Wireless for RV campground - Page 2

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Re: Wireless for RV campground

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Well, it's not *really* 600 mw. And the built-in antenna is only 10 dBi.

From the data sheet......

In 802.11b mode it is only 27 dBm, or 500 mW.

In 802.11g mode:
        6-24 mbps = 26 dBm
        36 mbps = 25 dBm
        48 mbps = 23 dBm
        54 mbps = 22 dBm

IIRC, 36 dBm is the magic number. So it's only (barely) not legal in
802.11B mode, by 1 dBm.

By looking a the data sheet....all other modes are legal.

Re: Wireless for RV campground

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20 across the top & guessed the bottom was about the same, plus 5
columns of abut 13 each = 105 - 100 for round numbers.

Before I make some comments, has anyone thought about what quality of
service the customer (campground owner) wants to provide? One quality
AP might handle 100 clients doing e-mail & maybe some slow web surfing
but one client uploading all the pics they took for the day will stop
almost everything - or someone starts sharing via bit-torrent - same
thing, the whole system halts.

All my (previous) comments were made thinking about the minimum
required to get coverage to the area, not at all about providing
"quality" wireless to more than 5 ot 10 clients generally (at one
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I'll leave out my comments!

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Five year old equipment (not abused) may be reusable - It may be
802.11b only though as thats about the right time frame.

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Sounds like LMR-400 coax - good stuff if its in good condition.

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A small panel antenna.
This page will give you an idea of what is available:
http://www.wlanparts.com/c=nTM4gVs01DHvdFpohr8biBEXu/category/antennas /

See this pdf for some dimensions:

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Close to the demark only makes it easier for the installer.

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Sounds like an omni

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The omnidirectional antenna, mounted at a corner of where the coverage
should be = >75% of the radiated power is going away from the desired
coverage area.
Then when that didn't perform well someone thought a panel antenna
would work better & proceeded to install the (almost) smallest panel
antenna they could find at a (seemingly) even lower position.

My idea, to even attempt _any_ coverage from the Club House, would be
to get at least a 19dBi panel antenna & get it at least 20' off the
ground, pointed towards the sites.

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The antennas are reusable, as is the coax, but maybe not for this
installation (well maybe the omni). As long as they were designed for

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per the pdf:

"Embedded 10dBi panel antenna with external connector for optional
omni antenna"

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I think the best one can do is to shunt lightning to ground giving it
a path where it will do the least damage.

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After looking at the campground layout again I would say that, at a
minimum, your going to need two APs mounted in the center of the
campground area. Split the long length in half & put one AP in the
middle of each of the smaller squares.
These would need to be mounted at least 20' off the ground.

This seems to be the very basic minimum as I see the situation.

There are probably 100-500 details associated with an install of the
type! Feed the APs via fiber? Not a bad idea in a lightning prone
area. All the metal in the park, when it gets full, will make wireless
very difficult.
When the park is full you're talking about 50 clients on each AP
(assuming 2 APs, evenly distributed).

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OK - On the first install, it seems they got what they paid for, but
I'm kinda guessing :)

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The biggest problem is what does the customer want. The owner of the
campgroung. What quality of service does he want to provide? Who is
going to maintain the install? What happens when one client hogs all
the bandwidth with bit-torrent? What sort of backhaul is going to
provide the bandwidth.

The campgroung owner probably doesn't know what he really wants. He
just wants to provide wireless & be done with the situation.
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Here are a couple of suppliers I know of. I've never worked with any
of them, but others have used their products & they are at least OK
(or so I hear):
Perhaps snoop around on their sites & read their information. When you
have some idea of your needs I'm sure a sales rep would direct to to
the type of product that would do what you ask for - well I hope so!


http://www.ubnt.com/products /

Good luck :)

its late, i'm tired

Re: Wireless for RV campground
Well that's odd.  There was a good reply on here about lightning
suppression, but it got deleted!!

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Re: Wireless for RV campground
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  View your posting in microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless
entitled "Wireless outdoors".

