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270 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 192209 1-Mar-2016 21:18
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From my understanding of wireless APs, you want to equally space them out across your floor plan, to get as much coverage as you can, with as few 'deadzones', but not too much overlap.  So if you had one AP only, then it would be more or less in the middle of your area.  But with two they would be spread towards either end and so on.

 

However, what's the strategy when you are arranging WAPs over 2 or more floors in a building?  Say you had just one in the middle of each floor, then that could well place them directly on top of each other.  Given that they have 3D coverage, would that then give too much overlap in the vertical dimension?  Or are their coverage areas more 'squashed', rather than truly spherical?

 

I guess all APs are different and ones with movable antennae could be fine tuned for this situation, but are there any rules of thumb, conventions etc? 


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  Reply # 1502486 1-Mar-2016 21:56
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The simple answer to your question is that there isn't really one. RF planning will depend in various things including building materials and RF patterns from the AP's

 

 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1504936 2-Mar-2016 13:49
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Earbanean:

 

From my understanding of wireless APs, you want to equally space them out across your floor plan, to get as much coverage as you can, with as few 'deadzones', but not too much overlap.

 

 

In a nutshell - no.

 

Coverage is important because without signal you don't have a wireless network but client types, application usage, density, throughput, contention (waiting), retries, CRC errors, interference and roaming performance are more important.

 

You must have overlap to allow wireless clients to roam (move from one access point to another).  The amount of overlap required depends on the applications that will be utilised.  A wireless network supporting voice and/or video applications will, generally, need more overlap than a wireless network where the clients are only web surfing.

 

Earbanean:

 

Say you had just one in the middle of each floor, then that could well place them directly on top of each other. Given that they have 3D coverage, would that then give too much overlap in the vertical dimension?

 

 

As a general rule you never place access points on different floors above/below each other.

 

Earbanean:

 

Or are their coverage areas more 'squashed', rather than truly spherical?

 

 

This depends on the antenna type and dBi rating.

 

For residential deployments internal omni-directional antennas are normally deployed and these have a donut shape signal propagation.  The dBi rating of the omni-directional antenna implies how "squashed" the signal propagation is.  The higher the dBi rating the greater the horizontal signal propagation and the less the vertical.

 

sbiddle - Yes I have generalised but I didn't want to turn this into a physics lession :-)




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1505616 3-Mar-2016 18:08
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OK, thanks for that.  I guess when I do look to add AP(s), I should do a bit of trial and error using inSSIDer or similar, to get the placement right.


BTR

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  Reply # 1505791 4-Mar-2016 08:05
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Are you doing this on a professional level i.e. for a customer or for yourself? 

 

If its for a customer you should be using proper RF planning software otherwise your guesswork is no better than the customer doing it themselves. 

 

If you are doing it for yourself read up as much as you can and try testing the unit without permanently mounting them. 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1505866 4-Mar-2016 10:31
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BTR:

 

Are you doing this on a professional level i.e. for a customer or for yourself? 

 

 

 

 

Ha ha no, just my own house.  Definitely not a professional.  Enthusiastic amateur - at best.

 

We have a 3 level house with a single Router in the second (main level), which gives OK coverage at the moment  However, we're doing a small renovation on the basement, which has a small self-contained flat.  With parts of the ceilings and walls ripped off, I'm taking the opportunity to get some Cat6 run down to a socket on the wall and also to put a new AP in the ceiling.   That way, as we get more AC compatible devices and want higher throughput (Netflix streaming etc) we should be ready.

 

My only concern was that the exposed ceiling in the basement is not far off being below the existing router on the mid level.  In another couple of years we'll do a bigger reno on the mid level, at which point we'll be able to locate the AP(s) optimally.  However, for the time being I just want an intermediate stage, that will work OK.  

 

I'm thinking what I'll do is add another new AP on the mid level as well, on the ceiling of the room the existing router is currently in (and turn off wireless on the router).  That will move the mid level AP up and slightly further across from the new one in the basement.  I'm hoping with the two new APs on different non-overlapping channels, I should be OK.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1506123 4-Mar-2016 17:55
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If you just have the access point in the basement operating how is the coverage on the floor above?




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1507246 7-Mar-2016 08:03
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Crowdie:

 

If you just have the access point in the basement operating how is the coverage on the floor above?

 

 

It'll still be a little while till I'mm able to test that.  But will do once it's set up.


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  Reply # 1507248 7-Mar-2016 08:08
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inSSID isn't great for site surveys.

 

If you want a good free option Netspot is now available for Windows. This has been a pretty popular OS X app so it's good to see it now on Windows. It's not as powerful as apps such as Ekahau but does a great job for small site surveys.

 

 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1507290 7-Mar-2016 10:00
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sbiddle:

 

If you want a good free option Netspot is now available for Windows.

 

 

Thanks for the tip.  Will give it a try.


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