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Wireless Raido AP with Antenna (Integrated together) for covering 1 km. range...

Posted on 2007-10-10
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Hi friends !

I want to implement wireless network for my laptop users. Currently I have complete traditional wired network. My workplace covers 1 km campus area. I want to use Wireless Radio AP integrated with Antenna that can cover this campus area.

Right now my purpose is to use this equipment only for propagating wireless signals to the laptops. I dont want to use additional Access Points.

I explored a site www.wlanantennas.com and found some Wireless Radio AP integrated with Antennas. This is the list of the products that I chose.

1. Long Range High Powered Bridge AP - 400mW9dBi Patch Antenna
2. Telex 2.4 GHz, 5 dBi Dual Space Diversity Omni Antenna (2427AA)
3. Telex 2.4 GHz, 8.5 dBi Patch Wireless Antenna (2401)
4. Telex 2.4 GHz, 12 dBi, 120 degree Sector Antenna (2443AA)
5. Telex 2.4GHz, 14.5 dBi, 90 degree Sector Antenna (2444AA)


Q: 1 Can you please guide me which of these products can be most suitable and easiest in my scenario ? If you have idea about other products, then please tell me.

Q: 2 The Radio AP with Antenna equipment will be fixed on the roof of the building, and I will not use additional AP, so will the signal reach to laptops inside the rooms/cabins ?

Q: 3 How can I calculate the range of these product as on the site, I found all the specifications except the range in meters.

Please help me in this regard. I am asked to implement the network as soon as possible. So I am giving extreme points to this question. If you want any other information, please tell me.

Thanks,

Hemant


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Question by:JatinHemant
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by:static-void
static-void earned 400 total points
ID: 20052800
Your really going to struggle to get this kind of coverage to laptops, especially legally. your going to need to use an omnidirectional antenna or a set of wide directional antennas in combination with a booster (which could be illegal in some circumstances). Ive seen 1km coverage using an omni before but only when you can guarentee the quality of netgear on the client (i think they were even using small directional antenas on the clients). Basicly what your asking is way outside of the scope of the 802.11 spec. The other thing is that you probably wont be able to get it without a completely un-obstructed line of sight link to your central antena array. This means you wont be able to get it inside.
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BamBamHR earned 1600 total points
ID: 20052856
Any of those products will work for your situation, in the right combination of
course. I would recommend going with the Long Range High Powered Bridge AP
for your central location.

This will not cover your entire area, but will be better off then without it. Beyond
that, I would recommend, from experience, using WiFi repeaters in selected areas
where your signals lose strength.

RadioLabs has a pretty decent range calculator at

http://www.radiolabs.com/stations/wifi_calc.html

You will need to know the Transmit Power of your Radio in either miliWatts or dBm.
On average, at a 2400 Mhz frequency,  you will have a net loss of about 100 dBs
over a 1 Km range. Keep that in mind before spending a lot of money on these
products. Repeaters seem to be a lot more cost effective.
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Author Comment

by:JatinHemant
ID: 20054778
Thanks for your replies

I am not getting why I will have to use the repeaters if I use a strong antenna. Let me explain what I am asking...

If I am using a strong Omni Antenna with Integrated Wireless AP that can cover upto 2 km., then it is more than what I need. Because I want to cover only 1 km. area and I purchase an equipment with 2 km. range will signal not reach everywhere in 1 km. campus penetrateing the walls / trees and other obstacles.

Please explain me in simple and effective manner.

Regards,

Hemant
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by:BamBamHR
BamBamHR earned 1600 total points
ID: 20056689
Hemant..

Theoretically you are correct. Unfortunetly in practice, the theory does not always hold up. It is almost impossible to calculate your actual dB loss due to obstacles/walls/trees. The proximity of these obstacles to your antenna in combination with their nature will determine how much range you will get.

Like I mentioned, you need to implement your Omni Antenna first, and then do a signal strength analysis all around your campus. If you are lucky, maybe you get complete coverage. In my experience, I have never seen a theoretical WiFi plan implemented without a few unexplained dead/weak spots.

Then, depending on where and how important the 'dead' areas are, you will have to fix those by setting up repeaters in proximity to the dead areas.
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Author Comment

by:JatinHemant
ID: 20069625
Thanks BamBamHR !

I got it. I will also collect some information between the different types of Antennas and where we should use them.

Can you please tell me how can we analysis the strength of the signals.

If I place the Radio AP integrated Antenna, then how can I analysis the strength of the signals in the coverage area ? Will I have to see the internet surfing speed on the laptops moving them from place to place or I can get some equipment for this measurement ?

Thanks,

Hemant
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by:BamBamHR
BamBamHR earned 1600 total points
ID: 20069768

You can definetly buy equipment that will tell you how strong your signal is but that
might be too much for your application.

Just use your laptop. You can download free WiFi Analysis software application that
will help you figure out your network coverage. Search google for Wireless Sniffers,
Stumblers and Graphers. AP Grapher is a great one if you are a Mac person.

Use the Graphing feature to move around your campus and measure signal strength.
I would spend a couple of minutes monitoring signal strength every 50-100 meters in
every direction. When your signal drops below 20%, if you are still pretty far away from the
edge of your campus, I would consider putting a Repeater there.

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Author Comment

by:JatinHemant
ID: 20073087
Thank you very much for your continuous support.

With this discussion, I got a lot of knowledge. It was really interesting. Let me discuss with my officials about these issues.

Thanks again.

Regards,

Hemant
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