Wireless AP and antenna recommendations (Cisco)

cfan73
cfan73 used Ask the Experts™
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We're building out a new Cisco wireless solution, and need some recommendations (specific APs and antennas) for a couple areas of the building. We'll be proposing lightweight (controller-based) 802.11n APs for most of their standard office space - 1142s with dual internal antennas, specifically. These will handle the office environment w/ no higher than 15' ceilings.  The areas we need recommendations for include:

1) warehouse area used for document storage, where the ceilings are between 30 & 35' high (I've heard the generally-accept maximum ceiling height for internal omni antennas is 25')

2) outdoor area between the two customer buildings, approximately 50' x 50', where they don't want to lose connectivity (iPads, wireless phones) when moving between them.

Thank you, and reference links/documentation is always appreciated.



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Cyclops3590Sr Software Engineer

Commented:
i can't speak as to what works in an outdoor environment, but we used the ANT-1728 antenna on a 1240AG AP and it worked awesome in our warehouse.  It was about 30' ceiling and tons of steel shelving as I"m sure you have.  We had two put into about a 10000 sq ft area I want to say (100x100 ft) and we had excellent coverage throughout with the exception of a couple corners where it was surrounded by an inordinate amount of metal machines and shelving.  Regardless, from most places I've read the 1728 is the one to use for most warehouse setups with higher ceilings.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the input and sounds great, but is there an 802.11n AP/antenna combo that will accomplish the same thing/coverage?

Again, we're going to deploy 1142s everywhere else, and want to support the same level of service in these "exceptional" areas, if at all possible.

Author

Commented:
Bump for a bit more info?  

New information - the warehouse area ceiling varies between 35-45'.  Looking for specific Cisco AP & antenna recommendations for providing 802.11n-level performance to clients in these areas.

Thanks again.
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Cyclops3590Sr Software Engineer

Commented:
sorry didn't respond.  going thru ipad only is a little flaky lately for some reason.  I've only seen the 1142's implemented at my current place in an office area and it took a lot of them.  All and all, personally I hire someone to do a proper wireless survey regardless.  For one, they should have the experience to recommend the proper AP and antenna based on your environment.  Second, they will be able to tell you exactly where they should be placed for optimal effectiveness.  From what I saw, a good survey will cost about $1500 (at least when I had them done on my buildings at my last company a few years ago) but they give you a full report that shows where the AP should be mounted as well as a blueprint of the building (you have to give them that though) showing AP position and expected coverage via color coded map and the channel configuration that should be used.  They base this on your requirements for speed, user density, importance of overlapping coverage incase an AP fails, and environment interferences.

I don't mean to try to blow you off, but in my experience troubleshooting wireless can be a royal pain.  So in the long run its worth the expense to ensure you start with a good architecture.  Just my 2 cents anyway.

Author

Commented:
Thanks again for the feedback - fact is, the customer already had a survey conducted through a different company, but were not provided specific AP/antenna recommendations for the areas in question.

I visited the site myself a few days ago, so here are the revised particulars:

1) warehouse area used for document storage - the ceilings are up to 30'' high, with tall racks of paper storage.

2) outdoor area between the two customer buildings,requiring coverage for a 10' x 100' stretch, where they don't want to lose connectivity (iPads, wireless phones) when moving between them.

3) outdoor area between two buildings, requiring 10' x 30', similar to the above.

Thanks again





Sr Software Engineer
Commented:
wow.  really?  no AP/antenna information from survey.  I'd ask for my money back on that one.  Its kind of hard to do a good survey when you don't know what AP or antenna are being used as that kind of decides power (as well as dynamic power in the case of lwaps) or the coverage a type of antenna will give.

Regardless what I would do is the following:  (by the way, were you planning to use dual band N? if so I'd have to research that one as send and receive I believe are on different antennas then.  Also remember that you should never have two antennas on the same AP covering two different areas as you'll just get crappy to no coverage)

1) 1728 antenna for warehouse.  I've always had good luck with these not being interfered with to greatly and providing a fairly circular coverage area around the AP

2) Sounds like the Yagi antenna is what you need.  This is a directional antenna that is meant for coverages in one direction in a not wide, but quite long area.  If you remember those cantennas people use to use to find APs from a distance to hook into (e.g. pringles can or coffee can), the yagi is basically the same

3) this is a fairly small area.  so really anything should do a good job but I'm thinking something more along the lines of a 1728.  Being that if you put it in the middle along one side you will easily have great coverage by the AP

This is just my suggestion.  Its kind of hard to be sure though until you hook it all up.

Author

Commented:
Sorry for the extreme delay here, really...

THANK YOU for the great feedback here - it all makes sense, in a "see if it works" sense.  Again, this is all very helpful, but what I keep looking for is a document(s) that will recommend specific antennas given certain circumstances.  I understand there are external variables at work, but there has to be a "starting point" document out there that would, for example, say "X antenna will provide X coverage over this specific X area, and for an X specific range at X specific bandwidth."  

Simply put, I'm just looking for ground-level, zero-interference numbers for Cisco antennas - distance/BW/coverage numbers, specifically.
Cyclops3590Sr Software Engineer

Commented:
I received most of my cisco wireless information from these two cisco books.
http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=158705227X
http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=1587051648

I had other books, but I considered those two the best; especially the second one as that covers how site surveys should be done.  The first book is more general and gives more of a summary about cisco wireless products and what they can do for you.  Keep in mind when I got these N was not out yet so I don't know if they updated these or not.

Author

Commented:
Hey Cyclops - thanks for the additional feedback... I'll look into that 2nd book for sure.

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