I'm looking for cheap, bulletproof, simple, and easy

Oh, and also for Peace on Earth, the end of taxes, the truth about the Kennedy murder(s), and the phone number of that cute Fed.

But barring all that...

I've been volunteered to help in a pretty worthy cause, but I'm inexperienced in what they need.

I've hooked up single base stations aplenty for small businesses and families, but this is much bigger.

Situation: A summer camp (with some year round usage) in the middle of nowhere cellular wise. They've got an internet connection and a single base unit, letting the office staff and a kid's computer room get online.

They're a perfect candidate for the T-Mobile "HotSpot At Home" offer. (This is a recent addition to TM's services, announced the same week as the ipod, so few folk heard about it. If you've got one of their newer/compatable phones, it'll use an 802.11 connection when available. This works seamlessly for both incoming and outgoing calls, and, for that matter, will work if you're at an 802.11 spot in, say, Russia or Pakistan.)

The camp is a specialty one halping kids with illnesses, and a good number of the volunteer medical staff (and everyone else, of course) would like to be reachable without having to give out the camp's number, wait for a runner, etc.

So.. what I'd like is a recommendation on how best to set up, say, a half dozen APs in the camp and have them feed back, eventually, to the "cable modem".

(they'd be inside the buildings, so weather and power aren't big issues).

I can run the ethernet cabling, and could even do an ethernet fiber optic bridge, although I'd prefer options for wireless hopping.

The main problem is that it's got to be something I can pre arrange here in the city, then bring the boxes up there, spend a day or so, and have them work.

Note that we're not worried, at this stage, of outside interference/leaches.

My initial gut feeling is to use a half dozen Airport Extremes with their WDS mode, but I've got no experience with them.

Price is a bit of a concern, but not super critical within reason.

I can spend plenty of time in town working and preparing, but travelling to the camp itself is a Big Deal so I'd hope to minimize those as much as possible.

Remote maintenance of the "pull the plug, with 15 seconds, and put it back in" will be possible. More than that is uncertain.

Suggestions, pointers, experience notes, cheerfully appreciated.


_____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key snipped-for-privacy@panix.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

Reply to
danny burstein
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I believe that Buffalo Technology routers are head and shoulders above the other consumer products in terms of reliability. I'm talking Netgear, Linksys, DLink, etc.

I talked up Buffalo Tech in a recent thread but you might not have seen it.

Reply to
David Arnstein

Ummmm, you may want to rethink that part about "they are a perfect candidate for"... While cable DOWNLOAD speeds are usually very high, and can be shared with multiple users, the UPLOAD speed is usually very low/small (mine is

12Mb down, but only 150Kb up!) two users doing VOIP stuff will slow the upload way down, three? probably undoable..... And how many of those kids will have the tmobile phones that do that?

When you talk about a camp setting, where does the power come from? What's the layout (terrain, foliage, weather in the area etc, do the cabins have metal snow roofs?)... I ran into a problem at my place in idaho, metal snow roofs, 32" of snow on the ground killed the fresnel zone, and during the summer, so much foliage from the trees, wireless couldn't penetrate from one building to the other)

You had talked about Running hard cables, what's the terrain like? flat? easy trenching? Or maybe Hills/rocks, clay, and tree roots in the ground (yuck!)

Reply to
Peter Pan

Given that the choice is between the current cellphone situation, which is not-at-all, as opposed to working a modest amount (at least enough to get a call and then head over to a wireline), this looks like the way to go. Also, we should be able to do QOS and let the phones grab the bandwidth from the web browsing folk.

(The APs from T-Mobile, which are rebranded, umm Linksys?, have this built in.)

There are certainly problems, but ther eare options.

The camp is in the Pa/NY/NJ border area, so yes, there will be weather... but it's got adequate emergency power.

Again, I 'm not building anything out to the level of a hardened milspec, but something that'll work in the main portions of the camp reasonably well will make a _huge_ improvement over what they've got now.

Flattish, soft soil. Many buildings actually have spare conduit space between them.

Aerial cable runs would only be about 50 feet apiece so, aside from concerns about lightning, etc., would be doable.

(I'd hope that WDS, as in the APple Extreme, would be a simple drop in, but I'd sure like to hear from anyone with experience, first).


Reply to
danny burstein

The reason I asked, was I got bit in the rear in idaho, lots of snow in the winter, and lots of green stuff grew in the spring summer (blocking wireless pretty good, so I looked at alternatives, wasn't too enthused about trenching/hardwire, so looked for a plan c).... For what it's worth, we were doing a bunch of portable/sat buildings for the local school, however, it had power to each building, and we changed to powerline networking, and a wap/router connected to the other half of the powerline transciever, and just plugged it in wherever we wanted both a wireless and wired connection.

For the cell, we went with a repeater on the main building, yagi directional on the roof to a tower about 18 miles away, and the output of the BDA connected to an omni antenna for the staff/students.... (let them use their own phones, pretty much no matter which carrier)...

Since you already have power from one central place, wouldn't even have to mess with running cable, you may want to check em out.... (just an aside, the below suggestion is based on a truism, not the common fallacy that powerline networking has to be on the same circuit, in fact they have to be on the same LEG off a transformer, not the same circuit off a breaker box.. If only one electric meter, then for sure it's on the same LEG, that's why I asked about power, but if you have emergency power, then it's probably wired off one leg coming in from the public electric already)


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main wap/router and 1/2 the powerline unit connected to the router, the other at the remote buildings, connected to another wap router (router/NOT the wan input), different ssid's, dhcp server still on, just changed the default ip address... allows sharing network resources (like file servers and printers) AND the internet connection, heck if someone happened to have one of those t-mobile things, or even any other voip device, they could use in the remote sites, again would be subject to the upload speed of the internet connection - For more info, read about things like the iphone and college wireless networks)

cell repeater

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school was on 5 acres, we limited one acre/main building and two closeby to having good cell coverage, happened to also cover the parking lot, so during the winter, people came from miles around to park in the lot and talk on the phone, would have been annoying, cept it was a rural area, and most of the people had plows, and happened to plow for free while they used the phone - Cool!)

When you said bulletproof and easy, I was thinking we had to look for that so HS students could use it, and I would guess that even special needs kids are smarter than HS students :) .....

Reply to
Peter Pan

Does anyone else get a half-second delay between talkers when using T- Mobile WiFi Hotspot@home? T-mobile blames Qwest (my Megabit broadband provider) and Qwest blames T-mobile. The ping time to Google is 84 milliseconds. The ping time to T-mobile is double that - could Qwest be intentionally degrading T-mobile's packets? My Qwest connection rates "97% service" using speed-rating programs. My Wifi phone is the Samsung one and it works great on the regular network. All my computers are off the internet and I still get the half-second delay between talkers. I am pretty stupid so please forgive me if part or all of this makes no sense. -Vance in Denver

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