Thanks a lot for the extra information.
What direction are antennas B and C pointed?
B is pointed towards room 151/152 and C is pointed toward room 168/169.
There are quite a few ways to approach this hotel.
Here is why I suspect that the current install isn't performing as hoped.
- Antennas are too low. On a single story property, as cars park and move they are causing signal drops because they are directly in the line of site.
- There are trees along the U shape. Not a total killer given the short range, but cars, plus trees plus brick and windows must be causing the issue.
- I have a property that is somewhat like this one.
- I installed AP's in NEMA boxes on the roof with an omni antenna installed. Depending on the AP brand, you'll get about $160 into each setup. (See less expensive equipment recommendation towards the bottom)
- On a sloped roof, the omni will be parallel to the roof. I know that sounds weird because the omni's signal will be pointing down to the rooms (good) on one side and up to the sky (not bad, but not helpful) on the other. The reason I use omni's is because they are half the price of omni's and a whole lot smaller.
- It is cooler in the NEMA boxes outside that they would be in the attic. The few hotels that I have installed this way are still good to go after 3 summers.
- Run the cabling in the attic and exit the cabling from under the eves so there is no chance of leak. We ran ours on the backside (non customer side) of the roof. If you have the budget, use outdoor black Cat 5. If not, use standard gray cable. Blue cable stands out too much. Indoor cable will get brittle after about 3 years (estimate)
- You'll need to do a simple site survey with one unit to determine how many you will need.
- I'm guessing that each AP will cover about 4-5 rooms each. Again, site survey to make sure. Give some overlap for redundancy if the budget will allow it.
- Make each AP a separate SSID. Hotel1, Hotel2 etc. This makes it possible for guests to choose a different AP if for some reason one AP isn't bridging to the wire (for some reason, the failed AP's I always find still broadcast, but won't bridge to the wire).
- I just did some searching for an AP that might work. I found this one:
I've used Engenius quite a lot with decent results. I'll say this: for $58.00, they are worth a try. Integrated antenna and PoE injector included? Steal if you ask me.
Let me know what you think about this approach. Josh (Needle) suggested Meraki which would be a great choice. More expensive that the equipment I suggested and a bit more hands off with better management. If you can show the hotel staff how to reboot AP's (simple power strip) then you only have to show up for AP failures.
If you want other suggestion hit me with it and I'll try to think of another way to get it done.
I agree with your theory that the antennas are too low. At least the ones on the ends of the U. But didn't have a good means of raising them up.
I did experiment with the idea of putting up APs every 4-5 rooms with a smoke alarm style omni and got a test AP in and checked it with poor results. I'm thinking I chose poorly in my choice of AP (Linksys WAP2000) which I believe has a power output of 16 dBm for 802.11g. I chose it thinking I wanted to keep the wireless signal from bleeding into the surrounding neighborhood.
I've heard of Engenius before, but never really looked into them. These APs look very promising. I'm going to recommend getting one of these APs in so I can mount and test it.
I really appreciate your help in this matter and will let you know the end result.
There is an advantage of having the AP on the roof vs. in the room.
I think you will see better results if the AP is on the roof vs. being in the room. Better physical security as well.
what's your V/H-Beamdwidth for the antennae being used on the parallel installation? like H-360 and V-270 (~2.1 dBi?)
did you really see an increase for the coverage areas? i've been starting to test some previously installed patch antennae so i can figure out what their app. beamdwidth is and sometimes these cheap ones seem like omnis!
I don't like recomending actual products per se, but for hotel rooms and such I have found that HP / Colubris has a new device that is made for this. It is the MSM-317 which is a small AP made for per room connectivity, VLAN capable 4 port switch, PoE pass thru among other features.
Talk about bringing connectivity and security to the edge...you don't get more edge than here.