How to connect several remote computers and outdoor kiosks

How to connect several remote computers and outdoor kiosks
If you have one or several remote work areas (WA) that have to be conneccted to a cross-connect in another building within short distance (up to 90 m), you may use one of two options:

- Using outside Category 5 UTP cable;
- Using wireless LAN system operating in an unlicensed band.


Using outdoor Category 5 UTP cable
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In this case you install outside Category 5 UTP cable between two buildings using either aerial placement or underground conduits.

On every side where outside cable enters the building you have to install special Category 5-rated protectors. Standard telephone protectors will not pass through the high-frequency network signal and, therefore, they are not suited for this application. Check Category 5 compliancy of protectors with the manufacturer. Do not forget to ground the protectors accordingly.

Be sure that the total cable length between the interconnection point and WA outlet does not exceed 90 m as it is dictated by the maximum horizontal cable length. Be sure that the total channel length does not exceed 100 m.

ALways check that outside Cat5 cable is fire rated. If it is not, then this cable may not penetrate into the building more than 50 ft. If you need more penetration, then use a metal conduit.


Using wireless LAN system
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You may want to connect remote users by using a wireless LAN system operating in an unlicensed RF band.

In this case the following equipment is used:

- two wireless bridges
- two directional antennas
- wireless LAN NIC

A wireless bridge is installed in each buildings and provides wireless point-point connectivity between buildings.

Directional antennas are connected to wireless bridges using special antenna cables and installed either outside or inside of the building. The direct visibility between antennas must be present.

In general, you may choose between two wireless LAN technologies:

- Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS)
- Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)

Each technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. DSSS can provide more performance (up to 11 Mbit/s), while FHSS is somewhat more resistive to interference, but has limited speed capabilities (up to 3 Mbit/s).

Before buying a wireless LAN solution, always make a test run. The bands, in which these systems operate, are unlicensed, so there is a possibility that another wireless network in your area is already operating and can degrade your wireless network performance.

There are many manufacturers producing wireless LAN solutions. We tried and have good experience with two of them:

- Aironet (
http://www.aironet.com)
- Lucent Technologies' WaveLAN (
http://www.wavelan.com)
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