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How would you implement this wireless network?

Posted on 2007-11-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
What I am trying to do:

Implement a wireless network from Building A to Building B.

The two sites are 1600 feet from one another, I have direct line of sight with absolutely no objects in the way.  Both Building A and Building B are at right about the same height, so there is no real drop in elevation.

Both buildings have electricity, but only Building A has internet access.  There is real no need for file sharing, or even printer sharing, I just want to have internet access in Building B.

I have been looking at Hawking Technology equipment.  Does anyone here have any experience with Hawking equipment.  They claim that you can send a signal up to 1.5 miles with two HAO14SDP - Hi-Gain 14dBi Outdoor Directional Antenna Kit (http://www.hawkingtech.com/products/productlist.php?CatID=32&FamID=58&ProdID=267) along with some cable extensions and adapters.

What I am wondering is how you would go about achieving this.  I understand basic networking, but this is a whole new level for me.  Here are my questions with this...

1. Would Antenna 1 of 2 broadcast the signal from Building A?
2. Would Antenna 2 of 2 receive the signal at Building B?
3. The web site claims you can use a simple router to broadcast the signal, but what would the 2nd antenna plug into to receive the signal and provide internet access to Building B (assuming that the 2nd antenna would be placed at Building B).

Like I said, I understand basic networking...I just have never ever tried doing this, and unfortunately I am alone on this project with no real help from peers.

I will actively be checking back, so if any more information is needed, please let me know.  Thank you in advance to anyone who provides help, ideas, or solutions.
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Question by:JJB-Zenful
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by:BrianMilnes
ID: 20342103
I'd suggest that you separate the two issues:
a) range and reliability of wireless transmission/reception
b) using wireless devices as repeaters/bridges
The Hawking directional antenna will answer the first question: 500m/1600 ft is well within their quoted operating range
Purchasing a pair of matched Wireless routers with repeater capability will allow transmission/reception of your network signals across the wireless bridge.
Logically this will appear as part of the same network.
Brian
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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20342498
Could you please be more specific Brian?  Like I said, I am the only one on this project, so what I learn here and by doing independent research is all I have.  There is absolutely no room for error, so any answers could never be to specific.  I do not want an issue coming up and blindsiding me during the install and leave everything hanging. There are a few more questions I have after doing some more research on my own.

1. Would two (2) Linksys WAP54G get the job done?

2. According to the products manual, it gives a scenario similar to mine with a few different options.  It gives four different modes, AP Mode, AP Client, Wireless Repeater, and Wireless Bridge mode.  Wireless Repeater mode seems like it would get the job done for me, am I correct or would another mode be more suited for what I am trying to achieve?

3. It also has a setting for "Antenna Selection" that is used for choosing which antenna transmits data, the left or the right, or Diversity mode.  Would this be an important setting since I will be hooking up an external antenna?

4. Would I need another device at Building B to transmit a wireless signal since the device I am looking at installing on site (WAP54G) will be in charge of receiving the signal or can this device receive and transmit the signal at the same time in Wireless Repeater Mode (if that is the correct mode).

5. Would the WAP54G plug into the existing Wireless Router that is at Building A?  Would the Access Point interfere with any of the current wireless devices that are being used in Building A (Laptops, Desktop Wired + Wireless, Printer)?

6. Would all the access points need to use the same SSID to understand one another?

I understand there are a ton of questions, but if this thread is handled properly, I believe it would answer so many questions that many people have out there.  It seems that most discussions about similar types of installs get so far and then just die off and the author is left with many new questions that go unanswered.  

