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Community Member

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from Work

Over lunch today, I went over with my dad to visit my grandma at the nursing home.  She just moved in, has an iPad, but her room is a dead zone for the wireless network there.

My father owns the business I work for and when I told him we had a couple of access points that could help, he said he'd be willing to donate these and hire the insured electricians to run cable at the home, donate my time to set things up, buy my aunts and uncles cameras for their PCs, and just generally take care of his mom as best he can.  I'm happy to play a role in getting her settled in.

The network is just a few Walmart routers spread out in the building.  Everything is wide open.  I could walk in with my phone and jump on the network for residents in all places but just outside her door and in her room.

I want to bring in a Cisco Aironet 1240G (AIR-AP1242G-A-K9), put it on the established network, and just have everything work.

It's been years since I locked down our own wireless network and I don't have the first clue about setting up a WAP to be wide open in an environment of folks who are pretty impressive with their use of technology, but don't know anything about networking.

Please, tell me know the best way to configure this device given the conditions and objective.

Thanks in advance for your help.  You're helping a pretty neat old lady.

P.S. We are getting some pushback from the staff about augmenting their network - not because they are concerned about security but because they have absolutely no idea how this stuff works.  As much as I'd like to do things by the book - I've resolved myself with the singular objective of getting Grandma on the internet.  My best shot at this is to make it as easy as possible on the administration to "fix" the dead zone.

12 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point f

Well that is a cool story if I say so myself. I think the first thing to ask is if there is a network drop in her room. I know people are going to say that's wrong.... Yeah I know, but if I had to supply wireless, it would have to be with a network drop. If without a network drop, you can configure the AP as a repeater, but if the room is a dead zone, you will not have any luck.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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Community Member

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

Thanks for your reply, Scott.  She does not have a network drop in her room.  Last night, my dad went to the nursing home and with the maintenence man's help, noted that there is a drop ceiling 1/3 the way down the corridor toward her room.  We may be able to run a cable at least to there without much fuss.

I'm trying to learn more about using the AP as a repeater.  Can I use the AP as a repeater even if the wireless router isn't a Cisco product?  Would I need to configure this at all?  If it is possible, I could maybe hang the AP in the hallway a few paces from Grandma's room and "boost" the signal enough to bounce it into her room.

VIP Purple

Re: Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point f

Hi

If you want to configure your AP as REPEATER then you need to configure wireless router over there & even with that there is a possibility it may not work (compatibility reason). Another thing is once you configured it as a REPEATER, throughput will be shared for backhauling & client connectivity (ie drops performance).

Best solution I can think of is configure your 1242 as a autonomous AP & connect it to the network outlet you mentioned & powered it from a power-injector. In this way your grandma client device can connect to that SSID using a pre-shared-key (PSK)

hostname

!

dot11 ssid

   authentication open

   authentication key-management wpa version 2

   guest-mode

   wpa-psk ascii

!

interface Dot11Radio0

encryption mode ciphers aes-ccm

ssid

no shutdown

!

interface Dot11Radio1

encryption mode ciphers aes-ccm

ssid

no shutdown

!

interface BVI1

ip address dhcp

HTH

Rasika

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Community Member

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

Thanks for taking the time to help, rasikanayanajith.

Repeater is going to be my last resort given the degradation in connectivity.  We're first going to try exactly what you suggest.

One of my concerns with using the power injector is that someone in the future might disconnect things (to move gear or whatever) and accidentally reverse the cables when hooking the power injector back up and send juice gushing into soon-to-be-fried gear.

Do you guys have any suggestions as to how I can make sure this doesn't happen?  I thought about big bold labels and my dad even suggested using some kind of epoxy to keep the cables where they belong.

VIP Purple

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

One of my concerns with using the power injector is that someone in the future might disconnect things (to move gear or whatever) and accidentally reverse the cables when hooking the power injector back up and send juice gushing into soon-to-be-fried gear.

You can use a power cube (AIR-PWR-B=) to power the AP. In this way only data cable required is the connection go between AP & DSL modem.

HTH

Rasika

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

I'm with Scott.  The biggest hurdle for you to think about is getting a network cable from the DSL anywhere near or around your grandmother's room.  It's not a question of "how can I get it there", it's the question of "will the nursing home administration let you".

If they won't let you run the cable then the most "polite" way of doing things is to get your grandma a DSL link all the way in her bedroom.  Don't have to be a big pipe.  Just big enough for her to do Facetime or Skype.

Community Member

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

Thank you for investing in the cause, Leo.  I'm going to check on the DSL option.  I have a feeling, however, that getting an additional service like this going at the residence is going to not be administratively desireable.  Can't hurt to check.  I appreciate your potential solution.

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

Thanks for your reply, Scott.  She does not have a network drop in her room.  Last night, my dad went to the nursing home and with the maintenence man's help, noted that there is a drop ceiling 1/3 the way down the corridor toward her room.  We may be able to run a cable at least to there without much fuss.

Just how friendly is the maintenance guy?  I mean with his "nod" you can get a cabler to run, say, a 50 metre Cat5e cable from the DSL modem all the way to your grandmother's room.  With a little bit of drilling, you can get the cable down from the ceiling.

Could you also investigate this potential hurdle:  Will the nursing home admin allow you to connect a wireless AP to the home's DSL modem?  If they will, how much will they want you to kick in?  You could potentially ask your dad if he's willing to cover the entire bill for the DSL.   Might give the nursing home's admin a chance to say "yes" to what you guys are doing.

Community Member

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

I hear exactly what you're saying, Leo.  The mainenance man was as explicit as he was nice - he cannot let us run the cable.  He was very pleasant, but uneasy.  The staff at the nursing home are wonderful.  I understand their apprehension about allowing outsiders to come in and mess with their systems, even if we are offering to do it for free.

I don't know how much more powerful this AP is vs. the standard modem or router they're using, but I would like to get this dead zone fixed not only for my grandma, but for anyone else at the end of her hall who might want to connect.  Our plan has always been to make connectivity better for anyone who cound benefit from it at that end of that corridor.

I know the maintenence man was most concerned about liability and insurance.

The specifics are unknown to me, but I know my folks do a lot of above and beyond for the home and for the staff.  My mother's parents have lived there too for a couple of years.  Anyway, it feels like the concern about us getting hurt pulling cable in the attic is the rub.  This is frustrating because in the time it has taken me to read your advice, I could have been almost done with this project.

I spoke to Dad this morning.  We're taking the AP, two long runs of cable, and the antennae mounted on a board and do some tests to see what could be a quick(er) fix.  We have to be careful not to be pushy.

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point from

I hear you.

Still waiting to hear from you about potentially getting your grandma her own DSL service.

I have another option but it could be expensive:  Get her a 3G/4G SIM card for her iPad or get a 3G/4G  wireless modem. 

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point f

That's tough... Epoxy only equipment you own, you don't want to cause any issues with the building. What are you looking at doing to extend the wireless?

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Connecting Grandma at Nursing Home with Spare Access Point f

Just play it safe. Running cable above plenum requires plenum rated cable in case of a fire. I would talk with their network person and play it safe. They can get pissy if they start having issues in their network.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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