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Creating a Wifi Hotspot by extending signel between two buildings

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Need some advise on equipment for extending a wireless signal to a building directly behind us. These are small office buildings single storys
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Question by:sobeservices2
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by:rdmustang
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Equipment is highly dependent on number of users, distance, line-of-sight, and level of reliability.

You can do something simple like buy retail-quality equipment that runs custom firmware (google for dd-wrt) or an enterprise solution by vendors such as Cisco or Motorola.
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by:sobeservices2
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Got it .. Have a good line of sight was looking into a few Hawking Technologies stuff

the HW2R1

and HOW2R1

But want to maximize without spending to much money.

The line of sight though is not window to window more like window (source) to wall.

Thinking I could mount a Hawking Technologies HA12W to the source window and then get another outdoor antenna to mount to the target building to bring in the signle.

Not sure though should I have another wireless router.

Right now we have a standard linksys wireless that works ok for inside our office. But it doesn't do much for a signel outside the office.

Also I do have another linksys old school wireless router with dd-wrt on it and one of those HA12W antennas just to create an experimental hot spot inside the office and I'm not to impressed with it's coverage.
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by:pennelltechs
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Check out EnGenius Technologies at engeniustech.com.  I have used their products to do multiple wireless shots like you are describing and they work great and are very cost effective.  

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by:sobeservices2
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I was just checking out enguniustech.com nice info on the and decent videos. The I went head and bought a Hawking Technologies HOW2R2 paying about $246 for it..

When comparing specs both the engunies and Hawking were competitive. Thought the only thing that has scared me a bit about the Hawking products is that when I called there sales to get an idea of equipment the rep was honorable. It was almost like he was high on something.

Not sure what the engunistech sales department is like. I like the Hawking product because it looks nice and slim but powerful compared to engunistech boxie product. Their smoke detector one looked nice. ok i'am rambling guys.

Hawkings HOW2R1 is on order now waiting for it's arrival. Hope it works I will report my findings here.

As I was doing the site layout survey an idea did come to mind.

We have in this building with video surveillance system that has a wired network port. So as I was thinking and came to conclusions now once I bridge the wireless all I have to do is plug it into the already setup surveillance system and be able now to access it remotely from wherever I am. The equipments already there and setup just looks like it needs a network connection to be able to use the networking feature of it.

Now as this idea came to mind I did then consider the bandwidth ..

With my previous attemps at using wireless basic ip cams I noticed that when used on a wireless connection the cam's have all sorta sucked due to poor video quality over a wireless single . Now when hard wired they all did well. Naturally of couse.

Now what I am hoping that when I bridge this connection from one building to the next and then hard wire this security system in that the video won't lack.

Another consideration is that the antenna I am getting from Hawking it's an outdoor antenna. But I didn't see anywhere about lighting . I am here in sunny south and we do get some storms. Hummm..

All comments are welcome and greatly appreciated so keep posting. I will award points fairly as I can . Just like to see a bit more discussion..

Thanks all
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pennelltechs earned 100 total points
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If you are worried about lightning on an outdoor antenna you can buy an in-line PoE ground or an in-line ethernet ground if you are using local power.  These are inexpensive and provide a pass through connection with a ground screw.  Use this ground screw and adequate ground wire and grounding location to avoid anything traveling down the ethernet cable if something were to be struck by lightning.  It is important to make sure you get the PoE version if thats how you will power the unit. I have made that mistake before and kciked myself when I finally figured out why the unit wasn't getting power.

Speaking of the "smoke detector" looking indoor units, they are very nice.  In fact I put one in one of my clients new locations yesterday, and have 4 more to install later this week.  Good luck with the camera idea hopefully this unit will not drag your bandwidth down too much.  IP Cameras can be very unpredictable as to how they will act when network traffic gets high.
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by:sobeservices2
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I am getting a PoE and will have the switch be proving the power..

Thanks :pennelltechs
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by:sobeservices2
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As far as the bandwidth .. Only thing I hope doesn't drag or will provide enought is the bridging or repeating of the wireless part of the connection from the one building over to the other building where the security stuff is.. Once the signel wireless reaches the other building I will provide hard wire to the device. But that in between point not to sure..

