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Questions on setting up an outdoor access point.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey, a friend of mine has large building with a large lot out back where people come and stay in their campers/rvs. He wants to give them wifi back there and I know how I'm going to do it - with a couple questions.

The internet connection is on the opposite end of the building that he wants the wifi on. I was thinking about running a cable from his router along the outside of the bulding. (I would run inside but he uses it as a banquet hall and has it very nicely decorated and there isn't any place to hide it.) Anyway, I would run it outside under the little lip of the roof to the back and mount an access point on the building - maybe 10-15 feet above the ground.

First question: Is 10 - 15 feet going to be high enough to provide decent coverage? A couple summers ago I worked for a company that had a wireless network in their campground and they had their access points mounted on top of 30 foot poles.

Second question: Will I need some kind of housing unit to protect the AP from mother nature?

Third question: Will cat5/6 be ok without any kind of insulation - again from mother nature? It rains quite a bit here. I would bury it if I could but that's not possible. Is there a special kind of cable made for outdoor conditions or how could I go about insulating it?
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post #2 of 10
1) Campers/rvs have large flat panels of metal that are 10-12 ft tall.... not really conducive to WiFi.

2) You can purchase WAPs designed for outdoors. You might want to get one that supports Power Over Ethernet (PoE) so you don't have to deal with plugs.

3) You can buy CAT rated for outdoor/burial installation.


Also, how many users are we talking about here?
Edited by DuckieHo - 11/12/13 at 10:55am
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying.

Right now there are only a handful of users - I'd say less than 10.

I was definitely going to go with PoE. Also, where could I find this outdoor cat?

One thing I forgot is there is a metal shed that's kind of in the way... I'm going over there tomorrow evening to have a closer look so I might have to find a different mounting point. Also - on the housing unit for the AP? Will one be required or are they mad to stand up to the sun/rain?
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakel2 View Post

Thanks for replying.

Right now there are only a handful of users - I'd say less than 10.

I was definitely going to go with PoE. Also, where could I find this outdoor cat?

One thing I forgot is there is a metal shed that's kind of in the way... I'm going over there tomorrow evening to have a closer look so I might have to find a different mounting point. Also - on the housing unit for the AP? Will one be required or are they mad to stand up to the sun/rain?

Just Google for "Direct Burial CAT6".



You could always mount on a stick attached to the shed's roof?


WAP rated for outdoor usage should be able to survive the sun and weather.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Cool - that's actually a great idea. Thanks for the help.
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post #6 of 10
Keep in mind most omnidirectional antennas have a limited elevation plane, so you wouldn't necessarily get a better signal if it were mounted sky high.

If you were going to bury some cabling I'd also consider running it through some form of conduit.

How large of an area are you looking to cover?
post #7 of 10
For hardware, check out Ubiquiti UniFi. They have outdoor models that are actually pretty good. They are all PoE as well.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

How large of an area are you looking to cover?

^^^ This is a critical question. If these campers are more than 150-200 feet away from the router, they're going to get a horrible signal with most average outdoor routers.

Keep in mind maximum length for a piece of Cat 5e or Cat 6 is 100 meters -- 330 feet give or take, and it has to be terminated properly and relatively free of crosstalk to achieve full speed at those lengths. You can't use it to run the hundreds or thousands of feet that would be typical of a "camper park". For that, the cheapest long distance solutions are usually Ethernet over Coax. Fiber is better, but a lot more expensive on the ends and for the cable.


Greg
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's really not that big of an area - just a decent sized parking lot with a few camper hook-ups. The cable I will run is less than 100 meters and the coverage area is around a few hundred feet as well. The people who will need it the most will be within 20 feet of the AP. I would like to bury the cable but I just don't think that's possible. If i get some cat5/6 rated for outdoor usage and run it along the outside of the building - just below the lip of the roof - will I need some other kind of insulation for the cable?

Thanks for the replies guys.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakel2 View Post

It's really not that big of an area - just a decent sized parking lot with a few camper hook-ups. The cable I will run is less than 100 meters and the coverage area is around a few hundred feet as well. The people who will need it the most will be within 20 feet of the AP. I would like to bury the cable but I just don't think that's possible. If i get some cat5/6 rated for outdoor usage and run it along the outside of the building - just below the lip of the roof - will I need some other kind of insulation for the cable?

Thanks for the replies guys.

A conduit is recommended to help further protect the cable.... it would also help protect it from physical damage (i.e. a ladder accidentally being placed on it).
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