  Dedicated ethernet connections means routers with ports for every
user AND (as defined by the app note in that other newsgroup) a
protector for every wire in each cable to each user.  And each cable
must be exterior grade.

  Wireless APs are your best solution.  With additional wiring so that
more APs may be installed, if load demands, by scattering more APs
throughout the campground.

  Don't waste money on the cheap from tigerdirect.  Good reasons why
better equipment is cheaper by costing more money.  Your AP should
also include 802.11N (not just B & G).

  Increasing AP power will do little if the WiFi user's power is also
not increased.  Wifi is a bidirectional conversation.  Increasing
power on one side does not mean the other side can be heard.

  If they really want internet provided, then a narrow (4 inch) trench
across the road to install multiple pipes (one for the internet =96
others for future reasons =96 electric or other) is trivial and easily

Re: Wireless for RV campground
On Fri, 23 Jan 2009 16:24:31 -0800 (PST), westom1@gmail.com wrote:

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Surely "N" only matters if the extra bandwidth is useable.

Unless there is a big internet pipe, then N is going to be irrelevant,
since the internet feed will be the bottleneck.

The speed mismatch only gets worse as more APs are added and the
aggregate wireless throughput for the site increases.

Finally - the "N" standard is due end 2009, so what you really mean
right now is "some manufacturers idea of what might be in the 802.11N
standard when we finally get it, and yhey burned into a chip set so
that it at least part of it is frozen and cannot be changed later".

And without a standard that cannot have been tested yet for
compatability with other "N" kit.....
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stephen_hope@xyzworld.com - replace xyz with ntl

Re: Wireless for RV campground
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  If speed was important, than any 802.11 standard was more than fast
enough.  802.11 means access to additional frequencies.  That means
more users operating longer distances and the laptop has more choices
to find a frequency that best works for that motorhome.

  And finally, 802.11N type hardware has already been available for
one year.  It that hardware does not comply with the 802.11N standard,
then a free software download upgrades that 'N' hardware.

  The AP should do 802.11 B G & N for numerous reasons.

Re: Wireless for RV campground
On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 11:30:33 -0800 (PST), westom1@gmail.com wrote:

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Nope - 802.11 b / g  use 2.4, a uses 5 GHz. "n" can use 2.4 and 5, but
that is not mandatory in the standard.

A lot of "draft" hardware seems to be 2.4 GHz only, so no real gain
unless you pick the ones with 5 GHz or hardware with dual band radios.

So saying "n" is not enough.

this link gives the 2007 spec for draft 2

If you have 5 GHz only "n" (or configure a dual band that way), then
any client with non 5 GHZ hardware of any standard doesnt get a link.

G uses better modulation and b to get more from the same amount of
frequency band, so you still get 3 mostly non overlapping "lumps".

But the go faster "n" modes eat up more of the available space, so
fewer non overlapping channels, or "n" degrades a lot to share
frequencies with the older standards.

That means
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You only get lowest common denominator, so unless the client is "n"
and actually interworks, then you get G or just "b" mode.

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the track record of "draft" equipment being upgraded to full release
by a firmware upgrade is not good.

something in writing that says "commitment to upgrade mandatory", and
"subject to published standard successful test by appropriate
accredited 3rd party" "replacement with compliant hardware on test
failure" is what i would write into a spec at work - but with just a
couple of devices or consumer stuff it will be impractical to make
that stick.

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i think backward compatibility is supposed to be part of the standard,
so fine.

Maybe the most important bit coming out of this is to actually test it
when installed with a range of clients (preferably more than several
at once, mixed on different standards) just to see what works in

stephen_hope@xyzworld.com - replace xyz with ntl

Re: Wireless for RV campground
On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 23:52:12 +0000, Stephen

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see page 12 for the details of the modes, and the potential speeds,
and the comment about "draft devices implement most of the

note devices can be 2.4 GHz only, 5 only or both.
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stephen_hope@xyzworld.com - replace xyz with ntl

Re: Wireless for RV campground
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  And that only supports exactly what I said.  The AP point should
support 802.11 B G and N.  There are zero reasons for not doing so.
The additional frequencies are just some of the many reasons why the
AP should also support N.  Any reputable manufacturer will include
separate transceivers for both frequencies.

