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Wireless network hardware for hotspot

Posted on 2008-10-15
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Last Modified: 2011-10-19
Hello all

I need help to choose wireless hardware for providing wireless network (hot spot ) in campus

CAMPUS MAP
http://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=49474362aw4.jpg

I can deploy all hardware in red house on the map/ have full roof access on all buildings
I all ready have cisco router with 3 Internet lines coming in to it for load balancing. need some kind access point (or access points) and antenna to cover whole area and provide Internet for clients without any additional hardware on client side only build in network cards into laptops
amount of clients connected will be more then 100 at the time.
I need solution somehow easy to enable and disable Internet access's to client. Something like hot spots in airports or hotels.
want to sell them internet with monthly subscription and data download cap.
My budget is limited to 2K-3K Eur
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Question by:dusiaa
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by:kyleb84
ID: 22727066
As for hardware, a couple of options:

2.4GHz hotspots, with 5.8GHz backhauls:
(http://www.rfshop.com.au/Products/Hardware/tabid/426/List/1/CategoryID/756/Category2ID/928/Level/2/Default.aspx)

Those Mikrotiks do RADIUS based WFI access, attached is an example layout.

- Blue Squares are 802.11a Access Point, one is on CH 1, other on CH 11, same SSID, WPA Enabled.
- Green Squares are Mikrotik Boxtennas, Open WiFi hotspots, RADIUS configured, backhaul set to the APs.

RADIUS server located in the red building.


49474362aw4-2.JPG
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by:Darr247
ID: 22728505
kyleb84,
While you spread them evenly, I don't think 6 will give good enough coverage, and you've mixed up your channels.

I would use four of the 11a backhaul units on the red building... with each one feeding two of the dual channel a/g bridge units (for 8 total instead of 6). For EU locations I'd go with those four 11a units using channels 100, 104, 108 and 112.
e.g. http://www.moonblinkwifi.com/80211a_frequency_channel_map.cfm
Directional 5GHz antennae pointing back to similar units on the red building, with hi-gain omni 2.4GHz for the wifi distribution.

On the a/g bridge units I'd rotate their channels 1, 6, 11, 1, 6, 11, 6, 1 with that last '6' being in the far-right corner... I need to do a fresh install of Visio and I can post a drawing similar to that later today (probably tonight, your time, dusiaa), if that's a confusing description.

Unfortunately, using that many Mikrotiks blows the budget you spec'd (the Euro-USD exchange rate was much better for you back in the summer), unless that site will give you a quantity discount on all of them for buying a dozen pieces total.... using the prices on that site I figure about 4000 Euro, with a 16 directional antennae and pigtails (hold off on the omni's until you see how the stock omni's perform).
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by:Darr247
ID: 22733785
> using the prices on that site I figure about 4000 Euro, with a 16 directional antennae and pigtails

I'm finding no specs anywhere for the gain pattern of the patch/panel antenna used on those boxtenna units to see for sure if the directional antennae would be required... it would cut ~600 Euro off that estimate if the stock antenna in the door is directional enough.
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by:kyleb84
ID: 22736151
We've got many installations with these units doing PtP 5.8GHz shots, ranging from 400 meters to several kms.

A couple of site are about 1km, throughput sits around the 20mbps mark.

I'm pretty sure they're 12dBi panels, with reasonable grade Omni's that fit onto the bottom, a nice big WaveGuide would definitely improve cover though.
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Author Comment

by:dusiaa
ID: 22738466
Why I will  need directional antennas ir  max range in the site is 100 meters from the red building
http://www.insidestore.eu/ENG/contents/en-uk/d26.html
what you think about last antenna ?
Gain: 30 dBi
Lenght: 2000 mm
Diameter: 32 mm
Weight: 1.420 kg
Connector: N female
Frequency band: 2400.2500 Mhz
Impedance: 50&
Polarization: Horizontal 360° - Vertical 20°

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Darr247 earned 500 total points
ID: 22743713
> Why I will  need directional antennas ir  max range in the site is 100 meters from the red building


According to the scale on the image provided, the proposed location of the a/g bridge in the lower-right corner is about 520 feet / 158m from the red building.


> what you think about last antenna ?

