2 weeks ago
Covering a 400,000 sq ft factory with 2 UAPs
Reason for Installation
Providing WiFi coverage for the interior construction of a 400,000 sq. ft factory
Used Products
×1
×1
Location
Longmont, CO, USA
Description

One of our customers is working on construction a brand new 400,000 sq. ft factory and needed WiFi access throughout the working floor.   They (like most contractors) need WiFi to access schedules, plans, worksheets, inventory, orders - you name it.   Since we were already supplying Internet access to their construction trailers, they asked if we could add WiFi to the interior of the building.   So we did.LongmontInterior.jpg

 This is one view of the interior (from one corner of the building) so you can see how big this thing is...

 

We decided to put 2 UAP-AC-Mesh radios with UMA-D antennas in the center of the building with the antennas facing into the long ends of the building - it's a huge rectangle.   We mounted the two radios on a pole for simplicityLongmontUAPsUMAD.jpg

 One added complication was that the construction trailers are about 150 meters away from the building, so we needed to set up a PtP link from there to deliver the Internet using a pair of LiteBeam AC radios.   It also needed to be behind the company firewall (already in the trailer) which was easy, but there was no power available on the roof of the building to power the UAPs or the LiteBeam.   So we had to put a solar-panel + batteries + charge controller + boost regulator (to go from nominal 12V to 24VDC) + an EdgePoint R6 set as a switch to power everything.   We've done this countless times previously, so no big deal...LongmontUAPs.jpg

Here are the UAPs hanging from the ceiling of the building -  the cables were run in through a penetration in the roof and routed to this location (about 120 feet of cable) to connect to the EP-R6 on the roof.LongmontUAPsClose.jpg

Here is a closeup of them in place

 

LongmontUAPclose.jpg

And a closeup of how they mount to the pole.   Since it's inside there's not a problem hanging the radios upside down... 

 

Used a CloudKey inside the trailer (before the LiteBeam to the building) to set up and manage/monitor (through the UniFi Cloud) the UAPs.

 

So how did it work?   In testing to my smartphone (Samsung G8+) at the far corners of the building the phone was picking up signals in the -67 dBm range, far better than I had anticipated.   This was so far away from the UAPs you couldn't even see them, including obstructions and piping/equipment in the way.   And closer to the middle of the building and the signal just gets that much better.   The customer was only looking to cover the center part of the building, but this now gives them access almost anywhere inside.   Using the same SSID and password as the units in the trailer, a few minutes after we turned these on there were over a dozen phones and tablets already connected inside the building.

LongmontBldg.jpg

 In the above picture the UAPs are located about 100 feet farther away than the blue lift you can see in the middle of the picture.   Even this far away the phone could easily keep a connection and download full internet speeds.LongmontEastSide.jpg

 Here's another view from a different corner of the building where the signal has to go through a ton of process structure and I could still get a good connection here.   Pretty remarkable for 2 little UAPs and antennas...

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covering a 400,000 sq ft factory with 2 UAPs

by 2 weeks ago - last edited 2 weeks ago

One of our customers is working on construction a brand new 400,000 sq. ft factory and needed WiFi access throughout the working floor.   They (like most contractors) need WiFi to access schedules, plans, worksheets, inventory, orders - you name it.   Since we were already supplying Internet access to their construction trailers, they asked if we could add WiFi to the interior of the building.   So we did.LongmontInterior.jpg

 This is one view of the interior (from one corner of the building) so you can see how big this thing is...

 

We decided to put 2 UAP-AC-Mesh radios with UMA-D antennas in the center of the building with the antennas facing into the long ends of the building - it's a huge rectangle.   We mounted the two radios on a pole for simplicityLongmontUAPsUMAD.jpg

 One added complication was that the construction trailers are about 150 meters away from the building, so we needed to set up a PtP link from there to deliver the Internet using a pair of LiteBeam AC radios.   It also needed to be behind the company firewall (already in the trailer) which was easy, but there was no power available on the roof of the building to power the UAPs or the LiteBeam.   So we had to put a solar-panel + batteries + charge controller + boost regulator (to go from nominal 12V to 24VDC) + an EdgePoint R6 set as a switch to power everything.   We've done this countless times previously, so no big deal...LongmontUAPs.jpg

Here are the UAPs hanging from the ceiling of the building -  the cables were run in through a penetration in the roof and routed to this location (about 120 feet of cable) to connect to the EP-R6 on the roof.LongmontUAPsClose.jpg

Here is a closeup of them in place

 

LongmontUAPclose.jpg

And a closeup of how they mount to the pole.   Since it's inside there's not a problem hanging the radios upside down... 

 

Used a CloudKey inside the trailer (before the LiteBeam to the building) to set up and manage/monitor (through the UniFi Cloud) the UAPs.

