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Old 21st October 2020, 12:22 PM   #1
Dr. Keith
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Wi-Fi in and around a Metal Building

We have some land in the country. We built a metal shop that will likely be our only building for the next year or maybe longer.* We visit the area a lot and need to get cable internet service there to make such trips possible. When we do get internet the router and such will be inside the corrugated galvalume** steel building. We will often be outside the building, either on the porch or in a travel trailer or just out under the trees.

Will we get any wifi signal outside? Will we need some sort of repeater to have outside signal? Would a mesh wifi router setup work?





*Once we build a house down there I'll come back to ask about how I can get the signal from the shop over to the house 100 feet away.

**Galvalume is a coating consisting of zinc, aluminum and silicon that is used to protect a metal (primarily steel) from oxidation. It is similar to galvanizing in that it is a sacrificial metal coating which protects the base metal.
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Old 21st October 2020, 01:06 PM   #2
BowlOfRed
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Have to test to be sure, but I would expect a lot of attenuation. Do you have cellular service out there? Do the phones signals drop significantly inside? If so, I'd expect the same for wifi going the other way.

A mesh setup might help if the attenuation is light. Put a pair on each side of a window and that might work okay. Best would be if there are some that allow you to run a cable between some of the elements and use that to cross the structure boundary.
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Old 21st October 2020, 01:43 PM   #3
Dr. Keith
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Originally Posted by BowlOfRed View Post
Have to test to be sure, but I would expect a lot of attenuation. Do you have cellular service out there? Do the phones signals drop significantly inside? If so, I'd expect the same for wifi going the other way.
Haven't tried with the doors closed because the lights have not yet been hung. Phones work with the doors open, but then they are pretty big doors at 10x10 and 12x12 and the larger one is pointed almost directly at a cell tower about 1000 feet away (but barely visible).

Quote:
A mesh setup might help if the attenuation is light. Put a pair on each side of a window and that might work okay. Best would be if there are some that allow you to run a cable between some of the elements and use that to cross the structure boundary.
Windows? What crazy person would want a window in their shop? (I did, but was vetoed. Not my shop.) Most of the consumer mesh systems don't seem to have wired back channels, but I'll keep looking.

Thanks.
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Old 21st October 2020, 01:51 PM   #4
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A similar problem was solved in an episode of Star Trek by boosting the deflector array to emit a tachyon pulse into a subspace bubble. And in the B-plot this arrangement got Riker a successful date, Geordi an unsuccessful date, and Data learned what a date is but didn't get one.

Hope that helps!
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Old 21st October 2020, 02:07 PM   #5
Yalius
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Just run ethernet to the eave outside and mount an outdoor access point secondary to your primary router. I loathe mesh networks, they're about as predictable as a toddler on a sugar rush.

ETA, is the travel trailer aluminum or fiberglass? If it's aluminum, you might run into the same issue getting a signal into the trailer.

Last edited by Yalius; 21st October 2020 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 21st October 2020, 02:08 PM   #6
CORed
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
A similar problem was solved in an episode of Star Trek by boosting the deflector array to emit a tachyon pulse into a subspace bubble. And in the B-plot this arrangement got Riker a successful date, Geordi an unsuccessful date, and Data learned what a date is but didn't get one.

Hope that helps!
I'm pretty sure that won't work. You need to reverse the polarity of the dilithium crystals while putting the warp containment field oscillation into its third harmonic. Of course there is a slight risk that doing this will cause the ship to explode by overloading the main phaser bank.
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Old 21st October 2020, 02:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
A similar problem was solved in an episode of Star Trek by boosting the deflector array to emit a tachyon pulse into a subspace bubble. And in the B-plot this arrangement got Riker a successful date, Geordi an unsuccessful date, and Data learned what a date is but didn't get one.

Hope that helps!
It did. It really did.

Query: Was the date successful for Riker or the other party?
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Old 21st October 2020, 02:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yalius View Post
Just run ethernet to the eave outside and mount an outdoor access point secondary to your primary router. I loathe mesh networks, they're about as predictable as a toddler on a sugar rush.
Can devices move between access points pretty seamlessly? If so, that sounds good. I just need to be able to move from outside to inside and back while maintaining a connection.

I have read about mesh routers being weird and I'm not very good with such things, so your warning is appreciated.

Quote:
ETA, is the travel trailer aluminum or fiberglass? If it's aluminum, you might run into the same issue getting a signal into the trailer.
One of each, but the aluminum one has pretty big windows so I'm hoping that will help. But likely not and I will need to work on that, too. It has other needs in the short term.
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Old 21st October 2020, 02:35 PM   #9
Dr. Keith
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
I'm pretty sure that won't work. You need to reverse the polarity of the dilithium crystals while putting the warp containment field oscillation into its third harmonic. Of course there is a slight risk that doing this will cause the ship to explode by overloading the main phaser bank.
That's silly. This is a shop, not a ship, so none of those concerns are germane.

Has anyone seen a subspace bubble near central Texas?
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Old 21st October 2020, 03:21 PM   #10
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If you go with an integrated router/access point it should be able to move from AP to AP. Something like u Ubiquiti or Sonicwall set with a control module and access points should; otherwise, if you do something like a bring-your-own-AP you might have to select which one you connect to.
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Old 21st October 2020, 05:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
That's silly. This is a shop, not a ship, so none of those concerns are germane.

Has anyone seen a subspace bubble near central Texas?
Hell all of the oil drillers are venting excess gas into subspace now because they're no longer allowed to flare it. Texas -- north south east and west as well as central -- is absolutely riddled with subspace bubbles as a result.
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Old 21st October 2020, 05:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
It did. It really did.

Query: Was the date successful for Riker or the other party?
It was successful in the sense that each party got precisely what they expected to out of the encounter.
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Old Yesterday, 02:49 PM   #13
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I do wireless in some warehouses (philly mac and cheese, etc.) because we do a lot of automation work.

I'll echo what Yalius said. I would run an ethernet cable and get some outdoor AP's. I would highly, Highly, HIGHLY recommend unifi/ubiquiti. My general setup consists of a Sonicwall firewall\router combo. If you aren't trying to get too nuts, just a regular SOHO will do. I wouldn't go wireless, just the base model. In your case I'd go with a outdoor Unifi AP. The controller software is free, and easy to setup. It can be done on windows, linux or I run mine in docker at work. To finish it all off I'd just get a small switch, sounds like you don't need to plug in much, so I'd go with just a little toughswitch. They're PoE, 8-port, relatively cheap, and you can hook a computer, security cam, etc. up to it as well. That would complete a network, but it would be a bit of investment. With that same setup you could add a Unifi Pro, if you want 5 Ghz, or just a Lite if you only need 2.4.

For the other building of 100 feet, I'd just use some bridges.
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