ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Wifi questions  (Read 830 times)

Craig Hauber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 721
  • Mondak Sound Design - Plentywood MT/Grenora ND
Wifi questions
« on: March 23, 2021, 12:41:16 PM »

Can you stick a wifi AP inside a plastic box to protect it from the elements outside or does plastic add too much signal attenuation?

Looking for a Ubiquiti Unifi AP for permanent outdoor use on my shop building and was wondering if I could stick a UAP-AC-PRO disc-style unit outdoors?
Because that's what I have and I'm already using 3 of them inside the building and would like something that works with Unifi Controller software I'm already using (because I'm dumb and it makes it easy)
It is a steel farm-type building and signal just isn't getting out there.

I didn't recognize any of the newer products they are pushing on the Ubiquiti website but figure somebody here would know what's best.

I was figuring some directionality would be needed if the point is mounted on the building -but I could be overthinking this (and equating it to audio coverage) so correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for any help.

Logged
Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
-Live PA
-Installs
-Theatre

Bill Meeks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 169
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 01:00:47 PM »

Can you stick a wifi AP inside a plastic box to protect it from the elements outside or does plastic add too much signal attenuation?

Looking for a Ubiquiti Unifi AP for permanent outdoor use on my shop building and was wondering if I could stick a UAP-AC-PRO disc-style unit outdoors?
Because that's what I have and I'm already using 3 of them inside the building and would like something that works with Unifi Controller software I'm already using (because I'm dumb and it makes it easy)
It is a steel farm-type building and signal just isn't getting out there.

I didn't recognize any of the newer products they are pushing on the Ubiquiti website but figure somebody here would know what's best.

I was figuring some directionality would be needed if the point is mounted on the building -but I could be overthinking this (and equating it to audio coverage) so correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for any help.

Ubiquiti has some outdoor-rated APs listed on their web site. They cost a bit more than the indoor models. The outdoor-rated models are probably more robustly constructed for the temperature extremes that outdoor mounting brings, and they would have better sealing at cabling entry points.

Here is a link to their AP HD model that is indoor/outdoor rated. It lists for $349:  https://store.ui.com/collections/unifi-network-access-points/products/unifi-hd
« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 01:04:02 PM by Bill Meeks »
Logged

Steve Litcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 587
    • MixMasters Podcast
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 02:22:54 PM »

Unless you need massive throughput speeds, the Ubiquiti AC-M is outdoor rated and works really well. It's 2.4G/5G, has POE, and is compact. It also sells for $89. I have four of them for touring rigs and they work flawlessly.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1296855-REG/ubiquiti_networks_uap_ac_m_us_unifi_ac_mesh.html/

Henry Cohen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1090
  • Westchester Co., NY, USA
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 04:42:05 PM »

Can you stick a wifi AP inside a plastic box to protect it from the elements outside or does plastic add too much signal attenuation?

It largely depends on the plastic formulation of the enclosure as that will result in different degrees of RF attenuation at different frequencies. Virtually all outdoor enclosure designs for WAP's are designed for external antennas, not RF permeability. You could try the inexpensive thin walled offerings from Mouser, Digi-Key and the like. Do not get black (or some other darker colors) as they tend to have higher charcoal content. And of course attenuation of the 5GHz band will be more than that for 2.4GHz.


Quote
I was figuring some directionality would be needed if the point is mounted on the building -but I could be overthinking this (and equating it to audio coverage) so correct me if I'm wrong.

You're not wrong, but the omnidirectional UAP line will not provide any directionality without a carefully designed and fabricated metal reflector, and even that will not be as good as purpose designed panel or sector antenna.