 

So how did it work?   In testing to my smartphone (Samsung G8+) at the far corners of the building the phone was picking up signals in the -67 dBm range, far better than I had anticipated.   This was so far away from the UAPs you couldn't even see them, including obstructions and piping/equipment in the way.   And closer to the middle of the building and the signal just gets that much better.   The customer was only looking to cover the center part of the building, but this now gives them access almost anywhere inside.   Using the same SSID and password as the units in the trailer, a few minutes after we turned these on there were over a dozen phones and tablets already connected inside the building.

LongmontBldg.jpg

 In the above picture the UAPs are located about 100 feet farther away than the blue lift you can see in the middle of the picture.   Even this far away the phone could easily keep a connection and download full internet speeds.LongmontEastSide.jpg

 Here's another view from a different corner of the building where the signal has to go through a ton of process structure and I could still get a good connection here.   Pretty remarkable for 2 little UAPs and antennas...

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
by
2 weeks ago

Nice work Jim!  I will not be getting on a scisor lift anytime soon though.

by
2 weeks ago

technicalmagic

Nice work Jim! I will not be getting on a scisor lift anytime soon though.

 

Beats climbing a ladder that high though...  ;-)

Jim

by
2 weeks ago

Thanks for sharing Jim.  I always look forward to learning from you.

by
2 weeks ago

I agree with the users above. I see your comments all over the place and you are very helpful. I appreciate you and the others that have long hours on this community to help us out and learn as well. New techniques/ideas/concepts for helping more people in the future. This is a great place for pretty quick help. Sometimes faster than calling a helpdesk! 

 

Question- If I was to have this same sitatuation I was thinking of putting 4 AC-Pro AP's in. One in the middle of each quadrant of the building. I'm starting to think my idea of wifi placement is not even close to correct. Would it be bad to have 4? 400,000 sq ft seems like a lot of distance to cover with just 2 AP's. Even for Unifi models...

by
2 weeks ago

verisarioc

Question- If I was to have this same sitatuation I was thinking of putting 4 AC-Pro AP's in. One in the middle of each quadrant of the building. I'm starting to think my idea of wifi placement is not even close to correct. Would it be bad to have 4? 400,000 sq ft seems like a lot of distance to cover with just 2 AP's. Even for Unifi models...

 

It depends on more things - how many users will there be?   How many devices?   What kind of bandwidth will they need?   Coverage is just one thing that is important - you need to look at the other details too.

 

Directional antennas can do a lot for you in certain circumstances, especially where there are few other signals interfering - in this building, there were literally zero RF signals in 2.4 and 5GHz inside.   So things work there which might not work so well in other circumstances.    But in other situations, you will need other solutions - there's no "one size fits all" here, which is why it's good that UBNT makes so many different products.   In large high occupancy locations (like large ballrooms in a hotel) we can cover everything with a pair of UAP-HDs and handle 600+ devices at the same time.   In a warehouse, you don't need the density, but you do need to cover large areas, and what's in the warehouse will affect that.   So you need to do things differently in different circumstances.

 

Most of the UAPs (the dome type units) have a flattened hemispherical shaped radiation profile, plus you usually don't want the coverage to go out too far, as that makes switching from one UAP to another less predictable.   In this case we were more interested in total area covered than in any "user experience" issues, so the UMA-Ds made sense.   It's all about doing what's appropriate to the task.  Plus, this is a construction site, so lots of dust, smoke (from welding), paint solvent vapors etc. to deal with, so an outdoor rated AP made more sense.

Jim

by
2 weeks ago

Thanks for your input. I appreciate the explanation! I definitly understand that there are just more than coverage that needs to be looked at. 

by
2 weeks ago

@eejimm First, thank you for the story here Man Happy

 

I have a question, why you chose to have both APs in a central location beaming in opposite directions (<- o ->)?

Why not each in a corner and beaming towards each other (-> o <-)?

by
2 weeks ago

alawadhi

I have a question, why you chose to have both APs in a central location beaming in opposite directions (<- o ->)?
Why not each in a corner and beaming towards each other (-> o <-)?

 

The primary area they needed coverage is in the middle part of the building where they stage their equipment.   So making sure they get good signal there is the most important thing.  And the two UAPs there guarantee the signal even if one AP were to fail.

 

Second, the building is far too big to run ethernet cable to the corners - we would have had to use fiber, and 2 separate solar power systems to do that.   Didn't make sense for a temporary installation.

Jim

by
a week ago

Sometimes the simplest solutions are best!

 

Thanks for sharing Jim. I love seeing how you and others solve problems in uncommon situations.

by
a week ago

Hello @eejimm

could you confirm that the PtP link inside the UNIFI controller network topology is not well reflected in your case?

 

in my case I have a setup with 6 PtP links with IsoStations inside a Unifi setup to provide remote connectivity. works like a charm but network topology is not linked correctly when a PtP link occurs. See picture below (all PtP links ar linked back to the central Unifi switch)

 

Capture d’écran 2018-05-16 à 22.20.27.JPG

 

BTW too bad that Airmax gear is not (yet) managed in Unifi..

 

Thx.