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Wireless Bridges

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,563
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Wireless Bridges

Hi
We have a Church with a network (wired and wireless), and a Church Hall which is about 150m away (line of site) separated by a grave yard and a playing field.  I want to extend the network into the Hall so we can access the filestore in there, and I'm playing with streaming live video between events happening in each building at certain times (we do a lot of children's work in the hall during the morning service, as at times it is good to show what's happening!).  I was thinking about a couple of wireless AP's with high gain antenna externally mounted on the buildings, with the church end connected into the network and the Hall end connected to another wireless AP and a couple of wired network points around the building.
Can anyone recommend any hardware to help me build this solution?  Due to the video streaming side of things I'd expect we'd need as fast a link as possible.  We should be able to get a clear line of sight between the antenna's if needed, though that may need a bit of tree prunning, but I don't know for sure without getting up to the top of Church to see if I can see if we're higher than the trees!
Thanks
Phil
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Cue Mr Wild, I believe - I believe this sort of thing is something that he's tinkered with before Smiley
B.
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Yes, I've played with some quite interesting stuff over the years, although a lot of your choice depends very much on your requirements and availability of things like power.
There are a few decent solutions on the market, but my personal favorite is the WAR boards running Star-OS. The problem with them now is that their new shipping costs and the dollar being what it is makes these less good value, although you might find better pricing from one of their resellers. I've successfully run a 10KM link (very line of site - I live on a big hill) at 11Mbps on standard 802.11b using two of those units and some low end external sector antennas. For your application mind you this software is probably a bit overkill.
For Antennas, you can try Solwise of RFTechnics - I've had kit from both and it's been fine.
That said, you might find the best value for all the above on Ebay.
Have fun,
Ian
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,563
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Thanks Ian.  I'll read up on those.
Phil
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,334
Thanks: 478
Fixes: 43
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Have you had a look at this guide http://www.solwiseforum.co.uk/downloads/files/Linking-Buildings-using-WirelessV.pdf on the Solwise site.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

150m with line of sight, should be do'able with standard gear and a couple of cantenna; http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html
where in the world are you, I have a couple of spare `SMA` tins!
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,563
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Just north of Liverpool.  You're down London way aren't you?
Phil
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Wireless Bridges

Quote from: pjmarsh
Hi -   I was thinking about a couple of wireless AP's with high gain antenna externally mounted on the buildings, with the church end connected into the network and the Hall end connected to another wireless AP and a couple of wired network points around the building.
Thanks
Phil

I'd watch out for planning permission, both council and church authorities - unless you can hide it in the tower and semi hidden behind one of the opening
Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Quote from: pjmarsh
You're down London way aren't you?
Midlands.
I am sure that if there is a playgroup in the church hall you can get some tins. Other wise slimfast tins are another good source.
I have not done this `in the wild` as you are hopping, but it is interesting. What I have done is fitted a USB dongle into a SMA tin, and I could easily pick up networks over 150m away. But as their were not mine I could not check speeds or connection reliability.

Keep us posted.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,563
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Yep, we've got plenty of experience of faculties!
Thanks
Phil
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,563
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

Thanks Jonathan.  I've printed what you linked to and will have a read on the train.
Phil
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

This looks good on the Solwise site;
http://www.solwise.co.uk/wireless-outdoor-bridging-noc-3220.htm
I have no experience of the manufacture, but the cost at around £200 for the link is very good, and it looks like it includes very thing you need.
Unless you where planning on using second hand equipment then you would lucky to do it any cheaper with homemade antenna and waterproofing.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,563
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

I found that earlier.  It's cheaper than I was expecting as well.  If I'm going to do this, I'll be doing it with new stuff. 
Phil
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Wireless Bridges

According to my reading of this document; http://www.solwise.co.uk/los.htm the 9db antenna's should suffice.