Cisco 1260 AP antenna questions.

Unanswered Question
Jan 20th, 2012

We’re deploying new WIFI towers at several of our vacation resorts and have decided to migrate from Wireless G to Wireless N access points.

We currently have the following in each WIFI tower – Hotspot

1 x 25mbps/5mbps circuit (inside air conditioned shed)

1 x Cisco 881 router (inside air conditioned shed)

3 x Cisco 1310 AP’s (inside air conditioned shed)

3 x Luxul Wireless - 2.4 GHz, 1 Watt Outdoor Amplifier (inside air conditioned shed)

1 x 25 foot three pillar antenna mast.

3 x 30 foot TNC cables

1 x PCtel 2.4 GHz ISM All Terrain Sectorized Omnidirectional Antenna (offset 5-10 deg down )

I’ve been researching and speaking to our partner pre-sales team, and have narrowed the choice down to deploying 3 x AIR-AP1261N-x-K9  at each of our towers. I have been unable to find suitable replacements to the 1watt Luxul 2.4ghz amplifiers we’re using, or really good N sector antennas to mount to the top of our masts.

The 1260’s are all 802.af, so besides getting power injectors there shouldn’t be to much to think about.

Do any of you guys/galls have any suggestions for suitable N sector antennas , or suggestions?

Is there specific antennas I can use to utilize the 2x3 MIMO feature of these AP’s?

I have this problem too.
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Leo Laohoo Fri, 01/20/2012 - 22:36

1261?  You sure about the part number?  You do know that the 1261 only has ONE radio, 802.11b.  With one radio, it will only do half of the data rates of 802.11n.

Next, your antenna, I'm not familiar with those.

The location of the WAP should be in the middle of your clients.  It's not recommended to use a dipole or "disco stick" in one corner of the area you want coverage.

scottjsee Sat, 01/21/2012 - 08:43

Not entirely.

After reading through these forums and looking at more product material I'm not sure any longer what we're going to need.

I'll run over to one of the resorts today and take a couple pictures of the equipment/towers so you can see what we're doing.

For the moment being - here is a quick map I just created for a rough example of a propertiy with our current wireless G towers in red. approved N towers in yellow.

We did site surveys for the past couple days at all of our properties and had the meetings/approvals to place 2 more new towers at a handful of resorts. What I would really like to do is 2 or 3 1550's at each tower paired with a 2504 WLC controlled by Cisco Prime Network Control System at our office on a 50in LED.. That was shot down in flames!!

The clients are only willing to use standalone AP's, but these resorts are in Arizona, so they need to be rugged to support the extensive heat of the desert. It helps we have all of the equipment inside a dedicated air-conditioned shed at each site. But the lack of options with the Wireless N Aironet products are confusing me:

1260 - support up to 6dbi external antenna’s

1550 - Lightweight only..

Suggestions?

This is the Omni direction antenna's were using right now.. They're pretty sexy, and would like to keep the same type/kind of 90deg sector coverage (or better)

Thank you very much for your reply. I welcome any critique, comments, or suggestions you can offer..

Leo Laohoo Sat, 01/21/2012 - 14:59
What I would really like to do is 2 or 3 1550's at each tower paired with a 2504 WLC

OMG!  I've never seen a resort this HUUUUUGE before!  Is the resort construction finished yet?  If not then your wireless site survey is as close as useless.  If the wireless site survey was done AFTER complete of construction and after furnitures and fixtures are in place then you have an idea.   But I am unable to determine the area of this resort.

Another thing ... 802.11N and a 2504????  Are you sure?  The WLC 2504 may be very affordable but all I can say is it's not scalable because the ports are FastEthernet.  You need to have a controller with GigabitEthernet like a 5508.

I have a few questions:

1.  What is the height of the antenna?  If your antenna will be installed higher than 10 metres up in the air, then forget about wireless.  It won't work effectively.

2.  You only have 2.4Ghz.  This will not give you FULL 802.11N.  This will only give you the "low fat" 802.11N.  For full 802.11N you need to have both 802.11a and 802.11b radio.

3.  CleanAir, do you need it?  Do all these rooms have DECT wireless phones or microwave oven or other wifi/wireless products.  If the answer is yes, then I believe you and/or your setup should consider CleanAir WAPs.   The 3500 and 3600 are good candidates.  The 3600 was released last November 2012 and it supports 4 x 4 MIMO while the 3500 supports 3 x 3 MIMO.

