Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage

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Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage

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Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage
Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage
2023-09-26 22:37:43 - last edited 2023-09-27 00:47:58

We're getting poor signal in our parking lots. 

 

Cradlepoint W2005 w/ 5g sim (Verizon Business 120Mb/down) connected via ethernet/ POE to TP-Link EAP 610 AX1800 Dual Band Outdoor Access point (Must be Waterproof). Camera Units are using a dual band wifi MIMO ext antenna

 

Context:

 

We have cameras on our 10 fleet vehicles and need to upload the images each day (50gb/ truck). We currently have two locations but will be expanding soon, we expect at least 15 locations by 06/2024. Each new lot will have some fluctuation regarding which cell providers are best for the Cradlepoint/ whether there is wifi already existing in the lot.

 

Our Cradlepoint W2005 is installed on a metal light pole (or wooden telephone type utility pole at 15’ elevation) and it is connected to the access point (25’ elevation) via POE. This POE connection is made in a waterproof stainless steel enclosure (6’ elevation) mounted on the pole, the cords go in with gland nuts along the bottom of the box. With our current setup we experience signal dropouts on pretty much 180 degrees of the backside of the pole. This outdoor environment can be challenging due to the presence of trees and tall vehicles. 

 

Considerations: 

 

  • Internet Provider: Ensure a reliable and sufficient internet connection is in place to support the desired upload speed.

 

  • Hardware Selection: Choose the most suitable hardware, considering factors such as signal strength, range, and reliability. Also number of access points, considering two total AP/ lot.

 

  • Access Point Height: Position the access point at a right height to minimize interference from obstacles like trees and vehicles.

 

  • Environmental Factors: Address potential obstructions such as trees, trucks, and buildings that could interfere with the WiFi signal. We CANNOT adjust environmental factors, we have to operate around them.

 

  • Frequency Channel: Whether 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels based on the specific conditions and requirements of the area. We imagine 2.4 GHz is optimal because of the long range.

 

@d0ugmac1  any thoughts?

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Re:Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage
2023-09-27 02:43:04

 Hi, @GBBCD 

According to your description, due to the directional antenna equipped on the EAP610, it's possible to have a poor signal on the back side of the EAP device. Given the problem of signal dropouts, installing an additional access point could improve signal coverage. Placing a second AP on the opposite of the pole can mitigate the issues on the backside.

As your fleet size will increase, ensuring that your network can handle the increased load is important, you can utilize load balancing features to distribute network traffic effectively across multiple servers of APs.If your fleet is dispersed over a large area, higher placement may help in extending the range of the signal. Employing a mesh network with multiple APs will also help you balance the network in the future.

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Re:Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage
2023-09-27 03:28:45

  @GBBCD 

 

First off, that's a helluva cellular modem you have there!  

 

Let's baseline a few things so we aren't chasing them later:

 

Identified Issue(s)

- poor wifi coverage in the shadow area of the pole

 

Assumptions

- we assume that you get great speeds direct on the ethernet ports of the W2005's

- we assume that you get passable speeds/connectivity on the AP side of the pole at the expected distances (as the AP is only 1G and the modem has 2.5G ethernet)

- we assume you have disabled the wifi integrated into the W2005 so it's not fighting the nearby AP in the 2.4G band

- we assume a single access point per cellular modem/site, if not, how many, how are they connected, rough distances?

 

Considerations

- have you analyzed the local wifi situation on both the 2.4 and 5.8 bands?  How congested are things?  If multiple APs/congestion have you done your 1-6-11 plan for 2.4G?

- the above post suggestion is a good one, you have two ports on the cellular modem, which could feed back-back EAP610's.  If you tried this, do your coverage problems go away? (not the cheapest long term solution I know!)

 

Suggestions

- ensure the radio devices are installed significantly above the highest vehicle that will be using the parking lots, trailers can be movable RF shields, you want to minimize this

- unlike the EAP225-outdoor, the EAP610 uses 'PCB' antennas, which when pole mounted are literally directly behind 10" of wood, or worse 100% reflected by a metal pole

- if possible a 'stand-off' mount may greatly alleviate the pole mount problem, a bracket holding the EAP ~2' off one side of the pole may do wonders

- try a $90 EAP225-outdoor with the dipoles at 45' and see if that makes a significant difference.

