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How to use multiple antennas with one Wireless Router?

Posted on 2004-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Howdy!

I will be assessing an opportunity for a wireless network (for internet access only) for a small hotel.  The hotel consists simply of 2 floors.  On each floor, there is one main corridor running down the middle of the long axis of the rectangular building.  These 1st and 2nd floor corridors constitutes the back walls of each room in the hotel, respectively.

The owner wants to provide wireless internet access to his guests.  I want to only use a single wireless router (or access point) that can accept an external antenna.  I would prefer to place a series of antennas down each corridor as described above.

Questions:
1)  Are there products made that can accomodate/facilitate multiple antennas connected to one wireless router/AP?

2) If so, please provide references (URLs).

3) What, if any, connectivity/network/interference/etc. problems would such an arrangement likely encounter?

4)  Anything else that I've not asked?

Thank you for considering my questions!

Terry
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Question by:colepc
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10803417
Are you saying that you want to just place antennaes down the corridor and expect them to pick up the signal AND transmit it..??   Never seen this done before, nor have I ever seen an antennae that could do it, at least not in the way you are describing..  

I believe that what you will need is a Repeater that also will communicate with your clients..

"Enterprise" level Access Points made by Symbol and OEMd by 3Com, Intel (PRO 2011), and others feature a "WLAP" function that supports simultaneous AP-to-AP bridging and wireless client to AP connection (repeating).

These are coming down in price, but I have not purchased any lately...

FE
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10803428
Regarding problems that you will experience with this, there are always unique to the situation..   You will need to do a survery of the premises to determine the best locations of the AP's, regarding clients trying to connect, and communication between the repeaters and your primary AP or Gateway...  This is not something you just jump into, but you must plan this well...  

Any questions, we will try to cover them..

FE
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Author Comment

by:colepc
ID: 10803474
Great, FE.  Although I've had some varied experiences with wireless for my clients, it's been shallow. I forgot about AP Repeaters.  

For reference, this hotel has a very simple network currently.  2 48-port switches and a cable modem. (ignore capacity of the cable modem momentarily!)

A hypothetical scenario:  (please critique)

...Lets say the building (and corridor) is 200 feet long (bottom floor only).  I put 5 access points equally spaced down the corridor with a physical cable run for each back to the the switch.  Would this be better/worse/no different than using APs as repeaters?
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Author Comment

by:colepc
ID: 10803482
In the last scenario, assume that the signal strength/quality is adequate to the end users given the placement of the APs.
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Fatal_Exception earned 250 total points
ID: 10804784
*grin*   As I am sure you know, since you have had experience with Wifi, that wired is always more reliable than wireless...  so, in my opinion, yes, that would be a better way to approach this.  Much more dependable...  With this configuration, you would have a much easier time troubleshooting any problems, and since you will be responsible for managing the network...  and warranting the product...  you get my drift..

FE
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Author Comment

by:colepc
ID: 10804927
Yep.  Actually, I installed the current wired network there.  (Hint:  never, never assume you're alone in a hotel room!).  When approached with this idea, I was reluctant because of the negative potential for support required afterwards.  Will address with contract language.

Thanks for the input, FE.
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10805037
NP...  enjoyed it..  

One of my best friends from school (and before that in Boy Scouts) is now a Senior VP with a multinational Hotel Chain (one of the biggest) and he flew into town a few months ago to discuss deployment of wireless in all of his locations (300 or more...??) and the potential for marketing this to his customers...   Boy would I love to get that contract..!!   Anyway, this is the exact config that I suggested to him....

Wish you the best with this, and thanks...

FE

Here is a link for you to ck out...  Techrepublic requires a membership to access it, but it is free..  some of the dnloads require premium services, but most do not..

http://techrepublic.com.com/1200-26-5124032.html?tag=e101
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