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wireless transmit decreasing

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hey there I have a Dlink DI-524 wireless router....everything appears to be working fine however....my mbps drop at an unusually quick rate....when I first turn on my computer I connect to my network automatically using WPA, signal strength is excellent, however, after about 2 minutes my mbps drop to 24mbps and then shortly 18, then 11 and now I am at 5.5mbp(s.....What the...????!!!! This is driving me crazy...I've been monkeying around with the preamble and the RTS threshold and that helps for about 2 minutes and then it drops for no apparent reason.....I have a USB wireless adapter for my laptop (it's a cheapie) but like I said before...my signal strength is "excellent"....I've turned off all of my appliances thinking there was some interference but if my signal strength is saying it is excellent...wouldn't my mbps be transmitting and receiving at the full 54mbps???

P.S- and yes I did set the transmit and receive at 100%(54mbps)
P.P.S- I tried with an open network with no security enabled and the issue persists

If anyone has some insight or suggestions that would be great cause I've almost pulled out all of my hair...(all I got left is my eyebrows and those hurt trying to pull those suckers out LOL!!!)
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