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swilliams236
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Registered: 07-07-2011

Architect question

All,

I am brand new to this community and have searched the forums for an answer, but couldn't find anything close enough to what I am attempting... so here is my question:

I am architecting my first community wireless network from scratch and need some advice. I feel like I have the right idea as I have setup smaller scale wireless networks before, but the scale is where my inexperience concerns me.

I have attached a picture of the community that the installation will exist in. The building marked with the red "A" is where the antenna will be mounted (on a post about 3ft high). The Internet connection and the router will be installed in this building as well with an RJ45 cable running to a Bullet AP with a 10dbi Omni directional antenna. The farthest point from the AP in any direction is about 600ft (<200m). Would this single AP/Antenna combo be sufficient for this community at supplying a reliable connection (<100 clients)?

If this design is not sufficient, could you give me some insight as to where my weaknesses will be and how to improve them?

NOTE: The connections need to be reliable, however, not perfect. The farthest point needs to have a reliable connection, but not necessarily 100% of the available speed.

Your Expertise is greatly appreciated,

Sanchez
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urmom
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Re: Architect question

<100 clients


when you say <100 clients, does that mean 5 clients or 99?

A bullet will handle around 30 or so clients.
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swilliams236
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Re: Architect question

That is good information to know because there will be around 75-85 clients, though it will be rare that more than 60% will be active simultaniously.

What about the range with the omni directional? Is it likely that it will be received at its farthest point (<200m) through the building? (These are one story building with only four 800 sq/f spaces in each)
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broadband
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Re: Architect question

I would go with 3 x bullet M2 and 3 x 90 degree sector. Some users may need USB dongle for reliable connection. Alfa networks has good dongles.

Regards

Ali
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swilliams236
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Re: Architect question

Sounds like it would be a very reliable setup.

Are you recommending the 3 because of the client load, distance, or both?
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WHT
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Re: Architect question

I can see a real problem if you're trying to use indoor laptop card or USB dongle end-points.
An AP mounted on the roof is a problem, it should be closer to 12 or 15 feet in the air...otherwise you'll overshoot your indoor customers.
An AP at point A may cover most of of the building directly to the west, northwest, and north.
Those building have parking lots consistent with apartment buildings. Can you find out if each building has it's own electrical power or are all the meters dedicated for the tenants. You may need several more APs scattered about.
Have you considered placing a single CPE radio on each building and run ethernet cables into each apartment?
My suggestion to start is to get one Rocket M2 and an omni antenna and place it at point A and start walking around into the apartments with a laptop. You will be very surprised how limited the coverage will be.
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swilliams236
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Re: Architect question

Each building does in fact have power used for outdoor lighting, but this would place me way outside of my budget. This would require around 25 AP's (plus antenna's, power supplies, ethernet cables, wall jacks, etc.) I would like to stay under $1,000 total.

I have considered walking around with a laptop or wifi scanner and find where the signal becomes weak or unreliable, however, I was hoping to find a general idea of distance and load under the proposed circumstances before going to testing.

Ideally I would like to use 3-5 AP's without running any ethernet into the building's. Does anyone think this would be a feasible implimentation, or is it grossly unrealistic?
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urmom
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Re: Architect question

or is it grossly unrealistic?


I think you're overestimating a laptop's wireless ability to penetrate walls and such.
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Re: Architect question

Does anyone think this would be a feasible implimentation, or is it grossly unrealistic?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the most feasible - I'd say a 5.
Radio waves do not give a flying rat's àss about a project's budget. While one would think that city wide municipal wireless deployments designed for indoor laptop penetration with a virtually unlimited budget would work, but they didn't. Those deployments were designed around a budget by accountants, not RF engineers.
With that said, I can guarantee you from experience, if you have an AP at 30 feet in the air, it will penetrate the first home about 500 feet away; but will be completely blocked outside on the far side of the house.
While I cannot give you an exact number of APs you'll need, I can say it will be around 15. In other words, 10 won't do it and 20 would be overkill.
You have one unavoidable limitation. You are connecting to generic laptops cards and they use 20 MHz wide channels. That means you have only 3 non-over-lapping channels. The implication is you will have to be imaginative with your channel re-use scheme. Part of that would be keeping APs on shared channels from seeing each other. i.e mounting them on the sides buildings.
If the residents can get $19 per month DSL from the phone company, I would absolutely not even consider this project.
Moving forward, if the residents cannot get $19 DSL (yes, there are some backwater areas that don't have DSL yet, err...likely never will). I would place a repeater on outside wall of every other building and backhaul them back to the central node distribution AP.
Napkin calculations....
Rocket M5 and omni antenna for distribution node AP is $250
NanoBrodge M5-22 on every: 12 each at $90 each is $1080
PicoStation 2 HP for 12 buildings is $1080.
About $1,000 for Mikrotik and CALEA server.
Installation hardware, material (not counting labor) another $1,000
OK, we're at almost $4,500. Let's say you have a $30 per month tier. Looks like four apartments per building. That's a spread of 96 units or 19 potential subscribers at a 20% uptake. Per month revenue would be under $600 per month, or about $7,000 per year.
OK, the numbers look good so far. The project could start making money within a year with a $4,500 up front investment.
WHT = Short Form Acronym for "You couldn't handle me even if I came with instructions!"
Well engineered projects are indistinguishable from crazy ideas.

Speed, distance, reliability, cost...Pick three.
...World's First Ubiquiti AirMax WISP....
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