[AusNOG] Group WiFi
Gaurab Raj Upadhaya
gaurab at lahai.com
Thu Nov 1 13:59:49 EST 2007
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Trent has it on the head. Having done a few conference WiFi.
I would strongly suggest going with a better known brand. Even within
vendors, the cheaper Access points are not good enough, as they don't
have the appropriate knobs. Better to have same vendor and same model.
Avoid the cheaper chiwanese stuff at all costs. Cisco, linksys, netgear,
nortel, dlink all have been good to us. but avoid the low-end models.
Few things i can think of
0. Before you start preparing, go to the hotel/venue in advance with a
laptop with netstumbler (or equivalent), and figure out what channels
are being used by the Hotel. Later avoid those channels or place your
own APs to avoid overlaps.
1. you NEED the knob to turn down the transmit power, specially if the
room is small and AP density is higher. Gave us a bit of a pain at
recent SANOG. If feasible use PoE powered Access Points. Sometimes, APs
do die for various reasons and it's bloody pain to go around trying to
find the power plug.
2. You want to set the 'speed' to a fixed 11Mbps and the mode to 'b'
only when you are using a b/g device. Quite a few folks still show up
with older cards which only do 'b'. Setting in 'mixed' mode will give
you 'mixed' results. With a single 'b' client in the network, the entire
network will bow down to 'b'. For, the other conferences, we always set
it to 11 Mbps fixed speed.
3. Don't put the APs to high or too low. putting it at slightly above
desk level seems to work best.
4. Now, having done a few conference WiFi (with help from a Aussie and a
Kiwi), i would strongly suggest that you get a permanent kit - when the
money allows for it. Get a few good APs (Aironets?), a POE switch, loads
of good cables, a few tripods, and a small box to manage the wireless
APs, provide DNS etc. All available on e-bay at good prices. router
configs are standard enough that you don't need it permanently. Given
Ausnog will be an re-curring event, you'll recover the expense in about
3 meetings by avoiding to having engineer it each time. And participants
get to see cool looking graphs for the conference.
5. run cool things on the network, and do a presentation at the end of
the conference about the network. :-). my favourite part is seeing how
much v6 traffic one sees irrespective of all the hype.
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