Some of the Net-Ctrl team take wireless outdoors with the Ruckus Wireless 7731 Point-to-Point ZoneFlex access points to achieve a two kilometre connection over some tricky terrain.
Last week one of our senior wireless engineers and an account manager visited a customer site to test a planned point-to-point (PTP) link. They were using the Ruckus Wireless 7731 access points for a two kilometre link. The 7731 outdoor access point utilises a patented dual-polarised directional smart antenna system that is capable of supporting a maximum fifteen kilometre link. In theory, the posed two kilometre link shouldn’t be a problem.
Before visiting the site our engineer had performed some predictive tests, which all came back suggesting a good link was achievable over the area in question. All good so far. However, as everyone in wireless knows, wireless and RF is an unpredictable beast, which is why performing live tests and surveys for any proposed wireless project is a MUST.
Our team turned up with two of the 7731 access points and two seventeen metre telescopic masts in order to achieve the required height. These particular masts are a valuable bit of kit in the wireless engineer tool box, especially as they compact down to less than two metres.
Each mast was placed at ground level, where the final access point would be installed. Due to a few limitation and aesthetic requirements our team was very limited to the locations where we could mount the Non-Root node on the building. This would limit the chances for a successful connection if the only available location failed due to obstructions further down the link.
Despite our teams best efforts the link did not work due to a plot of very high trees intruding too much on the Fresnel Zone. To try and combat this, we tried the 10 degree beam width antennas in an attempt to reduce the Fresnel Zone created by the link, unfortunately it still failed.
This is a great example of the importance of performing on-site PTP link tests. The planning tools suggested it should work and to the eye it looked good, but with wireless you never know until you test and test again.
The good news is we are working closely with the customer and their restraints on a way around the obstruction.
The next action is to “dog leg” the link by finding a common vantage point for both ends to achieve a clear line of site.
Watch this space.