  Backward compatitiblity, etc are all irrelevent to the OP since that
happens automatically with 802.11 N hardware.  OP's AP should support
802.11 N.  All that worry about future compatibility is, well, how
many times is hardware out there and working just fine both before and
after the standard's final version is released?  USB, Firewall,
Bluetooth, Zigbee...  we've been through this too many times without
problems.  Just get the AP point that supports 802.11 N from a
reputable manufacturer.   Not cheapest hardware sold by tigerdirect.
802.11 N hardware increases reliability now and in the future.  And
eliminates potential problems that need not even be discussed here.

  Meanwhile, prewire other locations for additional APs should
reliability make them necessary.  Best is a dedicated AP connection
each back to the central router.  One AP now.  More installed as
experience proves the need.

Re: Wireless for RV campground
On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 18:33:18 -0800 (PST), westom1@gmail.com wrote:

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Permit me to supply a reason for not doing so.  Enabling 802.11n modes
disables the 802.11b mode.  That's because of the huge amount to time
required to aquire (long preamble) an 802.11b packet.  If 802.11b were
left enabled, the time left for 802.11n traffic would be so small as
to negate the speed improvements.  The manufacturers could have
eliminated the 802.11b compatibility mode, but since it's already in
all the 802.11g chipsets, and there are marketing reasons for leaving
802.11b in the product (customers using the router with 802.11n
disabled), 802.11b is always present.

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Not really.  As I previously noted, enabling 802.11n mode (in a
spatial diversity MIMO style 802.11n router), disabled 802.11b.  He
could also disable 802.11g and just run 802.11n for additional speed

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When 802.11g first arrive, there was flurry of Windoze and driver
updates to "fix" various timing and incompatibility issues.  The same
things happened when WPA was introduced, and again with WPA2.  I still
have client radios that will not work with some AP's running WPA2-AES
despite Wi-Fi alliance certifications of each (seperately).  Various
tests on SmallNetBuilder.com of various Per-N harware have
demonstrated that universal compatibility is seriously lacking and
that stuff that works, may not work as well as advertised or expected.
You can assume that all 802.11n devices are compatible, but lets just
say that one should also expect some rough edges.

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USB 1.0 to 1.1 conversion was rough.  Lots of devices just wouldn't
work.  I'm not convinced that all USB 2.0 really do work with 1.1 and
certainly not 1.0.  The new and improved prototype USB 2.1 headset I
received refuses to recognize BT profiles that worked with my USB 2.0
stereo headset.  Lots more if I want to dig through the notes. Perhaps
you went through these transitions without seeing any problems, but my
customers and I did not.

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That's not going to work either.  Most reputable and disreputable
manufacturers buy their wireless devices from contract manufacturers
in China, Taiwan, and elsewhere.  It's not unusual for competing
products to have identical guts with slightly different firmware. It's
also not unusual for a reputable manufacturer to have multiple
mutations of the guts from various sources.  Linksys WRT54G is a good
example with about 9 different board variations, all radically
different.  The problem is that without knowing something about the
guts, it's very difficult to judge a router by it's cover,
manufacturer, or their reputation.

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That also might be a problem.  One should plan the deployment of AP's
so that they don't overlap coverage and frequencies.  For really dense
installation or a central pole mount, I suggest sector antennas.
There's also the problem of leaving channels open for the residents to
use for their own wireless routers.  Otherwise, one gets lots of
mutual interference.  You can't install AP's at random.  Intel had a
nice guide for deployment and channel selection.  Archived at:
Well worth reading, studying, or just skimming.

Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless for RV campground

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Have we been told what the expected broadband connection is ?
aka - a 1meg DSL line ?

Re: Wireless for RV campground
On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 00:18:50 -0600, "ps56k"

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Nope.  However, we do know that there's CATV in the park.  It would
seem possible that it's a faster cable modem.  It would be interesting
to know the TOS (terms of service) for the backhaul.

Lots of other detail is missing, such as how is this going to be
administrated, bandwidth management, login/passwd?, logging, abuse
detection, abuse mitigation, etc.  Basically, running an RV campground
wireless, with up to 100 connections, is almost exactly like running a
wired ISP, with the added bonus of a marginally reliable method of
delivery.  I've covered this several times in the distant past, so a
Google search should find the details.

Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless for RV campground
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  Meanwhile, that was a type of problem seen by the many who bought
the AP from tigerdirect - who buy based on price like a beancounter
rather than value like an engineeer.   The better 802.11 APs even have
a 2.4 Ghz transceiver for 802.11 B/G and a separate transceiver for
the 5 Ghz 802.11 N.

  Meanwhile, one AP installed now.  Wiring for additional units in
other locations as experience teaches what does work better (location
and AP manufacturer) and what is needed for those customers and their

  If 802.11 B/G/N wireless worked as some stated, well, that would be
how a tigerdirect AP gets sold so cheap and at high profit.

  Laptops are made in China.  So all laptops are aslo crap?  That is
the reasoning?  It is not who assembles it.  It is who sets the
standards.  Even Cisco routers - the backbone of the Internet - are
made in China.  But Cisco, Dell, HP, etc define standards.  Those
standards make the difference between a cheap tigerdirect AP point
verses the useful one from Netgear.

   Get one 802.11 B/G.N AP from a reputable manufacturer - and don't
even look back at all the naysaying in this thread.

  Meanwhile, what is necessary for lightning protection and exterior
grade cables were discussed elsewhere.

  If the campground owner is concerned with a trivial four inch wide
cut across the roadway (where multiple pipes are buried for this
cabling and future purposes), then he really did not want this anyway.

Re: Wireless for RV campground
On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 13:59:33 -0800 (PST), westom1@gmail.com wrote:

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Perhaps I wasn't too clear.  All 802.11n access points disable 802.11b
compatibility when in the 802.11n 40Mhz mode.  Some also disable WEP
encryption (finally) as it's NOT part of the 802.11n spec.  These are
not a "problem" peculiar to any manufactory or vendor.  They all do
it.  I don't have a copy of the 802.11n spec, but this kinda hints at
what's happening:
If you need specifics, I'll dig them out later.

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I are an engineer and I buy from Tiger Direct.  Over the years, I've
seen good deals and absolute junk mixed together in the nifty catalog.
My main complaints about Tiger Direct are over the non-functional
rebate program and their amazing inability to properly pack the
shipping box without having it explode on arrival.

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Pardon my ignorance, buy why does having a seperate 5.8GHz radio make
the access point "better"?  Certainly, it adds a useful feature.
However, most dual band clients don't offer any way to differentiate a
connection between bands.  Some don't even indicate which band they're
operating upon.  Netstumbler and other diagnostics can't tell the
difference between bands.  Some access points stupidly force the same
SSID on both bands making selection by SSID impossible.  DD-WRT and
other 3rd party firmware barely works on dual band wireless routers.
Wi-Fi finders are all 2.4GHz.  One laptop with a dual band radio
arrived with 5.8Ghz disabled to save battery power.  How does having
5.8GHz make a a wireless access point "better"?

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I hope I'm not reading this incorrectly, but if you've only installed
this one access point, you're about to have a serious adventure in the
reality of wireless.  I've lost count of how many I've sold,
installed, setup, fixed, tweaked, and otherwise done battle with.  If
you include client bridges, point to point links, and mfg test
fixtures, I would guess several hundred.  What's scary is that no two
are the same.  I could transplant a working system, from one location
to another, and get compeletely different performance and reliability.
You may discover what works better by experience, but there's no
guarantee that this experience is universal or even portable.  Best of

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Sorry, but I don't understand what you're claiming.  Tiger Direct
sells fairly current model units from a variety of manufacturers. They
do tend to sell the absolute cheapest, but at least they stick with
fairly well known brands.  They also sell refurbished units and
closeouts, which are clearly marked as such.  I've bought some of
these with rather mixed results.

The major determination in final cost of a commodity access point is
sales volume.  That's why wireless access points sell for MORE than
wireless routers, even though wireless routers have more hardware and
more complex development.  That's also why wireless game adapters sell
for more than both, as the volume just isn't there.

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Well actually they are all crap.  I also fix laptops.  When I get rid
of the common cold and drag myself back to my palatial office, I'll
post a photo of the rather large number of unrepairable laptops I've
been accumulating.  Most are failures due to crappy soldering of the
BGA (ball grid array) chips.  Others fail due to overstressed parts,
bad mechanical design, and just plain junk parts.  The all too common
low-ESR electrolytics with the counterfeit electrolyte is still a
problem after about 6 years:
I don't have time to itemize all the chronic failures that I've seen.
Let me assure you that most of these failures could have been averted
if the laptops were properly designed, used quality components, didn't
cut corners, and were a bit more rugged.

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I could ask you the same question as to why you decided that since all
laptops were made in China, that they were all crap.  What I said was
that most of the major commodity router manufacturers buy from
contract manufacturers in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.  They do
not manufacture the guts.  The vendors change constantly, sometimes
without changing the model number.  Unfortuantely, quality and
reliability vary with these vendors and designs.  In order for someone
to determine if a specific product is of reasonable quality, one has
to know something about what's inside the plastic box.  Is that
sufficiently clear?

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What standards?  For quality?  ISO-9000 and such offer a documentation
trail so that if anything goes wrong, the appropriate culprit can be
blamed.  Got any better standards for insuring you get a quality
wireless product?  Certifications?

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I guess you haven't seen all the counterfeit Cisco modules and
I bought some nifty HP print server cards on eBay, that lasted about a
month before they blew.  They were counterfiet.  The problem is that
all this stuff is made in the same factories, by the same people, on
the same production line, with the same parts, using the same
specifications.  The only difference is that little of it is ever
tested or burned in.  Sometimes, known defective parts are used.  The
giveaway is that if the factory runs out of parts, they tend to
substitute something cheaper.  You can see that in the above URL's. If
you haven't run into this problem yet, consider yourself lucky. It's
an expensive mess.  Anyway, a better set of specs isn't going to help
much.  Destroying the over-runs and failures will help.

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I agree.  One good wireless router, from whatever constitutes a
reputable manufacturer, is a very cheap object lesson in wireless
reality.  The experience gained in deployment and troubleshooting
should compensate for the lack of expertise, experience, and planning.
Those can be obtained later in order to patch up the system.  I'm
serious.  Deploy an 802.11n solution and see if it does what you want
and if it's worth the money.  You'll learn more from the experience
than from reading my rants and understanding the naysayers.

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Nope.  No external antennas allowed (or will work) with most 802.11n
access points.  You don't need a lightning arrestor if there's no
exposed antenna.  Maybe an arrestor on the power line entry and LAN
cable backhaul.

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Nobody does road cuts these days.  Too messy and too much work.  About
$250.  See:
The video clip demo is worth watching if you're planning on doing
horizontal drilling (to avoid trenching).

Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless for RV campground
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What are you basing that on?  Do you know people that have used that?

When I started researching this, I knew nothing about outdoor wireless, so I
started by Googling outdoor wireless.  And by far, the most positive
customer reviews I came found were on that AP and the D-Link DWL-2700AP.

With electronics, you can't always go by price alone.  Sure, there's lots of
junk that comes out of China, but there's a lot of quality electronic
products too.

Re: Wireless for RV campground
this has been an interesting "academic" discussion,
and learned a lot as usual -

but back to the simple & real world...
For - John.B.

1 - what is your broadband connection & speed - in both directions -

2 - get any WAP that support 802.11B/G -
put it up on the clubhouse - don't need a WAN connection -
and run around the site with a laptop.... just monitor the signal strength,
that will tell you where your baseline best case coverage exists

If that doesn't cut it - it ain't gonna happen inside a trailer -

Next - take the WAP and just plant it around the area,
with no connection to a WAN -
just some AC, power it up - and do more "site surveying"
to see how your WAP can be used to cover the area.

That will give you a starting point - of reality -
then you can get back to the academic discussions.....

Re: Wireless for RV campground
Very good idea!
This project isn't a high priority with the campground owner, he's in no
hurry.  And I've been busy lately with other things, so I haven't done much
with this.  I'm going to try and get over there this week, to try the tests
you suggested.  And... to look around at what's available for conduit that's
already in the ground.

Yup.... lots of good suggestions / information / discussion on this thread.
I appreciate all of it.  Learned a lot.  As I progress on this project, I'll
post back on here, to update all those that have helped on how this turned

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Re: Wireless for RV campground
a couple other major & simple questions..

1 - what does the owner expect to invest in this wifi solution ?  How
important ?
2 - what is the broadband connection ?
3 - has wifi been there already ?
4 - does the owner expect it to work like a single street light illuminating
the area ?

The last one falls into the category of "managing expectations"

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Re: Wireless for RV campground
You may want to also consider your target audience... long term,
overnighters, a mixture of both? While there are a few geeks that have their
own sats/waps/new stuff/etc, and some that have wireless networks in their
rv's (assume interference from one of those) the majority (not all) are
older/retired/have older laptops/just want to email/see pix of the
grandkids/probably only want b/g/etc.... since they have HS internet, you
may want to consider an ip phone/cordless phone combo (cheap/usually under
$25 a year (not month)... i use a magicjack on the office computer
http://www.magicjack.com ), stay here... free unlimited outgoing calls to
your family within the lower 48 on our cordless phone in the clubhouse, and
a hs wired connection off a router for big/fast downloads, one person doing
a huge update over wireless will kill everyone elses thruput),

JohnB wrote:
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Re: Wireless for RV campground
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  Quite correct is that price says little.   The cheapest unit often
ends up costing the most. Some expensive units can also be crap.  If
price really measured value, then GM, whose products are designed
using cost controls, would not be losing money on every car.

  Reviews are a good place to start.  However which reviewer actually
knows why things do and did not work?  Better is to start with a long
list of numeric specifications.  From spec comparisons becomes obvious
some specific differences. Some hardware selling on price simply will
not provide important numbers.  Then go back to those reviews.  Which
reviews discuss these differences?  That may weed out about half those
reviews.  Useful reviews will typically discuss many items that Jeff
has listed - and with numbers.   No numbers?  Ignore that review.

  Your system must support 802.11 B G and N.  That is what future
customers will demand.  Other advantages means your access point has
more channels AND can will work flexibly around interference and other
connection problems.   For example 802.11 B & G really only provide
three overlapping channels AND are routinely interfered with by
portable phones, microwave ovens, and water.  Even wet leaves create
problems not found indoors.   802.11 N means additional channels at
completely different frequencies, better solutions to interference
problems, less problems with loss of signal due to other problems such
as propagation (ie ghosting), and other advantages current and
future.  802.11N provides higher speed only because it is less
resistant to radio frequency problems.  Problems that may be most
severe in a campground are interference, blocked, and reflected
signals. Problems that hardware can make less problematic by using N
technology - which is also what your future customers will be using.

  If an experienced installer also with technical knowledge, then
maybe find a discounted AP sold by tigerdirect that has value.  But
tigerdirect customers are often seeking discounts only on price.  Can
you identify rare value in that discount brand name?  Best is to start
with an AP from known industry benchmarks.  Then buy from tigerdirect
only if they also provide it.  Don't select because tigerdirect sells
something at a better price - as so many make the mistake of doing.
But I gather, only from your last post, that you plan to avoid that

   Still unknown is what your loading will be.  Can one access point
support 100 users because rarely are more than 10 users on at any
time?  How many actual users will be leasing IP addresses?  You will
have maybe 100 such questions to answer or to eventually learn the
hard way.  You don't need additional surprises from discounted

   Plan APs where best located (with cables or tubes for future
network expansion) to reduce the number of surprises that will
inevitably occur later.  Also learn of important wiring considerations
posted in that other newsgroup.

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