Thank you again for any insight, help or ideas!  They are all greatly appreciated!
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BrianMilnes earned 500 total points
ID: 20342571
1. you don't need an Access Point, just two Wireless router that supports acting as a Repeater. I use both NetGear and Linksys products for this and they work fine, also work together, but that's not always true.
2. Repeater mode is the most obvious choice, but it largely depends whether you want to have clients logging in to these as Access Points, or just to communicate to each other. If it's the latter Bridging mode is fine. There's a balance (as always). For example most WiFi routers DO NOT support WPA only WEP in Repeater mode (that caught me out).
3. If you select separate Antenna for tarnsmit AND receive, then you'd need to replace both Antenna with a Hawking Antenna. Single external Antenna devices would therefore be more suitable. I have a fairly old NetGear 602 that does the job OK. (With, by chance, a Linksys WRT54G with dual aerial).
4. Just think of it in these terms: Network___CAT5 cable___WiFi router.....WiFi router___CAT5 cable___Network. The WiFi >> WiFi link  ("Bridge") just replaces a piece of cable.
5. Ignore for the moment, the existing WiFi Access Point. In fact, for the cost, ignore it long term. Just have two WiFi routers acting as the Bridge. Use a new designated, private SSID.
(6. You can, if you want use all WiFi routers on the same SSID.)

Think "WiFi link replaces a length of cable"

Because the router broadcasts over the air, rather than through being plugged in, it offers Visibility/Invisibility through SSID and encryption through WEP/WPA.

Hope this helps
Brian

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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20343141
Alright.  So what you are saying is this...

Building A = Modem___CAT5___Router___Hawking Antenna >>> ||||bridge||| <<< Hawking Antenna___Router >>> Wireless devices = Build B

All devices in Building B are wireless devices, so there would be no need for cabling at this time.

I have an existing WRT54G Linksys router here that I am currently using.  This is the same router that is currently on-site at Building A.  I was strolling through the web based utility and I couldn't find any option for "Repeater" mode.  Is this a physical mode, or just something that these routers do, or do you know if this model of router does not support this function at all?

Thank you so much Brian, you've been extremely helpful thus far!



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by:BrianMilnes
ID: 20343185
I don't believe that the WRT54G supports Repeater mode, so the second WiFi router would have to be.
Don't over stretch your WiFi APs. Bear in mind that the Bandwidth is shared between all devices, and they rarely run to their full potential.
Also, if you're going to use directional antennae, you'll lose omnidirectional signal. Also bear in mind that omnidirectional signals are strongest in the horizontal plane, and that signal strength diminishes substantially in the vertical plane.
Repeater devices are available on eBay for little money, here's one:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Linksys-WAP11-Access-Point-Make-Your-Network-Wireless_W0QQitemZ110195446559
Best regards
Brian
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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20344018
With the loss of Omni directional signal, would it make sense to have the Access Points plugging into a router which in turn is in charge of broadcasting the wider omni directional signal at both sites?
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by:BrianMilnes
ID: 20344204
Buy two matched Repeating WiFi routers with directional antennae for the "Bridge".
Set them up on their own SSID and security.
Use the existing WRT54G WiFi AP for client access (but not too many client PCs).
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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20347149
Does anyone else have any input, suggestions, or ideas?
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by:pulkit1982
ID: 20348764
Hi,
For an Access Point to properly work as a Repeater it requires atleast 50 percent signal overlap secondly both of them should worl on the same channels.
I would suggest you using a Cisco  1242 AG series with high gain antenna, you can bridge the APs using a radio and provide WLAN access to clients using G radio,
Best regards,
pulkit
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by:BrianMilnes
ID: 20361582
JJB
Thanks for the points and good luck with your project.
I'm happy to assist further here, or via www.ind-tech.com/contact.htm
Cheers
Brian
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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20361875
No problem.  I am still up in the air about going ahead with the project myself, I am a little hesitant that the implementation will not work for our client so I may just wait until someone with a little more experience than me can help as well.

Thanks for all your help!
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by:BrianMilnes
ID: 20361936
Sure, but you can make it work. It really isn't hard or expensive. You could even afford to test in principle before recommending to your client.
Buy the kit from eBay, run it up, test it, and then, if you don't like it - res-sell it on eBay. Less than £100/$200 all-in.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you might roll out something similar for someon else, it's a no-brainer.
Brian
Cisco-smisco (over-priced branding). Linksys (owned by Cisco) smartsys...
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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20379102
I think that I am going to take your advice and try it out.  Can I get your number to call you direct in case some problems arise?  Haha, I joke.

Stay tuned!
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