Internet and Intranet Connectivity Through Wireless Local Area Network (Wlan)

CHAPTER 1 Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction 1. 1 What is WLAN? 1. 1. 1 WLAN Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) is a kind of local area network which established using a wireless link between the service providers and the clients using some wireless equipment. This network development is based on the IEEE 802. 11 standard. 1. 1. 2 IEEE 802. 11 IEEE 802. 11 denotes a set of Wireless LAN/WLAN standards developed by working group 11 of the IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802). The term 802. 11x is also used to denote this set of standards and is not to be mistaken for any one of its elements. There is no single 802. 1x standard. The term IEEE 802. 11 is also used to refer to the original 802. 11, which is now sometimes called “802. 11 legacy” [1]. The 802. 11 family currently includes six over-the-air modulation techniques that all use the same protocol. The most popular techniques are those defined by the b, a, and g amendments to the original standard; security was originally included and was later enhanced via the 802. 11i amendment. 802. 11n is another modulation technique that has recently been developed; the standard is still under development, although products designed based on draft versions of the standard are being sold.

Other standards in the family (c–f, h, and j) are service enhancements and extensions or corrections to previous specifications. 802. 11b was the first widely accepted wireless networking standard, followed by 802. 11a and 802. 11g [1]. 802. 11b and 802. 11g standards use the 2. 40 GHz (gigahertz) band, operating (in the United States) under Part 15 of the FCC Rules and Regulations. Because of this choice of frequency band, 802. 11b and 802. 11g equipment can incur interference from microwave ovens, cordless telephones, Bluetooth devices, and other appliances using this same band. The 802. 1a standard uses the 5 GHz band, and is therefore not affected by products operating on the 2. 4 GHz band. Table 1. 1: Protocol Summary of IEEE 802. 11 Protocol Legacy 802. 11a 802. 11b 802. 11g 802. 11n Release Date 1997 1999 1999 2003 2006 Operating Frequency GHz 2. 4-2. 5 5 2. 4-2. 5 2. 4-2. 5 2. 4 and/or 5 Throughput (Typ) Mbps 0. 7 23 4 19 74 Data Rate (Max) Mbps 2 54 11 54 248 = 2×2 ant Range (Indoor) meters ~25 ~30 ~35 ~35 ~70 Range (Outdoor) meters ~75 ~100 ~110 ~115 ~160 2 1. 2 Why it should be used? Bangladesh entered the Internet world in 1993 using offline E-mail services.

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Online Dial-up services started in 1996 through VSAT based data connectivity. But it is not possible to give a Dial-up connection to all because; it uses the BTTB’s telephone line. While Dial-up is active the phone line is busy and it is not possible to give a client more than 4/5 Kbps speed. Using an ADSL modem it can be increased to more than 2 Mbps. But it is not enough for a corporate user and also it is very costly and there are many other problems which has described below. The Ethernet connectivity can give a maximum of 100 Mbps. But its range is too small. Wireless LAN has vast benefits over wired network in some aspects.

In our country especially in big cities like Dhaka, it is very hard job to establish a wired network all over the city. Because, it is over populated, buildings were made with out any proper plan and also the roads. Generally the wire lines are established over head, which is not so secured. Wire can be broken due to any kind of natural or man made problem. It may be theft. Or it can be misused by any one by taking a parallel line from it. It may create leak of data security. It is also very expensive to establish a copper wire network road by road and maintenance of it.

Besides that there are many rivers, cannels in our county, and also hill tracks in some parts. It is not possible to give a wired network over those. For all those reasons it is not a wise decision to use a wired network in our country. A Wireless LAN can be more reliable, low cost, convenient network considering above aspects. There are a number of Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies in our country giving Wireless LAN support to the clients. Those are known as Wireless ISP. These ISPs give internet or intranet service to the clients as their requirements. Those networks are reliable and also secured.

It is easy to establish a connection in the company’s coverage area using a wireless device at the client end. The Wireless ISP Company should have proper resources to give that coverage. A model of a Wireless ISP company’s wireless part for Bangladesh is given below. The nation wide link can be a optical fiber or microwave link. Here the main coverage is shown in Dhaka city and thus BSSs are shown at here is more than one. It can be expand the network in other areas by adding additional equipments required to establish a BSS. And also it can give coverage on other areas by establish same network on that area. Figure 1. 1: Model of a Wireless ISP 1. 3 Why one should be interested in WLAN field? The telecom industry is changing with breathtaking speed. There are a lot of telecommunication and Wireless ISP companies working in our country and there are a lot of companies to come. At present telecommunication is the most challenging and interesting field out of all other engineering fields. All the telecom company has some common structure. So, there are many similarities between a mobile or PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) operator and a Wireless ISP.

