Need two building one instrument advice

Hi All,

I have a customer with two separate metal buildings. It is an industrial setting. Both buildings are wired into the same (Ethernet) network with the occasional computer sprinkled among the industrial machines.

The customer has come up with a new method to calibrate the machines. He has purchased an all in one hand held calibrator that contains its own copy of XP and 802.11g/WPA1. So he needs wireless. This hand held test gadget will be the only wireless device on the network. It will be used in both building, depending on what machine need calibrating. The hand held needs to automatically log into each building's AP when the technician walks through the door.

So, I figure that I can put an AP inside each building. With both buildings being metal and a bit of distance between them, the two AP's would be very hard pressed to see each other.

I was thinking of putting both AP's on the same SSID but using different channels. I was wondering if this would help of hinder the "automatic logon" when walking through the door requirement.

Anyone has any advice on the issue?

Many thanks,


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You're on the right track. You need two wireless access points *OR* two wireless routers configured to act as access points. See:

Methinks you'll find the wireless routers to be slightly cheaper and more available.

You can use the same SSID mostly because it's unlikely that the handheld will be in a position to hear both AP's. However, it's not really necessary unless the device insists on automatic connections or has some provisions for seamless roaming. I would take the easy way out and just use two different SSID's.

As for automatic logon, it really depends on whether the device is smart enough to all multiple configurations and login combinations. If so, then you can use different SSID's with corresponding login/passwd. However, if it assume that there's only one SSID on the planet, you'll probably need to configure both AP's to the same SSID, and just see what happens. Seamless roaming is not commonly supported and it may have the bad habit of tenaciously refusing to disconnect from one AP, before switching to another.

You could use the same non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11), again because the device is unlikely to hear both AP's at the same time. However, if you don't have any interference issues (unlikely inside a metal building), you should probably use different channels.

Selection of IP addresses is strictly for web based configuration. For example, if your router is, then you could use and for the two AP's. The actual IP doesn't really matter as long as there are no duplicates and that they're all in the same Class C IP block.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Thank you!

I will do the two SSID route. The hand held calibrator will handle multiple SSID's and allows for automatic logon. I will position the channels away from anything that manages to get through the metal building from adjacent businesses.


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