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Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

Hello....I'm an Exede Internet retailer, and sell and set up routers and such for a fair amount of customers,and have missed opportunities to extend networks and whatnot, and passed it along to someone with much more expertise, which has been fine, but I need to learn this stuff, and not miss those opportunities, especially when I'm already on site.

 

I have a customer that wants their wifi to go from the trailer it's currently in, to another trailer, within about 150 feet, and if possible, reach a small cabin that is maybe 25 feet beyond that trailer. My friend, who does this type of stuff a lot, and is very knowledgable, suggested using a PicoStation to solve this problem.

 

My intention is to simply have it plug into the Netgear router in the first trailer, and mount it on the second trailer, or very close to, and that way it can reach the first trailer, the second trailer, and this cabin, as the second trailer is in between the first trailer and the cabin.

 

Am I better off turning off the wifi on the current router, and using the PicoStation by itself, or changing the SSID and password to the same as the router, and l;etting it do a "hand off" when necessary? These people are not tech saavy at all, they just want wifi in all 3 locations, so I want to "set it and forget it", and get the best performance.

 

I want to configure it beforehand, at home, if possible, and simply go to the site, run my cable from point A to point B, termintate the ends, plug it in, and be pretty much done.I'm using the Ubiquiti Tough Cable Level 1, so I'm assuming I want to use the shielded RJ45 connectors, yes? And use the drain wire, I'm assuming.

 

That said.....if this is possible, can someone tell me how to do that, or point me to a good video that shows all the steps?

 

Any help at all greatly appreciated. My friend has already said he will help me with TeamViewer and all that, but I kind of what to try and learn a lot of this from scratch, just because.

 

Thanks in advance!


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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

Not sure I'd consider a Picostation the most useful product for this job now. It's very much "end of life" as products go, and you'd still have issues as it's optimised for Airmax connections, rather than straight consumer wireless connections. It can be done, but not really as good as other solutions.

 

In this case I'd more likely to use a newer Unifi Mesh point. It should easily have the range to cover the area you're talking about, would be very minimally more expensive than a Picostation, and runs the much better, faster and newer AC standard. It's also optimised as a Unifi wireless access point, meaning that "regular" computer wireless devices more easily connect to it. Noting that while you need a Unifi Controller to set it up, you don't need the controller there ongoing if it's just a simple single SSID setup. 

 

Unifi Mesh should cover the area you're looking at (as long as there aren't significant obstacles), but it also has the advantage of wireless uplink, so you could add more mesh points in the future if you wanted or needed more coverage. Also, you seem on the right track with the Toughcable usage.

 

 

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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

The last thing I should mention is that while it is possible to do what you want with a Picostation, the steps required are quite lengthy (and you're configuring it to do something out of the box it's not initially built for).

 

The Unifi Mesh on the other hand has about 3 steps in a simple setup wizard, even simpler if you can setup with the Unifi phone app (as I said the end users don't need the controller at all for a simple 1 AP with one wireless SSID setup).

 

 

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Member
Posts: 137
Registered: ‎02-22-2016
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Solutions: 11

Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

Not sure I'd consider a Picostation the most useful product for this job now. It's very much "end of life" as products go, and you'd still have issues as it's optimised for Airmax connections, rather than straight consumer wireless connections. It can be done, but not really as good as other solutions.

 

In this case I'd more likely to use a newer Unifi Mesh point. It should easily have the range to cover the area you're talking about, would be very minimally more expensive than a Picostation, and runs the much better, faster and newer AC standard. It's also optimised as a Unifi wireless access point, meaning that "regular" computer wireless devices more easily connect to it. Noting that while you need a Unifi Controller to set it up, you don't need the controller there ongoing if it's just a simple single SSID setup. 

 

Unifi Mesh should cover the area you're looking at (as long as there aren't significant obstacles), but it also has the advantage of wireless uplink, so you could add more mesh points in the future if you wanted or needed more coverage. Also, you seem on the right track with the Toughcable usage.

 

 

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Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-09-2016

Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

Thank you for the reply!

I saw one person comment on an Amazon review, and I remember somethinmg about making sure to turn off Airmax, whatever that is. Remember, I'm new to this, haha. I get the basic idea, but I'm definitely at the beginningof the learning curve.

 

That said, from what I've read about the PicoStation, it should easily cover all three locations. Going off memory, if something was mounted on, or perhaps even inside the one trailer that is the "middle" location of the three, whatever that device was, would have to go maybe 150 feet max, one direction, and maybe 50 the other direction, and the only obstacles, would be exterior walls, but even the cheap little Netgear N300 is reaching from one trailer to the next, just not full strength, so I'm assuming the PicoStation, or what you're talking about, would easily do it.