 

Thoughts 

- yes 2.4G will propagate farther than 5.8G, especially through wood/metal/concrete, but it's not invincible

- 2.4G also suffer from limited non-overlapping channels, and a wide proliferation of 2.4G enabled things (dehumidifiers, washers, toasters?!), and the hateful 'Auto Channel' selection which enables 1 device to stomp on multiple non-overlapping channels (those be 1, 6 and 11 in NA) and change it's 'channel attack' regularly.

- the above is my way of saying 5.8G is more likely to find a less noisy space in which to operate cleanly and reliably

- if you use EAP610 to mesh to another EAP, you should block user access on the 5.8G radio of the wired node, or suffer worse performance issues with users on meshed nodes.

 

That's some initial stuff to chew on.  If you can share a little more of a 'typical' local architecture for a single parking lot, including aerial shots etc that might be useful.  If sensitive, there are other ways to share.

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Re:Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage
2023-09-28 15:38:58

  @d0ugmac1 

 

Thank you so much for all your detailed feedbacks! These are precious knowledge!

 

I still have few questions highlighted below in blue light.

 

Assumptions

 

- we assume that you get great speeds direct on the ethernet ports of the W2005's We will ran a speed test online. What minimum speed should we get? Additional remark, our W2005 is mounted and powered by a LED light pole at night. Is this set-up appropriate? 

 

- we assume that you get passable speeds/connectivity on the AP side of the pole at the expected distances (as the AP is only 1G and the modem has 2.5G ethernet) It seems like yes, we are getting around 120Mb/s download speed at 3ft around the pole and then around 15Mb/s download speed at 100ft (on AP side). Could you confirm if this is a good connectivity? As a reminder our main requirement is a minimum upload speed at 5Mb/s covering the whole fleet area.

 

- we assume you have disabled the wifi integrated into the W2005 so it's not fighting the nearby AP in the 2.4G band This is a great remark. How can we disable the wifi integrated into the W2005? Is the wifi integrated into the W2005 as to be disabled every time a AP is connected to it?

 

- we assume a single access point per cellular modem/site, if not, how many, how are they connected, rough distances? Location 1: the Cradlepoint W2005 (~15’) mounted on a metal LED light pole with TP EAP 610 at the top of the pole (~25’). Location 2 : Single access point mounted on a wide wood pole (~15’). Which distance between the cladlepoint and the AP's do you recommand? 

 

Question: the actual W2005 is mounted on a metal pole that has a LED lighting at the top (12ft separate them). I have seen on your website an outdoor installation video recommending to avoid installing the router close to LED lighting (Electromagnetic field device). Is that could be an issue for later?

 

Considerations

 

- have you analyzed the local wifi situation on both the 2.4 and 5.8 bands? How congested are things?  If multiple APs/congestion have you done your 1-6-11 plan for 2.4G? What do you mean by "congestion"? We have run Wifi testing on 2.4Ghz. Result: good upstream and downstream signals in the EAP 610 direction / bad signal in the back direction. How to do the 1-6-11 plan for 2.4Ghz?

 

- the above post suggestion is a good one, you have two ports on the cellular modem, which could feed back-back EAP610's.  If you tried this, do your coverage problems go away? (not the cheapest long term solution I know!) What means "feed back-back EAP610’s" and what would be the purpose?

 

Suggestions

 

- ensure the radio devices are installed significantly above the highest vehicle that will be using the parking lots, trailers can be movable RF shields, you want to minimize this That's a very good point. Is there a way to measure the RF shields?

 

- unlike the EAP225-outdoor, the EAP610 uses 'PCB' antennas, which when pole mounted are literally directly behind 10" of wood, or worse 100% reflected by a metal pole What are the differences between the EAP225-outdoor and the EAP610-outdoor?

 

Thoughts 

 

- if you use EAP610 to mesh to another EAP, you should block user access on the 5.8G radio of the wired node, or suffer worse performance issues with users on meshed nodes Is is possible to mesh the EAP610-outdoor to the EAP225-outdoor? Do they keep a great connectivity or is it best to have the same AP's connected as mesh? How to block user access on the 5.8G?

 

Thanks a lot for your technical support.

We definitely appreciate it!

