Cisco wireless AP and repeater/bridge recommendation

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Nov 28th, 2010
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We're upgrading a school district's wireless implementation from b/g to 802.11-n (lightweight 3500 Cisco AP's off of a 5500-series wireless LAN controller).   The school stadium press box is about 200' from the primary school building, and they'd like to provide Internet access to the press box, and possibly even the stands/bleachers in front and to the sides.   I'm looking for recommendations on extending the school wireless to the stadium, using whatever appropriate AP's and extenders/repeaters would do the job.  Specifically:

1) Let's assume just coverage in the press box for now - it's a 40'x20' area, again approximately 200' from the school buildling.

2) Let's also provides additional options to extend this coverage to the stands, which would extend 100' feet to each side of the press box and approximately 75' from the press box down to the field level.

Specific models of Cisco AP's, antennas and whatever repeating/bridging equipment, please. 

Reference links/docs are always appreciated, and thanks!

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Nicolas Darchis Mon, 11/29/2010 - 02:04
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repeater/bridge when WLC is involved is called "Mesh deployment".

the idea is to have access points that are connected wirelessly to your network. The advantage of Mesh is that it uses 5ghz to communicate back to infrastructure and serves clients on 2.4 ghz so you don't cut the bandwitdh as much as with repeaters.

You either can go for the 1520 for perfect outdoor AP (check the page for antennas and details : )

Or you can use 1240 or 1130 for indoor mesh usage (concept is the same except that they are not built for outdoor placement) :

But there is nothing yet in 11n to do what you are looking for.

Should you totally want 11n, I would suggest to go for IOS. Take 1250 APs and do an IOS bridge setup to create the link to that remote box. Then from there put normal capwap APs there for indoor coverage. They will have connectivity not realiziing there is an IOS bridge in the middle.



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brian.k.clarke Mon, 11/29/2010 - 10:43
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Thanks for the feedback!   A couple follow-up questions, if I may:

They want the Clean Air functionality, so we're going to be going w/ the 3500-series AP's indoors.  If I just wanted to provide wireless access to the press box, could I purchase one AP for out there, and then two 1400 wireless bridges to connect across the parking lot?  You mentioned using 1250 AP's and a wireless bridge - are you suggesting that the 1250's could handle this bridging on their own (and possibly the newer 3500's as well), or would I still be looking at the 1400's to make the connection? 

Also, the 1400's use the 5-GHz band exclusively - if my AP's are serving clients using the 2.4-GHz band, how does this work?  (Can the bridges receive on 2.4, then send over 5-GHz, and vice-versa on the other end?)

I'll research the mesh deployment for the stands - I'm imagining that this may be too cost-prohibitive for them, but we'll see.

Thanks again.

Correct Answer
Nicolas Darchis Mon, 11/29/2010 - 23:25
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1400 is the 5ghz outdoor bridge and 1310 is the 2.4ghz outdoor bridge. Best product for that usage.

However, if you want .11n speed, the only solution is to use a 11n AP that supports bridging. 1250 is the only one to my knowledge where this is officially supported. So you can put the 1250 indoor but the antennas outdoor (cables through the roof).

The bridge can be on the 5ghz, that's not a problem. In the end it just takes care of "what comes on bridge ethernet is sent on wireless" and vice-versa. On each side, the traffic is back to normal ethernet. The 3500 you will put in the press box will not be able to know if it is directly connected to wlc or through a wireless link ...



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