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Thread: Question about wireless access point

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Question about wireless access point

    I need a wireless access point to my e1.31 bridges. I have several and want a small and cheap wireless adapter in each box to handle the communications with the mother ship. I found a Dlink DWL2100AP for $20 that is 5.6"x4.3"x1.2" (142mm x 109mm X 31mm) with published temperature ratings from 0-55 degC and one gentleman in a review had successfully mounted the device outside with temps from -20 degF to 100 deg F (-29 degC to 38 degC). The limited amount of time the device is used I feel this would be a good solution. Now for my question, should I mount one of these near the PC and one in each box running the lot in the point to point bridge mode? Link to manual.

    You guys with the E681s or ECG-DR4s should pay attention to this this thread. If this works it gives cheap electrical isolation from each e681 to your PC. I have no desires to have my new PC connected up to anything in the yard with wires this year.
    Al

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Al -

    Test this before going through the mounting. Not all wireless devices will allow multicast, which I think is necessary for E1.31.

    I've used wireless routers in the past as "cable replacements." Turn off the DHCP server, set the SSID to match the "home base" router, and make sure the LAN IP is not one in use by some other device but still on the same network. Any device plugged into the Ethernet ports on the router should be able to get to the "home router"

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    Al -

    Test this before going through the mounting. Not all wireless devices will allow multicast, which I think is necessary for E1.31.

    I've used wireless routers in the past as "cable replacements." Turn off the DHCP server, set the SSID to match the "home base" router, and make sure the LAN IP is not one in use by some other device but still on the same network. Any device plugged into the Ethernet ports on the router should be able to get to the "home router"
    Thanks Jack. e1.31 can be run in unicast which is what I plan to do this year. Multicast may be in the future though. I know little about this subject, and appreciate advice from people that do though. I guess what I had in mind was using these for "AP client/server" mode if that is the correct label or even what I need. The network is totally for the yard and has a separate NIC for it. I could place more security on it but someone that knows hows to crack a high level security would just get past anything I do. This computer has no business related stuff on it. I read some performance reviews on this card and its speed is excellent in this mode.
    Al

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    Thanks Jack. e1.31 can be run in unicast which is what I plan to do this year. Multicast may be in the future though. I know little about this subject, and appreciate advice from people that do though. I guess what I had in mind was using these for "AP client/server" mode if that is the correct label or even what I need. The network is totally for the yard and has a separate NIC for it. I could place more security on it but someone that knows hows to crack a high level security would just get past anything I do. This computer has no business related stuff on it. I read some performance reviews on this card and its speed is excellent in this mode.
    I hope I don't sound like I'm rambling off but here it goes:

    The model bridge you provided is older technology, 802.11 "b". This is good as older stuff seems to take a beating better (cold weather). The problem with this is that the top speed for 802.11b devices is 11mbps, and that's not always going to be achievable depending on distance and other various factors. I don't know your planned network topology, but I'm going to assume (bad idea, but works for me right now) that you will see at best 6-8mbps top throughput. This also depends on factors of all other stuff in the 2.5Ghz range that I cannot account for. This is in turn slower than you would get using an old 10meg hub, but still fine for a few universes (fasteddy had 12 universes on a 10meg hub and had no issues).

    That brings me to my second point. Make sure you can do unicast to some of these devices. I have the E1.31 to DMX bridge designed by RPM. It doesn't support unicast and I know it's based off of the E680/1 devices (although the E680 may support it, idk, don't have one). Lets say you can do unicast and it all works this year, if you do switch to multicast, all universe data will be transmitted over each wireless connection. This could cause a bottleneck, as they cannot handle the massive amount of data. You could always put the "b" devices at each box, and have a "g" AP connected to them at the computer. I believe this should stop some of the issues when it comes to unicast, multicast will always be an issue until you start using IGMP capable switches and the IGMP querier, but that's a different subject for a different year.

    As for security, just set the firewall rules for that NIC to reject all incoming connections. This will pretty much stop any nonsense from happening, if anyone even tries to begin with. That will have to change in the future if you ever start playing around with IGMP, or E1.33/RDM devices, but it works for now.

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by Samj435 View Post
    I hope I don't sound like I'm rambling off but here it goes:

    The model bridge you provided is older technology, 802.11 "b". This is good as older stuff seems to take a beating better (cold weather). The problem with this is that the top speed for 802.11b devices is 11mbps, and that's not always going to be achievable depending on distance and other various factors. I don't know your planned network topology, but I'm going to assume (bad idea, but works for me right now) that you will see at best 6-8mbps top throughput. This also depends on factors of all other stuff in the 2.5Ghz range that I cannot account for. This is in turn slower than you would get using an old 10meg hub, but still fine for a few universes (fasteddy had 12 universes on a 10meg hub and had no issues).

    That brings me to my second point. Make sure you can do unicast to some of these devices. I have the E1.31 to DMX bridge designed by RPM. It doesn't support unicast and I know it's based off of the E680/1 devices (although the E680 may support it, idk, don't have one). Lets say you can do unicast and it all works this year, if you do switch to multicast, all universe data will be transmitted over each wireless connection. This could cause a bottleneck, as they cannot handle the massive amount of data. You could always put the "b" devices at each box, and have a "g" AP connected to them at the computer. I believe this should stop some of the issues when it comes to unicast, multicast will always be an issue until you start using IGMP capable switches and the IGMP querier, but that's a different subject for a different year.