The skills one gather from a Wireless ISP can use in the telecom companies. The man can be skilled on installing different devices, surveying a site, proposing a link budget. He can face the practical problems occur in installing radio networks and can be skilled in solving those problems and also troubleshoot the devices and the radio link. In the mobile operators, there are many restrictions. One can not work with all things. But as still Wireless ISP companies are smaller in our country one can get opportunity to work in different sections which will increase his experiences and skills.

Lastly it can be say that, as it is a challenging field, the person likes facing challenges will enjoy working in this field 4 1. 4 Organization of this report This Internship report has seven chapters in total. The second chapter contains theory about the radio frequency properties and different modulation techniques In third chapter, different RF antennas and it accessories are described. Fourth chapter contains the Wireless LAN’s theory and architecture in brief. Chapter five analyzes to survey a site, and how to budget a link. The sixth chapter describes the device installation process for the APERTO and CANOPY devices.

The seventh and final chapter is the concluding chapter where limitations of this works are reported and few suggestions of our work are provided along with the concluding remarks. 1. 5 Aims and objectives 5 RF Properties and Modulation Techniques CHAPTER 2 6 Chapter 2 RF Properties and Modulation Techniques 2. 1 Radio Frequency 2. 2. 1 Radio Frequency Radio frequencies are high frequency alternating current (AC) signals that are passed along a copper conductor and then radiated into the air via an antenna. An antenna converts/transforms a wired signal to a wireless signal and vice versa.

When the high frequency AC signal is radiated into the air, it forms radio waves. These radio waves propagate (move) away from the source (the antenna) in a straight line in all directions at once. 2. 2. 2 RF Behaviors RF is sometimes referred to as “smoke and mirrors” because RF seems to act erratically and inconsistently under given circumstances. Things as small as a connector not being tight enough or a slight impedance mismatch on the line can cause erratic behavior and undesirable results. The following sections describe these types of behaviors and what can happen to radio waves as they are transmitted.

Gain Gain, illustrated in Figure 2. 1, is the term used to describe an increase in an RF signal’ amplitude [2]. Gain is usually an active process; meaning that an external s power source, such as an RF amplifier, is used to amplify the signal or a high-gain antenna is used to focus the beam width of a signal to increase its signal amplitude. Figure 2. 1: Power gain However, passive processes can also cause gain. For example, reflected RF signals combine with the main signal to increase the main signal’ strength. Increasing the RF s signal’ strength may have a positive or a negative result.

Typically, more power is s better, but there are cases, such as when a transmitter is radiating power very close to legal power output limit, where added power would be a serious problem. 7 Loss Loss describes a decrease in signal strength (Figure 2. 2). Many things can cause RF signal loss, both while the signal is still in the cable as a high frequency AC electrical signal and when the signal is propagated as radio waves through the air by the antenna. Resistance of cables and connectors causes loss due to the converting of the AC signal to heat.

Impedance mismatches in the cables and connectors can cause power to be reflected back toward the source, which can cause signal degradation. Objects directly in the propagated wave’ transmission path can absorb, reflect, or s destroy RF signals. Loss can be intentionally injected into a circuit with an RF attenuator. RF attenuators are accurate resistors that convert high frequency AC to heat in order to reduce signal amplitude at that point in the circuit. [2] Figure 2. 2: Power loss Being able to measure and compensate for loss in an RF connection or circuit is important because radios have a receive sensitivity threshold.

A sensitivity threshold defined as the point at which a radio can clearly distinguish a signal from background noise. Since a receiver’s sensitivity is finite, the transmitting station must transmit signal with enough amplitude to be recognizable at the receiver. If losses occur between the transmitter and receiver, the problem must be corrected either by removing the objects causing loss or by increasing the transmission power. Reflection Reflection, (as illustrated in Figure 2. 3) occurs when a propagating electromagnetic wave impinges upon an object that has very large dimensions when compared to the wavelength of the propagating wave [3].

Reflections occur from the surface of the earth, buildings, walls, and many other obstacles. If the surface is smooth, the reflected signal may remain intact, though there is some loss due to absorption and scattering of the signal. Figure 2. 3: Reflection 8 RF signal reflection can cause serious problems for wireless LANs. This reflecting main signal from many objects in the area of the transmission is referred to as multipath. Multipath can have severe adverse affects on a wireless LAN, such as degrading or canceling the main signal and causing oles or gaps in the RF coverage area. Surfaces such as lakes, metal roofs, metal blinds, metal doors, and others can cause severe reflection, and hence, multipath. Reflection of this magnitude is never desirable and typically requires special functionality (antenna diversity) within the wireless LAN hardware to compensate for it. Refraction Refraction describes the bending of a radio wave as it passes through a medium of different density. As an RF wave passes into a denser medium (like a pool of cold air lying in a valley) the wave will be bent such that its direction changes.

