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Old May 5th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #1
sanger
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Recommendations for Industrial WiFi Access Points

I'm looking for some recommendations for WiFi Access Points for use in an industrial environment. We'd like something more rugged and with better range and noise immunity than your usual DLink/Belkin wireless router.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #2
Ken Roach
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The best thing you can do with a D-Link router is smash it with a sledge so it cannot cause trouble for anyone else.

Every industrial radiomodem vendor has WiFi equipment too; Prosoft's gear is very rugged and Hirschmann has gotten into the business too.

I like to go the middle route: I am a very big fan of Ubiquiti Networks (ubnt.com) wireless access points, bridges, and adapters. I use them in a community WiFi project in a very challenging wireless environment (lots of water, metal, and reflections) and they are the only part that hasn't been rigged for daily reboots.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:20 AM   #3
rdrast
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Check out the RadioLinx WiFi devices from Prosoft. I use them, and have had no troubles maintaining a link to a remote HMI and Ethernet/IP remote I/O drop.

Another option might be to take a look at some of the newer offerings from Advantech, such as this Waterproof B/G/N Access Point/Bridge.

Actually, on the above site, B&B, there are many reasonably priced industrial WiFi offerings, as well as many wireless I/O products.

/agree Ken - Ditch the D-Link. They are a mere migraine in home applications, and pure nightmare anywhere else.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:16 AM   #4
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I agree with Ken and take a middle-of-the-road approach too. I have been using the Zyxel business Access points (NWA3160) in numerous applications on ships. Obviously, on a ship, there is steel everywhere so its a very challenging environment. These AP's have a couple features I really like: they are POE powered so no wall wart is necessary and they trivially support roaming.

Roaming is a great feature to offer when you have to install multiple access points: they all have the same SSID so the client PC's only need one configuration for all the access points (instead of a configuration for each access point that may come in range). I set overlapping AP's to have RF frequencies that are unique so they don't fight with each other from a radio perspective. Then no matter where you go, the client PC switches to the new frequency but thinks its still on the same AP.

I started using the Zyxel AP's because they are one of the few made with Low Smoke Zero Halogen materials (a shipping regulations requirement). I've never had one fail: in fact I've never even had to reboot one. Rock solid.

I'm sure there are better radios on other AP's out there, but it sure is nice to use something that's legal, ergonomically pleasing and reliable as political doubletalk:-)

Bonehead simple to set up too... for boneheads like me.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #5
Firejo
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http://www.zcomax.com/indoor.htm
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Old May 9th, 2011, 11:37 AM   #6
dleakey
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I have used prosoft with great success. I also used the new product that phoenix came out with about 3 years ago on an AGV. It was great, just expensive.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #7
thelinuxman
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http://www.moxa.com/product/industrial_wireless_lan.htm
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Old May 9th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #8
rguimond
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I've had good luck with EnGenius APs. PoE, weatherproof (washdown proof), etc.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #9
melrick
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Hirschmann have a good range of specifically industrial wireless. The BAT54-F is expensive, but top of the range in IP67 dual-band units. It includes onboard authentication, and will form part of any topology you can create - bridge, client, repeater & access point.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 11:16 PM   #10
Kev77
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I have tried several models but the best I have used is Esteem. I have them all over our site in some bad areas and I have not touched them in 3 years. Very rugged and weatherproof.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #11
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Hello all,
With any large Wifi installation over a large area, we would suggest getting a path study done. Phoenix Contact offers a free service to conduct a path study for any wireless application. With this path study we can offer guidance on how to implement the system based on the land topology. For more information on the path study service offered by Phoenix Contact, please contact our Technical Service Department at 800-322-3225. If you would like more technical information about our Wifi product line you can visit this link...
http://www.phoenixcontact.com/signal-level-matching/31240_15481.htm
Phoenix Contact offers a whole line of industrial Ethernet radios, which are deployed in many application and areas across the United States. We currently use our Wifi products to blanket a large oil refinery with Wifi. The system has been installed for multiple years running reliably. We hope this information is helpful in your application.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #12
The Plc Kid
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We use Ruckus for the IT enviroment and the plant

http://www.ruckuswireless.com/

We use these in the offices http://www.ruckuswireless.com/produc...ex-indoor/7025

These in the plant and outside the plant to remote buildings

http://www.ruckuswireless.com/products/zoneflex-outdoor

http://www.ruckuswireless.com/products/zoneflex-indoor

The management and security is unmatched.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #13
TurpoUrpo
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I think we are going to avoid phoenixcontact from now on, as they dont know where marketing is appropriate.

Happily we have ignorelist so i dont have to see anymore of that spam.

Last edited by TurpoUrpo; January 17th, 2012 at 10:39 AM.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 01:46 AM   #14
rdrast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurpoUrpo View Post
I think we are going to avoid phoenixcontact from now on, as they dont know where marketing is appropriate.

Happily we have ignorelist so i dont have to see anymore of that spam.

Ditto here, I've just added them to my (rather short) "Vendors to Avoid" list and informed others in the maintenance department.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #15
PhoenixContact
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Sorry if my post was interpreted as spam, it truly wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t mean for the additional information to come across “salesy”, just informative. I’m new over in the marketing dept here at Phoenix Contact, and reading these forums has been a great way to learn more about a wide range of applications.


The point I was trying to make was that in many wireless applications, a product is often quickly determined to be “good” or “not good” far more arbitrarily than it should be. The most accurate predictor of a successful installation is whether anyone conducted a path study for the actual land topology before any product from any vendor was purchased.


It seems that a lot of our customers don’t know that this can be done for free. I am not sure how many other vendors offer this support, but I do know that doing so can prevent a lot of post installation headaches for everyone.


There is a tremendous amount of accumulated knowledge on a lot of different topics that I have gleaned from reading various posts on this forum and others. So when I saw this thread, I was excited as this was an area where I had a pretty useful point to add to the dialogue. I certainly didn’t mean for my exuberance for some of my new employer’s products to irritate anyone -- I just thought the point about the critical nature of the pre-purchase path study should matter to anyone looking for a radio recommendation and it didn't look like that point had been made…..
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