Kindle Fire 7"

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Well...  As is wont to happen every once in a while in education ... decisions were made in a vacuum based solely on the ridiculously low price of the device and we now find ourselves inundated with a pile of sub-$50 Kindle Fire 7s.  From what I can ascertain, these have a single 2.4ghz radio... and apparently not a very good one at that.  As a result, in spaces where computers, laptops, phones and other mobile devices are able to connect without issue, these lovely devices are not.

Does anyone out there have any experience with these on their network?  I'm going to make a case to admin to not approve the purchase of any more, but need to make it a strong case.  

Here is a sample of what I see when monitoring one of these in this elementary building.  I can see it searching among three access points all the while proclaiming to not have any signal.  I cranked up the power on WAP50B to 20, as you can see, with rssi at -69, which is not terrible.  But it still complains:

12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  DETAIL  (270)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -71dB)12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (271)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (272)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3495  HMAY_WAP34-36  DETAIL  (273)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -71dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3495  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (274)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (275)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3496  HMAY_WAP34-36  DETAIL  (276)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -71dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3496  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (277)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (278)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  DETAIL  (279)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -71dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (280)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (281)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3495  HMAY_WAP34-36  DETAIL  (282)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -71dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3495  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (283)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (284)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3496  HMAY_WAP34-36  DETAIL  (285)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -71dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3496  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (286)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3494  HMAY_WAP34-36  BASIC   (287)Tx probe resp (pwr 13dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (513)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (514)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (515)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (516)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (517)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (518)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (519)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (520)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (521)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (522)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (523)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (524)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (525)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (526)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (527)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (528)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (529)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (530)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (531)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -81dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (532)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (533)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (534)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -81dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (535)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (536)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (537)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -81dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (538)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (539)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4754  HMAY_WAP50B    DETAIL  (634)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -69dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4754  HMAY_WAP50B    BASIC   (635)Tx probe resp (pwr 19dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4754  HMAY_WAP50B    BASIC   (636)Tx probe resp (pwr 19dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4755  HMAY_WAP50B    DETAIL  (637)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -69dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4755  HMAY_WAP50B    BASIC   (638)Tx probe resp (pwr 19dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4754  HMAY_WAP50B    BASIC   (639)Tx probe resp (pwr 19dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4756  HMAY_WAP50B    DETAIL  (640)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -69dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4756  HMAY_WAP50B    BASIC   (641)Tx probe resp (pwr 19dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:00 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F4754  HMAY_WAP50B    BASIC   (642)Tx probe resp (pwr 19dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (540)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (541)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (542)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (543)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (544)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (545)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (546)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (547)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (548)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (549)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (550)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (551)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (552)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3615  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (553)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (554)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    DETAIL  (555)Rx <broadcast> probe req (rssi -78dB)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3616  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (556)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
12/16/2015 10:43:03 AM  74C246C40C5C  9C5D127F3614  HMAY_WAP50A    BASIC   (557)Tx probe resp (pwr 15dBm)
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Tony Andrews

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Posted 2 years ago

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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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That low end model of Kindle fire is 1x1:1 with a poor antenna and, yes, it's 2.4 GHz only.
From what I've heard, the driver is not brilliant too.
I suspect you'll find it's not viable.

Reposting something I put up elsewhere that may 'amuse' you:
A school that I have ties with with purchased 180 new laptops from HP.
The IT support team put these out at the start of the new academic year for staff and pupils to use.
There were immediate, vociferous complaints about slow logon times, drop outs and unreliability. Of course, everybody blamed that favourite intangible thing 'the network'. What was up?
The evaluation unit off which the purchase decision had been made had an Intel dual band 2x2:2 802.11ac adapter which worked well when tested with the latest drivers. Testing again with the new ones showed markedly different poor results, so why the difference?
Investigation showed quickly that the ones HP sent instead had Realtek 2.4 GHz-only 1x1:1 802.11n adapters. Not what was ordered and not remotely suitable for laptops in a relatively busy educational environment. (This of course wasn't picked up by the technicians who were imaging and handing out the machines, it's not their area of expertise after all.)
1x1:1 is one transmit and one receive chain with one spatial stream.
2x2:2 is two transmit and two receive chains with two spatial streams.
3x3:3 is three transmit and three receive chains with three spatial streams.
Furthermore, having opened up one of the laptops, it was determined that there was only a single antenna fitted - it doesn't appear to be practical to install another due to the way the antennas are embedded and routed around the case and display which makes swapping the card out not a viable option.
Even with 1x1:1 it is possible for an adapter to operate with 2 or more antennas, gaining basic antenna diversity for better rate over range. The Realtek card only had one connector.
A further complication is that these replaced older laptops that have been disposed of. Recalling those now in use is not going to be a fun task. HP eventually agreed to replace all 180 with newly built laptops, an expensive warranty claim.
Why does this make such a difference?
A lack of antenna diversity, no MIMO, no 5 GHz supported by the Realtek adapter and a dodgy driver.
The rate over range observed was terrible.
Rather than multipath being a help, it's only a hindrance.
All quite useless when you have a classroom full of these and everybody is trying to use the network at the same time, all on 20 MHz width 2.4 GHz channels with 802.11n.
The maximum data rates in theoretical best conditions for 1x1:1 2.4 GHz 802.11n at 20 MHz with just a single client on a channel will give only 65 or 72.2 Mb/s, depending on the guard interval.
It all collapsed quickly.
Yes, all the 180 laptops were replaced free of charge with an 2x2:2 802.11ac build due to it not being what was ordered.

I think it's imperative to check what the wireless capabilities of laptops, tablets, smartphone and other devices are before we buy.

There's a good video here on SISO vs. MIMO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNfzBwIDcZY
(Edited)
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Tony Andrews

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I think it's imperative to check what the wireless capabilities of laptops, tablets, smartphone and other devices are before we buy.

You're preaching to the choir there my friend!  Unfortunately someone decided it would be great to dump 65 of these in a building with no input and now we are left to deal with their frustrations... however self-inflicted it might be.  ;)
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Sure, I meant that as a general statement, not to you specifically. I am sorry to hear that you are in this situation! :(

I guess you will likely have to give feedback that they are simply not fit for purpose.
Definitely a case here of "you get what you pay for".
(Edited)
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Mary Cantlin

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We've had the same issue. It is not workable.  Good luck with school administrators.