Constructing a Point to Point Wireless Link
This can be used to share an internet connection with a neighbour , or provide an internet connection to a outlying building
Q. Why Zinwell?
It is possible to use a variety of different types of wireless AP . Linksys WRT54GL are good but it is necessary to change the firmware with something like DD-WRT to get the improved functionality that you'll need for Wireless Distribution System (WDS) and bridging capability. Often the power output is only about 30mW which means that amplifiers need to be used.
Zinwell have both indoor and outdoor units, 2.45GHz and 5GHz models, 250mW rating or above, an extemely good implementaion of WDS and bridging capability without having to change any firmware, easy to follow manuals, and are not expensive.
PICS AND MANUALS OF ZINWELL RADIOS
Q Do I need line of sight?
A That is the best of course. A few trees won't make much difference. But a thick forest will attenuate the signal. Thin fibro walls, with no metal content, or roof tiles are relatively transparent. Tin roofs and thick concrete walls are not at all transparent.
Q. Are they difficult to set up?
A. Not really. The setup instructions are below.
Probably you will have a wireless or other router in one location. We'd probably use a Linksys WRT54G, without any firmware change for this, but it might be a D-Link , Netgear or similar. Anything with a spare ethernet port will be OK. Start by getting some information on your network settings as follows:
Connect to your wireless network either via your the wireless card or by ethernet cable with your Windows PC as shown below. Make a note of the numbers shown circled.
Start > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt > Type " ipconfig/all"
In this example we find we are connected on an IP address of 192.168.1.75
We are interested in all numbers in the subnet 192.168.1.N N=1 to 254
We are assuming a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 for now. This is most commonly used.
Other possibilities would be 192.168.0.N or 51.51.51.N etc
Some IP addresses will be free and some will be used.
Use angry IP (Free download) to see what else is connected to the wireless network. Make a note of free IP numbers which you can use yourself. You can also check to see what range the DHCP server in the router is set to. Avoid using these numbers. You might want to reduce this range.
Then line up your network card, on your PC , with a manual IP address, as described in http://www.rfshop.com.au/Blogs/tabid/648/EntryID/31/Default.aspx for the 192.168.2.N subnet using any free IP number other than N=254
Connect up Zinwell Radio #1
The default address in 192.168.2.254
Type this into your browser and you will see the user interface. Set it up as to suit your network. Remember in this example we are using the 192.168.1.N subnet. Yours may be different. Refer to your "ipconfig" info for DNS and gaetway settings.
Remember too that you will neep to keep your PC network card aligned. That is in the same subnet as the wireless card you are setting up. Sometimes it is quicker to connect via wireless but riskier. If you lock yourself out you'll need to press the reset button which can be tedious! One way of losing track of the device IP is to connect it to something which will assign it a , possibly unknown, IP address via DHCP. You should be able to use angry IP to find it , especially if you know what DHCP ranges are used in your network.
In the above menu (Wireless Basic Settings) choose AP +WDS for now. If you don't want to connect a PC to either, or both, of these by wireless later you can change this to WDS only.
In Radio #1 put in the Macaddress of Radio #2. (and vice versa later)
The "Operations Mode" should be set to "bridge". I haven't included a screen shot of this. Its the default setting, but you should just check it has not been altered.
The Macaddresses should be written on labels on the bottom of the unit. Use the first Macaddress on the list. Often you can find the Macaddress of an AP if you connect to it by wireless. Use the "arp -a" command in Command prompt to get a list of Macaddresses and IP addresses.
Repeat the process for Radio #2. Except you need to choose a different IP address for it. In our example I would use 192.168.1.253
Don't forget to do this. It can be awkward if you have two devices on the same IP address.
Also set the DHCP client range to be different from the first one. Plan your IP usage on your network and don't duplicate ranges on DHCP servers.
Make sure the Channel Settings are the same.
For now make sure the SSIDs are different
That's just about it. The link should now work. You should be able to connect to either Radio either by ethernet cable or wireless. Get this working on the bench with the two radios side by side first. Then separate them.
Much easier than when they are 2km apart and you are 10 metres up a ladder!
You'll need to add some security. See the security Tab for this. You can set Access control to filter Macaddresses.
Have a good look through the menus.
Make a note of any passwords and IP addresses. Save the configuration files you've used. Name the configuration files as "username_password_IPaddress" which will save you a lot of trouble later!
You can continue the process of adding extra wireless AP's either by wireless (AP+WDS) or connecting by ethernet cable (AP). Its probably better to choose an ethernet cabled connection if possible.