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avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ

RV Park Wireless Network Architecture

Click for full size
The RV park (graphed) has been promising the tenants WIFI for years now. I and the other folk are tired of waiting but the tenants, the managers and owner have no clue about setting it up and I only have a tiny clue so I am volunteering for the job. I have the Hot Pink (marked) RV in the graphic and there are up to 80 Rigs in the park at different times of the year.

I have been all over the forums reading LOS, directional/uni/omni antennas and pro/con for amplifiers. I know I need an omni-directional but that is it. The other posts don't deal with 20-80 users/connections in different directions and locations.

With cost being a factor, I'd like to ask some questions of the smart people here at DSLREPORTS.com and see what I am told and to see if I can (want to) afford it. Please don't hesitate to set me straight. I DO have a little knowledge and we all know that is nothing but just simply dangerous.

Load:
I would guesstimate only 20 users on the net at any one time regularly. (Some use Magic Jack and others use Video/telephone Messaging) Murphy's law says I will need the 80 connections at some time or other and the VOIP/Video people will have to suffer. However, can the WRT54G handle 80 WIFI connections with normal surfing or 20 trying to VOIP and video? AND - Can the current ISP connection handle that?

Connectivity:
I have a Linksys WRT54G V2 (4 RJ45 port) wireless router with DD-WRT V23 SP2 (09-15-06)installed running a (brand new) hotspotsystem.com's account. This runs on a Time Warner - Road runner 5m/368k pipe connection. I have been broadcasting WIFI for years for free here with different routers but, the signal goes no-where reasonable.

I need to get an antenna. Do I need two for the two TX/RX antenna mounts? What kind are suggested for 500'? Is there a preferred supplier?

With the cabling I am going to be going 20' out and around to the mast then 35' up. I don't like or want to create a dirty signal or not be FCC compliant. This much cable will require an amplifier? What size? Which manufacture? Amp should be placed closer to the antenna or closer to the router?

In this configuration I don't "want" to bridge and only will consider if there is no other way to stay legal.

Instead of amp & antenna cable(s) running around, do I purchase a outdoor WIFI case and mount IT 35' up with power and Ethernet running up the pole? If so that would be weighty, how do I get it 35' without guy wires? Do I need different antenna's and/or amp with this setup?

Any advice regarding better hotspot management accounts, routers, cabling, antenna (Architecture) etc etc etc and the recommended manufactures/suppliers would be greatly appreciated.

I am completely open to the best idea's anyone can offer. I want this cheap, easy and functional with as few trial and errors as possible. (heh) That's all.

Thanks for any help that y'all can offer. It is appreciated (and a lot I that I am asking for)

SipSizzurp
Fo' Shizzle
Premium
join:2005-12-28
Houston, TX
kudos:4

Here is what I would say you need as a minimally adequate system. First, you need to pay road runner for a commercial bandwidth package that has at least 1.5 Mbps upload speed.

Then you will need 4 good access points like »www.deliberant.com/landing/produ···tid=1284 in the 4 corners of the park pointing inwards with this model of antenna »www.hyperlinktech.com/item.aspx?id=2076.

For QOS/ traffic shaping you need to flash your linksys router with Tomato. It eats DD-WRT's ass for lunch when it comes to bandwidth control, and is the only thing that will do the job for less than $2 grand. It is used only as a router, with the wireless disabled.
--
I spent most of my money on Women and Beer, and the rest I just wasted !



DaMaGeINC
The Lan Man
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Greenville, SC
kudos:2
reply to avibp

That internet connection is no where near enough bandwidth for what you are trying to do. I would not settle for anything less than 15-20Mbps down and 2-3 up. But im a speed freak.


Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to avibp

You need to use a router that prohibits LAN-LAN transfers, unless you want your neighbors hacking each other.



Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:4
reply to SipSizzurp

Different opinion - unless there is a whole lotta trees and one has no ability to mount devices higher than the RVs, you could probably get away with two Devices with three being more than sufficient.
Also I believe its deliberant that makes excellent all-in one units, self-contained antenna and AP with possibility of poe if needed (I would bet yes) »www.deliberant.com/landing/produ···tid=1285 . These would be intuitively better because they minimize antenna cable lengths, just need ethernet cable to their locations. If you have power and ethernet jacks in the corners you would be laughing. In that regard, if you don't have cable jacks at the corners of the lot, would see if you could either string some externally or bury some. Distances are a tad long though, so perhaps you could go from the main modem spot to the centre of the lot and then T-off via a switch to the corners????? You would also be looking at POE capable devices for powering the units.