4.   Antennas - Don't be mislead by the -6 dBi limit.  Remember that the wireless medium is a two-way-street.  If you have a very-high-gain antenna on the WAP side then this is akin to shooting wireless signal downrange and at a long distance but the WAP will not be able to "hear" the signal coming from the client.  You only use very-high-gain antenna when you intend to implement point-to-multipoint or point-to-point wireless bridge.

5.  Wireless is also a shared medium.  Think of a WAP as a "hub".   When one talks, everyone else has to stop, listen and waits for their turn.  If you have a lot of chatter then chances are you'll get congestion.  Cisco recommends no more than 25 clients associate to a WAP.  This value of "25" also depends on what kind of traffic is flying around.  If you, say, are talking about emails and surfing the web, then this value can go up to 30 but if you are talking about non-cached, video streaming then that value can drop to about 5 clients per WAP.

Apologize for the long response.  Shouldn't have coffee when I wrote this. 

scottjsee Sat, 01/21/2012 - 18:40

That's just one of our parks, and yeah, their pretty big. These parks are stuffed with single wides, double wides, RV's of all shapes and sizes and is in full bloom right now with the warm winter we're having (full capacity). So, inharently everything's made of metal, has a microwave oven.

I've been saying for a while that out current towers are pushing the G signal WAY to far becasue the compliant devices 300+ feet away, and often seen upto 1000 feet away with strong signals have absolutly NO chance of comunicating with our towers. But old retired people don't really care, they think that if they recieve a 5bar or 4bar signal they should be within range of our hot-spot towers. Whatever..

I'm almost 100% possitive the 2504 is giagbit. It's the cheapest WLC that is designed for the 1260 & 1550's. But that's all besided the point. I would love to do things my way, but I collect a paycheck just like everyone else.

1. The Antannes are on top of these towers. They're tall - 30 feet/9.144 meters. I know the E plane of normal wifi adapters inside laptops and mobile devices suffer drastically trying to communicate with our towers due to the height and I have brought this to attention. There is just so much I can do about it at the moment. Hences - new N towers...

2. I would LOVE to keep our 2.4ghz G wifi isolated from these new tower and not allow backward compatability to a/b/g. I would LOVE to make the new N AP's fully N complient and effecient as possible. If that requires buying several radio's per AP, or only special equipment that's what I'm willing to do.

3. We have an immense issue with interferience throughout these parks. The resident spots are cabled for CenteryLink or Cox and 20%+ have their own WIFI inside their RV's or park model homes. Durring our surveys I noticed some locations with overf 30+ SSID on top of our towers. It was silly..

4. Agreed. with 1260's and their 3 available TNC antanne connections I absolutly want to place these new antannes closer to the middle of these towers. In some locations at diffrent parks there are no sutable spots to add new tower locations and will be force to stack antanne's on our tripple pole masts. 2.4gh at the top and N - 5ghz antannes mid mast.

5. Agreed, half-duplex, 25 mac-address associations, that's why we have 3 x AP's at each tower.

how would you suggest I deply a standalone N multi 1260 AP tower? how many radio's, antenna type/size, location on our the towers, etc..

Drink 2 more cups - you're awsome!

blakekrone Sat, 01/21/2012 - 19:03

Yes the 2504 has a gig interface but the actual data backplane maxes at 300Mbps.

Honestly CleanAir isn't going to do much for you in this environment, it will only inform you what you already know.

I would look towards a 3600 simply for the 4x4 antenna. But you need to get smaller cell sizes and have the AP mounted lower.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

Leo Laohoo Sat, 01/21/2012 - 19:16

RV?????? 

Oh geez.  Microwave in every RV?  Great.  When someone gets hungry then there's a fair chance your 802.11b/g goes out the door.  There are some good ovens which operate in a limited frequency but there are some which operates in the full 2.4Ghz spectrum.  There's a news article I read about a retired couple who owns this very, very old TV.  Everytime they turn on their TV to watch the afternoon show, the wireless in that block goes out.  The mobile phone provider couldn't determine or replicate what they are seeing in the lab.  The mobile phone provider had one recourse left:  The retire was told by the phone provider to look for a TV of their choice and they were handsomely compensated.  Problem solved!

Anyway, back to your issue ... Antennas should not be installed higher than 10 feet from the ground.  The WAPs and/or antenna, in my opinion would be situated, for example, between 2289, 2185, 2287, 2186.  This way there's minimal chance of the pole/post to be run over by the RV.

