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Suggestions for Condo Wifi Network?

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Anonymous
November 29, 2004 11:40:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I'm looking into an 802.11 network for my condo association. The
condos are all two story units, each on their own plot of land. They
are all within an approximate 600 foot diameter circle. I'm thinking
of putting a wireless access point at the center of the development.
I'm concerned about propogation into the units, however. For that
reason, I'm considering suggesting repeaters to retransmit the signal
into each unit. I've also been reading about mesh networks. Are there
repeaters that will form a mesh network in case a particular repeater
does not have line of sight to the WAP? Also, are there repeaters that
have a wired LAN connection in case someone wants to connect a wired
device (perhaps a SIP phone)?

Equipment I'm considering includes:

D-Link DWL-2700AP outdoor access point

D-Link DWL-G710 repeater

THANKS for your thoughts!

Harold
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 2:54:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Whats on the condos, brick? concrete? aluminum siding? underneath
that? foil backed insulation?


"Harold Hallikainen" <harold@hallikainen.com> wrote in message
news:eb31d775.0411290840.5e5e13ab@posting.google.com...
> I'm looking into an 802.11 network for my condo association. The
> condos are all two story units, each on their own plot of land. They
> are all within an approximate 600 foot diameter circle. I'm thinking
> of putting a wireless access point at the center of the development.
> I'm concerned about propogation into the units, however. For that
> reason, I'm considering suggesting repeaters to retransmit the
signal
> into each unit. I've also been reading about mesh networks. Are
there
> repeaters that will form a mesh network in case a particular
repeater
> does not have line of sight to the WAP? Also, are there repeaters
that
> have a wired LAN connection in case someone wants to connect a wired
> device (perhaps a SIP phone)?
>
> Equipment I'm considering includes:
>
> D-Link DWL-2700AP outdoor access point
>
> D-Link DWL-G710 repeater
>
> THANKS for your thoughts!
>
> Harold
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 7:36:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> I'm looking into an 802.11 network for my condo association. The
> condos are all two story units, each on their own plot of land. They
> are all within an approximate 600 foot diameter circle. I'm thinking
> of putting a wireless access point at the center of the development.
> I'm concerned about propogation into the units, however. For that
> reason, I'm considering suggesting repeaters to retransmit the signal
> into each unit. I've also been reading about mesh networks. Are there
> repeaters that will form a mesh network in case a particular repeater
> does not have line of sight to the WAP? Also, are there repeaters that
> have a wired LAN connection in case someone wants to connect a wired
> device (perhaps a SIP phone)?
>
> Equipment I'm considering includes:
>
> D-Link DWL-2700AP outdoor access point
>
> D-Link DWL-G710 repeater
>
> THANKS for your thoughts!
>
> Harold
This past summer I installed a system for the marina where I keep my
boat - 140 slips - and also extended it to several adjacent condos
including mine. See this link for info on what I did.
http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/Computer.htm
See last tab - Marina Wireless Network.

Also look at my tin cantenna for a low cost way of connecting a PC at a
window with a line-of-sight transmitting antenna.

YOu can get around the premise repeater by using a tin cantenna or other
USB based directional antenna - see my article - in a window pointing at
the transmitting antenna.

If the PC location in the condo is not near the front window, or
wireless within the condo is desired, you probably want to use a premise
device to receive the signal and convert to ethernet. What is commonly
used is an access point set in client mode. Some are available that are
in weatherresistent cases, use Power over ethernet so only one cord goes
out of the condo. See these links:
http://www.ls.net/wireless/

http://shop.defactowireless.com/s.nl/category.102/it.A/...

http://www.senao-usa.com/SL-2511BG+Spec.htm

I also have been intriegued by the mesh networks, especially the
locustworld ones, which I have read a lot about. Would LOVE to try one out.

Hope this helps some.

Bob
Related resources
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 6:21:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On 29 Nov 2004 08:40:14 -0800, harold@hallikainen.com (Harold
Hallikainen) wrote:

>I'm looking into an 802.11 network for my condo association. The
>condos are all two story units, each on their own plot of land.

What the windows like? If they're clear glass and picture windows, RF
will go right through just fine. If they have aluminized energy
efficient reflectors, window screens, metal louvers, or wood shutters,
you're going to have problems.

>They
>are all within an approximate 600 foot diameter circle.

How many condos? How many units (client radios) will be required?

No problem with range if the users radios are:
1. In a windows that can see the central access point radio.
2. There are no trees, hedges, bushes, or obstructions in the way.
3. The client radio has some kind of decent gain antenna (8dBi patch
or panel antenna).

>I'm thinking
>of putting a wireless access point at the center of the development.

Yep. If everyone can see this central access point, it should work.

>I'm concerned about propogation into the units, however. For that
>reason, I'm considering suggesting repeaters to retransmit the signal
>into each unit.

Retch, barf, puke, bleah, argh. Don't do that. Store and forward
repeaters are evil. They cut the effective bandwidth in half and
retransmit everything twice. Airtime is precious and wasting it
sending the same packet twice is no better than pollution. Besides,
at 600ft, you don't need repeaters. Put your money into multiple
radios and sectored antennas as you'll surely run out bandwidth.

>I've also been reading about mesh networks.

Retch, barf, puke, bleah, argh 2.0. Same problem. Mesh networks
resend the same packets over and over wasteing airtime. Same problems
as repeaters. Think of mesh networks as a big ad-hoc network with
repeaters.

>Are there
>repeaters that will form a mesh network in case a particular repeater
>does not have line of sight to the WAP?

You wouldn't be asking that if you had line of sight to every condo.
I take it some of them are hidden. It would be easier and cleaner to
run a CAT5 cable to some location which is visible to these condos
than to play repeater. Mesh networks are nothing but (evil)
repeaters.

