LDSTech

Upgrading WiFi in my ward buildings

Discuss various issues around providing Internet access to meetinghouses.

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#11Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:23 am

sphester wrote:My FM group has confirmed that presently there is little chance of these being upgrade until all the UK broadband role out has been finished.


That seems like a reasonable way to operate. You've got something. At this point the others have nothing, so it seems completely reasonable for them to go first.


sphester wrote:"Please replace them with the 1041s asap. they are available at the church e-market"


If it's not possible right now, then it will have to wait until it is possible.



sphester wrote:in reality the only real issue I have presently is getting the internet in to the chapel so a computer can be used to view our stake conference webcast. [..] With this in mind perhaps the easiest thing for me to do is get agreement for the FM to buy me some cat5e cable £50 for 300 meters and 4 wall mounted network sockets i can then run a socket to the place were they will hook up a Laptop and there is no need for WiFi yet.


You'll need to work with FM for the building modification, but that sounds like a good approach to get what you really need. If necessary, the Stake might be willing to pay for that.
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#12Postby rbeede » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:14 am

sphester wrote:...agreement for the FM to buy me some cat5e cable £50 for 300 meters and 4 wall mounted network sockets...



I'm assuming you mean 4 wires totaling 300 meters. You can't run a single Ethernet wire over 100 meters; you'd have to use switches in-between.


The wiki page (http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Wireless_networking_(meetinghouse)) says
Note: The focus on meetinghouse Internet this year is to get Internet into as many meetinghouses as possible. There is currently no mandate to provide wireless coverage to specific portions of a building. Work with your facilities manager to identify wireless needs and based on their budget and resources, they will determine what can be done and when.



So unless your Stake president wants it the FM group and Area office will probably not budget it. For ward/branch buildings I wouldn't bother with wireless anyway. Like you mentioned your best bet is to get a wired connection for the purpose of receiving stake conference broadcasts and have the FM group pay for and install it.

None of your existing network equipment needs be replaced. The guidelines on the wiki mention this too:
Do I need to use a specific Church-provided firewall?
Yes. The Church provides a standard meetinghouse firewall which is currently the Cisco 881W. Older meetinghouse firewalls such as the Cisco PIX 501 (legacy) or Cisco ASA 5505 (current) do not need to be replaced in most cases and should continue to be used.


http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Wireless_networking_(meetinghouse)
Older 802.11 solutions


In buildings where other types of wireless access points have already been set up and are working well, you do not have to rip it all out and replace it with the 1041N's. However, if you do not have any wireless set up and you want it or if you are having unsolvable problems with another wireless solution, we recommend using 1041N's. It is recommended to not mix new wireless (881W and 1041N) with other wireless solutions.
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#13Postby aebrown » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:40 am

rbeede wrote:
In buildings where other types of wireless access points have already been set up and are working well, you do not have to rip it all out and replace it with the 1041N's. However, if you do not have any wireless set up and you want it or if you are having unsolvable problems with another wireless solution, we recommend using 1041N's. It is recommended to not mix new wireless (881W and 1041N) with other wireless solutions.


It may be the recommendation not to mix new wireless (881W) with other wireless solutions, but that's only a recommendation. I just installed two 881W firewalls (each replacing a PIX 501) in buildings that had existing Aironet 1200 WAPs, and it worked very smoothly. The WAPs connected right up when I plugged them into the activated 881W.

I was glad I moved forward with this, even after the GSC technician tried pretty hard to discourage me, saying I really should get 1041Ns. Our immediate need was for the new firewall, and I would hate to have waited for 1041Ns to arrive before I could install the 881Ws.
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#14Postby sammythesm » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:54 am

sphester wrote:Looks like its back to my FM with a nice begging letter to see if they have room in the budget to buy the equipment and let me install it. In reality I actually only need the newer access points the older PIC501 firewalls seem to work fine the weak link in the chain has always been the range and and quality of the WiFi signal.


Work through your Stake President. You might even draft the email / letter for him to review and sign, if he's not technical or doesn't understand. Takes some education, but FM groups and Area offices are MUCH more responsive to requests from Stake Presidents than they are clerks.

Also - if there are no wired connections and you truly are reliant on WiFi, seems like it should be a priority to get them installed. However, if your APs are working and there are other buildings w/o APs, you may have to be more sensible/amenable to where you stand on the priority list.

