If you are just getting started designing a wireless project and are not really sure where to begin, this is the blog post for you! These questions are important for designing almost every wireless Ethernet project and are a great place to start! If you call in, these are the same questions we would ask you to help design your project.
The first question to always ask is “Do you have line of sight?”
Let’s first define what line of sight means. Line of sight means an unobstructed line-of-sight between a subject and an object in this case between transmitter and receiver. In other words, if you can see a clear path from one location to the other you do have line of sight. However, if there are obstructions such as trees or buildings blocking the view from one point to the other, then you do not have line of sight. You can read more about Wireless Networking Limits regarding Line of Sight here.
You may be wondering why does this matter? Most of the time this question will identify which frequency is necessary for the project. The 900 MHz spectrum is great for Non line of sight (NLOS) applications whereas the 5.8 GHz may be better for Line of Sight (LOS) applications.
The next thing to identify is if your application is point to point or point to multipoint?
This is exactly the way it sounds. The easiest way to determine this is to ask is this a 1:1 connection or a 1:Many connection. This will help determine how many devices will be needed for this system.
Then you need to know what the maximum distance is from the access point to the subscriber unit?
It’s important to know how far apart the radios will be. We have radios that can communicate up to 40 miles but there are other factors involved that would need to be considered if that was the distance. If your distance is this long, I would recommend consulting an RF expert. The distance will also matter depending on your answer to the last question. A point-to-point link can communicate over a much farther distance than a point-to-multipoint.
Finally, determine if the expected bandwidth high speed or low speed?
Will the IP client need high bandwidth (i.e. IP cameras, internet backhaul, etc) or low bandwidth (i.e. PLC, Scada, access controllers etc). This is also very important to know to help determine which solution will work for you. Low speed is usually a great fit for 900 MHz solutions and high speed usually requires our 5.8GHz.
We often get asked how many devices our radios can connect. The short answer is, it’s not about how many, it’s about how much bandwidth will they be using. We want to make sure we choose a solution that has enough bandwidth to accommodate whatever clients you are connecting. You can learn more about bandwidth HERE.
You can use our product configurator tool to walk through these simple steps and determine which product may be the right fit for your project or we’d love the chance to help design your system.