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I would like to connect two buildings together (house/shop). They are about 400-500 feet apart. To my knowledge, this would require some pro-sumer or pro level gear to accomplish this. A directional antennae on both sides is a obvious choice, but what size/power of one do I need? What is the max speed I could accomplish? This would be a bridge type of setup. Prices seem to be all over the place when you move out of standard home gear.

Because this is dealing with potentially pro level gear, I think SF would have many more knowledgeable people in this area. This would fall under wireless bridges of close buildings or other outdoor setups.

I saw this, but it seem to be for any distance. Wireless network between buildings

This is on SU originally: http://superuser.com/questions/33077/what-hardware-antennae-to-use-for-an-outdoor-wireless-connection

And discussed on MSO: http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19102/is-su-the-best-place-for-this-outdoor-wireless-connection-question

EDIT: It would be very nice to have a POE type setup to eliminate having to run external power to the antennae.

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This is probably better suited to SuperUser.com. –  ceejayoz Aug 31 '09 at 19:09
    
It was asked at SU orginaly, but SF has brought many more useful answers as more people here know this hardware much better. –  Troggy Oct 22 '09 at 18:41
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do this with a variety of devices, depending on how "DIY" you want to get. You're trading, ultimately, your time for the purchase price.

I've used the Ubiquiti "Bullet" radios for such a link, but in those cases we were replacing existing APs and antennas were already in place. For what you're looking for, provided it's a clean line of sight between the buildings, you could probably get by with a couple of Ubiquiti NanoStation Loco APs, which have integrated antennas, are weatherproof, and are only about $50.00 / ea. I haven't used the NanoStation Loco APs personally, but I know they run the same Linux distro as the Bullet radios and I was very pleased with the OS stack running there (open access to a command prompt if you so desire, and a nice web interface available stock).

Be aware that the Ubiquiti devices use passive power over Ethernet, which is different than "traditional" 802.3af. Ubiquiti sells a "POE-15" power over Ethernet injector for their devices that's about $15.00, and it's worth it if you don't already have gear to do passive PoE injection.

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A POE power setup would be much more convienent and desired over a tranditional power setup. –  Troggy Aug 31 '09 at 19:39
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PoE is very nice indeed. Don't forget that you need a lightning arrestor on any cable that leaves the building, too. If you go with an AP like those Ubiquiti devices, which would just have an Ethernet cable (w/ power) feeding them, be sure to use a cat 5 lightning arrestor or you run the risk of lightning making it back to your Ethernet switch (or further) if you take a strike on the AP. –  Evan Anderson Aug 31 '09 at 22:00
    
I selected this as the answer for now, but I am still open to any suggestions or hardware recommendations. –  Troggy Oct 8 '09 at 22:31
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I have similar setup at my house. The bridge is between the house and the shop. The distance is 550 feet clear line of sight. I am using the Engenius EOC-3320-EXT AP/Bridge radios. I have one setup as a access point and one setup as a bridge unit. Connection speed is 54meg 801.11g. The radios are POE and outdoor rated. The radios came with POE injectors.

The EOC-3320-EXT has been discontinued. The replacement is EOC-3610S-EXT. I have not tried these radios. I gave about $150.00 each for the 3220's. They have been in operation for about 9 months and no problems.

The manual states you can setup the radio as a 802.11 repeater. I was never able to get the repeater to work even with the help of Engenius tech support.

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Some people have had success with this:

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template/

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My sister & husband live up on a mountain outside of Golden, CO and get decent internet by bouncing a signal off relays. They use a flat antenna which looks like the one I found here by a Google search, though I don't know if it's the same brand: http://www.radiolabs.com/products/antennas/2.4gig/2.4-flat-panel.php

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This was a worthy contribution from SU:

This is different from what you asked, but another way to solve the same problem:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RONJA http://ronja.twibright.com/

It can travel 1.4 km, so the distance to your shop is fine.

"stable 10Mbps full duplex data rate"

"Material for one Ronja 10M Metropolis device costs 2000CZK [110 USD] and building the device takes 70 hours."

The connection degrades in fog or smoke, of course.

answered Oct 11 at 17:41 endolith

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