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Wireless AP protective cage

by Steven Haninger / March 30, 2008 9:02 PM PDT

I'm working as a volunteer with a small school to install wireless hardware. We'll be mounting the APs in hallways on fairly high walls. This is a K-8 school and these devices will be out of jumping range but we are concerned about kids being curious about anything with blinking lights and tossing objects at them. Of course kids would never do that. Happy I've been trying to search for shields or cages that would offer protection and be transparent to the signal so I presume metal screens are out. I'm wondering if such shields are already available of if anyone here has seen or used them. Maybe this isn't a worry but it might be better to be safe than sorry. So far my internet search has been unsuccessful but perhaps my key words have been wrong. I've also been looking for additional mounting hardware for the relay rack only to find that what I want are called "cage nuts". Who's supposed to know that sort of stuff?? Happy

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Thanks...and we were trying to be creative
by Steven Haninger / March 31, 2008 12:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's what we used.

in finding some sort of every day item that wouldn't look too out of place. My wife, who teaches at the school, has gone to her "tech" community to see what their thoughts were or if it's even a real concern at all. Most have come back and told her to put them above a drop ceiling. The top floor doesn't have such a ceiling but the bottom floor does. I've crawled through that area many times pulling cable and doing some electrical wiring. There's just too much metal up there...electrical, plumbing, and HVAC think that signal loss wouldn't happen. Placing the APs in the hallway isn't ideal but we can't put one in every classroom. The signal will need to pass through 1 cinder block wall. I've tested using an AP in the computer lab and passing the signal across the hall through 2 walls and it works ok. I can get 100+ feet from the AP in a direction diagonal from it and still connect but I'm thinking metal duct and steel joists in the ceiling would reek havoc with the signals. I'd hide them if I could. Maybe some nice big teak wood salad bowls? Happy

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Think plastic.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2008 12:53 AM PDT

Wood absorbs the RF signal.

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Just found the right word
by Steven Haninger / March 31, 2008 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Think plastic.

It's "enclosure" and have found several sites and articles on using wireless AP enclosures. That's the good news. The bad news is the cost of these guys...OUCH! The APs we have are 3Com 7760s and I've been messing around with them connected to a 3Com PoE switch this past weekend and working with some of the school laptops to see how well they get along. So far, so good. These devices might fit into 4" PVC drain pipe just fine. Ugly, but might work. Thanks for the tip about wood. I'll ask the guy at Lowes how RF transparent his sewer piping is. Happy

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ABS (the black stuff)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2008 1:29 AM PDT

Is what we used for an outdoor housing. The pricing was cheap just like that letter tray. Why would I pay for more?

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Not a bad solution at all
by Steven Haninger / March 31, 2008 8:18 AM PDT
In reply to: ABS (the black stuff)

Will check into it. Thanks.

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