    As for security, just set the firewall rules for that NIC to reject all incoming connections. This will pretty much stop any nonsense from happening, if anyone even tries to begin with. That will have to change in the future if you ever start playing around with IGMP, or E1.33/RDM devices, but it works for now.
    Thanks Sam. I was waiting on you to comment as you clearly know a lot about this. I sort of knew about the slower data rate--sort of but sort of ignored it. The slower data rate might be fine until the n class stuff drops in price. However, I may go with something else now to relieve the pressure later. But, I may not expand the display any further and might not need faster data rates than this unless pixels drop considerably in price. I have accomplished what I set out to achieve and now find the constant expansion too expensive and time consuming. Thank you again.
    Al

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    I bought the Netgear GS-108 Gigabit switch on CL for $14. Does not support IGMP or Multicast, but at least will have some good fast bandwidth. I don't think any of us are throwing enough data to really worry about the bandwidth yet. This switch might get me through for as long as I need, since I only plan some small effects with Pixels over the coming years. <AND 2013 OFF - - Yahoo !>

    I am becoming concerned about losing my classic Incandescent Christmas look if I add too many LEDs. This year's new gadget has 8 smart pixel strips with direct exposure in the yard... meaning the LEDs are visible without being diffused. I will start to test these by early November and I plan to diffuse them with white Coroplast if they look too "modern." The other pixels are inside a couple large CoroFlakes, so they are diffused .. and of course the RGB Blowmolds also diffuse the LEDs nicely. I am very excited about the RGB Spot lights for this year because I expect them to blend in perfectly with the incandescents.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    Thanks Sam. I was waiting on you to comment as you clearly know a lot about this. I sort of knew about the slower data rate--sort of but sort of ignored it. The slower data rate might be fine until the n class stuff drops in price. However, I may go with something else now to relieve the pressure later. But, I may not expand the display any further and might not need faster data rates than this unless pixels drop considerably in price. I have accomplished what I set out to achieve and now find the constant expansion too expensive and time consuming. Thank you again.
    Your welcome. I think the AP will work fine then. If you don't plan on adding much over the next few years, you are in great shape. Even if you need to upgrade, you can always build more network legs (ex: roof, left yard, right yard). The networks we need are only going to get complex as we add more controllers (even AC controllers could be E1.31). I'm really excited about the E1.33 standard that will allow RDM devices to talk back to the show computer. This means we could have input boards for interactive displays. Maybe even add lasers and other really cool stuff. The possibilities are endless at this point.

    I really don't think any of us are going to get to the point where we need IGMP anytime soon, although it's technically part of the E1.31 standard. I don't know why they just didn't use unicast. It's pretty much the same thing from a data delivery standpoint. The only thing I can think of is to allow 1 universe to be sent to more than one device. Think of Denny's bang stars. They are in sync as they are connected together, and could continue to be as such even if they were RGB and on different controllers by using having them on the same universe. Not sure why anyone would want to do that...

    Also, I wish there was a Wiznet module that was directly interchangeable with the ones on the RPM bridge and the E680 family of controllers that allowed for direct wireless. That would cut out the AP and make it more compact.

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by Samj435 View Post
    Your welcome. I think the AP will work fine then. If you don't plan on adding much over the next few years, you are in great shape. Even if you need to upgrade, you can always build more network legs (ex: roof, left yard, right yard). The networks we need are only going to get complex as we add more controllers (even AC controllers could be E1.31). I'm really excited about the E1.33 standard that will allow RDM devices to talk back to the show computer. This means we could have input boards for interactive displays. Maybe even add lasers and other really cool stuff. The possibilities are endless at this point.

    I really don't think any of us are going to get to the point where we need IGMP anytime soon, although it's technically part of the E1.31 standard. I don't know why they just didn't use unicast. It's pretty much the same thing from a data delivery standpoint. The only thing I can think of is to allow 1 universe to be sent to more than one device. Think of Denny's bang stars. They are in sync as they are connected together, and could continue to be as such even if they were RGB and on different controllers by using having them on the same universe. Not sure why anyone would want to do that...

    Also, I wish there was a Wiznet module that was directly interchangeable with the ones on the RPM bridge and the E680 family of controllers that allowed for direct wireless. That would cut out the AP and make it more compact.
    The data transfer rate even with the devices that I mentioned above are an order of magnitude faster than the pixel data rates even then the human eye would be hard pressed to detect a small timing delay. But, after I thought this through just now, we are talking Ethernet and with PWM switching noise riding around on the comm lines, a ________ (for the life of me I can't remember the term for an ethernet lost data packet repeat) would be better. So, I may forego the wireless and go with eternet direct but with a galvanic isolator. The cheapest stupid isolator I can find costs $100. There is no chance I will allow the yard crap to connect directly to my new PC--no chance at all.
    Al

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default

    If you can put the APs in "bridge" mode, which is more like a repeater, and will then pass multicast, then you'll be OK.

    As has already been mentioned, E1.31/sACN does support both multicast and unicast, but many of the current DIY controllers don't support unicast in the hw.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by mschell View Post
    If you can put the APs in "bridge" mode, which is more like a repeater, and will then pass multicast, then you'll be OK.

    As has already been mentioned, E1.31/sACN does support both multicast and unicast, but many of the current DIY controllers don't support unicast in the hw.
    The ECG-DR4s that I am using support both. This year it is unicast so I don't have to mess with more variables.

    I have no idea what the difference between bridge mode and AP. Could someone explain that? Thanks.
    Al

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about wireless access point

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    The ECG-DR4s that I am using support both. This year it is unicast so I don't have to mess with more variables.

    I have no idea what the difference between bridge mode and AP. Could someone explain that? Thanks.
    Access points are generally used as part of the large infastructure network that allows wireless clients to connect. When you put it into bridge mode, you turn it into a wireless client for connecting to the infastructure. For your application, you will want bridge mode.

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