Range and coverage, if your plan is as accurate and it's a flat location (like a parking lot), then I'd take the position I'd mention above, along with a compass and draw a 20 feet radius.  You will get further more than that but you have to consider the fact that you need your wireless signal to penetrate INTO metal surfaces and that is going to be a ba$tard to nail.

Antennas transmit and receive radio signals which are susceptible to RF obstructions and common sources of interference that can reduce throughput and range of the device to which they are connected. Follow these guidelines to ensure the best possible performance: 

Install the antenna vertically and mount it with the cables pointing towards the ground.

•Keep the antenna away from metal obstructions such as heating and air-conditioning ducts, large ceiling trusses, building superstructures, and major power cabling runs. If necessary, use a rigid conduit to lower the antenna away from these obstructions.

•The density of the materials used in a building's construction determines the number of walls the signal can pass through and still maintain adequate signal strength. Consider the following before choosing the location for your antenna:

–Signals penetrate paper and vinyl walls with little change to signal strength.

–Signals penetrate only one or two solid and pre-cast concrete walls without degrading signal strength.

–Signals penetrate three or four concrete and wood block walls without degrading signal strength.

–Signals penetrate five or six walls constructed of drywall or wood without degrading signal strength.

–Signals will likely reflect off a thick metal wall and may not penetrate it at all.

–Signals will likely reflect off a chain link fence or wire mesh spaced between 1 and 1 1/2 in. (2.5 and 3.8 cm). The fence acts as a harmonic reflector that blocks the signal.

•Install the antenna away from microwave ovens and 2-GHz cordless phones. These products can cause signal interference because they operate in the same frequency range as the device to which your antenna is connected.

You're right about the 2504 with a Gig interface.  My apologies for the confusion.

I'd consider the 3500 or the 3600.  With CleanAir, whenever interferrence occurs, the WLC and WAPs will independently change the channel.  The 1260 can't do that.

Install the antenna vertically and mount it with the cables pointing towards the ground.

•Keep the antenna away from metal obstructions such as heating and air-conditioning ducts, large ceiling trusses, building superstructures, and major power cabling runs. If necessary, use a rigid conduit to lower the antenna away from these obstructions.

•The density of the materials used in a building's construction determines the number of walls the signal can pass through and still maintain adequate signal strength. Consider the following before choosing the location for your antenna:

–Signals penetrate paper and vinyl walls with little change to signal strength.

–Signals penetrate only one or two solid and pre-cast concrete walls without degrading signal strength.

–Signals penetrate three or four concrete and wood block walls without degrading signal strength.

–Signals penetrate five or six walls constructed of drywall or wood without degrading signal strength.

–Signals will likely reflect off a thick metal wall and may not penetrate it at all.

–Signals will likely reflect off a chain link fence or wire mesh spaced between 1 and 1 1/2 in. (2.5 and 3.8 cm). The fence acts as a harmonic reflector that blocks the signal.

•Install the antenna away from microwave ovens and 2-GHz cordless phones. These products can cause signal interference because they operate in the same frequency range as the device to which your antenna is connected.

Jake Snyder Sat, 01/21/2012 - 19:19

The 2504 do have Gig ports, but they are not capable of Link Aggregation (LAG), so you cannot do multiple uplinks without doing different interfaces.  You could do HREAP which alleviates some of the bottleneck.

Higher gain antennas do/will help with client reception as they contribute to receiver sensitivity, which is part of the link budget.  As these are indoor APs, it is difficult to find higher gain antennas due to FCC requirements that the antenna connectors must comply with regulations.

Also note that the number of clients and the range of clients will depend on the data rates you allow.  The lower the data rates you allow, the further the client can move from the AP, but fewer clients are able to be serviced by the AP.

With 802.11N I've seen up to 75 clients on a single 802.11a/n interface, but it all depends with how much per user bandwidth you want to allow for, and how big the cell is going to be.

scottjsee Sat, 01/21/2012 - 21:32

I don't really care about the FCC, If I could find power amplifyers for wireless N simular to the 1 watt Luxul amps were using now I'd buy them.

So, how about this for each location:

3 x Cisco 3602 WAPS - AIR-CAP3602E-x-K9

3 x Cisco MIMO 6db antanna (mounted to each side of the 3 pole mast) - R-ANT5140NV-R

3 x 15 foot RP-TNC cable from WAP to antanne

Mount the 6dbi 15 feet up the mast - (most RV's living spaces are 5 feet off the ground)

Mount the 3602's inside the airconditioned shed - run the 15 foot PT-TNC cable up the mast to antanne.

