Wireless Coverage in Elevators and Stairwells

Unanswered Question
Mar 11th, 2008

Does anyone have any recommendations for AP/antenna locations to provide coverage in elevators and stairwells? Buildings are no more than 5 stories. I've heard of using a directional antenna at the top of an elevator shaft, but that WCS apparently doesn't like that (although I'm not exactly sure how I would place an AP on a map if it was located on top of the elevator car either????). Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I have this problem too.
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john.preves Sat, 03/15/2008 - 10:50

Most building code people wont let you put one there anyway. Usually, nothing except elevator is allowed in the elevator shaft. Although, I bet it would work well.

Depending on what the survey says - sometimes you have to be in a stairwell and sometimes you can get by on bleed through from floor to floor.

As long as you can get the upper and lower landing without affecting anybody else- it doesn't matter where you put it. The floor above and below will continue in the same fashion.

Elevators - I never guarantee coverage in an elevator, but if you put an AP outside every lobby and can dial the device down to roam from floor to floor - you might get lucky.

The problem with this is the packets can't keep up with roaming that quickly and voice is usually an issue - think of a 'hostflapping' issue on a switch...very similar.

The lobby approach may work. I suppose a DAS (leaky coax in the shaft) might also. That's probably more complicated than its worth. How about a dual-radio wireless bridge in the car with a directional backhaul radio/antenna pointing to the top of the shaft (law permitting), and another radio downward into the car itself and you may have something. Power feed will have to come through existing capacity or elevator conduit. A new breed of wireless squatter is born.

john.preves Sun, 03/16/2008 - 05:10

Ewww.. every time I see leaky coax in a sentence I throw up in my mouth a little. How is it that a pipe with holes in it can have the same signal at the beginning as at the end? are the holes smaller in the beginning and larger at the end to compensate for attenuation? Sir, if you or anyone else knows this, I would be most grateful.

I like the dual radio bridge idea - but if you could do that you could stick a yagi antenna at the top of the shaft and shine down all that RF love on the unsuspecting occupants below it. At some point customer expectations have to be set or rules have to be bent, I usually let them decide.

ericgarnel Sun, 03/16/2008 - 13:34

Speak with the elevator people. many elevators have a wiring loom for power & emergency phone.

See if you can get them to add an ethernet cable to the loom and just stick the AP inside the box

ED CARMODY Sun, 03/16/2008 - 15:31

Note that most firecodes don't allow you to put anything in the stairwells either.


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