I am trying to resolve a problem of WiFi coverage in a fairly recently-built property in the UK. Coverage is poor in general and there are several rooms that are total dead spots.
After much investigation, I've pinned it down to the building construction. The key issue is that the internal walls and ceilings have been constructed using metal-foil-backed plasterboard. Even the insides of the exterior walls are finished with the same material. Michael Farady would've been proud of the builder.
By way of confirmation, mobile phone signal levels are abysmal inside the building, better very close to a window, and good and strong just outside of it.
Multiple WiFi access points linked to a wired backbone is the classical approach, but would not be welcomed by the customer.
- I've heard of wireless relays - anybody have experience of them?
Our local University just built some energy efficient buildings, which included aluminized mylar windows in addition to the metal foil backed polyurathane insulation. No RF gets in or out.
That's the arrangement that works best. Using the AC power line as a backbone is possible, but doesn't work with more than a few carrier devices as everyone is sharing the same wires.
Yes. They're called "range extenders", "repeaters", "store and forward repeaters", and "range expanders". Mesh networks are a form of such repeaters. The only advantage is that it can use wireless instead of a wired connection for a backhaul. The downsides are:
They don't scale well.
Maximum bandwidth is cut in half through each repeater.
Standards are not in place for repeaters. Compatibility issues are epidemic.
If you setup your building with one SSID for the whole building, each repeater will repeat ALL the traffic, from every access point, resulting in considerable excessive wireless traffic. Also, repeaters are not too good about distinguishing traffic from other repeaters and tend to generate traffic exponentially.
If the client can hear both the access point and the repeater, traffic will slow down by more than half the maximum thruput.
For a while, I was ripping out repeaters and installing wired access points.
Run the wires.
Use the HVAC ducts as waveguide. I did this at a hospital to avoid wiring and politics. It sorta worked.
Piggy back on the phone wiring. I've run 10baseT-HDX over 25 pair telco wire for about 300ft without issues. The catch is that you'll only get about 5 mbits/sec thruput.
If you have coax cables in the wall for CATV, that can be used for
10base2 networking at 10baseT-HDX. Same issue with speed.
We almost universally don't have that sort of heating in the UK so that wouldn't be an option.
I just think that it's about time that house builders would get with the concept of either
a) floodwiring with at least cat5 during construction b) install suitable trunking/ducting to allow cables to be pulled
These days we still have to tolerate some numpty builder sticking in one TV aerial feed to the corner of a lounge and maybe an upstairs bedroom and if you're lucky a couple of phone points. It's pathetic.
So far, i've only viewed one new housing development where the rooms were wired and brought to a central hub although the amount of money they added on for this was just stupid such that I'd still have opted out and done it myself.
Yep. But it's not just Wi-Fi that's the problem. Even broadcast FM and TV doesn't work inside the building. A leaky coax (Radiax) system that will work with all forms of RF is both technically and financially challenging. The problem was known when the building was designed and the solution selected by a committee that placed "RF exposure" as the primary criteria for a successful system. The building has internal CATV coax, fiber, CAT6, and empty conduit to take care of most connections. There are wireless access points all over the place. However, for cellular, they went with micro-cellular technology from NextG to limit "irradiation".
That's too easy. I often am asked "what kinda wiring do I bury in the walls to insure connectivity?" My usual answer is conduit, not wire. Nobody seems to listen and I get all kinds of abominations for my trouble. One remodel ended up with CAT5 run as a "daisy chain" instead of a star (home run). That's fine for telco, but useless for networking. Another was told to have everything come to one place. The electrician interpreted that as everything coming to near the power meter which was outside. So, I now have a 10/100baseT switch in an outdoor box hanging on the side of the house. Still another did a fair job of wiring the basement, first floor, and loft, but neglected to install any means of connections between floors. Yet another installed CAT5 in the walls, and used a staple gun rather clumsily so that half the wires were shorted and the other half were cut. Fortunately, a majority of the remodels and new houses I've been involved with have been very satisfactory.
Perfect timing. It's Saturday and the phone rings. It's a friend doing a networking install in a very expensive brand new home. Claims the house is "internet ready" whatever that means. No conduit and the only wire in the walls are one run RG-59/u coax (yech) and two pair telco station wire (CAT zero). It seems they forgot to install something.
Agreed. I've had substantial arguements with electricians, who usually end up doing the datacomm wiring on remodels and new houses, over how to do the datacomm wiring. Since the job is always on a fixed bid basis, they consider this "extra work". Getting it in the original plans is not difficult, but datacomm always seems to be an afterthought. Ever look at any of the "ready to build" home plans you can buy on the internet? None of them have any manner of datacomm wiring or conduit.
I don't expect standards as the technology changes far too rapidly. 15 years ago, we would be running fat yellow RG-8/u coax for ethernet. Then came RG-58a/u for 10base2. Then came CAT3 for 10baseT-HDX. Then came CAT5 for 100baseT and Gigabit ethernet. Throw in a dozen different flavors of fiber connectors. At lease RG-6/u is fairly common, but the routing of satellite and CATV are quite different. It is possible to buy cable bundles with a few of everything included, but these are expensive and almost impossible to repair.
I've also seen only one new development that made the effort. They ran ENT (flexible non-metallic conduit) and let the buyers electrician do the rest. Unfortunately, they ran everything together in the ceiling above a closet, so wiring and installing network hardware was a bit of a challenge. Office building usually do it much better.
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote in news: email@example.com:
WiFi is a widely used solution here in the UK for retrofitting to existing premises. As others have commented, structured wiring or any other networking is virtually unknown in domestic buildings, unless the purchaser pushes for it.
Well be honest, until about 2 maybe 3 years ago most homes in the US that had a computer had ONE. Networking in the home is a new thing. Sure a few geeks and nerds wanted it earlier, but rarely the general public. It will take time for practices to evolve in this area. Now that broadband and a computer(s) for the kids has become more common so datacom will become more then a 'new' after thought.
If you were writing for your own benifit, that would make sense. I have no problem with people that use shorthand, remove all capital letters, abrev., use mirror writing, use slang, use acronyms, and perhaps write in a foreign language. If they are the only one that's reading it, whatever works is acceptable.
However, in a public usenet newsgroup, that's not the case. You're writing for the alleged benifit of the readers, who generally prefer to read things in a somewhat standard format. It also makes a mess of the web piles and blogs that clone usenet newsgroups for content for their "forums". This is especially true for those posting where a point by point refutation of someones arguement requires interleaving added comments below (not above) the statements in question.
While I agree that it's a major physical ordeal to scroll down to the bottom of a massively quoted posting, methinks it might act as an incentive for some to perhaps learn to edit their quotes, thus making it somewhat less of an ordeal to scroll to the bottom.