while it's running. As for the instability, blame the coders, not the hardware. Almost all of you articles are from 2005, how about dealing with the 360 as it stands now? I play mine on a regular basis, have a great time on Live with friends, and it doesn't crash any more than my PS2, Dreamcast or Gamecube. Anecdotal sure, but when people like you make a mountain out of a molehill and try to pretend that it's factual just because it's an MS product it really just smacks of mindless bashing.

Re:Not surprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727842)

Why'd you even bother responding to the guy? You actually think someone who keeps track of articles from 2 years ago to use on slashdot would be open to rational debate?

Besides the disc scratching link he provided actually says the problem occurs while shifting the 360 between horizontal and vertical while a disc is spinning. The fact that he would still use that article to support his "point" proves he's an idiot.

Only with guitar hero... (1)

larpon (974081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726664)

Jamming with AC/DC.. YEAH! fire!

War (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726674)

it could come in handy in the battlefield of tech warfare *rolls eyes*

3 2.4's working right next to each other. (1)

problah (174691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726728)

I've got my vonage AP, my wireless router, sitting right next to each other on the shelf just below my 360 in my entertainment cabinet. I have NEVER had any issues. And I'm a *nux guy saying this.

So for justification, the 360 is the only M$ product in my house. 0]

Re:3 2.4's working right next to each other. (1)

Asmor (775910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726858)

Really? You don't have Halo 3 or any other games for the 360 which were published by MS? :p

Nit picky, perhaps.

Re:3 2.4's working right next to each other. (1)

problah (174691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726972)

A little bit. Should I have defined it as "Hardware/ OS based"? 0] OR should I have it defined as "Anything related to the xbox, hardware/software wise is included in this statement."? That would mean I could have a PC running windows Vista that streams media center through it directly to the xbox for M$ loving viewing pleasure of say, Fox News (Vomit). The obfuscation can continue. 0]But thank you for calling me out in the usual geeky "Everything has to be literal" way. One love. 0]

Oh you must be lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21727026)

MS is teh evil empire and they did this on purpose to screw up your other devices! You are being paid by MS to post this aren't you!? Teh conspeeraseeeess!!!! Aahhhh!

Re:Oh you must be lying (1)

problah (174691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727112)

Me!? A M$-tie!?!? Hey I know how to del /s * any linux box!!!

Oh wait... uh... I mean rm -rf /?

In all seriosity, I haven't had any issues with my 360 yet (Not including the whole, can't connect to my network server because it's not AD.. BS). Period (So crossing fingers so that I don't jynx myself).

This sounds a bit iffy (5, Informative)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726758)

A small college is experience problems with their new wireless network equipment in the presence of a few xbox's. however, apparently all over the rest of the country, in huge universities with thousands of xbox 360s... there's no problem whatsoever. the only bit that doesn't fit with this is that they said the IT staff had issues using their bluetooth headsets. now, the only comment i can make on this is that i think they have cheap bluetooth headsets. they said the 360 makes the signal even when its not turned on... just plugged in. i have both a ps3 & 360 virtually one on top of the other (a shelf plus a few inches of space in between) and the ps3's bluetooth controllers work just as fine as they did before i got the 360. so, all in all, i think this is a load of bull. the 360 has been out for way too long for this to not have been noticed. i think something else is screwing with their headsets & wireless network. or maybe its just the wireless network thats screwing with the headsets and they're looking for a scapegoat.

Re:This sounds a bit iffy (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726790)

plus i have a wireless router in the same room about 2 feet from the consoles and its wireless n & b/g. n craps out on me every so often (even before the 360), but thats pretty much a given with it. i haven't noticed it get any worse with the 360 either.

Re:This sounds a bit iffy (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727606)

small college is experience problems with their new wireless network equipment in the presence of a few xbox's. however, apparently all over the rest of the country, in huge universities with thousands of xbox 360s... there's no problem whatsoever. the only bit that doesn't fit with this is that they said the IT staff had issues using their bluetooth headsets.

Well, a quick google check right now found "about 14,100" matches for "xbox wifi interference". A (somewhat less quick) scan of the first 100 or so matches show that around 1/3 are from people questioning the idea, about 1/2 are from people seriously discussing the problem, and the rest are random "misc" comments not so easy to classify. Some of the pages are several years old.

Just out of curiosity, since a few people here mention Wii, I also googled "wii wifi interference", and got about 10,800 hits. However, few of those seem to be about the wii causing the problem. Most are about diagnosis and/or suggested fixes.

So it seems that the xbox has been known for several years to be a significant source of interference. Not that it's the only culprit, of course; the 2.4GH spectrum is unregulated and notorious for out-of-spec transmitters. But the Xbox is a consumer product with significant sales, and it does seem to be fairly accurately identified as a major source of interference.