Can't wait to receive it. Yes I like the smoke detector one for indoor.

Think I will have to take this in stanges..

Right now its getting the signal to the other building. To bad I can't just run a cable under the parking lot LOL

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by:sobeservices2
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Part arrives tomorrow I will let you guys know how it comes
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by:sobeservices2
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Ok guys here is pictures of my outside setup..

The building with the blue roof is the target location. The building with the brown roof is the source.

Now I need to figure out where to mount the HOWABN1 Hawking Antenna.

The problem is that I don't want it to get stolen and I do run that risk depending where I mount it.

If I mount it high it less likely. Just not to sure right now

In Picture 4 you will see a door on the left at corner of building.  That's where I plan to put the receiving end inside.

I plan on using the Hi-Gain Wireless-N Dual Radio Smart Repeater
HW2R1 Hawking for that

I've tested signel using a linksys modem and my iphone and when I place the HOWABN1 near the window as in picture 2 (to the right. you don't see the window but there is a window towards the right. Not the window in the top next to the light.

When I place it there it does stretch the signal well enough I hope to the other building along the wall as in picture 3.

Anyone have any ideas for mounting.

I am just worried about it being mounted to low and someone stealing it now if I mount it high as in picture 2 next to that window on the 2nd floor with the light will be secure but I may loose some distance. See in picture 2 the building sticks out a bit.

Anyway posting pictures and video and you guys tell me what you think.

Please

photo-1.JPG
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by:sobeservices2
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Here are the other pictures
photo-2.JPG
photo-3.JPG
photo-4.JPG
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by:sobeservices2
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Here is the video layout
sobeservices2-374506.flv
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by:steveoskh
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May I make an observation and suggestion.
You have expanded this to multiple questions.
1.  Building to building wireless
2.  Connecting security DVR to network
3.  Bandwidth of DVR over network
4.  Bandwidth of IP cameras.
5.  Lightning concerns.
I would suggest that you start new questions for the additional questions you asked.  I have no doubt that you will distribute point fairly, however, now an answer might only be worth 100 points because it only dealt with one of your questions.

As for the location for mounting your antenna.   Keep it as high as you can, not because of theft, but because you don't want every car or truck driving by to affect the signal.  Since you are "going cheap" on the project, just rig it temporarily and test performance.  When you have something that works, then run it correctly.

Another hint for waterproofing connections.  Get self-annealing tape.  It will bond to itself and form a tight seal.  Make sure it is UV protected if out in the sun or it will deteriorate in 3 months.  It can be a real bugger to remove so wrap the connection first with electrical tape.  Wrap the electrical tape with the sticky side out so that you do not have sticky goop to remove later.   Just extend the final self annealing tape past the electrical tape and you will have a water tight seal that can be removed later.
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by:sobeservices2
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ok I will break up question thanks and reference back to this post in my question. the DVR part not to worried about at this point. you said I was going cheep any other better suggestions .
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by:steveoskh
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The cheap comment was referring to what you had said or implied.   If I was asked by one of my directors to do this, I would first ask how important is the link and what is the acceptance for downtime.  If 4 hours (normal crap) up to 3 days (lightning hit) is not acceptable, then I would want to have enterprise class equipment professionally installed and supported.

If I was doing it, my first choice would be to run fiber underground between the buildings.  There are companies that can run under your driveway without cutting macadam.  With that not an option, I would hire someone to run a survey and install it with performance guarantees.   For DIY, I would want to mound a mast on the roof so that there is no interference in the line of sight between the antennas.  If the trees in the photo are anywhere close, they are a concern.
Keep in mind that line of sight in not being able to see the other antenna through other things that are around it.  The signal actually balloons out and needs a wider area of free space.  The longer the distance the bigger the clearance.  That is not to say that it won't work, just not the best or most reliable.

Lightning is a concern especially if you mount it on poles above the roof.  Make sure that you have properly grounded lightning protection on the antenna cable (buy extras so you can quickly test when everything stops working) and also on the Ethernet cable carrying POE to the AP.  Need to make sure it is designed for POE.  
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by:sobeservices2
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Ok I got POE and its Hawking equipment. Can't run cable under ground. So what enterprise equipment would be use.

