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New Member

metal bus garage signal problem

I need to set up wireless in a bus garage.  The environment seems to have a lot of RF deflectors that interfere with the signal.  The ceiling is corrugated metal, with Ibeams and metal piping running across it.  The garage doors are some kind of metal. The walls look like cinderblock. There are 3 bus lanes where the busses pull into the garage for service. The mechanics work in the lanes between the buses, and this is where a steady wireless signal is needed. There currently is another brand access point mounted on the ceiling with external antennas pointed down.  (they want  to replace this AP with a Cisco, as the rest of the campus is rolling out Cisco APs.) The ceiling looks higher then 10 feet, but I don't know exactly how high it is.    They tell me the signal from the existing ceiling mounted access point is fine until the busses pull in, and then wireless becomes unusable.  I'm trying to figure out how to design a solution that will remain stable in what becomes a faraday cage when the buses roll in.  I thought of treating it like a warehouse and placing APs at the end of each lane between the buses with directional antennas beaming down the rows.  I'm not sure if these would be wall mounted, or ceiling mounted with directional patch antennas placed between the rows of buses.  What bothers me about this solution is it would require an access point for each mechanic - 4 if one is placed in between each row between the buses.  This seems like too many but I don't know how to direct the signal between each row of buses otherwise.  AP's that will accept multiple remote antennas would seem to be the solution but that type of design doesn't seem to exist for wifi.  (i.e. the distributed antenna systems that are used in some cellular deployments)  What is the best way to provide reliable wireless signal in such an environment? What model AP and antenna should be used, and how should they be mounted?  Please ask questions if you need more information to answer.

6 REPLIES
New Member

metal bus garage signal problem

Please forum experts, any input would be welcome.  How would you set up wireless in this environment?

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: metal bus garage signal problem

That is a tough question to answer without seeing it and it testing it out.

Your best bet if the ceiling isn't that high is to place an ap above each location the mechanics are. I guess this would be between each bus lane. The thing unwound look for is if I can possible drop the AP down using a conduit between the lanes. Since busses can't or shouldn't go between the lanes, there should be some height restrictions where you may drop the ap down from the ceiling to x feet above finished floor. Is 4 AP's too many??? Not if this is the only way to provide good signal to the area the mechanics require.

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-Scott
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New Member

metal bus garage signal problem

Ok, thank you for confirming the number of ap's needed.  I am anticipating some pushback on the expense of multiple ap's to support only 4 users (basically an ap for each one) so I needed to be sure it was justified.

If the ap's are suspended on conduit between the lanes, then does the model ap matter?  (i.e. 2602e vs 2602i).  The company has several 2602i's designated as spares that they are looking to use for this and does not want to buy additional equipment.

What would be the best way to test this before deploying?  I have a couple of custom built wooden stands that the ap's could be mounted on between the lanes, I just need to figure out how to provide network and power for the temporary

mounts that wouldn't be driven over.  I don't think a traditional survey, which would be measuring only a single point in time in a changing environment would be a good indicator.  Am I on the right track with the temporary mount to test before deploying idea?

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: metal bus garage signal problem

You can use a 2602i... I would configure the ap as autonomous and check the signal. Your laptop can also associate to the AP without network connection and that might be a way for you to test. What you want to make sure of is the signal and the SNR. If you can drop the AP down, that means you can tweak the TX power lower, disable the lower data rates to prevent too much overlap and RF noise due to all the metal.

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-Scott
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New Member

metal bus garage signal problem

Ok, thanks for the suggestions.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: metal bus garage signal problem

No problem. Hopefully it works out.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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