If you are reading this article, chances are you are either WiFi-curious or currently looking into building an outdoor WiFi deployment. Such outdoor networks can be tricky to design, especially when Access Points need to be positioned quite far apart from each other. As you may already know, the distance between WiFi devices should never be too large, since that might lead to low signal strength and eventually cause the wireless link to stall and break. This is why we always recommend to perform onsite tests and accurate planning before deploying your network.
Real WiFi deployments can also teach a great deal and even help you improve your next project. For this reason, we would like to share a real customer experience story and show you how directional antennas can be used with Plasma Cloud’s PA300E WiFi Access Points to create a wireless link across wide distances.
Every WiFi deployment starts with assessing the environment and unique requirements based on the specific use case. Our customer started exactly this way. His goal was to connect a wireless security camera at the entrance of the compound to the local WiFi network. Through the initial assessment, he identified the following challenges:
- The camera was over 600 feet away from the main building and WiFi gateway;
- A repeater needed to be securely mounted on a pole close to the camera;
- The APs had to be deployed outdoor without any physical cover offering protection;
- The WiFi link needed to be stable at all times regardless of weather conditions, and allow for uninterrupted video streaming of security footage.
Our customer decided to deploy two PA300E WiFi Access Points in his outdoor network – one acting as gateway and the other as repeater. The Plasma Cloud PA300E is water and dust resistant with an IP55 rating. Its sealed housing with water resistant cable bay allows the PA300E to be deployed in virtually any situation, even outdoors.
Custom antennas were his next step to ensure the wireless link to work reliably across a wide distance. Every PA300E comes with two 2 dBi omni antennas, but users have the option to install various antenna types thanks to its widely compatible RP-SMA connectors. Leveraging this feature, our customer decided to pair his PA300Es with high gain directional antennas to further boost his WiFi signal coverage.
He then opted to easily and securely mount his APs on a pole using the universal installation kit included in the packaging.
Despite the challenges, our customer successfully installed his outdoor WiFi network. First, he replaced the PA300E default antennas with two identical high gain directional antennas. He then strategically deployed two PA300E Access Points over 600 feet apart and ensured the custom antennas were pointing at each other.
The first Access Point acting as a gateway was mounted on top of the customer’s house, with its directional antennas facing towards the gate of the compound.
The second Access Point acting as repeater was mounted on a pole close to the gate where the security camera was located, over 600 feet away.
In the end, thanks to accurate planning, this deployment was able to provide a consistently stable and high performance connection for the wireless security camera, exactly as required.
Choosing Plasma Cloud as his go-to cloud managed WiFi solution allowed him to save a lot of time and effort with the WiFi configuration. Plasma Cloud’s built-in mesh capabilities provide an easy and reliable method to transmit the security camera footage across multiple WiFi links. He simply let his PA300E WiFi Access Points self-configure, thanks to Plasma Cloud’s WiFi AI function. It has never been this easy.
What about you? Do you have a cool project you would like us to share? Feel free to contact us with a story or questions you may have, and do not forget to check out the Plasma Cloud product suite before planning your next deployment.