Wireless cloud without an Ethernet backbone required

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Cabling
Hubs
Routers
Switches
Wireless
I?m trying to connect the registration terminals used outside various halls at any given exhibition centre to a completely independent network that my company will set up at whatever site we attend. Most of our work is in the Middle East, so taking the Dubai World Trade Centre as a prime example, it is about 1.2km from one end to the other (!) in a sort of U shape with a bit sticking out at one end. We operate up to 9 workgroups of up to 70 laptops in total which register the visitors as they enter an exhibition at the entrances to the exhibition halls. Currently those workgroups have one access point each so that during the day I can walk from one end of the exhibition centre to the other and manually wirelessly connect to each AP in each workgroup to retrieve data from it. Distances between workgroups can be up to 300m. Though this is better than the old method of having to visit every terminal individually (!), it falls far short of being able to sit in one place (the onsite office) and be able to collect the data from every terminal no matter how far away. This solution would also allow us to introduce a server to the operation of events which would have further benefits still, like real time visitor reporting. The reason this must be independent of an exhibition centre?s wired LAN is to remove a link in the chain relating to network stability. We know from experience that the DWTC does not have a great Ethernet backbone in the exhibition halls, nor does it have LAN sockets mounted in many of the places that registration takes place, so if we can provide our own wireless network it would be managed by me/us only and would remove the need to talk to another body should anything go wrong. It would also mean we could set up the registration terminals anywhere that we simply had power sockets. I was going down the route of WDS at first but believe that once about 6 WDS bridges are connected together, network performance gets too low to be viable. Ideas anyone? There must be a way. Nathan.

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Assuming that there are no barriers legally (meaning national or regional communication laws that prevent this), I’d suggest that you split into two classes of wireless networks. By way of example, not all 802.1whatever channel ranges are legal in all countries, so you’ll have to do some homework.

One would be your “backbone”, operated with highly directional high-gain antennas, and with a router/access point at each registration area.

The registration AP/router areas should then have its transmission power cut down to just enough to keep them from interfering with adjacent ones. If you have a choice of channel ranges, put the backbone at one end of the channel spectrum, and alternate adjacent registration areas by at least a 2 channel separation and lock down all wireless clients and APs to prevent channel scanning.

Hope that helps,

Bob

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