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need advice on wireless network


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#1
zadigsguilt

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Hi all, Newbee here, lots of great info. I have a situation I'm hopeing to get some advice on. I need highspeed internet because my wife telecomutes. Her office is requiring her to get highspeed access, trouble is we live east of nowhere and our only option is satelite which does not seem to be working out well for one of her co-workers in a similar situation. But heres the rub, my inlaws who live about a 1/4 mile away have cable and can get cable internet. The cable company will not run it up to my house even after I have offered to pay for all the expenses. Now to my question, can I have the highspeed internet isntalled at my in-laws and build a wireless network that will span that great a distance? Since I am paying for the service there is no legal issue, just a problem of limitations of wireless. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance, Zadig.
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#2
SoccerDad

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Hi zadigsguilt and welcome to Geeks To Go!

I need one critical piece of information first, then I will respond:

Do you have line of site to your inlaws? That is, can you visually see them? If so, how "clear" is the view? The reason I ask is that there are two kinds of LOS that need to be considered:
1) Visual
2) Radio

The visual is self-explainatory, but the radio LOS is a little more complex. Radio signals emmitted from a directional antenna do not go out in a straight line (like looking thru a paper towel roll), but rather they "bulge" in the middle. The bulging area is called "Fresnel Zone". Here is a little blurb

Additionally, curvature of the earth is a consideration, but at 1/4 mile, negligable...

ttysoon, SD
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#3
zadigsguilt

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Thanks for the response SD,
No, I do not have unobstructed LOS. I am at a higher elevation by @ 150ft and there is a house and many, many trees blocking sight. If not for the house and trees I would be able to see them. Funny thing, there are only 4 houses in my "neighborhood" mine, my in-laws, and two others, and wouldnt it figure one of those would be in my way. Again many thanks for the response, Zadig.
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#4
SoccerDad

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Hey zadigsguilt! No probs, glad to help.

It's the trees that are going to kill you, however, 1/4 mile is not a huge distance. What kind of trees are they? What is the distance between the inlaw's roof top, or highest point and the tops of the trees?

cya, SD

Edited by SoccerDad, 10 August 2005 - 01:42 PM.

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#5
zadigsguilt

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SD,
The rooftop of either house is about 30 below the tops of the trees. The trees are various old growth hardwoods with dense canopys. Come winter they probably wont be such a problem but in the growing season their thick. Zadig
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#6
SoccerDad

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Hokee zadigsguilt, welp. options are pretty limited...

1) Residential grade TV antenna's top out at about 70' and installed here in Canada they are about $800-1200 depending on how much concrete the base requires. That would get you to tree tops or slightly above.

2) You could try an amp, but you'd want a highly directional antenna with no more than 8deg beam width or you may run afoul of the FCC. Amps are not cheap, add another level of failure, and not guaranteed to work in your situation.

3) Active or passive relay: if you know any of the folks in and around the tree stand (to use their property), you could relay a signal either passively, or actively. In the active scenario, near one or the other end of the tree stand, you would cable two access points together and have an antenna for each, one facing you, one facing the inlaws. In a passive, same setup minus the AP's. The antenna are cabled directly together with the shortest cable run possible. 1/4 mile might be pushing it for signal strength on the passive, so you may have to use a small amp at one end.

4) How deep is the tree stand? It might just be possible to blow thru them using something like a 24db antenna on each end of the link and purchase AP's with the strongest possible output (250 or 500 mW). At this point however, you would be commited dollar wise in some gear with no guarantee of success.

5) Two way satellite: not that cheap here in CDN ($1200 for gear, $125/mth, $75/yr license), don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods (no pun intended! :tazz: ). Maybe the wife's company would help foot the bill?

6) Drive copper spikes into the trunks of the trees in a line from side to side. In about 6mths to a year, you'll have a dead line of trees making a nice hole.... ;)

ttysoon, SD
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#7
warriorscot

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Could he not just lay a quarter mile of cable to his inlaws.
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#8
somepeoplearebornleet

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:tazz: I thought there was this 100 feet rule or max distance on lines.
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#9
warriorscot

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Depends on the type of cable used i think, Even if it is you can use a signal booster at either end to make sure the signal is strong enough and if the cable is straight then there should be near 0 loss if you use optical fibre cabling. (not a network person but the benefits of a good physics education is i can run cabling for anything.)

Edited by warriorscot, 11 August 2005 - 08:37 AM.

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#10
SoccerDad

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Cabling opens up a new can of worms:

1) Straight Cat5 ethernet is limited to 300', so repeaters would be needed.
2) Easements and right of way....yikes and yuck
3) Troubleshooting failures
4) Cost (fibre is not cheap)

The list goes on. Ultimately, if one could find a company that would do everything needed and just hand you a bill (and of course one has the $$$ to pay that bill), then cabling would be a viable option.

ttysoon, SD
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#11
warriorscot

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Cabling is usually cheaper than expensive wireless equipment though. I breifly trained as a radio operator and the equipment isnt just expensive to buy its a real pain to maintain as well. I even used the first commercial version of wireless networks its rather interesting the techniques used now are very similar we have just refined them to a higher level.
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#12
SoccerDad

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I would have to respectfully disagree here warriorscot:

Average trenching for fibre in NA is ~$15USD/ft not including the fibre itself, permits, ROW, etc...And that's dark fibre.

1/4 mile=1320'

15x1320=$19,800USD

Add all the misc stuff together would put you $25KUSD or higher. I can source wireless gear, that unless it takes a direct lightning hit, would be maintenance free (properly installed) for a fraction of that cost.

ttysoon, SD
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#13
zadigsguilt

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Wow, There seems to be ways to do this but the costs are sounding scarry. :tazz:
Right of way wouldnt be a prob. in laying cable since I own the land between us, but cost would. ;)

I could use a relay set up as there is a field in common to both houses, that is we both have clear LOS to the field. But theres another problem, its a field that gets cut off for hay and often used for grazing.

I'm begining to think it might be cheeper to rent "The Boss" a small office space in town. She would probably enjoy the peace and quiet.

I may have to revisit satellite, maybe my wife's co-worker just does'nt have hers set up properly.

The area we live in hasnt had electricity all that long. Maybe the future will hold better promise. Until then I'll enjoy my beatuiful mountian views, rolling pastures and dial up networking. Many many thanks to all who offered help and advice. Zadig in the hills.

Edited by zadigsguilt, 11 August 2005 - 12:35 PM.

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#14
SoccerDad

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With both locations having LOS to the field (I'm assuming it's fenced?) and you own the property, that could change things a wee bit. What is the frost situation in your neck of the woods and how deep is the frost line?

ttysoon, SD
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#15
ejay563

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What about ISDN? It's a little pricy per month, but it seems that it would be a lot easier than the other options.
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