I'm running a small experimental 802.11 project in which we are putting
in service some consumer grade access points(we don't have a budget for
much of anything else). Currently we are using Motorola WR850Gs which
have been working alright, but I wonder if anyone else has done a
similar project with consumer grade equipment and if they have any
recommendations which may have better range. For a picture of what we
are doing, James Madison is located in Case Hall on the south side on
the third floor, faculty and staff offices are located in converted dorm
rooms. Most of the rooms have one or more large metal bookshelves,
which doesn't help very much. Given the typical width of a dorm room,
there are twelve offices on each side of the hallway. Offices are 11'2"
wide, so the length of each hallway is around 144 feet, give or take.
We have started out with one in the middle of each hallway (usually in
someones office in the middle of the hallway), on a free channel (lot of
students have APs in their rooms now). The reach isn't the greatest,
usually can't even get a signal in the last two offices on each side,
and it gets weak pretty fast. Am I being unrealistic in coverage
expectations, and just need to add more to get better coverage (see
question 3 as well). We have been using them in a passthrough
configuration/access point configuration so students have to register
with DHCP and what not.
My questions are:
1) Has anyone else done something similar? What equipment have you used?
2) I have considered using Linksys WRT54G's with the Sveasoft firmware,
as you can increase the power used, any comments on this?
3) How do you handle overlapping coverage between two points? Is
different channels (1, 6, 11) with the same SSID enough?
4) Any opinions on which consumer grade access point/router would be
best in this situation? (stability and range are important).
Thank you, any comments would be helpful.
James Madison College