WiFi Installations

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
sammythesm
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WiFi Installations

Postby sammythesm » Mon May 28, 2012 6:43 am

I wanted to report in on how our WiFi deployment is going, and hopefully share some best practices with others. So far, I've completed installation in 3 of our 5 buildings.

Building 1 - Heritage-style Stake Center Size
This building was the easiest since it had a very easily accessible attic. I originally thought I could get away with 2 APs and the WiFi on the 811, but after installing them, realized the building was just too big and needed a 3rd AP.

I ended up locating the access points in the four corners of the attic, as low to the plywood floor as possible (I experimented a bit here - thinking I'd get a better angle if I horizontally mounted them with the pitch of the roof - but saw huge signal degradation when I did so. The best was when I vertically mounted them on the wall, nearest the floor).

The 881 is located at the top of the stairs (with all the rest of the phone/network equipment) and I ran new strands of cat5e to the other locations.

Here is the resulting heatmap (thank you to whoever recommended the ekahau heat mapper - it is great!)

Image

Building 2 - 1980's cheapie building - drop ceiling with no attic
The 2nd building is one that was built in the 80's - you know - when the church was doing all the buildings on the cheap. This building has no attic and has the drop ceiling tiles. This actually made for an easier addition of access points, as all I had to do was pop out a few ceiling tiles to run the cables - and then the Cisco 1041s come with a VERY handy ceiling tile mounting kit that works well. I got away with only 2 APs (+ the 881) in this building. Originally I thought I could get away with only 2, but the fact that the network closet is at the extreme end of the building really made it so that I couldn't take as much advantage of the 881 as I should have.

Unfortunately, the primary room is a little underserved. I may have to correct this in the future, if they begin using wireless more in there.

Image

Building 3 - 1950's building meant to withstand the apocalypse
This is one of the oldest buildings in Dallas - and thankfully (because it has an adjoining institute) it already had some of the old aeronet access points. So this didn't require attic crawling - I just reused the locations where the old APs were. The main problem with this building is its shape (very awkward "wings" to try to cover) and the building materials - brick and cinderblock.

Unfortunately, the original access points weren't place optimally. Because they were a different form factor (pretty ugly), they were squirreled away in closets so as to be out of sight. This building was made of cinder block and brick - so the signals just don't travel like they do through wood and sheet rock. The best bet, I've found, is to get them as close to the roof/attic as possible, so the signal travels over the cinder block walls - not through them.

For now I just replaced the APs inside the closets where they were, but may do some explorations (after I finish my other buildings) as to relocating them nearby in more exposed areas (i.e. foyers, hallways, etc)

Image

Only 2 buildings left, which may not get done until the fall. It's starting to really heat up here in Texas and both buildings will require attic crawling. :cool:

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Mon May 28, 2012 12:57 pm

I'm curious to know if you tried to have the WAP's mounted on the ceilings in the hallways. I've installed them now in 8 buildings and find the number of walls reduces my signal and necessitates implementing more WAP's. I'm certain that if I mounted them in the hallways that I'd have to install less WAP's... Our New Stake Center came with 4 WAP's mounted on the ceiling, but so far I can't get FM to agree. I don't understand why it's ok in my new building but not in the others, but that's for more sophisticated minds than mine to work out.

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jkentner
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Postby jkentner » Tue May 29, 2012 1:41 pm

John, you have the same FM Manager as we do. We are putting in new WAPs now, and he is wiring our Olathe Stake center (old building you are familiar with) so that we can put the WAPs in the hallway.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Tue May 29, 2012 6:57 pm

That FM only owns our new stake center (because of the temple), the other 8 buildings in our stake are handled by Independence. But yes, I do know him rather well.. it took a bit of convincing on the hallway mounting, he almost made them put the in the attic, glad that didn't happen.

sammythesm
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Postby sammythesm » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:21 am

John - to answer your previous question, yes, I am going to try ceiling mounting in my cinderblock buildings. But since ceiling mounting doesn't necessarily get the AP above the interior cinder block walls, I'm also going to experiment with mounting them up inside the foyer 'cutouts' - anywhere where it's still air conditioned/accessible space but where I know the signal will originate ABOVE the interior cinderblock walls (and hopefully travel over them farther). One other place I'm experimenting with for the back of a building is mounting on the back wall of the stage. I think this will get the WAP high enough that it can cover most of the back of the building and also the cultural hall while still being out of harms way. In the end, what I'll probably end up using is whatever place is most accessible from the attic and has decent coverage.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:03 am

sammythesm wrote:mounting on the back wall of the stage.


You may want to read the installation document. I believe that mounting it vertically can reduce it's range as the RF distribution is designed for horizontal placement.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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jonahhex
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Postby jonahhex » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:51 am

The 1041n WAP should be mounted like this picture if able.
Keeping the Church Communication Network working
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rontilby
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Postby rontilby » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:33 pm

When I clicked the link, I got an advertisement for google drive, not a picture of how the 1041n WAP should be mounted.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:05 pm

rontilby wrote:When I clicked the link, I got an advertisement for google drive, not a picture of how the 1041n WAP should be mounted.
Interesting. I got the picture of the WAP mounted on a suspended acoustic ceiling.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:51 pm

rontilby wrote:When I clicked the link, I got an advertisement for google drive, not a picture of how the 1041n WAP should be mounted.


Were you logged into a google account at the time? It works for me, but I'm usually logged out.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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