Wifi networking advanced tutorials

Anyone know of any advanced tutorials on wifi networking? I am a small business owner who has co-developed a product called ElderWatch that helps seniors in independent and assisteed living center better communicate with their extended families. Of course it is a networked product.

Many of the builds we are likely going to encounter with installations will need to be retrofitted with a 802.11g infrastructure since each units system controller has a wifi adapter card. A typical building has 50-150 apartments and it is typically not cost effective to hardwire these buildings with cat5e to each of the WAP's. After a bit of research I found a company caller Firetide that makes a product that with 4 units at a minimum establishes a wireless mesh network to different parts of the building and to each of these nodes one or several WAP's can be hardwired to this node. The mesh network nodes are self configuring and healing and each has 4 RJ45 ports with POE that allows a WAP to be connected with one cat5e line. This is all well and good yet the two areas I need further input on are the following:

1.) I understand I can have up to three non-overlapping channels for WAP's using channel 1,6 and 11. Since the mesh nodes uses one channel, I will say "1", this leaves me with channel 6 and 11 for the wap's. By judicious placement I can alternate the channels to attempt to keep same channels apart to mitigate any destructive intereferance. Is there any instrument that can provide an empirical measurement of the signal strength at the fringes of each circle of coverage to determine where the next point should be to place another WAP?

2.) To get better coverage, I can go with a WAP that has higher power, say 200-400mw yet the device, in my case, the ElderWatch system unit's wifi adaptor would be the weak link in the comm path. Is this true?

3.) I can see my application as no different to what many schools use. Does anyone out here in the forum have first hands experience in the design and topology of such a network?

any input would be appreciated. thanks.

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Reduce your AP to a lower power and use a higher gain antenna.

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Don't be so sure that pulling cable to the needed locations would not be cheaper than all the equipment your talking about.. I think pulling cable just scares people. Even if it cost $150 a drop with 2-4 drops and a switch per floor your only looking at around $500 per floor.

Now there is alot of variable in that not knowing the type of building and accessibility and the number of needed ap's and just exactly how it would need to be pulled in to and where. What I do daily is wired and wireless nursecall, voice and data cabling (fiber and copper), security and camera cabling (and all associated equipment). So I am in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities and business' all the time. I think it might be worth comparing.. Wireless is good but as someone else said recently, it's not without it's faults.


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Adair Winter

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