Adding Wireless Internet

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
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WE8U-p40
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Adding Wireless Internet

Postby WE8U-p40 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:41 am

We are trying to get Wireless Internet in our buildings.
Our Stake Building and a Ward Building have a FHC in each building, a total of 2 that I know of.
I was told via the Support Desk that they could apply for Field House Internet, which would place Cisco Airnet I think throughout the building and give coverage entirely to the the building via the FHI system. I suppose 1 system in the Stake Center and possibly 1 in the Ward building if they really thought they needed that.

Now the FM guy seemed a little confused on how this system worked and recited part of a letter he relieved to me over the phone, he was in a hurry, but he seemed to think that the FHI system would only allow limited connections in limited areas of the buildings and it would be restricted access. He also had no idea who installed the system. This is in contridiction to what I was told on the phone. Is there a spot on the lds.org website I can quote and point to for my Stake President so I can know what I am talking about when I pitch him the idea? I have searched and cant seem to find a whole lot. I found some stuff, but I am not sure it is current.

The other method would be to remove the current wireless that is in the FHC and put in a more robust system so that the whole building, such as the Presidency will have access to it, as right now, the signal stops at their door.

Thanks. I hope that made sense.
Adam J Tipton
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:59 pm

WE8U wrote:Our Stake Building and a Ward Building have a FHC in each building, a total of 2 that I know of.
Are these family history centers official centers (they have their own unit numbers and are supported by FamilySearch support)? Who provides support for the installation of the wireless network depends on whether the center is official or unofficial. And if the center is official, who does the work in getting the wireless network installed depends on whether the center is new or an existing center.

For an unofficial center, the stake, or unit, is responsible for purchasing the hardware, setting it up, and supporting it. For an official center that already exists FamilySearch support will do the work to get the network installed. Once installed then the Global Service Center will support the network. For an official center that is new then the Global Service Center does all the work to include follow-on support.

WE8U wrote:I was told via the Support Desk that they could apply for Field House Internet, which would place Cisco Airnet I think throughout the building and give coverage entirely to the the building via the FHI system.
I am assuming you were talking to the Global Service Center. What they were referring to was the procedure to follow for a new official family history center. I do not know if it is possible, but I suppose you could use the same procedure to have the FHI insalled for an unofficial FHC as well as for a building without a FHC. The only difference would be who provides the funds for the equipment and the installation. The FM group should have the necessary paperwork to submit the application. They would also receive the hardware supplied by Church headquarters. The FM group would then let the contract to have the system installed.

For an existing official FHC you should call FamilySearch support and tell them you would like to have a wireless netork installed for an existing family history center. They would then get the ball rolling.

WE8U wrote:Now the FM guy seemed a little confused on how this system worked and recited part of a letter he relieved to me over the phone, he was in a hurry, but he seemed to think that the FHI system would only allow limited connections in limited areas of the buildings and it would be restricted access. He also had no idea who installed the system.
Based on the construction of the building, the two Cisco Aironet 1200 series WAPs may not be able to provide full building coverage. This may be what he was referring to. For a Church installed wireless network, a professional is hired to survey the building for the best placement of the two WAPs. No guarantee is given that full coverage will be available. The restricted access is in reference to the WEP security protocol previously used that required the Odyssey Client software. The preferred security protocol is WAP and does not involve using the Odyssey Client software. When Odyssey Client is used only Church own computers can have the software installed on them due to licensing restrictions. A Church provided wireless network is either installed by the FM group or they let the contract.

WE8U wrote:Is there a spot on the lds.org website I can quote and point to for my Stake President so I can know what I am talking about when I pitch him the idea? I have searched and cant seem to find a whole lot. I found some stuff, but I am not sure it is current.
I have not found anything on any of the Church websites. Perhaps someone else has better information.

WE8U wrote:The other method would be to remove the current wireless that is in the FHC and put in a more robust system so that the whole building, such as the Presidency will have access to it, as right now, the signal stops at their door.
Perhaps you could just add another WAP near the stake offices.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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Postby WE8U-p40 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:20 pm

Thank You Very Much!

Good information. I think I will grab what I need from this and email my President for further review. By chance, I did hear from a contractor that he was doing a walk thru tomorrow to place wireless in the building, but no one has told me yet. So I need to figure out what is going on.

Thanks again.
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:26 pm

There are a couple of additional links you may be interested in. The first is the LDSTech Wiki article on Meetinghouse Internet. In there, be sure to check out the Reference Articles for official Church policies and guidelines on the subject.

