Meetinghouse "commercial" WAP installations

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
jdlessley
Community Moderators
Posts: 8644
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:30 am
Location: USA, TX

Postby jdlessley » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:13 am

eyoungberg wrote:The professional approach is you paid a contractor that installs WiFi for a living, and especially if he and his pocketbook are on the line for support should the system fail, or if it needs updating or tweaking to get the performance where it needs to be.
While I am interested in hearing what a professional can do it is only information our stake cannot use. The reason is our stake just does not have a budget that is required of a professional install. Unless of course the Church pays for it and our budget is left intact. Unfortunately for many others in the same situation the hobbyist approach is the only one we can afford.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org Help Center?

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 4294
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:57 am

RussellHltn wrote:But what is the Signal Strength and/or the SNR?
For fun, I took my 2.5 year old Dell notebook around the building into every corner of every room, all the while keeping a running WiFi signal log going, and I ended up with a minimum SNR of "18dB". So what does that tell anyone? Yes, SNR is a figure of merit based on the desired RF signal versus the ambient RF noise (in a given bandwidth), but it's also a figure of merit for my Dell notebook. In the same location, my wife's 3-month-old notebook shows 21dB. Probably from a better antenna design and higher quality receiver. Numbers like these can be misleading if you don't fully understand how they are being created. Bottom line, does it work everywhere we need it to? The answer is, yes.

Folks, we aren't trying to provide seamless coverage for the passenger area of Salt Lake International for goodness sake. Like tsheffield pointed out, a few well placed access points and you're probably done. (Unless you have a very unique building design.) What's the worst that can happen? After a few weeks you get a note saying that the RS Pres can't always get a reliable signal in her area with her 6 year old notebook. Another $59 and about an hour of your Saturday, problem solved.

IMO, a lot of serious money can be needlessly spent on this Internet rollout thing if Stakes aren't a little cautious. What some might call a "hobbyist approach", I call a "prudent approach".
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 4294
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:31 am

eyoungberg wrote:Hi Mike,

1) Would it be possible to get your hands on the commercial layout plans that correspond to the quotes? This would give the rest of us an idea of what the pro suggests for the building type.
2) Would you be able to publish .pdf docs of those plans to this forum under the building type(s) with which you are working?
3) Can you share the information as to the installation company(s) for your area that provided the quote(s), and whether or not they are just local or part of a national chain?
Hi Eric,

1. I'll see if I can come up with the building design (or design name) of our Stake Center. It's not terribly old. I'm pretty sure there is a basic sketch the auxiliaries use to plan classroom usage that could probably be posted. It will certainly give you a feel of the design.

2. Not PDF's of the commercial plans. That wouldn't fly.

3. I will ask our STS if that's possible. (After he gets back from a much needed vacation. :cool:)

Mike
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31001
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:13 am

In trying to explain the difference, I may have come across as a little harsh on the hobbyist approach. I'm not advocating hiring a professional, but I am advocating to kick our game up a level. After all, we're Alpha geeks, right? ;)

To start with, what numbers should we be shooting for? What signal number will give us reasonable confidence that the different laptops in different areas will all work and that some presentation doesn't drop because someone started heating refreshments in the microwave?
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 4294
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:12 am

RussellHltn wrote:In trying to explain the difference, I may have come across as a little harsh on the hobbyist approach. I'm not advocating hiring a professional, but I am advocating to kick our game up a level. After all, we're Alpha geeks, right? ;)
At least we like to think so. LOL I also appreciate the need to learn from one another of what basically works, and what works very well, so we can help those soon to follow.
RussellHltn wrote: To start with, what numbers should we be shooting for? What signal number will give us reasonable confidence that the different laptops in different areas will all work and that some presentation doesn't drop because someone started heating refreshments in the microwave?
That's not an easy question. Because these measurements are highly subjective to the equipment used, most professional installers like to borrow the customer's most commonly used gear for taking their site measurements. They also take into consideration the type of data transmitted and its relative importance. There's a difference between downloading the latest Ensign and hosting a video conference with a potential foreign customer. (OK, that's a little extreme, ;) but you get the idea.) We don't really have a common wireless platform as a lot of it will be personal property. I guess I'm taking a very long time to say, pick a number. Here's a table from Cisco's website that will get you into the ballpark...