I think it would be illegal here in the USA. Maximum EIRP for omni antennae used in the 2.4GHz ISM band over here is 4watts. 30dBi gain would boost the typical 28mW (0.028 watt) WiFi board's output to 28 watts. Even if it's legal to step on your neighbor's signal with impunity over there, don't forget they could do the same thing back at you. I would not use more than 15dBi. e.g.
http://www.hyperlinktech.com/item.aspx?id=2277 or
http://www.wifi-link.com/product.php?action=product&class1_id=1&class2_id=50&class3_id=164&product_id=19

But again, try the stock antenna first. You're going to want at *least* 4 APs + 2 of the backhaul units no matter what, with 100 clients or more connected at a time. So get 2 of the 5GHz/2.4GHz bridge units and a 5GHz backhaul and see what coverage you can provide with them. Nobody on here is going to be able to tell you for sure what coverage those units will provide at your location without doing an on-site survey. So if you don't want to pay for someone local to do a site survey the easiest way to do it yourself is get 2 of the a/g units and one of the 11a backhaul units so you can test how far apart the a/g bridges can be separated from the backhaul, the bridge units from each other (to still provide ~50% 11g coverage between them) and how far apart you can spread them so the 11a panel antennae are still in the coverage pattern of the panel antenna on the backhaul unit (probably not more than 60 degrees).
If that last test shows you can spread them far enough apart that the 11g coverage in the middle drops below, say, 24Mbps (remember, you're going to be splitting that with 12-25 other people connected to the same AP), THEN go with higher-gain omni's (and TEST it with them before you commit to a layout). I believe kyleb84 when he says they'll do 400m without problem, but without pattern charts for the 5GHz panel antenna, I have no idea how far apart you can spread 2 of the bridging units. I'm fairly certain the layout submitted won't work because the 3 on the left are more than 90 degrees out in relation to their backhaul unit. If you added one more backhaul unit to that design it would probably work much better. I don't know of any panel antennae that cover more than 70 degrees at less than 10dBi dropoff, and typical spread before the gain starts dropping off exponentially is 60 degrees. e.g. see the pattern chart for this panel antenna - http://www.hyperlinktech.com/item.aspx?id=2016 (still, I have no idea what pattern the Mikrotiks give since there are no specs for them on either the vendor's nor on Mikrotik's web site).
It's hard to tell from your image (a google earth screen grab?) if there are any light poles to use instead of the rooftop for mounting. It would be best to have the boxtenna units 3m higher than the rooftops while the 2.4GHz omni's should be just below eave height for best coverage... mounting them on light poles would faciltate that best with just a 10-15'/3-5m pigtail cable from the bottom of the boxtenna units to drop the omni antennae lower (that could still be accomplished with a rooftop mount, though).
And if the light poles are in the corners, using 2.4GHz panel, rather than omni, antennae for those would work best too (to focus coverage back toward the middle of the campus/compound). I'm not saying you need to hire someone to do a site survey. But you might call a few locals and get estimates, then weigh the cost/benefit.
I'm just trying to point out variables to consider, along with possible contingencies. I'm sure I haven't thought of them all, either.

BTW, you didn't specify what bandwidth the 3 internet connections provde... it's a big difference between 3 T1/DSL lines (typical 1.48Mbps each), 3 cable internet connections (typ. 5-6Mbps each) and 3 T3/DS3 lines (typ. 45Mbps each), especially when split among the 100+ clients.
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by:kyleb84
ID: 22754115
I don't see and reason to use more than a 6dBi Omni's for the hot spots, otherwise your EIRP sphere will be squashed too much, and you'll just reduce your ground coverage and interfere with the other hotspots even more.

That and there's no such thing as a 30dBi omni.

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Expert Comment

by:crummieman
ID: 23000460
Check out sveasoft.com.  They have some hotspot firmware for wireless devices, however it is manufacturer specific.  Still might be worth a look
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by:Darr247
ID: 23147701
dusiaa,
You didn't request further assistance, nor clarification of the accepted solution, so (in the interest of continuous improvement) could you please explain why it was considered deficient enough to be unworthy of an A grade?

Thanks,
Darr247


To other premium members who may have happened onto this thread with a search for similar symptoms,

Sorry to clutter up the database with extraneous comments, but the admins insist this query be posted in a thread before a grading review will be conducted.

To other experts researching Premium User threads for clues to grading history (since that functionality was removed from the EE interface),

the asker graded the solution a 'B' without seeking further comments/information, so you may want to consider that before taking the time to answer future questions from dusiaa.  :-)
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by:PenguinMod
ID: 23217456
No comment from asker. Grade changed to A.

PenguinMod
Moderator, Experts Exchange
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