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Re: [school-discuss] Wireless network ambulance for classrooms w/o wired network connectivity

Daniel Howard wrote:
As we prepare to convert our elementary school's network to support LTSP/thin clients, one of the challenges we have is that due to construction (expected to continue well into next school year) we have several classrooms whose Cat5 wires have been damaged and cannot access the network. As a bandaid (and for future outages, or the possibility of portable classrooms needing access) we want to set up a wireless router in an adjacent, wired classroom, and then install inside the classroom a temporary Linux router with wireless NIC and Ethernet NIC, such that the Linux box is a wireless client of the router next door, and thus provides a network connection to the switch in the classroom and thence to the classroom PCs. Some of these PCs will be thin clients, and some (like the teacher's computer) will be conventional WinXP PCs. All are currently connected to a switch in the classroom. Wireless has worked with limited success in our school due to thick concrete walls, but the thinking is that we can use higher gain directional antennas if necessary since both router and client will be fixed in space.

We've looked at the ZoneCD solution http://www.publicip.net/zonecd/what.php, but their network diagram is different from what we're planning. Does anyone know if it can be configured (or if there is a better solution) to do what we want?

I should think that you would be better off using a wireless access point and hooking your linux machine into the wired network. That way you have no routing issues to figure out and the power consumption and noise will be much lower. You can probably get the older 802.11b APs for less than $50, or if you can afford it, there are newer 802.11g APs that claim to have much better range (and speed). I haven't tried one, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of those claims.

This would make it easier to move the AP to the wired network connection
closest to where you need it.  Also, you could easily add more as needed,
and you might even be able to use them as relays to get even more
distance (might depend on which one you get--look into the Linksys
wrtg54 and the various hacks available for it).


Thanks in advance,

Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Quadrock Communications, Inc
404.264.9123 main
678.528.5839 fax
404.625.1593 cell

Don Christensen       Senior Software Development Engineer
djc@xxxxxxxxx         Cisco Systems, Santa Cruz, CA
  "It was a new day yesterday, but it's an old day now."