Configure the AP's to sellect the best channel and walk away (besides obvious config needs)

I can set these 3602 WAPS to use 5ghz only leaving the 2.4ghz G towers off possible interference issues?

EDIT: Wait, the 3500 and 3600's are all controller based.. I need standalone.. sigh...

EDIT # 2: How far will these 6dbi Cisco R-ANT5140NV-R antanne's propigate a usable signal?

Leo Laohoo Sat, 01/21/2012 - 22:35

3600 are two-in-one, i.  e.  each antenna can support both 802.11a and 802.11b.  Therefore you need to look at this file:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/at_a_glance_c45-513837.pdf

The antenna for the 3600 is located on the last page.

I thought you were also looking at the WLC2500?

I can set these 3602 WAPS to use 5ghz only leaving the 2.4ghz G towers off possible interference issues?

You can disable 802.11b low speed rates.  Take note that not all clients support 802.11a.  There are some old devices (like iPhone 3, for example) that's only 802.11b.

Leo Laohoo Sat, 01/21/2012 - 22:50

We’re deploying new WIFI towers at several of our vacation resorts and have decided to migrate from Wireless G to Wireless N access points.

We currently have the following in each WIFI tower – Hotspot

1 x 25mbps/5mbps circuit (inside air conditioned shed)

1 x Cisco 881 router (inside air conditioned shed)

Ummmm ... The 880 router is rated at 25.60 Mbps.  This value is expressed in HALF duplex so which is less than 13 Mbps.  The 890 is rated at 51.20 Mbps and this does not leave you any room for the expansion or increase of your bandwidth.  Is your WAN link set in "stone"?  Do you plan to upgade to a higher bandwidth if, say, business is good?

scottjsee Sun, 01/22/2012 - 07:37

In no particular order:

I've been useing the 851, 871 and 881's with great sucess. This past month I've bumped up 30 of our WIFI towers to 25mb/5mb. Our CFO wanted to do 80mb/10mb, but due to the speed limitations with G, I chose 25mb instead. For these new towers I'm comfortable getting the dedicated 80mb/10mb circuts to utilize N speeds.

I've had really good sucess with the packet per seconds speed of these little routers. Even the older 1800 series we used were more then able to handel 50mb circuts. The links are never heavely saturated, I've done some NBAR packet inspection from time to time and it's pretty low..

The 881 is just what I'm useing for the G towers combined with 3 x 1310's. I've had good sucess with the new 1921's, One guy I know is using 1921's on 100mb circuts.

Not doing 2504 WLC - That was shot down in flames - The WAP must be standalone. I pushed for it with ceneralized network manengment software at our office where we could manage the towers like a NOC on a large LED TV but, thats not going to happen..

Thanks for the Antanne Link - That data sheet is where I discoverd the 1260's can use only 6dbi antannes. Because I "must" have standalone WAP's, pretty much limiting my sellection exclusivly to the 1262 it seems like the only reall antanne sellection is 3 x AIR-ANT5160V-R per 1262 wap..

Thoughts?

Leo Laohoo Sun, 01/22/2012 - 13:27

Ok, no WLC.  So this rules out 3500 and 3600.

This leaves you with the 1260.  Now you chose the ANT5160.  This is OK as it falls within the supported limit of the 1260.  What protocol did you base your site survey on?  802.11a, I hope.

I'd ask you to (re) consider the use of the 802.11b as I distinctly remember some clients (iPhone 3, laptops) that only has 802.11b/g radio.

No WLC?  So you don't really need the Prime NCS box?

My opinion is, and I hope you and management don't take any offense, is to start the implementation on a gradual basis.  Find a central location and start with one.  This is based upon your budget.  When word gets out that your wifi is better than each of these RV owner's personalized one then they'll line up in your adminstration building asking to be "let in".  This way, you have a good indication (and demographics) as to know whether or not your wifi is going to take off quickly or slowly.

scottjsee Sun, 01/22/2012 - 18:18

thats, not much of a concern, all of these parks are under the same ownership and resort name.

Everyone of the current WIFI towers we have up right now are configured b/g mixed mode, and will stay that way for a long time. I'm planning on stacking N on the same towers eventually halfway down the masts this summer.

