Airport drops out after warmup

I was losing airport signal - as if signal strength dropped to zero. It took several weeks for me to track down the correlation. It has to do with temperature.

If I put the Mac to sleep for a while it works again - if I put the Mac on a bedspread with poor airflow the signal drops out sooner. I can move the Mac *much* closer to the AP and it works OK.

Its *probably* the airport card, but it *could* be the antenna connector. The card is cheap enough so I'll change it - but that won't prove that the card was bad - perhaps just re-plugging in the antenna would work.

Anyone else seen that behavior?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Deck the Halls
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With WIFI there is a correlation between chip temperature and signal strength. This not only holds true with the "wireless card" on a computer/laptop but is also the case with the router. The issue is discussed on many wireless forums

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As might be expected if this was always the observed behavior. But the behavior I am describing is in significant difference to the previous behavior of this Mac as observed over many years. Surely the ICs themselves do not change. I believe this to be a connection failing - either between IC and PCB or perhaps at antenna connector or at the antenna.

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I believe Cellars to be correct. A connector LIKELY won't change throughout the years assuming they aren't put through unreasonable duress. ICs however do change with enough time/use. The paths and solder joints become degraded which increases resistance and in turn, increases heat produced. This will cause the phenomena Cellars describes. Combine the heat with degraded ICs and board paths, and you have the exaggerated weak signal that you are experiencing.

Replacing a connector is a cheaper fix, and certainly couldn't hurt for testing purposes. It would my guess though, that the AirPort card is the culprit.

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I believe Phillip explained things pretty well. I will add. I would say there is a strong chance of the antenna cable being bad if your signal strength is bad across the board. I can not consider the antenna connection to be the problem on this system that has good signal strength at times - Unless the angle of the LCD is mentioned as a factor of signal strength. You mentioned heat being the chief variance in the mix. Chips do degrade over time when exposed to heat. That is one of the fundamentals of electronics. I can't run as fast or as far as I could in high school or in my mid 30's - similar principle.

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