Seeking advice for Wireless LAN solution

Unanswered Question
Nov 5th, 2009

I have a site that has a pipeyard in which I am considering covering with Wireless LAN. The transport vehicles that roam the pipeyard have terminals which currently use cellular cards & VPN to connect to an app server that is updated with stock that they move. The server is actually in an office adjacent to the pipeyard. The cellular coverage is poor and the connection drops are frustrating to the operators. For this reason, I am considering covering the area with Wireless LAN and replacing their cellular cards with 802.11a/b/g radios. The pipeyard has no obstructions. The area is outdoors and is about 122 acres in size.

Does anyone have suggestions about what Cisco solution could be applied to this pipeyard so that the mobile operators can maintain continuous connection to their server as they move about the yard?

I have this problem too.
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Leo Laohoo Thu, 11/05/2009 - 22:14

For starters, you'll need to use mesh access points. You have the following choices:

Cisco Aironet 1520 Series Lightweight Outdoor Access Points

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps5679/ps8368/data_sheet_c78-532987.html

Cisco Aironet 1500 Series Lightweight Outdoor Mesh Access Points

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps5679/ps6548/product_data_sheet0900aecd803642e6.html

Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Outdoor Access Point/Bridge

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps5679/ps5861/product_data_sheet09186a00802252e1.html

Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Access Point/Bridge Power Injector

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps469/products_data_sheet09186a008022551d.html

Next, you'll need to choose your antennae:

Cisco Aironet Antennas and Accessories Reference Guide

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/product_data_sheet09186a008008883b.html

Cisco Aironet 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Antennas and Accessories

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/product_data_sheet09186a008022b11b.html

Leo Laohoo Thu, 11/05/2009 - 22:20

Before you start purchasing or deploying the APs, I'd recommend that you have a Wireless LAN Site Survey done. This allows you to better identify what specific model of AP is suited for your environment, how many APs and where to deploy your APs.

You have two options of deploying this: autonomous or lightweight.

Lightweight is most preferred when you have more than a dozen of APs. This options makes it easier for you to control, configure and deploy the APs.

In order for you to deploy your APs in lightweight mode, you need to get a Wireless LAN Controllers.

Different models of WLC can be found here:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/controller/6.0/configuration/guide/c60ovrv.html#wp1124217

To help you with your configuration, try reading this document:

Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Configuration Guide, Release 6.0

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/controller/6.0/configuration/guide/Controller60CG.html

Hope this helps.

fdouble08 Fri, 11/06/2009 - 12:49

I had figured a mesh solution based on 1500 series and a WLC would be the way to go. What is the typical range that a wireless client (laptop) will connect to a 1510 WAP outdoors ( assuming no obstructions over flat terrain )? When designing the mesh layout, the WAPs use the 5Ghz radio for the back haul providing the capability to space the WAPs farther apart ( they don't have to be in the same range of each other as the wireless client range). Am I reading that right?

You are reading that correctly. This is entirely dependent on the antenna type that you use. You could use directional antennas for backhaul and omni's for your access and you would have entirely different coverage between radios. If you need the coverage to be the "same" for backhaul and access you could just use the same type of antennas, probably omni-directional. Or, you could just put them closer together and still use directional 5GHz antennas, it just really depends on your site.

I highly recommend getting a professional wireless survey completed before you start mounting equipment.

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