Nope, the NCS box was only on the agenda if I could get the WLC's approved.. It's still possible - but not until we get the initial towers out of the way, I'll continually work on them for this. I dread "wifi's down" phone calls. Having a NCS box would make life SOO much easier..

The Cisco literature says I need 3 x ANT5160's per 1262 wap. I'm very unsure how that translates into installation/deployment/mounting locations.. Where would I learn more about this and how would that effect wanting to mount 3 x 1262's making a total of 9 x ANT5160's at each tower?

Is there a good book you can recommend from Cisco that will help me as I get this going?

As always, I greatly appreciate your assistance!!

Leo Laohoo Sun, 01/22/2012 - 18:28
The Cisco literature says I need 3 x ANT5160's per 1262 wap.

That's correct.  This is for diversity and part of the MIMO architechture.

Where would I learn more about this and how would that effect wanting to mount 3 x 1262's making a total of 9 x ANT5160's at each tower?

I still don't get the picture why you need three WAPs per tower.

Is there a good book you can recommend from Cisco that will help me as I get this going?

Can I make a suggestion?  Get a reputable installer to install, say, two "towers" and observe their methodologies.  Then you can follow. 

Scott Fella Sun, 01/22/2012 - 18:48

You might have to re-think this... You have three 1310 using a sector... so now you want to repalce this with 1260's using omni's?  That is why Leo is wondering why you want three on one tower.  You are better off using another sector or a patch antenna. 

I don't know really how the setup is, but you say that the wireless is fine and you really just want to upgrade and have the ability to utilize 802.11n or a WLC in the future.  If your setup is fine now:)  why not just add two more sectors to the one and have yourself a mimo sector:)  Of course you are going to have to add more amps, if that's your plan.

scottjsee Sun, 01/22/2012 - 19:55

Ok lets start at the begining here..

3 x 1310 on 3 x sector attached to a singe antenna's mast - each spreading 90deg giving off it's own SSID. These are staying.. Not coming down. Any N deployment I do will be in addition to what's deployed. I'll just add the additional N equipment inside the sheds with additional 80meg circuit.

These PCtel antennas we're using now are not being utilized the way they should. They host 3 x sector antennas and are designed to thread into a 3x1 splitters creating a 360deg coverage. Because we have SO many residents we needed a minimum of 3 WAP's to supply the demand. So, each of the 3 sectors are connected to a single 1310 radio changing the nature of these antennae's to 3 individual 90deg sectors (not ideal). But with the limitations of only 3 clear channels on b/g the only thing we could do was try orientate the direction of each sector towards the largest group of residents.

To remove this sector issue, and because there are A LOT more clear non-overlapping N channels I would really like to have each tower push out  3 unique 360deg SSID's with the strongest possible signal.

On any new towers I put up I'll just be deploying N only. Since each tower placement had the potential to associate upto 100+ residents during the in-season I want to supply the extreme of demands and install 3 x 2162's.Giving each tower 3 clean 360deg SSID's and in some cases 3 x clean 90deg b/g sector SSID's & 3 x clean 360deg N only SSID's.

Does that make things any clearer?

Leo Laohoo Sun, 01/22/2012 - 20:27
Because we have SO many residents we needed a minimum of 3 WAP's to supply the demand.

Ahhhh ... right.  I didn't think of this.

All I can say is:  You are not a cellular/mobile phone provider.  The antennas you are using are not planar phased array antennas.  It's good that you factored in the density of your crowd and "clumping" your WAPs isn't the way to go.  If you want more WAPs to service an area then you put more WAPs at closer interval, say, every 40 metres instead of 50 metres.

The practice of "clumping" wastes your money. 

Scott Olsen Mon, 01/23/2012 - 07:30

Perhaps I'm missing something here...

Are you telling us you are using a 1 Watt amplifier with a 14dBi sector antenna?  Also assuming you're running APs at full TX power... because, hell, at this point, why not.

Have you /actually/ done the math on that?

Does anyone else have any concern here?

Edit: (Clicked the wrong reply button... this is obviously in response to the Original Poster)

Message was edited by: Scott Olsen

scottjsee Mon, 01/23/2012 - 09:27

That's correct. 1 watt Luxul paired with 14dbi sectors. No, I belief the people who installed these did not do the math, I was not part of the design/deployment process with that project.. I just get to clean it up... What's wrong with it?

I don't wan't to waist your guy's time. I'm just trying to understand the correct deployment of how to integrate the clients "want" of N without interfering with their existing G towers.

