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Community Member

Cisco 342 Bridge as an Access Point?

I am getting ready to extend my office LAN out to my home LAN using Cisco 342 Bridges and Dish antennas. The distance between the two locations is about 6 miles and has good line of sight. The dish at my home office will be mounted on the roof of my home and I was wondering if the bridge could also double as an access point in my home for my laptop?

Community Member

Re: Cisco 342 Bridge as an Access Point?

Yes, use the latest software and choose a "Role in Radio Network" with clients to be in AP mode.

Community Member

Re: Cisco 342 Bridge as an Access Point?

A bridge can act as a bridge *or* as an access point.

In AP mode, the bridge won't be able to connect to your office bridge. If you want a point-to-point link *and* client access, you'll need to use a separate AP.

If your office was a lot closer, you could use the bridge in AP mode, and have the office connection as another client.

Community Member

Re: Cisco 342 Bridge as an Access Point?

Yes, your bridge can be used as an access point. You will start to get into the issue that the 802.11b standard does not account for long distances. Many people have successfully implemented 6 or more miles, but the spec limits you to 1000 or so feet (I can't remember, but definitely less than a mile). I have successfully tested at 5 miles. Bridges, in bridge mode, using the Cisco proprietary standard, have a distance setting so that timing can be controlled.

A bridge in AP mode will talk to another bridge in bridge mode. If you want to use AP mode for your home office, you will need to put in a splitter (cutting the power of you other antenna in use a high gain 24 dB Grid), to hook up some type of omni or panel to support your local computers.

OK, how to calculate dB loss. Take your antenna, lets say a 24 dB Grid. If you use a splitter, cut the power in half to 21 dB (this is logrithmic, so 3dB loss is half the power). Then consider cable loss, connector loss ... Basically, in the Cisco Antenna Calc program, state that it is a 21 dB antenna instead of a 24 dB. Also, with a splitter, there are more connections, so use 1-2 dB for other loss.

Mike Wrobel

Bridges Communications, LLC

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