(OT) wireless for college campus?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Mike Scott, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Mike Scott

    Mike Scott Guest

    A bit OT for this group, but the subject came up recently, and I found I
    really wasn't up to speed on what could be done.

    Given a college campus - say a 300m square site, with metal-framed brick
    buildings scattered round it - what chance of providing wireless access
    to the occupants?

    Instinct says no way; I've enough hassle working through one brick wall
    at 30 feet range at home.

    Any ideas/pointers please?
     
    Mike Scott, Aug 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. every chance, given the money.
    antennae :)
    http://www.locustworld.com/

    Phil
     
    Phil Thompson, Aug 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. Mike Scott

    Dr Zoidberg Guest

    Dead easy , but it won't be cheap.
    Are you talking inside the buildings only , or did you want coverage outside
    (not necessarily a good idea).
    Will you want continuous coverage so people can walk around and stay
    connected?
    You'd need a site survey doing to work out how many access points and where
    you want them siting for good coverage and to be able to roam.
    "proper" kit like Cisco aironet access points with decent external aerials
    will cover great distances.
    I've tested one outside our office and could sit in a field 200m away
    surfing the net.
    Going any further would have meant scaring the sheep in the other field!
    If you email me I can sort out a quote for a survey and/or installation.
    This is the sort of thing we do at work
    --
    Alex

    Hermes: "We can't afford that! Especially not Zoidberg!"
    Zoidberg: "They took away my credit cards!"

    www.drzoidberg.co.uk
    www.ebayfaq.co.uk
     
    Dr Zoidberg, Aug 24, 2005
    #3
  4. Mike Scott

    Mike Scott Guest

    Thanks for the reply (and to the other respondent too).

    The idea was for static internal use only for students; the subject came
    up informally, with a choice between wiring the campus or using
    wireless, and I realised there was a huge gap in my knowledge :-(.

    Wired would be prohibitively expensive -- and I wasn't at all sure
    wireless would work given the nature of the site, as it's not just
    distance, but the metal frames of the buildings (plays havoc with vhf
    radio reception, for example).

    I'll check into the kit you mention, and will bear your offer in mind
    should the subject arise again! Thanks.
     
    Mike Scott, Aug 25, 2005
    #4
  5. Mike Scott

    Dr Zoidberg Guest

    Hmmm , how many users are you talking about?
    Bear in mind that wireless bandwidth is shared between all the clients so if
    you have just 50 PCs in a couple of classrooms using an 802.11g access point
    you only have 54mb of shared bandwidth between them so approx 1mb per sec
    per PC which will be painfully slow when compared to 10 or 100mb wired
    access.

    Also as you say the more metal framed walls you have the more access points
    you will need and that pushes the cost up higher.
    Wired networking needn't be all that expensive. If you want some decent
    quality switches at fairly civilised prices then the Dell kit is excellent
    value for money.

    --
    Alex

    Hermes: "We can't afford that! Especially not Zoidberg!"
    Zoidberg: "They took away my credit cards!"

    www.drzoidberg.co.uk www.ebayfaq.co.uk
     
    Dr Zoidberg, Aug 25, 2005
    #5
  6. your wireless will be inside the frames though, so I suspect less of
    an issue. One access point per floor that type of thing, depending on
    size & shape.

    I am not aware that Cisco kit is allowed to use any more power or has
    better sensitivity than anything else on the market so shop around.

    Phil
     
    Phil Thompson, Aug 25, 2005
    #6
  7. less than 0.5 Mbits/s in my experience - real world data throughput of
    54G is seldom more than 25 Mbits/s and frequently <20.

    Phil
     
    Phil Thompson, Aug 25, 2005
    #7
  8. Mike Scott

    Mike Scott Guest

    Several hundred potentially. Perhaps 'campus' gives the wrong
    imnpression - this is a mainly residential site, and the main idea's to
    provide students with network access in their rooms. These are scattered
    over the site in (iirc) up to 3 storey concrete/brick/metal buildings.

    I'm told cabling is out of the question as too expensive. I have a
    feeling the person I spoke with though it would be a case of a single
    WAP for the site; but I may be doing him an injustice there :)
    It's not the hardware so much as the potential civil engineering
    involved in cabling up the site that would cost too much.

    I should find out in the next few weeks if they're at all serious about
    this!
     
    Mike Scott, Aug 25, 2005
    #8
  9. Mike Scott

    Dr Zoidberg Guest

    Yep , definately quite a few access points would be needed.
    A reasonably competent DIY-er could run the cables as they are all colour
    coordinated but if you have to pay professionals there would be a fair cost
    to it.
    No probs.

    --
    Alex

    Hermes: "We can't afford that! Especially not Zoidberg!"
    Zoidberg: "They took away my credit cards!"

    www.drzoidberg.co.uk www.ebayfaq.co.uk
     
    Dr Zoidberg, Aug 25, 2005
    #9
  10. Mike Scott

    stephen Guest

    it sounds like they want to avoid pulling cable and duct work (although i
    would get hold of the site maintenance people before i wrote this off -
    sometimes architects do put access ducts in, even if they arent mainly there
    for Cat5).

    There are some alternatives - cisco do a bunch of switches and adapters for
    "long reach ethernet" (LRE) - this is intended for hotels and similar places
    to share the normal phone wiring (if there is any), and can do 15 Mbps per
    port over several hundred meters - sort of internal ADSL.....

    Or you could look at the ethernet over power cable stuff like homeplug (or
    use it to feed the APs).
    i suggest you go for APs with power over ethernet to minimise any power
    cabling you need.
    it isnt. however when you have lots of APs in an area, sometimes things work
    better when you turn the power levels down to prevent interference between
    APs.

    FWIW i had some results from some informal testing about 18 months back
    (walking a laptop along a route away from an AP with lots of different
    802.11g cards in it).

    The cisco laptop card was still working around 50m further away than
    anything else tried.....
     
    stephen, Aug 25, 2005
    #10
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