[conspire] wireless placement

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Dec 10 18:57:33 PST 2009

Quoting Don Marti (dmarti at zgp.org):

> Interference, not security, is the main issue.  802.11b has fewer
> channels than CB radio, and channels overlap.  (An AP on channel 1
> will interfere with 2-5, for example.)  

I note this useful chart:

> So a stronger than necessary signal will make it harder for neighbors
> if there are too many APs in a neighborhood. 

A good point, but I don't think we have too many in the immediate
neighbourhood at the moment:  I think there are three (maybe four) that
are visible at all.  I'll check that, when I have time at home, and
consider channel selection.

The low housing density (unincorporated suburbs) and hilly terrain is,
in this case, somewhat on my side.

The existing pair of WAPs, both Apple-branded devices kindly supplied by
Deirdre and operated in bridged mode, have had some operational
challenges.  One is that the master bedroom in the back has low signal
strength.  Another is that the RF bridge link saturates depressingly
easily, preventing proper use of the bandwidth if you're connected to
the second WAP.  (I sometimes wonder if _both_ WAPs don't get saturated
when they really shouldn't.)  Also, the primary WAP's NAT state table
and DHCP records get bollixed pretty easily, necessitating WAP reset.
Last, any change to either of the WAPs' configurations, e.g., to the
list of MAC addresses permitted to connect, likewise necessitates reset.

      |  Apple Airport Extreme WAP in office
      |                (NAT, DHCP)
      |RF bridge
   Apple Airport Express WAP in dining room  
    |                   |
    |                   |
wireless clients     wired network
                    (via switch under
                    dining room table)

The WAP that I set up for CABAL (and for my own use) needs to 
be physically positioned so that there's good RF in the back porch and
garage, and also needs to be convenient for CAT5 to those same areas.
And it'd be nice if I had decent signal strength in the master bedroom
and office.

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