design

CTS 110: The Wi-Fi Connected Classroom

Teaching & learning is taking advantage of Wi-Fi. Are you ready for the connected classroom?

The Highly Connected Classroom

Students are bringing more Wi-Fi capable devices into the classroom. Professors have used the “closed lid” method with students for a while now to prevent distractions from happening during lectures.

Other professors have shifted their teaching to take advantage of technology. They use an interactive teaching method which involves students researching information and presenting their results in the class. With hundreds of students now actively utilizing Wi-Fi during class for teaching and learning purposes, we must ensure Wi-Fi is up to the task.

In this episode, I highlight topics I personally have gone through to create a highly connected classroom.

  • Stakeholder buy-in
  • Blending in with Aesthetics
  • Planning
  • Designing to meet requirements
  • Configuration
  • Monitoring

Navigating around the politics and funding is all part of the process. One we wish to ignore. In this episode I have some tips to get the project going. The most important part of a successful Wi-Fi deployment in a high density classroom environment is planning. Getting as much information as possible leads to a better design. Configuration cannot be left to defaults for high density classrooms. They need tuning and optimization to handle the capacity. And of course, let’s not forget to monitor our Wi-Fi networks. Be proactive instead of reactive.

CTS 077: Warehouse Wi-Fi

When it comes to challenging environments, warehouse Wi-Fi makes it to the top of the list. Each warehouse is a different environment housing different types of inventory which affect how the RF propagates. François speaks about his experience designing for warehouses.

Warehouse Wi-Fi

François has done a few warehouse designs and deployments. He is going to share his personal experiences when approaching warehouse Wi-Fi. Below are some of the bullet point topics we talk about. If you have any questions, feedback, or would like to add to the show please leave a comment below.

Safety

  • Always remember that you are working in someone else’s working space (true for any Wi-Fi, especially true for warehouses)
  • Skyjack use
  • Prep work about safety:
    • Ask the customer if any safety training are required
    • Am I going to need boots, safety glasses, hard hat, safety jacket
    • If you are going to drive a skyjack, do I need a licence for it? Do I have a licence for it? If yes, I will also need a harness
  • Once on site:
    • Always look around
    • Walk in the walking area whenever you can
    • Always give a visual to the lift truck drivers
    • Wear your safety equipment
    • Coordinate with the supervision to survey busy areas when they are less busy. (Especially the loading stations)
    • If you are handling your survey equipment for an AP-on-a-stick, be careful with it as well

Design

  • Structure of the building
  • Ceiling height (Can vary from 1 warehouse to another). This is greatly going to affect your design
  • What is inside the warehouse? Is is Milk, Wine or is it wood, metal?
  • How high are the racks? Do I have different type of racks? What are their attenuation? How do you test the attenuation?
  • How are the employee using the Wi-Fi devices? Let’s talk about how advanced those scanner guns are 😉
  • Usually 1 section with offices (on the ground floor or on 2 floors) and the rest is warehouse.
    • Separate it in your design. They don’t have the same requirements (not the same devices, not the same applications, not the same density, not the same environment)
    • Will I need different SSIDs?
  • How do I deal with offices inside the warehouse?
  • AP locations and mounting options (Am I going to mount the AP on the wall, on the ceiling)
  • Watch out for obstructions objects in the ceiling
  • Be precise with antenna installation (angle, location, orientation) – Give out good instructions to the installers
  • Do I need to lower the antenna from the ceiling?
  • What devices do I have in the warehouse? What type of security can I use?

Survey

  • Make sure you have proper floorpans (updated).
  • If your floor plans are empty, find elements which are going to help you to find out where you are (doors, docking area…)
  • Measure distances (to the wall, to the ceiling, to the beam…)
  • Laser measure distance tool
  • Be nice with the employees (remember, you are the intruder) – They will be nice with you and you will have a much better time.
  • If you need to take measurements with a SkyJack, make sure you can lift the skyjack from the ground.
  • Use pylon cones for extra safety
  • Your battery life is going to be your limitation. Organize your time so you do something else while the battery charges. (break, documentation…)
  • Mark the AP location with something you can see from the floor. (Pink plastic tape, While board,,,)

Prep Work

  • Prepare the equipment
  • Do I have my APs?
  • Are my APs configured?
  • Do I have my antennas? Do I have the right antennas?
  • Specific equipment for warehouse: Skyjack, High Ceiling pole, external antenna, hard hat, safety jacket, harness + duck tape and tire ups (you never know)
  • Prepare the access (schedule your survey with the customer). Warehouses are usually open 24/7, 7 day a week. It makes it easier!
  • Will I need a sky jack? Can I borrow one from the customer? Do I need to rent one out? Do you have to be certified to use it? Do you need training?

BadFi in Warehouses

AP on top of the ceiling

AP missing an antenna

AP antenna disconnected

AP is hidden

Wi-Fi News

CTS 010: Keith Parsons K-12 Wifi Design (WifiTrek Presentation)

In This Episode

We made it to episode 10! It’s been quite the experience with producing a podcast but I am happy to have made it this far. I’ve learned so much and there’s so many more questions to ask.

Who do you want interviewed on the show? Let me know in the comments below.

This episode is a recording of Keith Parsons, from WLAN Pros, on K-12 Wifi Design. The recording is from the 2015 CWNP WifiTrek conference in San Francisco.

Keith provides an overview of 7 mythes about Wifi which I recommend you listen.

I’ve learned a lot about wifi from Keith so there’s no doubt that when he has something to say, I listen.

Links and Resources Mentioned

Thanks For Listening!

Thanks to CWNP for putting on a great conference and for allowing me to post this recording on the podcast. Thanks to Keith for a great presentation.

Thanks to you for listening to the podcast. Your support is highly appreciated!

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