In the end, if you're needing more than a few dozen yards of coverage, you're better off with a purpose built outdoor WAP as others have already recommended.
Logged
Henry Cohen

CP Communications    www.cpcomms.com
Radio Active Designs   www.radioactiverf.com

Craig Hauber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 721
  • Mondak Sound Design - Plentywood MT/Grenora ND
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 09:46:11 PM »

Unless you need massive throughput speeds, the Ubiquiti AC-M is outdoor rated and works really well. It's 2.4G/5G, has POE, and is compact. It also sells for $89. I have four of them for touring rigs and they work flawlessly.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1296855-REG/ubiquiti_networks_uap_ac_m_us_unifi_ac_mesh.html/
This one looks possible and it says "with an optional connectorized dual-band antenna for customized pattern shaping" in the ad. 
Any experience with an external antenna on the unit?
Logged
Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
-Live PA
-Installs
-Theatre

Steve Litcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 587
    • MixMasters Podcast
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2021, 02:26:03 PM »

Sorry Craig, but negative on the optional antenna experiences.

The "stock" AP has worked well in venues with capacities up to around 10k people, and outdoors at events where I've wandered 150-200 feet from stage with my iPad connected to the AP.

If you're looking to cover an extremely long distance, you may want one of the more powerful/directional APs.

Craig Hauber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 721
  • Mondak Sound Design - Plentywood MT/Grenora ND
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2021, 03:00:48 PM »

It largely depends on the plastic formulation of the enclosure as that will result in different degrees of RF attenuation at different frequencies. Virtually all outdoor enclosure designs for WAP's are designed for external antennas, not RF permeability. You could try the inexpensive thin walled offerings from Mouser, Digi-Key and the like. Do not get black (or some other darker colors) as they tend to have higher charcoal content. And of course attenuation of the 5GHz band will be more than that for 2.4GHz.


You're not wrong, but the omnidirectional UAP line will not provide any directionality without a carefully designed and fabricated metal reflector, and even that will not be as good as purpose designed panel or sector antenna.

In the end, if you're needing more than a few dozen yards of coverage, you're better off with a purpose built outdoor WAP as others have already recommended.
I had an original ubiquiti AP years ago that mated to a 30" long sectoral antenna.  Worked great.  The AP died and I'm assuming the antenna is only good for 2.4GHz
That's why I was a bit confused when searching their website for an equivalent modern product and not finding anything similar.  (they have external antenna-based products but not in the unifi ecosystem)
It looks like the AC-Pro's I'm using are no longer current product either -they can only be found in their factory store site -along with the little AP-M.  So I'm expecting more discontinuing and EOL'ing of products by them soon.
-Already retiring all my original UAP's as the controller rejects them unless you revert to an older version.

Interesting tidbit about the higher charcoal content of black plastics, maybe that's why they perform better against sunlight UV exposure?
I'm assuming that charcoal is enough of a conductor at higher frequencies to cause attenuation?
How about un-burnt charcoal -wood?  Or plain single-pane window glass?
I'm probably going to try some AC-M's to start with but you never know when I may have to attempt an enclosure for an RF device in the future.

Thanks for the info.
Logged
Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
-Live PA
-Installs
-Theatre

doug johnson2

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 114
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2021, 03:14:10 PM »

I would think that you might be able to build a covered enclosure that would one or two open sides.  You could then cover the open sides with fine mesh plastic/fiberglass window screening or filter/grill foam.  This would pretty much keep water out and protect from UV while still allowing the wireless signals to pass.
Logged

Chris Hindle

  • SR Forums
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2209
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Earth, Sol System,......
Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 08:49:45 AM »


Interesting tidbit about the higher charcoal content of black plastics, maybe that's why they perform better against sunlight UV exposure?

I think the component is called "Carbon Black"
I had an acquaintance that sold tons of the stuff to Goodyear to use in tire production.
It was used as a pigment to get the rubber black and not the color of natural rubber.
Chris.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 08:52:10 AM by Chris Hindle »
Logged
Ya, Whatever. Just throw a '57 on it, and get off my stage.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Wifi questions
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 08:49:45 AM »


Pages: [1]   Go Up
 



Site Hosted By Ashdown Technologies, Inc.

Page created in 0.03 seconds with 22 queries.