Best,

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Re:Thoughts on Setup/ Getting Best Coverage
2023-09-28 16:47:10

- we assume that you get great speeds direct on the ethernet ports of the W2005's We will ran a speed test online. What minimum speed should we get?  You should get the same or better as you would doing a similar speedtest from a mobile phone near the base of the pole. Additional remark, our W2005 is mounted and powered by a LED light pole at night. Is this set-up appropriate? I understand the convenient access to power, but I am more concerned about the metallic nature of the pole and the proximity of the mounted AP to it.

 

- we assume that you get passable speeds/connectivity on the AP side of the pole at the expected distances (as the AP is only 1G and the modem has 2.5G ethernet) It seems like yes, we are getting around 120Mb/s download speed at 3ft around the pole and then around 15Mb/s download speed at 100ft (on AP side). Could you confirm if this is a good connectivity? As a reminder our main requirement is a minimum upload speed at 5Mb/s covering the whole fleet area. Are you testing at 5.8G or 2.4G.  At 5.8G in a pristine radio environment (countryside) I can get 90-100M at ~100' but more like 20-40M on 2.4G.

 

- we assume you have disabled the wifi integrated into the W2005 so it's not fighting the nearby AP in the 2.4G band This is a great remark. How can we disable the wifi integrated into the W2005? Is the wifi integrated into the W2005 as to be disabled every time a AP is connected to it?  I'll look at the userguide and report back.

 

- we assume a single access point per cellular modem/site, if not, how many, how are they connected, rough distances? Location 1: the Cradlepoint W2005 (~15’) mounted on a metal LED light pole with TP EAP 610 at the top of the pole (~25’). Location 2 : Single access point mounted on a wide wood pole (~15’). Which distance between the cladlepoint and the AP's do you recommand? I would recommend that the AP have Line of Sight (LOS) between them, ie one AP should not have a pole between it and the other AP.  The offset mount idea may fix this for you.

 

Question: the actual W2005 is mounted on a metal pole that has a LED lighting at the top (12ft separate them). I have seen on your website an outdoor installation video recommending to avoid installing the router close to LED lighting (Electromagnetic field device). Is that could be an issue for later?  Yes.  It is hard to characterize what LED lighting drivers emit RF-wise, but that may be a tradeoff on power cost vs performance.

 

Considerations

 

- have you analyzed the local wifi situation on both the 2.4 and 5.8 bands? How congested are things?  If multiple APs/congestion have you done your 1-6-11 plan for 2.4G? What do you mean by "congestion"? We have run Wifi testing on 2.4Ghz. Result: good upstream and downstream signals in the EAP 610 direction / bad signal in the back direction. How to do the 1-6-11 plan for 2.4Ghz?  I often use an Android app called 'Wifi Analyser' by olgor com, but lately the advertising has become really annoying.  It will show you which channels are used by which SSIDs (wifi network names)

 

- the above post suggestion is a good one, you have two ports on the cellular modem, which could feed back-back EAP610's.  If you tried this, do your coverage problems go away? (not the cheapest long term solution I know!) What means "feed back-back EAP610’s" and what would be the purpose? For instance you mount 2 EAP610's on the same post, 180' apart from each other and feed both directly from the modem.

 

Suggestions

 

- ensure the radio devices are installed significantly above the highest vehicle that will be using the parking lots, trailers can be movable RF shields, you want to minimize this That's a very good point. Is there a way to measure the RF shields?  I think this was lost in translation.  I simply meant that a large truck trailer moving near an AP can cause the signal to be largely reflected in a different direction, leaving a temporary 'RF Shadow' in its place.

 

- unlike the EAP225-outdoor, the EAP610 uses 'PCB' antennas, which when pole mounted are literally directly behind 10" of wood, or worse 100% reflected by a metal pole What are the differences between the EAP225-outdoor and the EAP610-outdoor?  The 225 is the older model, Wifi5 (AC) instead of Wifi6 (AX), it will still provide more performance than you need for your application.

 

Thoughts 

 

- if you use EAP610 to mesh to another EAP, you should block user access on the 5.8G radio of the wired node, or suffer worse performance issues with users on meshed nodes Is is possible to mesh the EAP610-outdoor to the EAP225-outdoor? Do they keep a great connectivity or is it best to have the same AP's connected as mesh? How to block user access on the 5.8G? You can intermesh these two models of APs.

 

Thanks a lot for your technical support.

We definitely appreciate it!

Best,

  @RVCD 

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