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Old 05-17-2006, 05:00 PM   #1
win32sux
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Question WiFi Access Point and Zinc Roofing


anyone know how much of an impact zinc roofing has on WiFi??

i need to install a linux server with a wireless access point for a small seven story building... the access point will have to be located on the ground floor, about 30 feet apart from the building, in a little shed with a zinc roof on it...

the server will be a linux DVR running ZoneMinder on slackware...
 
Old 05-19-2006, 06:55 AM   #2
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I guess the only thing to do is try it and see. If your range isn't what you need, you could always try putting a higher gain antenna on the AP. However, even without problems from the zinc roof, I bet the signal is going to be pretty weak on the seventh floor.
 
Old 05-19-2006, 01:35 PM   #3
win32sux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42
I guess the only thing to do is try it and see. If your range isn't what you need, you could always try putting a higher gain antenna on the AP. However, even without problems from the zinc roof, I bet the signal is going to be pretty weak on the seventh floor.
hi! thanks for the reply!!

yeah, i'm also thinking my best bet would be to install an exterior antenna and stuff, maybe something cheap around 8dBi or so... it just kinda sucks cuz it would take away some of the stealth of the operation, in the sense that the thieves will have more chances of knowing where the DVR is located... also, i'm trying to get this to be as low-cost as possible cuz we don't have a lot of money and stuff...

i can't really do a proper test right now as these people haven't purchased the equipment yet (they are waiting for my proposal)...

i was kinda hoping someone would know about the characteristics of zinc and stuff... like scientifically speaking and such, something like "a sheet of zinc will have almost no effect on radio signals because blah blah blah..." or maybe a "zinc is hell for WiFi, don't even dream about it... the molecules of blah blah..." hehe...

there's one piece of 2.4Ghz equipment that i do have right now, though... it's my cordless phone... do you think that if i test using that it would be a good test?? like, if i can put the base on the window on the seventh floor and i go into the shed with the phone and make a phone call and it works well and stuff, would that be a good test?? or is there like a big difference between 2.4Ghz WiFi and the 2.4Ghz that cordless phones use??
 
Old 05-19-2006, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
here's one piece of 2.4Ghz equipment that i do have right now, though... it's my cordless phone... do you think that if i test using that it would be a good test??
That actually might not be a bad idea. I did a little googling, and it looks like the FCC regulates the 2.4Ghz band with a single set of rules. Any device using that band can have up to 1 watt of power. Now be aware that my electronics experience is pretty much limited to burning my fingers with a soldering iron, but it looks as if something running at 1 watt is going to have a range measured in miles. So the real question is going to be how powerful is your cordless phone relative to a wireless card.

I'm sure you've done a fair bit of googling on this, but from what I can tell, zinc probably isn't any worse than any other metal at blocking signal. In most of the discussions I've come across, people complain mostly about active interference from phones, microwaves and Bluetooth devices.
 
Old 05-19-2006, 03:18 PM   #5
win32sux
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great!! okay so now i just need to find a long phone cord so i can set the phone's base by the window and stuff...

thanks for your input man!! i really appreciate it!!

BTW, my phone is a Siemens Gigaset C4000, i'm googling it as we speak to see if the manual says something about the power:

http://www.google.com/search?q=siemens+gigaset+c4000

Last edited by win32sux; 05-19-2006 at 03:20 PM.
 
Old 05-20-2006, 01:22 AM   #6
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Cool

If you can put a perspex window in the roof of your shed, that will also act as a window for the signal.

The shed it's self will act like a faraday cage, I don't think your experiment will work without an external antenae.

Check out the arrl (amature radio handbook) www.arrl.org There are plenty of ideas and solutions in the handbook. Not much on the website, If you can get your hands on one, you may find a solution that is not too visible

From personal experience, I remember our radio phone did not recieve calls from inside the shed at ground level.
 
Old 05-20-2006, 02:45 AM   #7
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Mmmmm - I have a WRT54GX, and this is a crappy old PIII laptop with a Cisco 350 11b (!!!) card.
At 30 metres I can sit behind my zincalume garden shed (so 2 shed walls in the way as well as a couple of brick walls from the house), and talk quite happily.

A zinc roof is going to be thicker, but I reckon you should be o.k.
 
Old 05-20-2006, 03:01 AM   #8
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Your not taking into acount reflective surfaces, try it from inside with the door shut and get back to us, I'm interested to know as well.
 
Old 05-20-2006, 03:23 AM   #9
syg00
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Damn, I've got to put a light in this shed !!!!.
Good thing it's still warm in Brissy ...

Good call - door closed, can't connect. This is being sent with the door open about 4 inches.
 
Old 05-20-2006, 03:27 AM   #10
GlennsPref
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Yep, that's a faraday cage senario

But a plastic window should fix that.

I'm in brissy too.
 
  


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