Cisco 881W with WAP 1041N

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
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johnshaw
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Cisco 881W with WAP 1041N

Postby johnshaw » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:41 pm

I have a building where I implemented an 881W, and a 1041N - BTW, this was very SLICK... whoever scripted this setup did a BANG up job.... 881 was effortless, and wireless is available without intervention and having to call the GSD on a weekend which is never a pleasant experience. I added the 1041N and it did the same thing... configured itself, and LDSAccess was up and running...

Here is my question

I notice that the 881W and the 1041N are both running on the same channel. My past experience has told me that this is not good. Overlap can cause disconnects and bandwidth drains. Is the technology improved enough at this point not to worry about it, or should I call the GSD and have the channel changed? Does this matter at this point?

bradhokanson
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Postby bradhokanson » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:36 pm

JohnShaw wrote:I have a building where I implemented an 881W, and a 1041N - BTW, this was very SLICK... whoever scripted this setup did a BANG up job.... 881 was effortless, and wireless is available without intervention and having to call the GSD on a weekend which is never a pleasant experience. I added the 1041N and it did the same thing... configured itself, and LDSAccess was up and running...

Here is my question

I notice that the 881W and the 1041N are both running on the same channel. My past experience has told me that this is not good. Overlap can cause disconnects and bandwidth drains. Is the technology improved enough at this point not to worry about it, or should I call the GSD and have the channel changed? Does this matter at this point?


Glad to hear the install was smooth for you. We have had some issues but mostly related to PPPOE but those glad to say have virtually disappeared. I will give the engineers, developers and project managers your kudos. Both the internal 881w AP and the 1041 are controlled via redundant controllers in CHQ so the channels are managed there so GSD cant change anything on that.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:39 am

In all my other buildings with the 1231g WAP's the channels are set to 1, 6, 11 - this is/was standard practice.... Not just for the Church. Even with the controllers in charge, is the End User experience optimized if I have 3 different WAP's in a building all on the same channel? I guess I offer this comment by way of feedback. I am not an expert with Wireless, but I have some experience... enough to ask the question, and accept the answer from those that know more than me.

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Postby jdlessley » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:18 pm

Setting adjacent WAPs on non-overlapping channels is mostly an issue for maintaining seamless roaming connections. It can be an issue for low quality wireless client hardware and at low signal strength reception limits. I have also read that bandwidth is reduced when there are overlapping, same-channel WAP signals.

For the majority of wireless uses in a meetinghouse the wireless client device is stationary and the connection to same-channel, competing WAPs is dependent on the wireless client's ability to resolve signals (sensitivity, filtering, scanning methodology, etc.) and signal strength. When the signals from all overlapping, same-channel WAPs are weak then there is a chance that a connection may be dropped because of the same-channel interference and attenuation. When the signal is strong, even between two competing, same-channel WAPs, the client should remain connected to the first WAP to which it connects. It really depends on the quality of the design and compatibility of the wireless client hardware with the WAP. Cheaper, poorer quality client hardware may have difficulty resolving competing, same-channel WAP signals. Interestingly a wireless client may connect to and try to maintain a connection to the weakest, same-channel WAP signal. The stronger WAP signal then causes the client to drop the connection during the client’s periodic scan cycle. This causes repeated signal drops, scans, and reconnects.

Configuring adjacent overlapping WAPs on different channels eliminates or reduces the issues discussed. Since the meetinghouse network may interface with a wide variety of wireless client hardware it is sound practice to configure overlapping WAPs on non-overlapping channels. I find it interesting to note that one manufacturer, Linksys, recommends setting all WAPs to the same channel on a wireless network.

I suspect that one channel is used as a standard for deploying Church provided WAPs because it is impractical for the GSC (GSD) to know the network environment for each location. Also with the advances in wireless networking technology manufactures are designing their equipment to overcome some of these limitations discussed. It is up to the STS to request WAP configuration modifications necessary for their wireless network location.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:35 pm

In addition to the issues you've discussed, having other WAPs on the same channel creates noise, lowers the signal to noise ratio, and lowers the available bandwidth. This is true even for WAPs that do not share the same ID. It's entirely possible that WAPs outside of the meetinghouse and in the neighborhood could cause problems. I've experienced this first hand in my own home. Although my WAP's signal was the strongest, I was experiencing problems due to the noise caused by the neighbors. Once I found a clear clannel, I had a solid, reliable connection at full speed.


jdlessley wrote:It is up to the STS to request WAP configuration modifications necessary for their wireless network location.


The question is, can we?
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:13 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The question is, can we?
I operate under the principle that it never hurts to ask. Further explanation of the issues created wouldn't hurt to support the request. Things (policies and procedures) don't get changed unless those who can change them know there are issues.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:11 pm

jdlessley wrote:I operate under the principle that it never hurts to ask. Further explanation of the issues created wouldn't hurt to support the request. Things (policies and procedures) don't get changed unless those who can change them know there are issues.

Exactly. If there is a case (like there is in one of our libraries) where there is a nearby WAP that is preventing them from using that channel, the channels should be changed.

Aaron Z

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Postby j.magis3 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:50 pm

I really appreciate the good info on the subject....I have been given the task to build a wireless network in our Stake Center which was built in three different stages between 1972 to 1996. I have installed the 881 and looking at placing the 1041n...the other day I temp placed a couple of 1041n and discovered that I might need to have a total of 7 to 9 of them placed through out the building. I am basing this assumption...that if I have less than 50% Signal lost that the bandwidth and user will be effected.

I am interested to see if I am off base or this there a better way to approach this build?

Thank you

Joe

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:49 pm

J.magis3

I have a hard time thinking that you need 7 to 9. I also have a Frankenstein building that started in the early 60's. Horrible place to have to move a wireless signal, but we are able to get by using the older Cisco 1231g and use only 3. We survive with 1 to 2 bars in some locations... but the 1041N should be much more powerful than those. I don't know your layout, but ours is rather ugly, but was able to be done....

Does anyone know the area that a 1041 should cover? How side is the circle etc...

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Postby jdlessley » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:53 pm

j.magis3 wrote:I have installed the 881 and looking at placing the 1041n...the other day I temp placed a couple of 1041n and discovered that I might need to have a total of 7 to 9 of them placed through out the building. I am basing this assumption...that if I have less than 50% Signal lost that the bandwidth and user will be effected.
It's good to know that criteria was set and WAP placement tested . But why use 50% signal loss and how was that measured? I prefer to use bandwidth as the primary criterion.

Signal power can and usually does affect bandwidth. But it is the presence of noise coupled with signal strength that affects bandwidth. Low signal strength in a noise free environment could theoretically have the same bandwidth as a strong signal. But there is usually some noise from several sources in a Church meetinghouse. I would determine the minimum acceptable bandwidth and test for that.

Another factor affecting individual client bandwidth is the number of users. While a speed test will determine bandwidth availability at any given moment it is only valid for the single client running the test at that particular time. Multiple tests at different times would be better. I would look for the time that noise interference is at the highest and include that in my data sampling. I would also run a speed test at the same time as streaming a video to get an idea of the affect of one user streaming video on the overall available bandwidth.

When considering bandwidth it is important to know how the wireless Internet is going to be used. I would guess that streaming videos would be one of the highest bandwidth demand uses for a meetinghouse. The quality of streaming videos will be affected by available bandwidth.

Of course the available bandwidth at the meetinghouse from the ISP will be the upper limit. But do not count on getting more than 80-90% of the maximum the ISP says you will get. Speed tests will show your true bandwidth. But remember even speed tests can vary with the source used for the test and the time of the test.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?


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