Image

According to this, a 10dB SNR should be able to support a 4Mb/s Internet connection at full speed, but I've found in practice, this is pretty optimistic. Add at least 6dB and you'll probably be happy with the results.

As far as interference, it's very hard to plan for, except if maybe you're seeing a certain channel is in use prior to the installation. I've found non-ancient microwave ovens to be fairly tightly RF sealed. It's the security cameras, baby monitors, even bluetooth that cause the most interference. Things actually designed to operate in the 2.4 GHz band. You also have the occasional entrepreneur in the neighborhood that will put an illegal amplifier on his 2.4GHz cordless phone so he can do his home teaching and not miss any calls. :rolleyes:
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:35 am

And on the amateur side of the spectrum, here is an antenna modI built several years ago for my first-generation WiFi at home. Those extra decibels gained in my target area did not know I was not being paid.

In my experience, some of the consumer-grade gear historically has had hardware or firmware problems. That little Linky in the picture, since retired, often had to be rebooted manually.

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 4294
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:40 pm

boomerbubba wrote:And on the amateur side of the spectrum, here is an antenna modI built several years ago for my first-generation WiFi at home. Those extra decibels gained in my target area did not know I was not being paid.
That's a nifty solution if you need to sacrifice the coverage area behind the reflector to enhance the coverage in front of it, like if your router were in the corner of a building. Did you calculate the dimensions based on wavelength, or just take a shot at it? (BTW, I wouldn't recommend it for general omni-directional coverage.)
boomerbubba wrote:In my experience, some of the consumer-grade gear historically has had hardware or firmware problems. That little Linky in the picture, since retired, often had to be rebooted manually.
This is quite true of certain routers. My old 802.11b D-Link was that way until I finally hit upon the right firmware. I've found newer routers (with some exceptions) are a lot more stable, besides, using them as a simple Access Point, the packets should be extremely easy for them to handle since none of the router, firewall, NAT, SPI, DHCP, etc. features will ever get utilized.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:08 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:Did you calculate the dimensions based on wavelength, or just take a shot at it?

As I recall, the dimensions were already calculated in the template published on the website my DSL Reports post linked to. (Unfortunately, that now seems to be a dead link. Those templates were very handy.) The only dimension of this design that is critical is the focal distance from the parabolic section to the center of the "rubber duck" antenna.
Mikerowaved wrote:(BTW, I wouldn't recommend it for general omni-directional coverage.)

Nor would I. But in many physical layouts -- either homes, businesses, church buildings etc. -- the location of the router or WAP is not in the center of the coverage, but off to one side. So the commonly sold omni-directional antennas many implementers use are far from optimal; they would be much better off with some moderate directionality.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31001
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:04 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:There's a difference between downloading the latest Ensign and hosting a video conference with a potential foreign customer. (OK, that's a little extreme, but you get the idea.)
Substitute a video conference with a GA and it's not extreme or far-fetched. Maybe not today, but in a year or so.

Mikerowaved wrote:I've found non-ancient microwave ovens to be fairly tightly RF sealed.
Maybe so, but I've still found it to be a problem in weak signal areas of the house. Perhaps it's because I've carefully preventing 2.4GHz phones and the like from taking up residence here. ;) That's really my whole point here is to have enough margin that what works today is unlikely to fail tomorrow because of some weak noise source has suddenly appeared.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

eyoungberg-p40
New Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:45 pm

help, please ...

Postby eyoungberg-p40 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:40 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:Folks, we aren't trying to provide seamless coverage for the passenger area of Salt Lake International for goodness sake.

Nope. But some of us might be trying to do seamless coverage of one or more buildings. One of those guys would be me.
Mikerowaved wrote: Like tsheffield pointed out, a few well placed access points and you're probably done. (Unless you have a very unique building design.) What's the worst that can happen? After a few weeks you get a note saying that the RS Pres can't always get a reliable signal in her area with her 6 year old notebook. Another $59 and about an hour of your Saturday, problem solved..

Please help me, Mr. Moderator. I'm simply asking that we stick to commercial installs here. Is that possible?

How about someone starting another thread called Meetinghouse "DIY" WAP installations? The intriguing discussions about clever homebrew antennas and $59 WAPS could go on over there. Here we could just have the boring, commercial stuff ...


Return to “Meetinghouse Internet”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users