But you are right about 802.11n vs b. It's not just max bandwidth throughput (as another poster alleged above). N devices have better coverage and better signal resiliency.
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#15Postby sphester » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:10 pm

rbeede wrote:I'm assuming you mean 4 wires totalling 300 meters. You can't run a single Ethernet wire over 100 meters; you'd have to use switches in-between.




When I said 300 meters I meant I can a buy a box real of cat5e for £50 that gives me 300 meters in total. For all sites all I need to do is run a single cat5e run that in most cases will be well short of the 100 meters maximum limit. I can then terminate this on wall socket at a suitable location in the chapel. RJ45 crimp on the other end and plug direct into the PIC501. I could go all out and buy a patch panel but trying to save on costs. Subject to the cable run this looks like a possible option.

I take on board some of the other comments and perhaps I'm being little unreasonable or impatient. But I have a Stake President who believes he was told he was getting X but now he is slowly realising he is now getting Y and he feel for want of a better word cheated. And all he wants is to be able to use the new webcast technology to help the members get to conference with out it costing loads in fuel.

All that said I have some good ideas now and can move this forward I hope.
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#16Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:18 pm

sphester wrote:But I have a Stake President who believes he was told he was getting X but now he is slowly realising he is now getting Y and he feel for want of a better word cheated.


He's got the most power with FM Group. If he wants X, then he'll need to push for it. Help him, but your power with the FM Group is limited.


sphester wrote:And all he wants is to be able to use the new webcast technology to help the members get to conference with out it costing loads in fuel.


And it sounds like you've got a good plan for doing that. Wired is the way to go. We've been advising people to turn off the wireless during webcasts as too many devices connect automatically and can rob you of the needed bandwidth.
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#17Postby sphester » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:00 pm

Just got of the phone talking with the Stake President he sounded so excited about the idea of running cable as it was so cheap.

We are going to run with the cable idea for now and put some proposal to our FM group.

It has been good sounding out ideas and my frustration on here as I have to be honest I was getting sucked down the road of it has to be wifi upgrades and nothng else but the idea of the cat5 cable all make sense and logically I should have known all along it was the cheaper and better option just have to hope my FM agrees.

How do you turn off the wireless? I can only think in the case of the older units with PIC501 I'd unplug the cat5 lead to the unit to power it down. How do you do this with the 881W router/firewalls.

Again thanks for everyone input
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#18Postby sphester » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:13 pm

I did start another thread on what I might expect from the webcast software its here https://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?11337-Real-World-Results-with-300Kbps-upload-speed&p=80917#post80917

Anyone got any views to add. I ask as all this work might be a waste of time if the webcast won't work on the slower speeds or with high latency.
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#19Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:18 pm

sphester wrote:How do you turn off the wireless? I can only think in the case of the older units with PIC501 I'd unplug the cat5 lead to the unit to power it down. How do you do this with the 881W router/firewalls.


I'd remove the antennas. Hopefully that cuts the range down to "unusable".
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#20Postby bradhokanson » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:19 pm

In in the US, really anyone could install an 881w but the Stake Technology Specialist or FM usually does it. We have seen more than a few installed by paid contractors but it is rare. In the UK, its another story. BT has been contracted to install them. I dont know the specifics if they are also installing the internet service at the same time or not.

Right now the best way to "turn off" wireless on an 881w is to remove the antennas. In our testing it takes the signal range down to less than 10 feet from the 881w. To turn it off via configuration means a call to GSC and then they call Field and Campus Network Ops to get in the wireless controller and disable the AP.

Mixing AP models is a pain because of how they are configured. the 1041s are lightweight APs meaning they get their configuration from CHQ and the controllers there. 1200s and 1100s can be either lightweight or FAT clients and that is where the problem lies. The goal is to standardize on lightweight APs.

Brad

sphester wrote:Just got of the phone talking with the Stake President he sounded so excited about the idea of running cable as it was so cheap.

We are going to run with the cable idea for now and put some proposal to our FM group.

It has been good sounding out ideas and my frustration on here as I have to be honest I was getting sucked down the road of it has to be wifi upgrades and nothng else but the idea of the cat5 cable all make sense and logically I should have known all along it was the cheaper and better option just have to hope my FM agrees.

How do you turn off the wireless? I can only think in the case of the older units with PIC501 I'd unplug the cat5 lead to the unit to power it down. How do you do this with the 881W router/firewalls.

Again thanks for everyone input
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