As someone else noted earlier, Microsoft has known of the problem for some time, and even had to help WalMart fix the problem in its stores. But MS seems to insist that it's "unlikely" that consumers would see the problem. I'd take this to mean that they're taking the usual Customer Support approach that "You're the only one we've heard this complaint from" and not bothering to fix the problem for anyone but powerful corporate customers.

(Note that that really wasn't a Microsoft bash. Such behavior is almost universal in corporate customer support. We only hear it from MS's PR folks more because their customers need so much more support. Bash, bash! ;-)

Seems like FUD to me. (1)

someonehasmyname (465543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726874)

I have two xbox 360's in my living room, mine and my roommate's. We're both using wireless controllers, and I have an access point literally 2 feet away from my roommate's 360, which puts mine about 4 feet away. We never have a problem with the wifi signal, or the controllers. I hate micros~1 as much as the next slashdotter, but this is total fud.

Ad for Meru? (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21726920)

I don't doubt there is some 2.4Ghz issue with the XBox 360, but this article started to sound way too much like an ad for Meru about half-way through.

PS3s Jamming Goat Thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21726922)

I heard that PS3s jam goats abilities to think.

What a load of utter wank. My 360 sits in the same room as my laptop which works wirelessly, my mobile phone and my TV using DVB-T, it doesn't cause problems with anyone.

This is complete and utter unfounded crap, simple as.

Apostrophe's used for pluralizing!?! (2, Informative)

mikej (84735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727024)

Seriously. Come on.

Put on your tin foil hats! (2, Funny)

ganiman (162726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727182)

And people laugh at me for wearing a tin foil hat! YOU AREN'T GETTING MY BRAIN WAVES BILL!!

Easy to find out... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727488)

Look up the XBox 360 and controllers FCC IDs and read up on them. I don't have one so I can't, but I've heard it uses a frequency hopping spread spectrum system. Because of the way the FCC rules are structured, an FHSS system can put a lot more power on a given frequency than a DSSS (802.11b) or OFDM (802.11g) system. They are also required to hop across most of the available spectrum, as the article describes.

College vs. Home enviroment (1)

eNygma-x (1137037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727540)

Frankly, I want to hear more from college IT people than just the home users who have no problems. I mean when you have multi-floor setups using the 3 non-overlapping channels and over 200 Xbox's You will see a more realistic example of problems. We have seen a few problems here lately and have suspected the Xboxs but have yet to prove it. So how about it? I want to hear from other colleges on what they have seen.

No problems here (1)

KalElOfJorEl (998741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727630)

My setup:

2 Xbox 360s (one wired, one wireless through ICS on laptop) each with 1 controller
1 2.4GHz Cordless phone (Uniden something or other)
1 Wireless router (WRT54G)
3 Laptops running on 802.11g (Netgear WG511T, Buffalo USB Adapter, Intel PRO Wireless adapter)

I haven't seen a single problem and all network/gaming/phone performance is good to excellent (relatively speaking). Having multiple 2.4Ghz devices in one house can always be problematic. When I used to work retail electronics I had plenty of customers complain about WiFi and phones interrupting each other. Besides, doesn't Bluetooth use a 2.4GHz signal too (and thus, the PS3 controllers)? Correct me if I'm wrong on that one.

Room Full of 360s (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727646)

I don't know how many Slashdot readers made it to ZendCon this year, but Microsoft had their hand in the event. At night they supplied 4 XBox 360s, each with a pair of wireless controllers and wifi internet, and they were all working properly in the same small room.

If the 360 has problems with wireless interference, I sure didn't see it.

Re: Xbox 360's [sic] jamming Wireless Signals? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727664)

Come on, man, you're literate. Don't make me sic Bob [angryflower.com] on you!

A little more on topic - Xbox 360s are made by Microsoft. Microsoft has never ever worked or played well with others. Why is anybody surprised that any MS device would hog bandwidth?

The question should be, why does the FCC let them get away with it? Is it because of incompetent FCC people, coprrupt FCC people, or some other reason?

-mcgrew

(if there are typos it's because I went blind [slashdot.org] this morning (see the 1st comment to the journal)

The FCC should be dissolved! (not) (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727792)

Haha, it's 2.4Ghz. It's a free for all... so, what's the story? The Xbox can spit out all the interference it wants there, within some power envelope.

My WiFi will get wonky once in a while when the neighbours use their microwave. Fortunately, the cordless phone is on the 900Mhz frequency.

The other option, is to get licensed spectrum... but if Microsoft had done that (which is totally unrealistic for the application)... we'd get 10 posts from people saying that "the FCC should be dissolved" because the airwaves are a public resource. Go figure.

Re:The FCC should be dissolved! (not) (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21727990)

he Xbox can spit out all the interference it wants there, within some power envelope

Actually the Part 15 regs say that "this device may not cause harmful interference".

we'd get 10 posts from people saying that "the FCC should be dissolved" because the airwaves are a public resource

They are a public resource. Something needs to exist to manage them. In theory the FCC should manage them in the best interest of the public (in reality.... pffft, but that's another story). Should we dissolve the National Park Service too?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>