Want to setup a wi-fi network in a 250' x 250' room


#1

Event ballroom. Want to setup a wifi network for production staff, not for attendees so pretty simple. Transfer of files is the main goal at highest possible speed from approximately 10 workstations. Internet not necessary, but not a bad fallback for staff as event wifi is usually horrible.

Only barriers in the rooms are huge screens for presentations. Most common usage would be for a producer sitting in one corner of the room to send files to backstage (behind a screen). So could be 300’, but sometimes less.

Other bonuses would be to access a printer in the room as well.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


#2

Reached out to a Peplink resaler. They are recommending two options:

  1. PEPLINK MAX-BR1-MK2-LTEA + a couple of APO-ENT AP’s
  2. soho and balance 20 + a couple APO-ENT AP’s

Look good?


#4

Hello @Hallvalla,
Our teams have worked on & at a lot of events & exhibitions, supplying Wi-Fi for these places is often challenging, we cable as much as possible and only use a wireless connection as a last resort.

We recommend that to kit yourself out with a good quality spectrum analyser designed for Wi-Fi and learn how to interpret that so to optimise the settings for the equipment you have access to. We never trust the “Automatic” settings in these locations especially for “mission critical” services.

Is this for a permanent installation of equipment for the venues production team?
Setting up the equipment so it has internet access and can be managed by InControl2 will give you advantages of monitoring performance and trends of the system over time.

Are you aware that the APO-ENT units all require PoE? How many of these were you considering using? We always recommend people go for more than less with WAPs and also back off the power levels, Peplink/Pepwave also allows you to set minimal signal strength levels for the WAPs so that devices will be forced to disconnect and not draw down the overall performance of the WAPs.

Where are you base and where is this events centre located? We recommend you get your local Peplink Partner to do a RF Survey & Design for the site (due to the amount of time involved, it is likely to be a chargeable service). Just putting in a router and some WAPs may be a good start, though to get the best out of the system, you need to have the solution setup to take into account the local interference & noise levels from both out side the building and within.

In the choice of routers and WAPs, it comes down to:

  • what your internet connection(s) will be
  • anticipated number of connected devices
  • are you going to use a captive portal (now or in the future)
  • how you want to manage the solution (locally or via InControl2)
  • what sort of service is required by the end user(s)

Here is our initial suggestions (allowing you to use and have a LTE backup connection)
3 or less WAPs

  • 1 x Peplink Balance 30 Pro LTEA (+ the PoE activated on its four LAN ports)
  • 3 x Pepwave APO One Rug
  • Management via InControl2

4 to 6 WAPs

  • 1 x Pepwave MAX BR1 Mk2
  • 1 x Peplink SD-Switch 8 Port Rug
  • 6 x Pepwave APO One Rug
  • Management via InControl2

For an events location, we recommend you go with the more ruggedised versions of the equipment unless ascetics is a concern.

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:


#5

Hi Marcus - thanks so much for your thorough reply!

My goal is to start small to test onsite, so I really like your suggestion of 3 or less WAPs. I also like the idea of the Pepwave APO Rugs vs using APO-ENT & PoE, but not sure if you’d suggest swapping the Balance 30 for the MAX BR1 Mk2?

To answer your question, the primary use would be for a production team to share files wirelessly in an event room. If this helps, just trying to make the process a little easier than walking USB sticks back and forth. :wink: So it doesn’t have to be blazing fast, just reliable overall.

  1. Producer(s)/stage managers to send files to graphic operators and back - this would most likely be the furthest distance needed - let’s say 300’-400’ in this case
  2. Graphic operators sharing files backstage
  3. Client lead to send and receive files
  4. Print! - a printer hooked into the network

I can’t rely on a wired connection (maybe in the future) and need to focus on WiFi for now. As for internet, it isn’t necessary at all but a nice bonus for onsite staff (thinking cellular hotspot) that wouldn’t be accessed by attendees. There may or may not be a drop from the venue to connect to a router. Max of 20 users for a room this size.

This would be a portable kit, nothing permanent.

Thanks again,
Jason


#6

Hello @Hallvalla (Jason),
One of our colleagues here in the forum, @MartinLangmaid has some great images on his website (www.slingshot6.com) of portable systems & tested solutions he supplies (as do many Peplink Partners), if you’re going to go portable, talk to your local Peplink Partner about doing something like this or you can have a go yourself.

As a portable solution, the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mk2 is more rugged in its design than the Peplink Balance 30 and as you will be moving this around, then we would recommend sticking to the more rugged versions. These may cost a bit more, though you are likely to have a more reliable kit over time.

Do not worry about using the cellular feature or being internet connected, the system can run offline just fine, we would suggest that you configure & test with it online, then just remove the SIM & WAN connection and see how you go (that also means turning the power off and restart from cold), I think you’ll find it will work fine. You can have a SIM in the router without giving the team/staff internet access if you want to take advantage of some of the InControl2 monitoring & support features. It is all in the settings on the router, we do this with Public Wi-Fi, the SIM card backup is not allowed for the Wi-Fi users to access.

Another option (if running a network cable is an issue from Front of House to Back of House) is to add in a Pepwave Device Connector.

These tune into your Wi-Fi from the Back of House (using both the 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz) and will present a cable hand off to either plug a laptop into or another WAP for closer Wi-Fi access.

You may also find the AP One Flex more useful if you want to give directional connectivity a go (have a look at the link, it will take you directly to the “Flex” version).

Think of this as a directional microphone and horn speaker combined. When paired with the Device Connector IP55 you would have a reasonably hardened & simple PtP link.

If you really want to start simple, just get the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mk2, it has built in Wi-Fi, then add a single Pepwave AP One Rugged and locally power the Rugged from a 12 VDC source (PS the Rugged ships with a 12VDC power supply, the same model as used by the BR1 Mk2).

Start simple then build it up, managing your radio frequencies and finding ways to minimise your power levels will yield you good results over time, look forward to hearing how you go.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:


#7

Marcus, thanks again! Going to start building out a simple kit based on your recs and will let you know how it goes.
~J~