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T1 Router connection to remote network - Wireless Solution please?

Can someone please provide me with advice on how to setup a network across multiple buildings using wireless technology. We are a non-profit organization that deals with rehabilitating your most unwanted troubled teens. Our campus consists of multiple "cottages" and little office buildings. We have a T1 connection to the internet that is housed out our main office building. We would like to connect the training facility which is 100 ft away from the office building that houses our Cisco T1 Router without having to lay cable. The training facility is already network via a network hub. The main office building is also networked via a Cisco 24 port switch - is there a way we can connect the two networks without using cable? We were looking into the new 802.11a wireless technology to bridge the two networks together.

Please provide your comments and suggestions.

Thank you.

4 REPLIES
New Member

Re: T1 Router connection to remote network - Wireless Solution p

I have done what you wanted many times. I run connections all over town. My longest connection is soon to be from the top of the tallest building in town, 635 ft, to the top of a tower (300 ft) across town. This connection will be over 15 miles. I also provide the internet connection for the county. They have 2 radios to give them up to 20Mbits of bandwidth when they need to burst that high.

Anyway, what you want to do is simple. Use a BR-352 with 128 bit WEP. Although Cisco equipment is secure, the Bridge mode (versus the Access point mode) allows for one more level of security (the bridges run under a Cisco protocol and the hackers running around with ‘Netstumbler’ typically do not have a $1500 bridge to do their ‘war driving’). If you want to ability to connect with laptops (while you roam in the general area) and desktops, you will need to put your bridge in access point mode (note that this is still secure).

Since your application is building to building, you will probably need 50-150 feet of cable (unless you put the radio in a weather protected box next to the antenna). You can kill your system if you do not do this right. You want your radio as close to the antenna as possible. You need to use LMR-400 for short runs or LMR-600 for longer runs (I use LMR-600 or large cable for all of my runs, and stopped using LMR-400 all together). The LMR-XXX waveguide has loss. You MUST MINIMIZE loss. You can add an amplifier if the situation dictates, but you must still minimize loss. You want to use directional antennas when possible. You want the highest gain antennas you can find (the more directional, the more gain… i.e. a 6 degree beam width grid antenna has more gain then a 30 degree beam width yagi). I do not use Cisco antennas. The selection is not good.

Basic configuration:

Radio BR-352 Bridge (Always get and use 128 bit WEP encryption)

to

Adapter to jumper from Cisco RTNC (Reverse TNC) connector to a standard N-Type connector

To

Lightning arrestor

To

LMR-600 waveguide

To

Antenna

Add an amplifier if necessary

Special Tools and Parts:

LMR-600 crimping tool

LMR-600 N-male ends

Waterproofing (you get water in your cable and you might as well throw it away… and it is tough to trouble shoot too)

Grounding Kit for LMR-600 (you ground your cable just before it enters the building

Cat-5e

Other Misc tools and supplies

If you have any questions, please fell free to email me.

Mike Wrobel

Bridges Communications, L.L.C.

mikewrobel@bridgescommunications.net

New Member

Re: T1 Router connection to remote network - Wireless Solution p

Buy a 352E2R-A-K9 and a good patch antenna. Put it in the office - in a window facing the training building if you can - and go right outside to measure dignal strength (you'll need a 350 card).

If it's not off the charts you are losing a lot of strength at the window (reflective coating), so you'll need to mount the antenna on the outside of the wall. LMR400 will work fine - this is a very short run.

If the signal strength in the training building is adequate, you're done. If not, use a second 352E2R-A-K9 in repeater mode with an indoor antenna a another patch on the outside - connected by a splitter, not to both RP-TNC connectors.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Matthew Wheeler

Blue Modal

New Member

Re: T1 Router connection to remote network - Wireless Solution p

Not to get into a technical battle, but a couple of clarifications:

1. Access Points can repeat through access points, but you cannot use them as bridges! I got burned by this on my first project. I have 2 AP-342s that I tried to do this with.

2. You can use PCI cards, PCMCIA cards and Work Group Bridges (not really a bridge... a bad name by Cisco) to connect with an Access Point. You can use a Access Point to repeat to another Access Point. You cannot bridge between Access Points.

3. I beleive there is a desire to expand this network in the future. The Access Point solution, assuming you get it working with the correct PCI/PCMCIA/WGB connections will be very limiting.

4. By the way, if you are going to try this with an Access Point, look into the AP1200 series. It costs a little more per Access Point, but has an upgrade path to 802.11a and 802.11g.

Mike Wrobel

Bridges Communications, LLC

mikewrobel@bridgescommunications.net

New Member

Re: T1 Router connection to remote network - Wireless Solution p

I think you missed the point. He may not need a bridge.

Using an AP configured as a repeater will allow them to place an AP in the remote building that acts like it is in the office building (except for the duplexing hit).

Matthew Wheeler

Blue Modal

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