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Protecting a Wireless Access Point Apple Airport in a Gymnasium

We need to install an Apple Airport inside of a Gymnasium, high up on the wall. It would still be vulnerable to taking a hit from something like a basketball or volley ball. Anyone have an idea or know about a product that would protect such a unit and still allow the device to function properly? I assume a metal cage would be out of the question since it might interfere with the wireless broadcast.
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TechND
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TechND
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1 Solution
 
djcanterCommented:
I dont think a metal cage would interfere enough to limit wireless signal.
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Darr247Commented:
If you use a custom made metal cage, I would use a tennis ball to size the openings. i.e. make the 'grid' small enough to keep out a tennis ball, but no smaller.

The site I have bookmarked for "enclosures" is down for maintenance right now, so I'll check back in later with some recommendations, hopefully.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
I had encountered a problem in the past where an Apple Airport was mounted in a cage in a cafeteria, much like a clock cage but smaller and we had connection problems. While testing different Airports in the cage I saw moment to moment signal attenuation problems from high signal to low signal, moment to moment. It was a weird pattern. We abandoned that option and went to ethernet and all was fine. I found this item today after looking for the last 60 days. I guess sometimes it just takes the right mix of terms in google. I think this may do the trick.  I am looking at the model 1032-C for around $130 bucks.

http://www.oberonwireless.com/hard-lid_wall-mounted-access-point-enclosures.php
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Darr247Commented:
l-com.com's site is still down.

If you only need 1, here's an 'open box' Panduit unit for $89 (usually $200+), free shipping.
http://www.techforless.com/cgi-bin/tech4less/PZNWE14
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
Wooah, that is a good buy. I am going to check that out further.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
I have a call into Panduit to see if the item is impact resistant. The 2nd tier rep I spoke with couldn't tell from the description so she is getting info from the designer division. It looks great for outdoors, weathering the elements, etc.
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Darr247Commented:
Yes, NEMA 4 and NEMA 12 are both weather resistant.

I don't think you'll find any non-metallic enclosure that will stand up to deliberate attempts to destroy it. All it should need to withstand is an occassional glancing blow... anyone with an accurate-enough aim to repeatedly hit it squarely with a ball would likely be concentrating on the sports aspect rather than vandalism.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
Panduit Tech support couldn't tell me whether or not this box would withstand a hit from a basketball, but they did send me this information. Any idea what this means?

The impact load is rated to 216 in-lb and is tested in accordance to UL Standard 746C, Section 24.
This test is performed by dropping a 2” diameter solid steel ball from a height of 15” on the enclosure.
 
 
2. Environmental and Usage Factors
Factor
Range
Rate of Change
Operating Temperature
-40 F to +266 F
 
Operating Humidity
N/A
 
Operating Vibration / Shock
N/A
 
Electromagnetic Interference
W/ coating: 60-65dB; W/O coating: 0-5dB
 
Electrical Supply
N/A
 
Contaminants
N/A
 
Mechanical Loads (Static and Dynamic)
Impact: 216 IN-LBS
Compressive: 20K PSI
Tensile: 8K PSI
 
Electrical Loads (Static and Dynamic)
Dielectric strength: 380
VPM ARC resistance: 20k PSI
Tensile: 8K PSI
Enclosure to be tested with 60lbs wall mounted.
 
Shipping/Storage Temperature
N/A
 
Shipping/Storage Humidity
N/A
 
Shipping Vibration / Shock
N/A
 
Other(s)
Information supplied by manufacturer.
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Darr247Commented:
8000 lbs per square inch tensile strength is pretty strong for a composite.

You shouldn't need to worry about the AP blowing the cover off with an arc blast.

Fastening it to the wall at 4 points as close to the corners as possible should give it maximum strength.

Hitting it with a 22oz 10'' basketball traveling about 40mph should make the same PSI force as a 19oz 2'' steel ball dropped from 15'', but exactly what the 216 in-lbs (18 ft-lbs) moment of force expression represents, I'm not sure, even after studying the setups for part 58.3 in https://law.resource.org/pub/us/cfr/ibr/006/ul.746c.1995.pdf (which is what part 24 spec's) ... because all it has to do is not break under that impact.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
It looks like the unit sold. Interesting info though. I am currently considering using a junction box made out of pvc found in the electric parts section of the hardware store that is 8x8x6 in size. Cost around $27. I'll report back once things are finalized.
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Darr247Commented:
OK, L-Com's site is back up, anyway... check out http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=29405
I don't see any impact ratings on the data sheet, but the cost is much lower.
It has an AC outlet that can be removed if you're using PoE to power the unit, and velcro mounting inside so it doesn't need to be a specific brand/model of AP.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
Darr247 - That item looks great! However I came up with another solution. There is a stage in that gymnasium, and along the top there is a thin, wood panel running the length of the presentation area. The AP can mounted directly behind that between (2) 2x4's, safely out of site. This turns out to be the best option. But I learned a lot here. I appreciate the 2 new tech resource sites and will likely use them in the future.
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