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Community Member

Right place to ask about setting up a wireless network in a Marina?

Not quite sure if this is the right place to ask, but I've been recently contacted by a private club that wants to set up a wireless network in their marina, which is mostly sailboats. While I've had success with wireless setups in an office environment, this is a salt water environment, high humidity, and seems rather hostile for access points to be spaced around on the docks.

Also I'm not sure what effect the aluminum/carbon fiber masts and fiber glass hulls will have at the 2.4ghz frequency.

Last question would be if there are specific Cisco wireless access points that are designed for these more "rugged" environments.

5 REPLIES
Community Member

Re: Right place to ask about setting up a wireless network in a

Are they trying to provide coverage for users on the boats themselves or just for the docks? If it is for the boat owners, will they be below in the hull when trying to obtain a signal? In other words, will they be below water level?

If so, you will have many issues, mostly scattering of the signal from the AP. I would recommend a site survey of some sort.

Salt water environments are usually not very friendly to any types of metal. You may want to think about a water tight NEMA enclosure to put the AP's in and only the antenna's on the outside. I have done installations around water several times and have had various outcomes. Contact me if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.

Community Member

Re: Right place to ask about setting up a wireless network in a

Hello,

Jay, I have read your last request and it seem very particular but this is also a very interesting solution. I have know that Cisco AP 350 have a special enclosure for outside solution. Your request is interesting I wondering if your customer wants to offers internet access to boat owner ? Keep me in touch of your latest development.

Pat

Community Member

Re: Right place to ask about setting up a wireless network in a

You won't pass any signal through metal OR water at 2.4GHz. The individual masts are small. but looking down a row of 100 will block visible line of sight.

Quick advice:

- Mount the AP antennas higher than the masts if possible, with appropriately calculated downtilt.

- Consider circular-polarized antennas to defeat reflection problems

- If you think they need access below decks, require an AP configured as a repeater mounted to the boat, and use a bi-directional patch to keep the repeater from overwhelming the next berth

- Custom enclosures can protect the AP and give you a place for a sticker with your logo, Customer Service number, etc. neato.

Matthew Wheeler

Chief Wireless Architect

www.BlueModal.com

Community Member

Re: Right place to ask about setting up a wireless network in a

But also remember that mounting a high gain antenna too high can cause signal loss at certain point farthest and closest to the antenna itself. Higher gain antennas actually flatten the sphere like signal causing it to reach longer distances. Masts on sailboats can be as high as 25ft. and an antenna higher than 25ft. can sometimes defeat the purpose of a high gain antenna's reach.

Strategic placement of AP's and antenna's could better serve the logistical challenges of a marina. Follow Matthews advise on "appropriately calculated downtilt" if you do mount above the mast level.

David Beaver

Lead Wireless Consultant

www.us.didata.com

Community Member

Re: Right place to ask about setting up a wireless network in a

I installed a wireless network in a harbor . Its purpose is to provide coverage to handhelds during the loading and unloading of ships. We placed the AP's inside water tight boxes and its been working for well since last December.

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