I would consider using the zyxel G4100v2 (designed for hotspots etc and up to 100 users) in the main office attached to one deliberant combo unit and wired to one or two other deliberant units at opposite corners as suggested facing inwards. (ie three APs) »www.us.zyxel.com/web/product_fam···A2007055 . You could also use the G4100 within the office main lodge area with its own wifi. The G4100 will allow you to use a ticket system at zero cost or to costs per unit of time of your choosing, a password of the day/week approach, or buy time through a CC system. Also has built in rate limiting and bandwidth limiting.
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins".
Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner"

LlamaWorks Equipment


avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ
reply to SipSizzurp

Thanks for replying!

One more factor that should be inserted. Aside from a few neighbors, there is empty land surroundning this RV park so, focused signal is not necessarily needed. I just dont want to blast interference signal around but, SOME over-bleed of the signal might actually be appreciated since it is my intention to offer Hot-spot service.

reply to SipSizzurp
Great solution! Except for cost! I would guess you're a proffesional installer (or could be) where I am trying to just "TX/RX usable signal" for surfing. The Video, VOIP, and P2P peeps will undoubtedly suffer with my end result unless I can keep the cost a lot lower then are currently being recommended. (Thanx for the Tomato suggestion)

I agree:
1. Commercial account from road runner.
Qwest offers DSL. Multiple DSL modems may be better to
handle the traffic of 20-80 users.
2. Acces points to distribute signal quality
relatively evenly.

I DISagree:
1. Acces points's 4 point distribution because
additional Cat5 will have to be installed all over
the park. I won't be authorized to use multiple
locations and thus the resoning behind "no bridges"
2. Antenna cost (4 X $299.00). The antenna's look
perfectly suitable and respectable for this purpose "if
I was doing this professionally".

Assumption: Using the recommended (500mw) AP from the single wireless location (see graph) mounted on a 35' mast with a 20db Gain omni-direcional (similar to the recommeded fixed width focus) antenna would cover all of the park. (No?)

Based on my (potentially incorrect) assumption some of my original questions still stand. ie.
1) Would I mount the AP high on the mast or just run the
antenna cable up?
**If just the cable goes up, where does the amp go?
High on the mast or lower with the AP? (I assume low)
2) What size amp (If any)? (I know there are dirty amps
out there so,) What manufacturer or supplier should I
use?
3) What Omni-directional antenna should I use?

reply to DaMaGeINC
Although I can't say I am a spead freak, nobody likes clunky connections. I agree a much faster connection will be required. So, DSL with stacked modems or cable? I understand you can't stack cable modems to increase speed and DSL is better. However, my info is +/- 10 years old.

reply to Bobcat
prohibits LAN-LAN transfers? Thanks. New terminology for me. What do you suggest? Oh, Heh, please don't point me to a $3000 Cisco router. That would be WAY over budget. The Two components (minimum) that are already being contemplated (see antenna and AP above) will run me $400. Besides, two points, shouldn't the end-user have decent security if they are on the net anywhere and these folks aren't kids so hacking would be a waste of time in their eyes and anyone on the connection will have had to PAY. Unless the system has been hacked into



Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:4

4 edits

WRT Bobcats comments this specifically refers to ensuring wifi clients are separated from each other. This is a setting on most wifi routers these days including the G4100 and deliberant APs (or all in ones). In addition some smart APs let you state which LANIP address the AP users will have access to, in other words, not only wifi separated users but also wired device separation (much like using a managed switch but with a single purpose of limiting LAN access to mostly one device ie out to the internet throught the gateway)

Your really painting yourself into a corner (bad pun).
There is no practical way to distribute wifi throughout an RV park without some number of devices. What has to be understood is that USERS with their small antennas have to be able to get their signal back to the antenna source. So going gung ho on one antenna may certainly provide antenna to user connectivity but will do diddly squat to ensure user to antenna connectivity. (if wrong somebody will hopefully set me straight)

Alternately you may be able to at least wire to the corners of the compound readily accessible and point two of the deliberant all in ones ($99 is pretty cheap for these decent units) into the RV park and simply live with the fact that the back corner wMAY have shitty or next to no coverage. On the other hand if the antennas are up high enough, heck you just might get some throughput there (espeically if users have some sort of small directional antenna setup).
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins".
Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner"

LlamaWorks Equipment


avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ

I agree with the "Painting into a corner" thought. And, I KNOW your right in regards to users small antennas however, these RV'rs usually are prepared to amplify there TX/RX signals although I am unaware of the multitudes of solutions that they all use. RV'rs often are "too far away from the club house to get a clean signal", thus, they concoct or purchase a solution.

