Need Recommendation on Campground Wireless

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FourQuarters, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. FourQuarters

    FourQuarters Addicted to LI Member

    work for a retreat center/campground and need experienced highly technical recommendations about Linksys products to purchase to set up a campground wireless network.

    I'd like to keep the cost down and use standard consumer grade Linksys routers with some homebrew antennas. The coverage area is about 500' in diameter with moderate elevation changes with a 2000 ft shot to connect the internet source with the planned end-user broadcast area.
    A text diagram:
    .-OU-----------2000ft-----------UO| -DSL in
    O is omnidirectional, U is unidirectional

    The setup and my ideas so far:
    Parts - 2 high power G routers, 1 pair HGA7x antennas, 2 tin cantennas, pigtails
    DSL 5mbps source is connected to wireless router with outside mounted antennas. One will serve the area around the router (replace with one of the HGA's), the other will be connected to a 'cantenna' waveguide for unidirectional shot into the campground. Router needs to support DD-WRT internal software for paid access control. Needs removable antennas. Needs good power output (how much, please tell me). Needs to work well with all the bandwidth usage on one antenna.
    Signal is beamed 2000ft LOS to 2nd router thru quite a bit of trees; a tree-less LOS will be attempted if I can scope it out.
    In-camp location will be similar - router with cantenna for receiving/sending to source, and omni HGA. An idea is to outfit it with a recently disconnected satellite-dish + cantenna combo for better signal, but unsure if this would be better on the camp-end or the source-end. This router will have DHCP off and just serve what it gets from the source. It needs to have the best signal RECEPTION possible to pick up weak laptops spread around, but probably not farther than 500'. It could be N-capable but unsure how many end-user laptops are out there that could take advantage of it. And, its got to be so awesome in its throughput to handle 20ish laptops talking to it on one antenna and throughputting that data in/out the other antenna.
    An active repeater is another possible addition to help spread signal to low parts of the camp.
    Both routers need to handle high humidity but not like Florida humidity, this is Allegheny mountains. So far in the specs I've seen most can handle 90-95% which is great, but some were less.

    My choices for routers from what I've read of them look like either the WRT54GL, WRT150N, WRT3xx series. Ive looked at the WAP54GPE exterior AP, and its nice but expensive and doesn't have some control features I'd need- easier to get a much cheaper unit kept in a shed and mount my own antennas. Also, a AP rather than a router might be right for the in-camp box, unless it handles traffic worse.

    Again I'm trying to do this with Linksys consumer equipment to stay simple since I'm not trying to cover square miles - just the point-to-point distance shot issue, but if there is a professional router that handles exactly what I need, I'd like to know about it. (Found some nice boxes from EnGenius)

    With what I've described, which routers/AP would I want? Will the homebrew directional distance span work?
    Thank you very much!
  2. FourQuarters

    FourQuarters Addicted to LI Member

    Bump for help
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