If your saying I should NOT clump 3 x 1262's with 9 antennae's on these 3 post pillar masts (3 on each side) I'll believe you, and happily accept your recommendations. It's increasingly frustrating to know how to properly deploy this technology when those who have the authority to approve the builds are not willing to do what is correct, acceptable or best practice..

I took a quick walk this morning and took a couple pictures. the WAP's don't use Netgear switches, normally it's just a 881 router. The reason that's there is because I'm running WIFI into only 1 port of a 881 (located in a black-box cabinet beside that equipment not shown in the pic) at that location which supply's Internet to a computer lab, and office too.

From what i have gatherd from this conversation is:

1. Towers are too tall and need to be cut in half

2. 1262's are the only solution given my requirements of not using WLC and needing to be rugged.

3. The 3 x ANT5160's per WAP is my best antanne of choice.

I'm confused of how I should mount these Antennae's on the mast's shown.. They are 3 pillar masts, do I put 1 antennae on each mast in a circular pattern 10-15 feet above the ground? How much area will these ANT5160's cover?

As alway, sorry for an confustion, any suggestions/criteque is very welcome!

Leo Laohoo Mon, 01/23/2012 - 13:34

1. Towers are too tall and need to be cut in half

2. 1262's are the only solution given my requirements of not using WLC and needing to be rugged.

I really enjoy some of your post (NO sarcasm intended) because you have alot of surprises.

Point 1 and 2 are correct.

Now point 3.  I made a slight error of judgement.  There are two types of 5160.  The first one is the old style 5160V.  This is also known as a dipole antenna or a disco stick.  For the 1260, you need three of these plugged to the 5.0 Ghz radio and pumps about 6 dBi.  If you hold this disco stick perpendicular to your face, the wireless signal "footprint" goes AROUND the stick.  If you hold this parrallel to your body, the wireless signal footprint is like a clover leaf or like an ace-of-clubs (for the lack of a better description).

Now, the second model of the 5160 is the 5160NP.  "N" stands for 802.11n protocol and "P" stands for patch antenna. (Both the "V" and the "NP" can support 802.11n but this is newer, hence Cisco added the "N".)   If you look at the footprint of this particular antenna, you'll see that most of the transmission power is focused in a single direction, forward.  The 5160NP is designed for 802.11n in a way that you only need ONE for external WAPs that support 802.11n.  A single unit of the antenna has three pig-tail socket which is ideal for the 1260.

So here's how you "mix" things around.

Based on your latest image, I noticed that the tower is next to the fence.  I presume (I hope correctly) that this is the edge of the property.  Which means that I don't want any (or minimal) wireless signal beyond that way.  This scenario would fit perfectly with the 5160NP because you can "steer" your wireless signal away from the area where you don't want any signal to go to. The 5160NP is ideal in a wall-mount position with the Cisco logo pointing to the client.  It is recommended that you install this patch antenna with the cables pointing to to the floor.  This will minimize moisture seeping into the antenna.

Next, if you plan to put WAPs in the centre of your park, then the 5160V disco-stick is ideal because the wireless signal goes AROUND it.   The 5160V is ideal when the stick is pointed to the floor.  Your "tower" is three-sided which means you can put one disco-stick on each side and would work well.   Take not that your tower is made out of metal and the "supports" acts like a mesh so don't expect signal to from that side of the tower.  The signal will be coming from the "open" side of the tower.  Unlike the 5160NP, you'll have to find a way to prevent moisture from coming down the cable and into the disco-stick. 

Let me summarize things up:  Along the edges of your property/park, deploy the 5160NP patch antennas.  These antennas must be wall-mounted.  In the centre of your park use the disco-sticks (5160V).

Does this help?

NOTE:

I hope you don't get offended by what I am about to say, but whoever is the knucklehead who installed your WAPs is, for the lack of a better word, "nuts" (this is the only adjective I can think of that the moderator might accept).  Firstly, what is the distance from the antenna to the WAP?  Whatever the value it's too long.  The longer this distance, the higher is the loss.  No person, in his/her right state of mind, would make this mistake.  This is Radio 101.  (I'm no radio engineer.  I just picked this knowledge up as I go.).

Next, the tower, looks like a cellular/mobile phone tower to me and the antennas are arranged like one too and renders your wireless signal very ineffective.   The antennas are arranged like an "phased array" radar.

