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Outdoor Wireless Antenna Selection


Userlevel 2
We're starting to think about extending our Wireless Network outdoors. We have 11 buildings across our campus and a few areas where students congregate. The idea of using an omni-directional antenna doesn't appeal to me because I don't want any interference getting to our indoor antennae. The A/P's we're going to use are the 3620 models (bridged at the controller). I've got my eye on the L-COM HG2458-14DP-3NF. Any other ideas?

8 replies

Userlevel 2
Hi Rich. This is a fantastic question that I am sure folks from our community would like to give some thoughts. We have many customers that have deployed wireless outside so hopefully they will jump in and give you some guidance.
Userlevel 1
Rich, Great to see some outdoor WiFi projects going on. I have done a few similar installs of using a semi-directional antennas to in a point-to-multipoint deployment to cover outdoor congregation areas. In fact, most stadium deployments use lots of these to get the density they need. If I may I would giver a couple recommendations for outdoor installs. keep the AP and antenna as close together as possible to prevent signal loss. I would strongly recommend using something like the 3660 or 3765/3767 for mounting outdoors. The 3620's are meant for indoor use. You could use LMR RF cable to mount the AP indoors and antenna outdoors. FYI LMR cable is $$$. I'll look up the antenna I used and post it here. Love to hear about you install it sound interesting.
Userlevel 2
Jon, thanks for the info! Since we have some 3620's sitting on the shelf here, my thinking was just what you said: Mount them indoors and run LMR400 to them. I definitely want to hear about different options for antennae. I'm aware of the db loss for long antenna extensions and I'll do my best to avoid anything over 25 feet.
Userlevel 1
LMR400 has only about 1/2 dB loss per 10 feet so you will ok. The antenna I used is Enterays part number WS-AO-DT05120. This is for the 3660/3765/3767 and has n-type connectors. This this only provide 5dBi of gain. So it is intended to be used for a wider coverage area It sounds like you are attempting to cover a bigger area. Good luck with your install! On last thing, make sure you shrink wrap any exposed connectors. Moisture can creep in over time and corrode or break those connectors. Here is a photo of the coverage area.

Hi Jon - Thanks very much for the input (and the pic!).
I've done the same thing that Jon has - mount the AP inside with cable and antenna mounted outside. I've had no problems with the config, but do make sure you've sealed the connectors and penetrations well. My main installation is in a public park, so I'm also trying to "shape" the RF from my AP's to avoid giving free Wi-Fi to neighbors. LCOM's antennas have worked well. I'm also getting ready to use a couple dual-band Omni's from Mobile Mark. They seem to be a bit shorter than the equivalent LCOM. The other gotcha to be careful with is making sure you've got the right M/F ends on cables and antenna, especially if you're getting parts from different vendors. There's a lot of variety and one wrong end can really hose things up.
Userlevel 2
There is some great guidance here. I am also going to have one of our wireless experts jump in and see if he has any thoughts (or best practices as well). Thanks for such a great conversation!
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