In this case though with the current weak WRT54G signal and the inadequate antenna size and location, they have no hope.


SipSizzurp
Fo' Shizzle
Premium
join:2005-12-28
Houston, TX
kudos:4
reply to avibp

said by avibp:

I DISagree:
1. Acces points's 4 point distribution because
additional Cat5 will have to be installed all over
the park. I won't be authorized to use multiple
locations and thus the resoning behind "no bridges"
I was not planning to have you run CAT5 anywhere, but to use WDS mode for the distribution channel.

The single location restriction is not good. You need a bare minimum of 3 access points for the quantity of users. Access points start crapping out at about 20 connected users regardless of signal strength or bandwidth consumption. If you can get a 40 foot pole up in the center of the compound it would be an ideal setup with a 3 sector antenna array. This one with individual feed option and three of the deliberant radios would work very well in the center of the park if you can keep the number of users to below 25 per antenna at any given time.
»www.hyperlinktech.com/item.aspx?id=612
--
I spent most of my money on Women and Beer, and the rest I just wasted !

avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ
reply to Anav

and reply to SipSizzurp

You two are right on the mark with both concepts but, why I need help is because I am indeed painted into a corner.

I unfortunately don't have permission or authority to AC-power or to run cables anywhere in the compound aside my space .

I know where I mislead you. I asked for architecture. My apologies. I need the architecture of and from the one location and not the entire park. OUCH! Yeah. Tell me about it, I know.

Hmm, How 'bout this instead:
I have an off-center singular point that I want and hope to paint a 500' X 500'(+/-)with wifi. This 500' sq will have 20-80 users. I can buy equipment, raise a mast, change current ISP. HELP !

I don't think this is actually hard but, my ignorance is too great!

I believe I will need a new (or upgraded) ISP, Router (and AP?), Cabling and antenna (and amp?). I want to remain FCC compliant and not blead HEAVILY on the few neighbors around. Far reaching corners of the CUBE or off property clients can use a pringles can. (hehehe) and the most important thing is since this is self funded until the hotspot fees pick up, ITS CHEAP !

Later, the park can pay for upgrades or take over the system once they become believers in WIFI so, the high-end ideas are definitely appreciated too


avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ
reply to SipSizzurp

I am almost liking this... With reading comprehension level being low, I am re-re-re-reading this.


SipSizzurp
Fo' Shizzle
Premium
join:2005-12-28
Houston, TX
kudos:4
reply to avibp

Yours is a classic case of wanting your cake and eating it too. With no budget to speak of and no physical access to the park you are simply not going to install a park wide hotspot system.
--
I spent most of my money on Women and Beer, and the rest I just wasted !



Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:4
reply to avibp

If management isn't behind providing adequate coverage your up dungs creek without a paddle or TP.


avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ
reply to SipSizzurp

said by SipSizzurp:

cake and eating it too.
Understood and (mostly) agreed. However, your antenna array concept seems to be right on the spot and hopefully disproves your and my position.
said by SipSizzurp:

With no budget to speak of and no physical access to the park you are simply not going to install a park wide hotspot system.
There is a Non-fixed budget. "My Pocket". I don't want the costs spreading over years of re-couping via the hotspot fees. This pain I am aware of hence I am searching for help from "those in the know" to avoid incorrect purchase and time wastes.
said by SipSizzurp:

]If you can get a 40 foot pole up in the center of the compound it would be an ideal setup with a 3 sector antenna array.
The single mast could point 3-4 directional antenna's to the various points in the park. Now, I get it. Is that what you meant in the your original answer? If so, I apologize for my incorrect assumption of you wanting to use them in the corners of the park.
20 (ish) users per AP is something else that I wanted confirmed and didn't know a way around it until you included 3-4 access points. Thanks! Additionally though, will a wrt54g be able to handle 4 access points (20 users each) connected to it? I have sever doubts but an abundance of hope.
said by SipSizzurp:

]I was not planning to have you run CAT5 anywhere, but to use WDS mode for the distribution channel.
Sweet! However, I will need to learn about WDS mode. I am sure there are plenty of sources for that.

avibp

join:2008-10-27
Yuma, AZ
reply to Anav

said by Anav:

If management isn't behind providing adequate coverage your up dungs creek without a paddle or TP.
HA! That is almost how I feel. Owner and manager are stuck in the 1990's. They are neither for or against this. This is because of the fact that although they want to provide service, they have no clue how thus, they don't know who is selling them a bill of goods and that position just creates fear and causes a seizure. So, here I am trying to get a system up on my own to hand over to them with a projected (soon) "pay for itself" end date and if they are still too scared to take it away from me, I am not financing it for years.

