Minimizing bluetooth interference with multiple devices running simultaneously?
June 18, 2012 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Advice to minimize bluetooth interference and maintain connectivity across multiple devices in a huge public space?

My company is doing live demos of a new product at a giant event on Friday. Our testing environment has 8 devices that connect to 8 iMacs via bluetooth. We've had some trouble maintaining connectivity just in our offices, as the 8 devices are interfering with one another. Getting ready for a nightmare once there are 1500 people mingling around with their phone headsets, interference from other equipment at the venue, etc. The iMacs are in two groups of four (already built into a display and can't be changed), and we're separating each group of four from one another. We're also trying to get the devices as close as we can to the computers, but it needs to be in the range of about 3-6 feet directly in front of the computers. Perhaps those who've worked at trade shows or similar have advice here? Fingers crossed, and thanks in advance!
posted by red_rabbit to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About the best I can think of is to turn off the WiFi radio on the laptops, and on any other devices nearby that you can control.
posted by gjc at 6:48 PM on June 18, 2012

Faraday Cage?

Do a spectrum analysis of your space. Bluetooth is frequency hopping, over 79 channels, 800 times per second, so 8 devices should be able to co-exist no prob, but microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, cordless phones, and walkie-talkies can be huge problems.

Is the giant event your own, or a conference or show? A conference or show has someone who's dealt with interference; find them and use them! If it's your own event, hire a RF consultant, or buy a spectrum analyzer and learn how to use it.

These links may help you get started:

Cisco's 20 Myths of WiFi Interference

HP's WiFi and Bluetooth - Interference Issues

Counterintuitively, sometimes for disconnect and packet error problems the solution is to lower the power transmitted. See the "RF Isolation section of
Marvell's WiFi Bluetooth Coexistence
posted by at at 5:46 AM on June 20, 2012

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