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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless networks and large groups of laptops in Technical; @ gwendes i have setup each laptop manually with only 3 ssid. you can how ever with 3com add 10 ...
  1. #16

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    @ gwendes

    i have setup each laptop manually with only 3 ssid. you can how ever with 3com add 10 laptops wireless MAC addresses to the allow list on the AP.

    another much more simple method is to use RADIUS but im not sure how to set it up. pluss i think you have to buy additional software for the server.

  2. #17

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    Hmmm, lots of people with different experiences.

    The main problem for us is the laptops are intended for use potentially anywhere in the school building, so having dedecated access points just for these laptops is not very workable, as they would need to be school wide, and also having the laptops set to only connect to specific APs would be a nitemare, as theres 26 access points on site, and again the laptops could potentially be used anywhere on the school site.

    The access points are all set to auto select channels, so they shouldn't overlap, although on the agenda for next week is manually setting the channels to space them apart as much as possible.

    In response to eean -
    The test on that was was we set 5 laptops logging on in the same area at exactly the same time, and yes it does cause problems. They will log on eventually, but it takes nearly 7 - 10 minutes for this to happen. An average desktop machine on our system will log on in approximately 25 seconds.
    And nice ideas on the managed wireless network, we had already thought of this and we know it is the ultimate solution, except this is way out of our affordability. The existing wireless system was installed by myself, and it does work well, just not with lots of laptops in one space.
    I will have a look and see what wireless adapter the laptops have in them, they are HP laptops and don't get me wrong, on their own, or with a few in the room they work very well. If they are intel cards, I think I've got enough spare 3com PCMCIA cards to try in them and see if that improves things.

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    @ maniac

    do the laptops have to connect any were in the school? can you not control where they can and can not?

    your situatin sounds like a right nightmare

    its intresting to see why 5 laptops would take so long to logon. it sounds as if cant decide which AP to connect to

    laptop 1 hey im going to conect to this AP
    laptop 2 hey im connecting to this one, get your own :P
    laptop 1 you bully

    7 min later....

    laptop 1 aaaahaa! found one My precious :twisted:

  4. #19

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    are the drivers and AP firmware up to date?

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    We have a similar situation to manic only with 41 AP and 200 laptops - and yes they still want to move them from one end of the school to the other

    We've managed to get the users to stagger logins which helps a lot.

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    alan-d

    200 laptops, how many of them are mobile classroom and how many are staff?

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    alan_d only 200 laptops?


    have you looked at the logs files on the AP's for anything that may help diagnose the issue.

    Do you have any other make AP that you could test around 8 machines on to see if the current AP is the problem.

    we have around 80 teacher laptops that are wireless. Also we an area where theie are 18 laptops that have an AP and it is very stable

    (wireless technology has along way to go before it can be fully relied on)

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    too many access point in one area can cause problems

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    We have 3 Laptop trollys. We have DLink 2100AP all over the school and that communicate with them. Most i have seen accessing 1 point was 58 laptops and the pupils did not complain of running slow or anything.

    We did have problems at first with slow and freezing, but redirecting ONLY My Documents and Favorites folder stopped all those problems. The appdata over wireless was killing it. I think they want more trollys, all three are always in use.

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    Duplicate post

  11. #26

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    The too many access points issue is one we're actually going to investigate this coming week. The wireless network was installed by ourselves (cost restraints) so a proper site survey wasn't done (I did it the best I could with available resources) We've basically placed an AP at every location where there was an AP on the old wireless system.

    Obviously as technology has improved, the coverage is generally better per AP so it is likey we may have overcrowding on the airwaves in some areas. The other problem is we're on 3 floors, and I know the APs on different floors are directly below each other.

    You know what, I havn't actually checked the AP logs, that's a damn good suggestion. Always the obvious things you overlook hey!

    We have tested these laptops on a different make accesspoint (old buffalo 54g AP), and we got simelar results although it was slightly better, maybe due to the fact it was on its own SSID, and very close range to the laptops. Still more than 7 or 8 machines and it caused simelar results.

    We would have a roaming access point on its own SSID to go with the laptops and be plugged in the classroom where they're being used (all our rooms have cat5 cabling to them) The problem with this is they might not all be in the same area at once, so we would need 2 or 3 of them, then there's the problems of showing teachers how to plug them in the set them up, then there's the problems of it interfereing with our existing wireless infrastructure as well.

    @alan-d
    We also get them to stagger logins at the moment, it makes it workable, normally 4 at a time we've found works well, 30 seconds or so apart seems to be enough for our system.

    Thanks for all the comments and advice people, very good to see that the sorts of suggestions being mentioned are the sorts of things I was thinking of trying or changing anyway.

    Mike.

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopsgarthstockton
    @ maniac
    laptop 1 hey im going to conect to this AP
    laptop 2 hey im connecting to this one, get your own :P
    laptop 1 you bully

    7 min later....

    laptop 1 aaaahaa! found one My precious :twisted:
    This is my exact situation atm but multiplied by 30! 7 minutes becomes over a lesson... I can't change SSID on the access points because they are all managed by the switch on a single SSID...

    Another tech is going to learn about Aruba from Aruba soon - hopefully they will have a solution

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopsgarthstockton
    alan-d

    200 laptops, how many of them are mobile classroom and how many are staff?
    All 200 are mobile. We also have another 72 staff laptops and about 10 for general use and for students to sign out & take home.

    We are using Buffalo APs but have tried others which had no effect. apeo is spending half term reconfiguring the whole school to see if it can be improved a little but we doubt this will be the case but it will keep SMT happy

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers
    We have 3 Laptop trollys. We have DLink 2100AP all over the school and that communicate with them. Most i have seen accessing 1 point was 58 laptops and the pupils did not complain of running slow or anything.

    We did have problems at first with slow and freezing, but redirecting ONLY My Documents and Favorites folder stopped all those problems. The appdata over wireless was killing it. I think they want more trollys, all three are always in use.
    We had problems with freezing for the first few years. Usually, after about 20 minutes of problem free use, a couple of the computers would just freeze (usually as they wanted to save). If the computer was just left, it was fine after about 1 minute. Some programs, however, didn't like this and it crashed them. Not sure if it was new firmware or new drivers (we have dlink g650 cards, and the UK drivers stink - use the ones from tsd.dlink.com.tw), but I doesn't do it any more! We never had app data redirected but could it be that yours are still freezing but, because you don't redirect app data, you don't notice it so much?
    Also, I always have them on a timer plug (it's all POE, so its easy). This way they get a good hard reset every day. I think that helps most technological appliances!

  15. #30

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    Re: Wireless networks and large groups of laptops

    Also, I always have them on a timer plug (it's all POE, so its easy). This way they get a good hard reset every day. I think that helps most technological appliances!
    Lovely non hi tech solution to that I love it.

    I would do something with snmp or ssh to script and automated power cycle of them.

    Ben

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