6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 5, 2013 8:52 AM by daniel.blackmon

    AP Signal penetration

    tomlee New Member

      I have a BSC using AP's for an RV park.  Before installing the system we went out an tested signal strength throughout the park.  I was able to get two bars at the furthest point in the park.  Once the RV's arrived for spring we found out that the signal does not penetrate the RV shells and consequently we lose all service in the RV's.  I have added a wireless extender (Hawking H-Gain) and now get five bars where I used to get two but they are saying they still cannot receive a signal in the RV.  These RV's are constructed of aluminum or fiberglass (standard RV construction).  I am using the 1840 with the six antennas.  Is there a solution to this problem or do I give them their money back

        • Re: AP Signal penetration
          jayh Hall_of_Fame

          Metal-clad RVs are essentially shielded boxes with a few holes for windows.  For decent performance you'll need to redo your site survey under the conditions of actual use, with the park populated with RVs (and the microwave ovens therein spewing noise at 2.4GHz but that's another story...)

           

          I suspect you'll need a lot more APs, probably at closer proximity to the RVs and about window height.

           

          Trees in the park can also be significant attenuators and this varies by season.  Wet leaves about 1 1/4 inch long are very efficient at soaking up wi-fi signals. 

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          • Re: AP Signal penetration
            jayh Hall_of_Fame

            Note that the antenna jacks are not all the same.  Three are for 2.4 GHz antennas and three for 5 GHz antennas.  In your situation consider putting each AP in the middle of a cluster of RVs with three each 120-degree sector antennas for each band.

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              • Re: AP Signal penetration
                tomlee New Member

                Thanks for your replies.  Due to the size of the park I cannot place the AP’s in the center of the park and have coverage on the outer edge.  By one of the AP’s I installed a Hawking wireless extender and went from two bars to five.  I had one guest come out of his RV and thank us for getting him service.  Thought we had it fixed but the next day the RV guest next to him could not get a signal.  There is a variety of RV’s in this place from aluminum to fiberglass.  Also pick up a lot of wireless from the RV’s themselves but any conflicts should be taken care of through the BSC and channel allocation.  If I have to place AP’s near the RV’s to get them service this is not going to be a cost effective solution

                  • Re: AP Signal penetration
                    daniel.blackmon Employee

                    jayh

                    Thanks! That is some really helpful advice.

                     

                    tomlee

                    I think what jayh was suggesting is that you distribute AP's across the park and place them near clusters of RV's. This way 3-4 RV's are being serviced by a single AP as opposed to a cluster of AP's in a single location servicing the entire park. If you could share the layout with us bit then we could provide some better advice.

                     

                    One thing to keep in mind when using high gain antennas is that high gain comes at a sacrifice of wide coverage. Antennas produce stronger signals by focusing that signal into a narrow path. That would explain why using the Hawking Extender causes one client to receive really good signal quality, but another client 6 meters to the right has no signal.

                     

                    Also, you have a dynamic RF environment because each RV with a wireless router is not going to be on the same channel. So the access points must be configured to continuously scan the environment. On the BSC platform, you can set the Dynamic RF mode to continuous, but you also must have access points in dual mode (or some that stay in sensor mode) in order to scan the environment. You should check the AP modes you are using as well as the dynamic RF settings by going to Wireless> Service.

                    • Re: AP Signal penetration
                      jayh Hall_of_Fame

                      tomlee wrote:

                       

                      Thanks for your replies.  Due to the size of the park I cannot place the AP’s in the center of the park and have coverage on the outer edge.  By one of the AP’s I installed a Hawking wireless extender and went from two bars to five.  I had one guest come out of his RV and thank us for getting him service.  Thought we had it fixed but the next day the RV guest next to him could not get a signal.  There is a variety of RV’s in this place from aluminum to fiberglass.  Also pick up a lot of wireless from the RV’s themselves but any conflicts should be taken care of through the BSC and channel allocation.  If I have to place AP’s near the RV’s to get them service this is not going to be a cost effective solution

                      If this is a camping-style situation and not a permanent residential park, you might be able to divide and conquer.  Put an AP near a cluster of RVs and rent out those spaces as wi-fi equipped, perhaps at a premium rate.  As the service becomes more popular, add another AP near another cluster, etc.  Maybe another AP near a picnic area, etc.

                       

                      As Charlie states, gain antennas work by concentrating the signal in the desired direction to the detriment of undesired directions.  Keep this in mind in your design.  That's why I suggested 120-degree sector antennas with the AP in the middle for servicing a cluster from its center.  High-gain omnidirectional antennas concentrate the signal in the vertical direction, so they have to be mounted exactly plumb on flat terrain for good coverage and probably won't work for you. A single nearby RV will block a wide wedge outward from the antenna.

                       

                      Sector antennas in each cluster slightly above the rooftops of the RVs with some downtilt will likely be optimum.  Saturate the signal locally and minimize horizontal spread beyond the desired coverage area in preparation for the next cluster.

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                  • Re: AP Signal penetration
                    daniel.blackmon Employee

                    I went ahead and flagged this post as “Assumed Answered.”  If any of the responses on this thread assisted you, please mark them as either Correct or Helpful answers with the applicable buttons.  This will make them visible and help other members of the community find solutions more easily as well as award points to the users that helped you.  If you still need assistance, I would be more than happy to continue working with you on this - just let me know in a reply.