SipSizzurp
Fo' Shizzle
Premium
join:2005-12-28
Houston, TX
kudos:4
reply to avibp

said by avibp:

The single mast could point 3-4 directional antenna's to the various points in the park. Now, I get it. Is that what you meant in the your original answer?
No. My original 4 antenna idea was to put them each at the 4 corners looking into the park. The 3 antennas in the center is a compromise on that design. The WRT54G router will handle about 125 simultaneous users with the wireless disabled and Tomato firmware. This will not allow for any type of captive portal or billing system though. The Zyxel that Anav mentioned looks like it might be the ticket for the controller instead of the WRTomato.
--
I spent most of my money on Women and Beer, and the rest I just wasted !


DaMaGeINC
The Lan Man
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Greenville, SC
kudos:2
reply to avibp

Well, you have a couple options open.

1.) Get faster service from RR
2.) Buy additional service and run load balancing between the 2+ connections.

These would be the easiest and cheapest ways to get additional bandwidth.

After that, your looking into business class connections with SLA.

The coment about DSL being better than cable is false now. DSL is becoming the next dial-up, but it all depends on your area. Location Location Location.


Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to avibp

You mentioned Roadrunner. You already have cable TV? Why can't people just get cable modem service?



DaMaGeINC
The Lan Man
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Greenville, SC
kudos:2

Rv's come and go all the time. He might have an office or something that is always there.


Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04

Oh, OK. I thought this was a permanent trailer park.


fox7

join:2001-02-12
Culver City, CA
reply to avibp

avibp:
Before you do anything I would recommend some reading, and maybe asking your question in this forum:

»Wireless Service Providers

You are talking ALOT of users. People in the WISP forum will know if you can do it with the equipment you are thinking about.

fox7



Vchat20
Landing is the REAL challenge
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Columbus, OH
reply to avibp

Personally from the way this sounds I don't think he's expecting many CONCURRENT users and those users probably are not going to be using much bandwidth to necessitate anything above MAYBE the next residential tier from Time Warner. With decent QoS this should also pose no problem for those using VoIP services.

With the placement on your diagram of the primary AP (I assume that is what you intended: The internet source and AP broadcasting it in the labelled pink square.) and access to at least some kind of 'mast' in the other corner of the RV Park (anything'll work that you can reliably mount to at a decent height), you could probably easily get away with another AP set up in a standalone fashion with WDS enabled to link up to the primary AP. Boost the TX power and grab some higher gain omni antennas on the cheap and coverage should be fine.

I actually had a similar 'tempoary' setup a while back in an RV/Cabin park me and my family go to yearly. They offer free wifi, but the primary AP is INSIDE the main office and hardly has the range needed to cover the whole park. So I brought my standard Linksys WRT54GSv6/DD-WRT with me and set it up just outside the cabin we were staying in. Repeater Bridge mode in DD-WRT (accesses primary router as a wireless client, repeats on same SSID, forwards DHCP/ARP upstream), 11B mode with transfer rate cut back to 5.5mbps for range and TX power up to 150mw. Router was parked on the roof. With just a basic laptop with internal antennas I roamed around and got similar range with the repeater to your 500'x500' estimation.

Also keep this much in mind: If prohibiting LAN-to-LAN connections and any connection speeds in standard residential range (or even business class range in TW's case), you won't NEED 100% perfect signal in every corner of the park. Even if you can manage say 1 or 2 bars, if it's STEADY and it nets you at or greater than the main internet connection's transfer speed, consider it mission accomplished.

The fact that you are doing this on a volunteer's dime, I'd be wary venturing over into the WISP forum. While a goldmine of info, most are going to try and steer you towards professional multi-hundred dollar solutions. In your case, you could easily get away with using off the shelf products if done right. Especially if you can get the right model Linksys with detachable antennae so you can add your own higher gain omni's to the setup.
--
I swear, some people should have pace-makers installed to free up the resources. Breathing and heart beat taxes their whole system, all of their brain cells wasted on life support.-two bit brains, and the second bit is wasted on parity! ~head_spaz