>Also, are there repeaters that
>have a wired LAN connection in case someone wants to connect a wired
>device (perhaps a SIP phone)?

VoIP has nothing to do with repeaters. Each client radio is a bridge
that will bridge exactly one MAC address. If the condo owners need to
connect more than one computah or want to add a VoIP phone, they will
need either a suitable ethernet router or another client radio.

>Equipment I'm considering includes:
>D-Link DWL-2700AP outdoor access point
>D-Link DWL-G710 repeater

Have you seen the price on the AP? The DWL-2700AP is about $950.
Ouch.

I'm not going to recommend specific hardware because the access point
can be almost anything. What's important is the toplogy (system
layout), backhaul, RF paths, antennas, and client radios. You're
going to have far more client radios than central access points to
deal with. Unless you use 3ea central access points with 120 degree
sector antennas, you're going to be stuck with an omni antenna at the
center. That isn't going to give you much gain for a reasonable
vertical beamwidth. That means your client radios are going to need
some gain at their antennas. Having your customers supply their own
client radios is fine, but someone is going to have an authorization
and authentication managment nightmare keeping non-paying resisdents,
visitors, and hackers out of the system.

Anwyway, some more details would be helpful.


--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
# jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
# 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 1:32:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

THANKS to all who have commented!

First off, the condos have stucco walls. I don't know what's under the
stucco. I'll try to find out.

The arrangement of the units is pretty interesting. Imagine a street
making a circle. Around that are short streets heading off radially.
Garages front onto these streets. Between these streets are walkways,
also heading off radially. The entries to the condos are on these
walkways. Most windows face the walkways, which is not toward the
center of the development.

With this in mind, it would possibly be best to put an access point on
each of the radial walkways. This could be fed from the central access
point (evil repeater). Due to the much shorter distances here, we
might get reasonable coverage inside each of the units without
external antennae, etc. Along the each walkway is a light pole.
Possibly an access point could be put on top of this.

Regarding "evil repeaters," the store and forward mode obviously
doubles the traffic on the air. How about transmitting on another
channel? I don't know if any repeaters do this, or if you'd have to
wire a couple WAPs together, one in client mode and the other in
access point mode. It seems that this would deal with the reduced
bandwidth problem by moving the increased traffic to another channel.

I'm heading to the 802.11 Planet show in San Jose (CA) tomorrow to see
what's out there.

Again, THANKS for ideas! I'll do some experimenting hopefully without
wasting a lot of money.

Harold
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 2:49:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On 30 Nov 2004 10:32:30 -0800, harold@hallikainen.com (Harold
Hallikainen) wrote:

>First off, the condos have stucco walls. I don't know what's under the
>stucco. I'll try to find out.

Chicken wire. A fairly good RF barrier at 2.4Ghz depending on size of
the mesh.

>The arrangement of the units is pretty interesting. Imagine a street
>making a circle. Around that are short streets heading off radially.
>Garages front onto these streets.

What are the garage doors made of? If wood, then 2.4Ghz will go
through the wood fairly well. If vinyl, even easier. If steel,
forget it.

>Between these streets are walkways,
>also heading off radially. The entries to the condos are on these
>walkways. Most windows face the walkways, which is not toward the
>center of the development.

Can you hang something out the window (cantelevered) over the walkway
in order to "see" the access point?

>With this in mind, it would possibly be best to put an access point on
>each of the radial walkways. This could be fed from the central access
>point (evil repeater).

[Insert predictions of doom and disaster]. Repeaters do work. The
tricks are to set the channels and locations so that you do not create
your own interference. This is the most common problem with wireless
networks. It can be done if planned properly, but I still think there
are better ways.

>Due to the much shorter distances here, we
>might get reasonable coverage inside each of the units without
>external antennae, etc. Along the each walkway is a light pole.
>Possibly an access point could be put on top of this.

Have you thought about maintenance? Wanna climb one of these light
poles in the dark or during a storm when something breaks or fills
with water?

>Regarding "evil repeaters," the store and forward mode obviously
>doubles the traffic on the air. How about transmitting on another
>channel? I don't know if any repeaters do this, or if you'd have to
>wire a couple WAPs together, one in client mode and the other in
>access point mode. It seems that this would deal with the reduced
>bandwidth problem by moving the increased traffic to another channel.

Two radios is the preferred way to do both repeaters and mesh
networks. Some vendors have dual radio access points that work well
with this arrangement. I could prepare a list of likely vendors, but
you're going to the show, so I'll leave it to you to do the reaseach.

>I'm heading to the 802.11 Planet show in San Jose (CA) tomorrow to see
>what's out there.

Have fun.

>Again, THANKS for ideas! I'll do some experimenting hopefully without
>wasting a lot of money.

Good, fast, cheap. Pick two.

If your condo complex has access to the telco/cable conduit, you may
wanna look into using wires instead of wireless. I've never done a
condo complex with coax, but I've done small office buildings. There
are also products to piggy back data over CATV coax:
http://www.multilet.com
I've built my own version of the same thing that works well. If using
or running coax to each condo is unacceptable, at least use it to run
from your backhaul (T1 ?) to various poles or condos where additional
access points can be located to eliminate (evil) repeaters.


--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
October 6, 2011 4:23:25 AM

Having an access point in the middle and a bunch of repeaters is going to be a disaster because of the "hidden node problem". Put a wired switch at the connection and wire each radio. If you don't invest the money and the time to do it right then it simply won't work, no one will be happy, and you will end up throwing good money after bad. Pleasing an condo HOA is politically difficult and you don't want to compound that with technical difficulties. Best of luck and I hope this helps.

--
David Dean
http://cobianet.com
!