New to Ruckus - Extending a WiFi Signal to an Outbuilding

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 8 months ago
  • Answered
Hello all, I'm not very familiar with Ruckus products. I'm hoping someone can point in the right direction with the products I might need for this...

- Customer already has an established Ruckus wireless network in a small hotel
- They want to extend the guest WiFi network to an outbuilding, a club house, that's about 200 ft away from a roof mounted radio that's transmitting the signal for outdoor clients.
- Currently no WiFi signal inside the club house, but signal outside is good
- My thought was to mount a receiver antenna of some sort on the outside of the clubhouse with Ethernet into the building to a router and switch to power 2 indoor APs.

Would this be doable? What Ruckus products might work for this? Thanks for any help.
Photo of slopo

slopo

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 9 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Michael Brado

Michael Brado, Official Rep

  • 2990 Posts
  • 416 Reply Likes
If you're using a controller (ZD or SZ) today, you might be able to mesh another outdoor AP on the clubhouse rooftop, if it has good line of sight to the current roof mounted AP.
A T300 (omnidirectional antenna) might be able to Mesh back to the hotel rooftop AP, and provide clubhouse devices with stronger signal (than just from the hotel rooftop).

Or maybe, a T301n or T301s (narrow or sector antenna) to mesh with the Hotel, and a local indoor AP (any model) using PoE power from the same switch, for the clubhouse patrons...?
Photo of slopo

slopo

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks Michael. They're running a ZoneDirector 1200. LoS to the existing roof AP is possible. Was trying to avoid mesh, since there might be a signal strength hit, but maybe that's the way to go? I don't want any changes to impact their current outdoor coverage.
Photo of Darrel Rhodes

Darrel Rhodes, Employee

  • 109 Posts
  • 53 Reply Likes
Hi Slopo,
I second Michael's reply for sure.  If your customer has a ZD then SmartMesh is DEFINITELY the way to go! SmartMesh will adapt to give you the best throughput based on the signal it has to work with.

You can then cable from the external AP on the clubhouse to an iternal AP inside and provide guests with excellent service.  The ZD will provide you with full managment stats for the SmartMesh link and client connectivity to the remote 'eMESH' AP in the clubhouse.  You can also do SpeedFlex tests from the ZD to check throughput.

Hope that helps,
Darrel.
Photo of Robert Lowe

Robert Lowe

  • 221 Posts
  • 52 Reply Likes
Mesh would be the way to go I would suggest. Install an AP on the outside of the club house to form part of the mesh and, depending on the size of the club house, wire it back to a small POE switch and then connect an internal AP for additional coverage. The internal AP will mesh back to the controller using the external AP as the bridge.

You shouldn't see any negative change in coverage, likely an improvement near the clubhouse but obviously when you enable mesh you will effect the throughput of the external network because of the airtime utilisation of the Mesh management. That said, if its just a guest network i wouldnt expect this to be noticeable either. 
Photo of slopo

slopo

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
That's very helpful. Thank you all. With the ZD, can I set up mesh just on the APs I specify or is it an all or nothing sort of thing? I don't want to mess with the rest of the network for the hotel.
Photo of Robert Lowe

Robert Lowe

  • 221 Posts
  • 52 Reply Likes
You have to enable globally (i think) but then you can turn off individually on AP config. Also, I believe you can 'fix' the mesh, by this i mean tell AP Y that it has to mesh only to AP X or you can have self healing. 
Photo of Darrel Rhodes

Darrel Rhodes, Employee

  • 126 Posts
  • 66 Reply Likes
Hi Slopo, as Robert says; when you enable Mesh on a ZD it is global and cannot be turned off once enabled.  Therefore it's very important you take a configuration backup prior to enabling it.

Again; it is possible to disable it on APs individually to preserve resources, or leave it on for all APs to provide self-healing properties to the network.
Photo of Michael Brado

Michael Brado, Official Rep

  • 2925 Posts
  • 408 Reply Likes
When you enable Mesh on a ZoneDirector, all your APs will reboot, so do it during a scheduled maintenance window.
All your current wired APs will remain working as RAPs (Root APs), and the clubhouse AP would join the Rooftop as a MAP (Mesh AP), with a possible indoor AP seen thru it.
Start with your clubhouse AP(s) connected to the wire, until you've set the ZD for Mesh, and they've had a chance to connect over wire to get configured correctly.
After you move them out to the clubhouse, they will look for the Mesh SSID used by the ZD, to join/connect (and link the additional indoor clubhouse AP).