Cascading Access Points

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Jan 22nd, 2009
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I have 3 APs to provide wireless coverage in a small hotel outfit. One AP is to be installed on each floor, there are 3 floors in all with 4 rooms on each floor.

I plan to have one of the APs serve as a master while the other two APs will be cascaded to boost the wifi coverage area on each floor.

Please advice on this design.

I intend to use 1240AG AP.



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scottmac Thu, 01/22/2009 - 18:39
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(I think) What you are calling "cascading" is really called "repeater mode".

It cuts throughput by at least 50% because the "repeating" is not in real-time (the AP receives, stores, then transmits the traffic ... following the rules of "polite" wireless conversation.

If you have any way of connecting the APs via cabling, you would have a much more efficient, almost certainly faster, wireless system.

Good Luck


wesleyterry Thu, 01/22/2009 - 18:54
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If this was a controller based solution, and you wanted to do something like a "repeater" mode, I'd tell you to turn them all into Mesh APs, and use the A radio as backhaul and the G Radio for client access. I think this is much better than just repeater mode....

However, since you aren't using a controller, I wonder if you can set up bridges with the A Radio? It wasn't an option in LWAPP to bridge the A Radio and Access with the G radio, but the mesh has allowed that. Maybe it can be done with autonomous? Anyone know?

femi.agboade Fri, 01/23/2009 - 06:06
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Hi Scott,

Yea you could refer to what i wanna achieve as repeater mode.

You say throughput may be cut by 50%? That's an awful lot! I thought having an AP with 2 antennas, one should be able to achieve this configuration?

Running cables would not be ideal, but if it is the only other option I have, then i'll have to revisit the idea.


Any other ideas, anyone?


wesleyterry Fri, 01/23/2009 - 06:25
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Instead of running cable, have you ever considered Ethernet over Power? (not Power over Ethernet)....

The concept of sending your ethernet connection across power lines? Just a thought, I haven't ever implemented it myself but I've played around with the devices and they appear to work. Don't know about throughput though.

scottmac Fri, 01/23/2009 - 06:26
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The two antennas (potentially four, depending on the AP, two for 2.4GHz 802.11g/b, two -or a paddle- for 5.6GHz 802.11a) are for "diversity."

Diversity is a way to enhance the likelihood that the signal is sent and received in good shape (reduces the effects of "nulls" and multipath). The bottom line is that only one antenna is active at a time (for each band).

As others have mentioned, if you had the dual-band version of the AP, you could serve clients on one band, and use the other as a communications link between the APs ... the hook being that you must have good signal quality on the inter-AP link.

Cabling, if it is at all possible, is your best bet. A good site survey would likely be your best resource to make that kind of decision. Buying the stuff, then finding out it won't work kinda sucks.

Good Luck


femi.agboade Fri, 01/23/2009 - 07:06
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guess i'll re-visit the cable run idea...though i would love to try out the inter-AP link using a dual band AP...

Will try that out and keep you posted.

Thanks guys...


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