The second is another thread in this forum, discussing using a Wireless Router configured as WAP. Our stake chose this option as the cost savings was quite substantial and the end result was more than satisfactory.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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Postby WE8U-p40 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:03 pm

Is the Church still installing Aironet 1200 systems, or are they upgrading to the newer systems? I just don't want to pitch old technology that wont be adequate to my Presidents needs, as further information has told me that he needs reliable service in several areas of the building.

Thanks for the other links.
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:53 pm

WE8U wrote:Is the Church still installing Aironet 1200 systems, or are they upgrading to the newer systems?


I'm wondering if the church is still installing any wireless systems? That was something they did some time ago, but I'm not sure as they are still doing that. Under the Meetinghouse Internet program, the individual stakes can do what they want, but that's not coming down from CHQ.
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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Postby WE8U-p40 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:37 am

That is what the help desk told me anyways. I do not know if it is the mos appropriate solution. I am going to give them a call today and try to figure that end of it out before I proceed. I know my President wants several areas of the Stake Center to have access. And if the Aironet 1200 only give us 2 access points with the older technology, I do not believe it will be enough. We might have to rethink it. Those cinder block walls are tough on radio signals and its a good sized stake center. Obviously, the FHC has to have priority so they would get 1 of the units, that leaves only 1 unit remaining, not enough to cover the other areas. So, we shall see. It was recommended from the support desk that we use N technology anyways.
Adam J Tipton

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Postby skiptaylor » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:05 am

WE8U wrote:That is what the help desk told me anyways. I do not know if it is the mos appropriate solution. I am going to give them a call today and try to figure that end of it out before I proceed. I know my President wants several areas of the Stake Center to have access. And if the Aironet 1200 only give us 2 access points with the older technology, I do not believe it will be enough. We might have to rethink it. Those cinder block walls are tough on radio signals and its a good sized stake center. Obviously, the FHC has to have priority so they would get 1 of the units, that leaves only 1 unit remaining, not enough to cover the other areas. So, we shall see. It was recommended from the support desk that we use N technology anyways.


We have recently been working towards connecting the Administrative computers to the Internet. Our building walls are cinder block with rebar/concrete in them and very dense to a radio signal. Some of our buildings block cell phone signals in a lot of areas and not in others.

Our FHC already has WiFi (Aironet 1200). One of our members that works with Cisco equipment and is Cisco certified helped by doing a building survey for additional wireless and best placement of what we have. Oddly enough, moving the AP to the attic provided a downgrade of signal strength. Seems it was placed correctly the first time. His suggestion was "we should hardwire this" due to the materials used in the building.

The short of it is we are going to hardwire the Admin computers via the telephone conduits in the building. Our plan is to go from the FHC to the telephone closet to a switch which then will go out via the conduits to the rooms. This already has the blessing of our FMG manager. Our Stake PFR has run Internet cables in buildings professionally for a long time so we are fortunate that we have local members that are professionals that can and will run the wires for us.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

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Postby WE8U-p40 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:13 am

Glad to know I am not the only one with this issue. It seems that the Aironet 1200 is obsolete. I looked at Cisco's website and they dont make or support it anymore. I might recommend the latest and greatest version, however each access point is over 700 dollars and we would be needed probably 4 or 5 of them to get proper coverage. I do not want to put wireless routers up, but if it comes to it, I suppose we can go that route, but I guess that means running power cables and Ethernet.
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Postby skiptaylor » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:32 pm

WE8U wrote:Glad to know I am not the only one with this issue. It seems that the Aironet 1200 is obsolete. I looked at Cisco's website and they dont make or support it anymore. I might recommend the latest and greatest version, however each access point is over 700 dollars and we would be needed probably 4 or 5 of them to get proper coverage. I do not want to put wireless routers up, but if it comes to it, I suppose we can go that route, but I guess that means running power cables and Ethernet.

The problem is NOT that Cisco Aironet's are obsolete. According to the Brother that works with Cisco and is so trained, the Aironet's are transmitting with full legal power.

I was told by the former FMG manager of someone professionally installing Aironet systems (1 and 2 AP's) at buildings in our Stake. Even for those FHC's it failed.

The problem is well made building walls. To fully penetrate our Stake center, it would take a lot more transmitting power than is prudent, and it would still be marginal. Concrete and rebar just are not WiFi friendly. In some cases the signal would have to go through 2 or 3 of these walls. Even if you have high power transmit, the computers have to be able to participate and not all adapters will be able to answer their call. So it would be a one-way communication.

I'd look into running Cat5 cables for Ethernet. You could also use something like this to run to a small local wireless router for an area if the SP really has to have WiFi.

That's my 2¢ worth!
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.


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