Have a look at the link below.  It'll give you a good idea of what the signal footprints I'm talking about.

Cisco Aironet Antennas and Accessories Reference Guide

scottjsee Mon, 01/23/2012 - 15:37

First off -  Thank you!

I spent some time reading the Cisco doc's on the 5160NP and 5160V and I agree, they both seem like good options depending on the towers location.

I'm a bit fuzzy on several things

1. The 3 x 5160V's, you mention orientating the "disco stick" facing the ground with the antennae cable facing up. I assume this is because of height? The drain holes on the 5160V's are on the bottom so I don't think I would feel comfortable mounting it drain side up. I'd rather just install them lower on the mast.

2. Since the 5160V's have such a perfect omini footprint why do these radio's "require" 3?

3. Triple checking here. These 1262's with 5160's will NOT interfere with any aspect of the currently deployed G SSID's?.

4. How far will these1262 & 6dbi 5160N and 5160NP antennas radiate their signal? theoretically - 300 feet?

5. 1262 & 3 x 5160N. Will I need to have each 5160N on it's own respectable clean channels?

6. Will "clumping" multiple WAP's and antennae's to provide more SSID's in highly dense areas' (pools/concert halls, common areas) interferer with each other? I know N has quite a few clear channels, do I just stagger the channels when I clump like I do with G channel 1, 6, and 11 (I know I shouldn't but space restrictions require me to)?

Our towers are just 4 x 6 foot sections bolted together, I've put up a few. I have no beef removing section or two if I can get it approved. We have a HUGE push to improve our WIFI, the parks are getting A LOT of complaints.. I wonder why.. 

I just need to ensure the antennas peek over the tin/metal roofs of the residents park model homes or RV's for best coverage.

Bought Designing and Deploying 802.11n Wireless Networks last weekend. Looks like a good book.. Hope it helps.

7. I need a drink..

Leo Laohoo Mon, 01/23/2012 - 15:49
1. The 3 x 5160V's, you mention orientating the "disco stick" facing the ground with the antennae cable facing up. I assume this is because of height? The drain holes on the 5160V's are on the bottom so I don't think I would feel comfortable mounting it drain side up. I'd rather just install them lower on the mast.

You are correct.  The wires facing up and the end of the stick is facing down or pointed to the ground.

2. Since the 5160V's have such a perfect omini footprint why do these radio's "require" 3?

The disco-sticks are old-style.  They were designed for the 1240.  With the 1260 that requires three, Cisco has "re-disigned" this model into the 5160NP.  You need three, again, for MIMO.

3. Triple checking here. These 1262's with 5160's will NOT interfere with any aspect of the currently deployed G SSID's?.

Three antennas per 1262?  No.  They won't interfere.

4. How far will these1262 & 6dbi 5160N and 5160NP antennas radiate their signal? theoretically - 300 feet?

Not that far.  Probably around 30-40 metres depending on the height and the obstacles around.

5. 1262 & 3 x 5160N. Will I need to have each 5160N on it's own respectable clean channels?

Would be nice to have the WLC because the WLC can automatically adjust the channels when required.

6. Will "clumping" multiple WAP's and antennae's to provide more SSID's in highly dense areas' (pools/concert halls, common areas) interferer with each other? I know N has quite a few clear channels, do I just stagger the channels when I clump like I do with G channel 1, 6, and 11 (I know I shouldn't but space restrictions require me to)?

It wastes your resources.  Like I said before, instead of clumping three WAPs in one tower, I'd get three towers and space them closer (20-30 metres apart).

I just need to ensure the antennas peek over the tin/metal roofs of the residents park model homes or RV's for best coverage.

No issues there.  If you can get about 1 metre high above the RV would be fine, in my opinion.

Furthermore, if you can find an area where there's no wifi yet, try this method out (no clumping).  You may need to do several trial-and-error before you get the right formulation right.

When you are done, your next headache will be how to manage so much WAPs in the first place.

Scott Olsen Tue, 01/24/2012 - 11:42

Okay.  Well, here goes:

You've got some 1310s which are probably running at a TX power of 20dBm unless they've been administratively "turned down"... which they probably haven't, otherwise, why have a 1W amplifier on them.  You then have... oh, lets be generous; -6dB of cable and connector loss up to the antenna elements, which have a designed signal gain of 14dBi.

