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skovacik
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-05-2010

AP and Antenna Range

Does anyone have a tool(s) or documentation that can tell me or help me determine wireless range - distance and speed based on AP or Antenna types? Or know where I can find one? Customers ask these questions all they time. What is the range of this outdoor AP, what is the range of this antenna, etc... ??
Moderator
cjoseph
Posts: 11,024
Registered: ‎03-29-2007

It depends




The general answer is that it depends on a number of factors......

Occasional Contributor II
DennisKline
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎11-23-2009

Re: AP and Antenna Range

cjoseph is correct.. there are a number of variables that have to be taken into account, and no single "cookie cutter" answer.

I will also suggest to you what I have told my clients many times :

.... The limiting factor is not always the access point.. it is many times the client device. I can get a RF signal anywhere you want with the right combination of antenna and transmit power. But RF is a "2-way media". Just because I can get a signal to you, doesn't mean your little device will be able to respond back.

I've proved this many times to my clients by measuring the AP RF transmitted signal at his device location, then going to the AP location and measuring the RF coming back from his device.

The "weak link" is often not the access point.
Aruba Employee
jhoward
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎11-07-2008

Re: AP and Antenna Range

Also, beware of ANY vendor who will give you a list of supported AP-to-client distance charts with their gear, because it shows they have a severe lack of understanding of RF in the client space. As a vendor, we can speak to our AP-to-AP link distances based on testing we do with our own controllers, software, APs, and antennas. But there is too much variability with client performance, client environment, and drivers to make that possible.

A more practical approach, and what is best relayed to your customers (one we do often withing DoD) is to build a standard AP/Antenna deployment, mast it, and walk the environment with the client type being used at the site, to get an understanding of the performance characteristics of that customer's environment, end-devices, etc. This allows us to properly model and set a design to support the customer's needs. Sometimes the clients used are spectacular and perform great, others have severe issues (either with power, driver, roaming, etc) that require drastic design accommodations. This provides the customer with both the best possible outcome with little time investment, as well as a revenue and PS stream for the partners/integrators that allow the partner/integrator become the 'expert' for the customer. The side benefit is, the partner/integrators also gets to warehouse that data for comparative analysis in case future projects pop up with similar client/environment characteristics.
Jerrod Howard
Federal Systems Engineer
Contributor I
webmarin
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎04-29-2008

Re: AP and Antenna Range


Also, beware of ANY vendor who will give you a list of supported AP-to-client distance charts with their gear, because it shows they have a severe lack of understanding of RF in the client space. As a vendor, we can speak to our AP-to-AP link distances based on testing we do with our own controllers, software, APs, and antennas. But there is too much variability with client performance, client environment, and drivers to make that possible.

A more practical approach, and what is best relayed to your customers (one we do often withing DoD) is to build a standard AP/Antenna deployment, mast it, and walk the environment with the client type being used at the site, to get an understanding of the performance characteristics of that customer's environment, end-devices, etc. This allows us to properly model and set a design to support the customer's needs. Sometimes the clients used are spectacular and perform great, others have severe issues (either with power, driver, roaming, etc) that require drastic design accommodations. This provides the customer with both the best possible outcome with little time investment, as well as a revenue and PS stream for the partners/integrators that allow the partner/integrator become the 'expert' for the customer. The side benefit is, the partner/integrators also gets to warehouse that data for comparative analysis in case future projects pop up with similar client/environment characteristics.




Aye. But ye be a pirate. And pirates will take the money and run. (Just looking at your pic is all. Otherwise well stated!)
Aruba Employee
jhoward
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎11-07-2008

Re: AP and Antenna Range

That's Cousin Eddie!
Jerrod Howard
Federal Systems Engineer
Frequent Contributor I
michael
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎09-26-2008

Re: AP and Antenna Range

Use something Netstumbler. Do take note that the conditions include, but not limited to the following:
1. sensitivity of the clients
2. Changing environment factors
3. Types of Antennas on AP used.

We seen Aruba wireless going a few kilometers on Outdoors.

Michael
Aruba Employee
jhoward
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎11-07-2008

Re: AP and Antenna Range

Adding to Michael's list:
* roaming aggressiveness of the client
* output power of the client back to the AP
* power save being enabled or disabled, how PSP polling is done, etc
* the RF noise floor of the environment
* any RF interference (nearby WLAN systems, non-80211 like microwaves, Plantronics 2.4GHz headsets and cordless phone, etc)
* supported data rates when non-Uniform FR between client and AP exists
Jerrod Howard
Federal Systems Engineer
Occasional Contributor II
rgarlin
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎02-22-2011

Re: AP and Antenna Range

I know the range is depending on a number of factors, but are there any general guidelines. I currently have an AP-175 with  ANT-2X2-D805 in the 2.4 ghz range. If I walk in a straight line away from the antenna, I get good reception within about 150 feet. Does anyone think it should be a lot of more or less, or does that seem reasonable? 

 

 

Bob

Occasional Contributor II
rich narel
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎04-19-2011

Re: AP and Antenna Range

I have an AP175 with 2 ANT-2X2-D805 attached, 1 for 2.4 and 1 for 5ghz.  I have been able to get  good signal strength at 200 ft. directly straight away with Min Tx EIRP 18 and Max Tx EIRP 127. I am still tweaking settings as this is my first AP175.  I have an Intel(R)  WiFi Link 5300 AGN card in my DELL.