WiFi Bridge, Access Point or Repeater?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-13-16, 02:20 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 169
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
WiFi Bridge, Access Point or Repeater?

Okay - I'm not really great at being succinct but I'm going to try.

My house is about 300 feet from the street. There's a grove of trees about 150 feet down the driveway that prevents line-of-sight to the street. It's a steep driveway that's 460 feet long. I don't know exactly how high, but I look at the rooftops of the houses along the street.

There is no power down at the street.

I want to put a wireless camera (WiFi Nest Cam) down toward the bottom of the driveway. Down at the bottom I will have a 55ah 12V battery and 100 watt solar panel and controller along with a step down transformer that will give me the 5V and 1.4A required for the camera.

After a bit of research, I ordered one (1) of these: https://www.engeniustech.com/product...ens202ext.html

I was thinking if I mounted it on the house the WiFi signal would be strong enough for the camera to connect to it. But after reading the manual it seems that the weakest link is going to be the camera - it's probably not going to be able to see the WiFi extender. Instead it seems like I'd need a second one down by the camera and line-of-sight in between. I'm not sure I can get LoS between a pair of them.

And then there's power. The extenders are PoE. Not sure how I'd power a second extender down there anyway.

So bottom line is I'm looking for suggestions in getting this arrangement to work. Or an alternate arrangement....

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 12-13-16, 03:05 PM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
That's easily within range if you use hi gain antennas, such as a yagi or parabolic grid. The problem is no line of sight. If the trees aren't very dense it might work, but doubtful.

What about putting the camera at the trees and using a high quality long lens to get the view you want? If you go with a manual zoom (instead of motorized) they aren't very expensive. Only downside is you will have do a real solid mounting job or camera shake will be a problem.
 
  #3  
Old 12-14-16, 05:06 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 169
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply.

I can get line-of-sight to the bottom of the other side of the driveway, but it's not where I want the camera. The grove of trees is not very dense right now, but in the spring and summer it's like a wall. There's a pole about mid-way down the driveway where I have line-of-sight and could mount a camera, but to your point I'd need something with a better lens. It's a utility pole (not mine) but I doubt the power company would know or care I mounted anything on it.

I'll set up the enGenius thing and see how that goes. Another option is to put the enGenius antenna farther down - within reach of the WiFi camera. Since it's PoE I can just bury some Ethernet cable in the yard.
 
  #4  
Old 12-16-16, 02:44 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 169
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Update: All of the parts arrived so I am able to test the setup. I haven't put the connectors on the 150-foot long Ethernet cable that I'm going to be using to get my WiFi access point closer to the road, so the AP is sitting outside on the living room windowsill. Even so, I was able to get within about 75 feet of my goal before the camera said the signal was getting weak.

The 55ah battery, charge controller and stepdown transformer are working fine. I have the camera temporarily mounted on a tree and the apparatus in a plastic tub to protect it from the snow we'll be getting tonight.

Now that I know it will work, the hard part is going to be getting it all tidy an weather proof. Need to mount the solar panel and get the battery and electronics into the pole-mounted box. Need a pole first...

Here's a link to the live cam. It's a little over 100 feet from the street and about 300 feet from my house. It's cool to see what's going on down there:

https://video.nest.com/live/CJDKxmuBhw
 
  #5  
Old 12-16-16, 07:12 PM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Hey, who's that guy stealing your Christmas lights????

Pretty good pic considering the low light. Glad its working out.
 
  #6  
Old 12-17-16, 12:40 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 169
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks! Today I made a cable and moved the access point about 150 feet from the house and mounted it on a tree. I then moved the camera as far as I could (to a small tree - I intend to eventually mount it on a 4x4 post farther down). According to my phone, I have full WiFi strength down there and the whole way to the bottom.

So now that the temporary setup is working, I need to move on to a more permanent installation. I may need to wait until Spring when the ground thaws. I disconnected the solar panel until I can get it permanently mounted so camera has been running on just the battery for 36 hours now. The charge controller still shows that it's in the green. I may have overestimated how much battery I needed for this but better that than underestimate.
 
  #7  
Old 12-17-16, 01:01 PM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Better to have plenty of battery since solar panel output is so variable, especially in winter...

Make sure you have good security setup on the wifi since it can probably be picked up by others more easily now. I would turn off SSID broadcast too. Won't stop anyone who is knowledgeable and determined, but limits how many people see your network and maybe get tempted....
 
  #8  
Old 12-17-16, 04:55 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 169
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I have a WPA2-PSK passphrase set up on the AP, but it is a good idea to shut off the SSID broadcast. I'll have to do that once it's all set up.
 
  #9  
Old 12-18-16, 10:27 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 219
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
That is very good video. Nice setup with the solar panel and battery. Using the extender is sort of what I did. I sometimes bring a D-Link camera out to the deck at the farthest point. Previously, there was just the main router in the living room and the signal didn't quite cut it. I had a spare router which I converted to an access point which I installed in the kitchen, closer to the deck so the signal is fine. To convert a router to an access point just disable DHCP, I also made it a static ip address. The connection from the main router is to one of the access ports. not the ISP port.

I have an Ooma phone system, that has some options to integrate with Nest, haven't checked it out yet.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: