Wireless network vertically through office building?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Blue Velvet, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    I'm considering bringing in an isolated Mac that's currently not on our network onto the setup and I'd like to do it wirelessly... budget is an issue, but we would consider more than an equivalent domestic situation. We currently have 8 Macs on a gigabit switch which we will also be upgrading at the same time.

    However, the Mac (dual 2.0 G5) is two floors below in a concrete-floored office building, almost directly beneath us. We may also be moving at some point in the near future, possibly up to 200 metres away in another adjacent building so need the flexibility to handle any potential move without repurchasing new equipment.

    It wouldn't have a lot of traffic but when it does it would need to be pretty quick.

    Are there any issues with getting a clean robust signal vertically through this kind of situation? I'm a bit of a n00b when it comes to wireless.

    Thanks in advance
    BV
     
  2. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #2
    any issues? uhh yeah you can say that again! unless you have a very very strong antenna producing the signal, which even then is questionable, you will have a very hard time getting anything, let alone a strong signal that is quick. Vertical is the most difficult direction to send wireless and this is further hindered by the 2 cement floors and numerous other electrical components in between.
     
  3. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #3
    I just purchased a 12" antenna for a D-Link router that was supposed to boost the signal through 360º, but it's been struggling with about 100metres even with line of site through just two panes of glass.

    WiFi strength seems to be *so* hit and miss, I'd guess all you can do is buy something to try with an assurance you can return it.
     
  4. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4

    Which is why I asked. ;)

    I'm sure it's not impossible, perhaps it's difficult, but any solutions or specific instructions on how to achieve this would be helpful, particularly equipment choice and setup recommendations.

    I'd settle for lower speeds and greater reliability.
     
  5. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #5
    You could run a cable down two floors - use the outside of the building if you must - so then your AP would be on the same floor as the new mac.
     
  6. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    #6
    OP said she's prefer to do it wireless, so that won't work.

    BV I'd do like MPW said, and go buy an antenna to extend your range and signal strength. The only problem is that concrete is gonna put a major damper on your signal.
     
  7. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #7

    But we (i.e. 8/9 Mac publishing team) may be moving in the near future, as stated in the first post, so cables are not a possibility... been looking at directional antennas this morning but if it's not going to work, then that's the way it is. After all, it's networked by sneaker-net at the mo. ;)
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #8
    No way to do this unfortunately. Building floors normally contain a whole bunch of stuff that can disrupt the Wi-Fi signal, from electrical cables to steel reinforcement in the concrete. Is it a case of the building being networked already but Macs having a separate LAN, or is there no physical cabling link at all between the two floors?
     
  9. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #9
    It would still be wireless, I just suggested putting the Access Point on the SAME floor for better reliability.
     
  10. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #10

    Yes, unfortunately, and no way to get onto the office network.
    By any chance, have I ever mentioned how much I despise IT departments? ;)
     
  11. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #11
    Your IT people sound like idiots it has to be said. Have they not heard of VLANs? They could even allow the Macs to use the existing network infrastructure hardware whilst remaining completely isolated from their precious Windows machines, then using a trunk link between the switch on your floor and the one where the other Mac is extend your VLAN down through the building to the other machine, all without the Windows machines ever seeing any of the traffic.

    This is networking basics, really simple stuff.
     
  12. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #12

    No, they're smart; they don't want to do any work. However, what they are are intransigent wankers... head of IT has been here for 20 years and is a petty little Hitler; master of his domain, as it were.
     
  13. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #13
    It sounds like it. That "IT makes the decisions" attitude is very mid-90s.
     
  14. jtown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #14
    They don't sound very smart to me. Unless the head of IT also owns the company, this shouldn't be a problem. Make your business case that explains why it's necessary to connect this computer to the network, how it will benefit the company (and how it will harm the company if you don't get what you need). If the head of the IT department refuses to do the job, send your boss to talk to his boss.

    If adding the machine is really necessary, it will get done. Don't you worry about how it gets done. Unless you're in the IT department, that's not your job. Your job is to say, "We need these resources to get the job done." It's their job to figure out how to allocate/connect those resources once they've been told to get it done.
     
  15. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    #15
    Can you come tell my IT department that?
     
  16. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #16
    Do the windows open? Are you close enough for a surface run cable?

    Run a cable to the window, put a directional-antenna repeater or access point out the window

    Do the same 2 floors up, but pointing down, run a cable to the hub or whatever.

    Dunno if you'll have to bring them in if it rains...

    Check out the Hawking outdoor WiFi extender kits
     

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