Lets calculate your EIRP:

20dBm + (1W or 30dBm) - 6dB + 14 dBi = 58dB or 630 W

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalent_isotropically_radiated_power

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBm

Whoever design/authorized this should face charges in my opinion, and I sincerely hope no human has been around these antenna elements while in operation.

Leo Laohoo Tue, 01/24/2012 - 13:04
Whoever design/authorized this should face charges in my opinion, and I sincerely hope no human has been around these antenna elements while in operation.

Amen!

+5 too!

scottjsee Tue, 01/24/2012 - 15:09

Charges.. That dosen't sound good.

I'm not a WIFI guy, I didn't design or deploy this, I'm just trying to do something about it... I don't understand that math but from the way you make it sound, it doesn't sound healthy or good.. Those Wikipedia links you provided are hyrogliphic, so my apologies:

Why do you say "sincerely hope no human has been around these antenna elements while in operation."?

Leo Laohoo Tue, 01/24/2012 - 17:14
I'm not a WIFI guy, I didn't design or deploy this, I'm just trying to do something about it... I don't understand that math but from the way you make it sound, it doesn't sound healthy or good.. Those Wikipedia links you provided are hyrogliphic, so my apologies:

Personally, I don't think you did so apologies not required.  Just tell the owner to get their money back because the "hack" who installed the tower and antennas may have swindled them.

Why do you say "sincerely hope no human has been around these antenna elements while in operation."?

Infertility.  Your amplifier is boosting the power to the antennas.  Too much exposure can cause infertility and/or birth defects.

Sure is a good way to get rid of the squirrels.

(Been to Scottsdale as a meeting point prior to my Grand Canyon tour in December 2008.  Nice place.)

scottjsee Tue, 01/24/2012 - 20:11

Scottsdale is a nice area!

This needs to be fixed ASAP. It seems like I understand how to proceed with future N deployments, but more importantly I need to change our existing towers to something less... Lack of better word.. bad..

If I remove half the 25-30 foot masts, and make the towers 15 feet in the air, remove the LUXUL power amps, should I be ok?

These 2.4ghz PCTel MSO24014NF Antennas are pretty nice, I'd hate to ditch 30+ of them at $2k a piece. They are designed to feed all 3 sectors into a 3x1 splitter, and then into a single radio, creating a very nice omini directional foot print. I had PCtel on the phone talking with them last month about the footprint of each of these sectors when not using the 3x1 splitter. Apparently each sector/radio covers a 90deg area causing 30deg laps in coverage between each sector. Pretty inefficient considering you can not orient the sectors horizontally, only vertically 15deg

If I were to goto the big $$ guys who can make this happen, what do I need to do in terms of fixing this now? Sorry for the spoon feed question/answe. All of you have done so much already.. I just had no idea the severity of this complex issues.

Leo Laohoo Tue, 01/24/2012 - 20:19

Find a corner or patch where you need to set a new wifi "tower".  Instead of setting up the usual 25-30 foot mast, set up one up to, say, 15 feet.  Find a method where you can stick a WAP near the top and install the antennas and test the setup.  If this goes well, proceed with a few more.

If all goes well with this setup then you can go to management and say, "Right, the current wireless setup we have is pathetic.  Here's the proof.  In order to fix this, I need a WLC and cash."

It's hard to say "no" to that.

scottjsee Tue, 01/24/2012 - 21:48

Put the wap up on the tower? 15 feet of TNC cable is really that bad? We get upto 120deg dirrect sunlight in the mid summer.. I would think that would just FRY the wap.

This is a nightmare..

I'm fixated on the fact that the way these are deployed now pose a serrious health risk to myself and our residents. Is that only within dirrect contact, as in standing up on the mast dirrectly in front of the antanne or within a general proximity?

Leo Laohoo Wed, 01/25/2012 - 00:51
Put the wap up on the tower? 15 feet of TNC cable is really that bad?

Heck yeah!  Remember that the WAP does not have a very power transmitter.  So your signal goes up/down the wire and the signal goes "wow, this is very far to go.  I'm tired!" and this is where you get signal-loss.

We get upto 120deg dirrect sunlight in the mid summer.. I would think that would just FRY the wap.

That's within the operating range of "-4 to +131°F".  So the WAP should be fine.

I'm fixated on the fact that the way these are deployed now pose a serrious health risk to myself and our residents.

It's only a danger if you are very, very close to the antenna elements.  So if you are, say, 10 feet away from it, you should be fine.  Otherwise, if you have to climb up to do maintenance, power down the amplifier.

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