Q

Access point compatibility

I have implemented Cisco Aironet AP's, which use DSSS in my network. Can I also use FHSS AP's in the same area? In this case they are Symbol barcode readers.
DSSS will have interference problems when operating in the vicinity of a FHSS device operating in the same frequency range. A FHSS system transmits signals uniformly over the entire 2.4 GHz band (83.5 MHz) by rapidly hopping over different frequencies. DSSS continuously transmits over approximately one third of the band (22 MHz). DSSS will overlap with roughly one third of a FHSS transmission and FHSS will overlap with the entire DSSS signal. This causes a FHSS system to impart greater damage in terms of RF interference to the one based on DSSS. Depending on the power output, you will generally notice that the DSSS system will lose connectivity very often. In general, FHSS is more resilient than DSSS and will usually win the frequency battle given equivalent power output.
This was first published in December 2001

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