From my research what I am doing is preaty decent. Use to outdoor antenna's bridge the connection. Despite lighting what else could go wrong. there isn't any traffic between the buildings except ever once in a while when the parking lot get full. Pretty good line of site.

Why would I want a professional to come out when its something I could do myself.
All I see them being able to do is have maybe fancy single equipment and maybe tools to bury cable?.

This isn't like I am doing this on an enterprise level. The other building is just used as an event hall . Trying to create a wifi when it gets used.

Anyway

Thanks
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by:steveoskh
steveoskh earned 400 total points
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Mostly I would use an outside company to do the install when they can also service it.  
Flash forward 2 years when it all of a sudden stops working.  Outside install, one phone call and they have the equipment to diagnose the problem and the equipment to fix it.

DIY  Scenario
You determine the sending end, no power
Replace POE switch, still no power
Test Power supply for injector and Cable, all ok.
Replace AP, now have power but still not talking.
Realize new AP is not compatible with older unit on other end, buy second AP to complete pair.
Works in the lab, but not when you connect to external antennas, replace lightning protection modules.

I think you get the idea.   This type of setup can be a real bugger to figure out what is wrong when something no longer works.  Just make sure you have spares for each component of your system so that you can quickly find where the problem lies.  At a minimum I would want spare power (poe switch), lightning protection modules and ideally a spare AP/repeater.
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by:sobeservices2
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So basically your saying a service company provides guarantee?

Pluss wiring and cableing I've done many times. I think I can handle it.

I don't fully agree on service company.. You got a name for a few?

Not spending big money for this as you can see. Plus I learn as I go.

If it was an enterprise case maybe..
Yes it would probably take longer to diagnose without higher tech equipment..

Name some higher tech equipment use please

Thanks :)
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by:sobeservices2
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I do have this "a minimum I would want spare power (poe switch), lightning protection modules"

and a poe switch?

Better make sure I grounded it though .. need to double check the closet .. Right now my only thing plugged into the poe switch is voip phones.
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by:steveoskh
steveoskh earned 400 total points
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If you are powering the AP with POE you need some way to diagnose loss of power.  Spare POE switch, power injector, power plug, etc will save time diagnosing the problem.

As for equipment recommendations.  If you are dealing with outside service, I would go with what they recommend or use.  Otherwise it comes down to what you are comfortable with or already use.
If you are a "Cisco shop" then Cisco is a logical choice.  We use Motorola (was Symbol) for wireless, but I don't know their offerings on wireless bridging.  They also make it a little difficult to buy without going through a integrator/partner.

I have not used Hawking so I can not comment on their equipment.  In addition to the Symbol we use DLINK for outdoor mounted AP.  I believe their outdoor unit can be used to bridge networks or they have a separate unit for that use.  
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by:hawkchev
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I have a question for your experts!!

I found this post because I am looking to do the same thing to get internet access to a building across the street from the wireless connection in our main building.  Although I could do it, I am likely to hire this done.  

How much...in rough terms...am I likely to spend to put this project together?  Are we talking hundreds or over $1000??

Secondly, I was also thinking about getting a cable or DSL connection and using VPN to connect to our network.  I was considering extending the wireless connection to avoid the monthly charge ($90-100 for DSL or $55 for cable).  This would be higher in the long run, but maybe more reliable for daily use....especially if I plan to transfer photos to the main building.

Would love your opinion....thanks.

Tom Hawkins
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by:sobeservices2
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dsl basically sucks and don't use any products from Hawking I should have listen to the customer reviews now I am sending my shit back because the HOWABN1 does do what it says it does only acts as an access point. even the tech said that they have issues with it as a bridge device. it's a multifunction unit as advertised but you can't use it as such anyway stay away from Hawking
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by:steveoskh
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Hawkchev,  You need to start a new question.  You can link to this one if it is relevant to your question.

Soberservices:  Ideally you would setup as a wireless bridge and not have these components also act as AP.

Network -->Wireless bridge ---=---=---=---=---=-- Wireless bridge -->  Network -- Local AP
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by:sobeservices2
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I have re started this in a new post  thank you .This is close but people seem to find it interesting and are  posting

Thanks
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