> 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).
Well, first of all, we have more experience with enterprise-grade access
points, since we're in charge of the new campus wireless network, but
much of that experience transfers to a setup such as yours, and we have
worked with other types of AP's.
As far as overlap goes, yes, use the same SSID, and channels 1, 6, and 11.
Just do your best to stagger channels between nearby access points, e.g.
1 ---- 6 ---- 11
| | |
| | |
6 ---- 11 ---- 1
Another good coverage pattern would be:
1 ---- 6 ---- 11
\ / \ / \
\ / \ / \
11 ---- 1 ---- 6
(apologies if you aren't viewing this with a fixed font).
As for coverage, a good rule of thumb is 1,500 to 2,000 square feet per
access point. A 144' hallway with rooms on both sides is probably about
5,000 square feet, so you should plan on 2-3 AP's per hallway.
Yes, use the passthrough configuration, and not routing. Just be sure
that DHCP server is turned off, if that is an option on your units.
You may want to consider putting in a budget request for the upcoming
budget cycle, for the $$$ to join the centrally-supported wireless system.
You can contact Lih-Er Wey ([log in to unmask]) for more information on the
Doug Nelson, Network Manager | [log in to unmask]
Academic Computing and Network Services | Ph: (517) 353-2980
Michigan State University | http://www.msu.edu/~nelson/