 

I'm trying to keep the cost down, as these people don't have a lot of money, but to a degree, it is what it is. They live up in the woods, in a pretty rough cabin, and two old trailers. My point is, I want to have a solution that works pretty well, as cheap as possible, without going as hokey as simply hooking up a second Netgear on a 200 foot ethernet cable, in the second trailer. That would actually work, but it isn't much more money, to do something like this, and cover a bigger area, with a stronger signal.

 

Is this what you're referring to?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1296855-REG/ubiquiti_networks_uap_ac_m_us_unifi_ac_mesh.html

 

and if so, I noticed in the description it says:

"The Wi-Fi system includes UniFi Controller software that can be installed on a PC, Mac, or Linux machine within the network, and is easily accessible through a standard Web browser. Using the UniFi Controller software, an Enterprise Wi-Fi network can be quickly configured and administered, without any special training."

 

So this situation is just some kids, that want to have internet for their phones and whatnot, so going back to what you said.....can I have this Unifi controller software on my laptop, configure everything with it, and walk away, with no decive on site having the software? Hope that didn't sound like a stupid question, haha.

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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

And also.....can that unit simply plug into an existing router, like I want?

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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

That's it, yes. 

 

As I mentioned, the Unifi Controller is required to setup the device, but you don't need it ongoing for a simple setup (though you would need it for a mesh uplink setup, but you're not talking about that right now so I wouldn't worry).

 

You don't even need to set it up with the controller onsite, you can do it offsite at your shop/office/home then take it to this site and plug it into an existing router and it will just work like that. 

 

 

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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

I notice on the site you link to that the Unifi Mesh point is $90 and the Picostation is $79 -- that's about the minimal difference in price I thought. For such a small increase in price you'd get a lot more future use, ease of connection, faster wireless and future operability than a Picostation.

 

 

Member
Posts: 137
Registered: ‎02-22-2016
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Solutions: 11

Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

The last thing I should mention is that while it is possible to do what you want with a Picostation, the steps required are quite lengthy (and you're configuring it to do something out of the box it's not initially built for).

 

The Unifi Mesh on the other hand has about 3 steps in a simple setup wizard, even simpler if you can setup with the Unifi phone app (as I said the end users don't need the controller at all for a simple 1 AP with one wireless SSID setup).

 

 

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Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-09-2016

Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

[ Edited ]

Thanks very much for all the info. Even with the little I know, I can tell that the AP you recommended, is a more up to date device. I probably will go that route, just because. The price difference is minimal, like you said. And the fact that you say it's easier to set up, is a plus.

 

Now that I'm starting to read up on some of this stuff, and how powerful it is....I'm thinking about when I configured my own AT&T modem/router combo, to pass traffic through to a Netgear N750, thinking it would do a better job than the built in router in the AT&T modem, which it does.....but had I known, it looks like I could take something like this

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1184036-REG/ubiquiti_networks_uap_ac_pro_unifi_ap.html

and plug it into my AT&T modem/router combo, and it would eat the Netgear N750 for lunch, and probaly give me full signal strength in my backyard as well! It's only a 1300 square foot house.

 

Very intrigued by this stuff, and what it can do. Need to learn it, and incorporate it into my Exede internet installs, for the people thaty want to "light up" their entire property, or the guest house down the hill, etc. etc.

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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

Glad I could help, you should mark a solution as accepted here if you feel it's all you need Man Happy

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Posts: 14
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Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

[ Edited ]

I intended to, but didn't know if anyone else might chime in as well.

 

On that note, I told the guy that I know, that works with this stuff all the time, and seems to know it quite well, that I was asking about my situation on theses forums, as not to bug him too much, and told him about the device you suggested, and his reply was "Mesh units are for high density deployment", and that was it, haha. He was in the middle of taking care of some network issues at a music festival, so he was busy. It souinds like the device you recommended is newer technology anyway. Looking around, I saw a fair amount of talk about this

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1049757-REG/ubiquiti_networks_uap_outdoor_uap_high_density_un...

 

which is probaly overkill for what I need. I think the device you recommended is fine.

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Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-09-2016

Re: Getting feet wet with Ubiquiti gear, help with configuring PicoStation

[ Edited ]

So.....I got a phone call today, that raises one more question.....if anyone doesn't mind. A new Exede Internet customer that I will be installing, lives in a 1400 square foot house, where the modem/router will be located, and she will be sharing the internet with three other little cabins, one being within 100 feet or so, and the other two being with about 200 feet. What is the best device to mount outside the main house, to reach theses other three, with a strong signal?

 

Thanks in advance! Man Happy

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