I am designing the Wi-Fi for a new warehouse for my customer. I've been doing office builds for a few years now but this is my first time doing a warehouse.
I am having a lot of trouble finding good information as far as the design methodology I should follow given my predicament. I went in with our selected AP and do an active survey to determine AP spacing/placement/quantity, but the warehouse is completely empty right now (it doesn't even have racks), so the signal travels >100 ft. before I even get to the -65 dBm on my client with my AP EIRP at 15 dBm in 5 GHz. Essentially, I have no idea how far signal will travel once the racks are full of merchandise.
I've consulted my CWDP textbook as well as Cisco's and Aruba's websites and forums but there really wasn't any information that answered my question directly. Can anyone out there provide some insight as to how I can plan for Wi-Fi in a tricky environment like this when I have no hard data to justify my AP placement and quantity?
The customer is a clothing/apparel/accessories retailer, the ceiling is about 20 ft. high. The racks will reach up to 17 ft. high.
Thanks in advance,
I have some experience with client performance in warehouses, but not the actual site-surveys there.
I would say that without the actual racks in place, you are almost wasting your time doing the site survey. But, there will always be some interior locations that will not be affected (directly) by the racks. Ambient interference, and possible interference from charging systems, and or heavy motor noise can end up being issues too.
Using AP's pointing down the length of the rows with directional antennas, on alternate rows and directions with different channels on each row will work best. Be sure you understand the concept of down-tilt (not that you will necessarily use it). Remember that channelization, meaning direction not frequency, CAN be a friend and ally, and not an impediment.
DO NOT try to set the AP's at the ceiling level, pointing downwards, in locations with really high ceilings.
Don't put the AP's higher than you need to. It's MUCH more important for the AP's to "see" the clients than for the AP's to "see" each other - which can actually cause you many problems. DO set them high enough that loaded or unloaded forklifts, won't run into them !
Tessco makes "smack resistant" antenna mountings, both for ceiling and sidewall mounting that may help - a little.
Be leery of salesmen claiming miracles for automatic channel and power management (i.e. RRM).
Radios mounted on forklifts make for some unique challenges, and regardless of what management says, operators do like to "drift" at night. Forklifts usually travel at faster speeds than walking humans, and trying to keep up with them and correctly roaming, can be tough to do or design for
Don't think that fewer high power cells will necessarily be better than more low power ones. Watch out for big metal doors - i.e. open versus closed.
Loading docks will seem like a different planet compared to the interior of the warehouse.
Absolutely perform a post installation survey.
Best of luck.
Were you able to get some guidance on this? If not let me know and I'll be happy to discuss and share.
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