When passing through such a medium, some of the wave will be reflected away from the intended signal path, and some will be bent through the medium in another direction, as illustrated in Figure 2. 4. [3] Figure 2. 4: Refraction Refraction can become a problem for long distance RF links. As atmospheric conditions change, the RF waves may change direction, diverting the signal away from the intended Diffraction Diffraction occurs when the radio path between the transmitter and receiver is obstructed by a surface that has sharp irregularities or an otherwise rough surface [3].

At high frequencies, diffraction, like reflection, depends on the geometry of the obstructing object and the amplitude, phase, and polarization of the incident wave at the point of diffraction. Diffraction is commonly confused with and improperly used interchangeably with refraction. Care should be taken not to confuse these terms. Diffraction describes a wave bending around an obstacle (Figure 2. 5), whereas refraction describes a wave bending through a medium. Taking the rock in the pond example from above, now consider a small twig sticking up through the surface of the water near where the rock.

As the ripples hit the stick, they would be blocked to a small degree, but to a larger degree, the ripples would bend around the twig. This illustration shows how diffraction acts with obstacles in its path, depending on the makeup of the obstacle. If Object was large or jagged enough, the wave might not bend, but rather might be blocked. 9 Figure 2. 5: Diffraction Diffraction is the slowing of the wave front at the point where the wave front strikes an obstacle, while the rest of the wave front maintains the same speed of propagation. Diffraction is the effect of waves turning, or bending, around the obstacle.

As another example, consider a machine blowing a steady stream of smoke. The smoke would flow straight until an obstacle entered its path. Introducing a large wooden block into the smoke stream would cause the smoke to curl around the corners of the block causing a noticeable degradation in the smoke’ velocity at that point and a significant s change in direction. Scattering Scattering occurs when the medium through which the wave travels consists of objects with dimensions that are small compared to the wavelength of the signal, and the number of obstacles per unit volume is large [3].

Scattered waves are produced by rough surfaces, small objects, or by other irregularities in the signal path, as can be seen in Figure 2. 6. Figure 2. 6: Scattering Some outdoor examples of objects that can cause scattering in a mobile communications system include foliage, street signs, and lampposts. Scattering can take place in two primary ways. First, scattering can occur when a wave strikes an uneven surface and is reflected in many directions simultaneously. Scattering of this type yields many small amplitude reflections and destroys the main RF signal.

Dissipation of an RF signal may occur when an RF wave is reflected off sand, rocks, or other jagged surfaces. When scattered in this manner, RF signal degradation can be significant to the point of intermittently disrupting communications or causing complete signal loss. 10 Second, scattering can occur as a signal wave travels through particles in the medium such as heavy dust content. In this case, rather than being reflected off an uneven surface, the RF waves are individually reflected on a very small scale off tiny particles.

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) VSWR occurs when there is mismatched impedance (resistance to current flow, measured in Ohms) between devices in an RF system. VSWR is caused by an RF signal reflected at a point of impedance mismatch in the signal path. VSWR causes return loss which is defined as the loss of forward energy through a system due to some of the power being reflected back towards the transmitter. If the impedances of the ends of a connection do not match, then the maximum amount of the transmitted power will not be received at the antenna.

When part of the RF signal is reflected back toward the transmitter, the signal level on the line varies instead of being steady. This variance is an indicator of VSWR. [2] As an illustration of VSWR, imagine water flowing through two garden hoses. As long as the two hoses are the same diameter, water flows through them seamlessly. If the hose connected to the faucet were significantly larger than the next hose down the line, there would be backpressure on the faucet and even at the connection between the two hoses. This standing backpressure illustrates VSWR, as can be seen in Figure 2. . In this example, you can see that backpressure can have negative effects and not nearly as much water is transferred to the second hose as there would have been with matching hoses screwed together properly. Figure 2. 7: VSWR-like water through a hose VSWR Measurements VSWR is a ratio, so it is expressed as a relationship between two numbers. A typical VSWR value would be 1. 5:1. The two numbers relate the ratio of impedance mismatch against a perfect impedance match. The second number is always 1, representing the perfect match, where as the first number varies.

The lower the first number (closer to 1), the better impedance matching your system has. For example, a VSWR of 1. 1:1 is better than 1. 4:1. A VSWR measurement of 1:1 would denote a perfect impedance match and no voltage standing wave would be present in the signal path. Effects of VSWR Excessive VSWR can cause serious problems in an RF circuit. Most of the time, the result is a marked decrease in the amplitude of the transmitted RF signal. However, 11 since some transmitters are not protected against power being applied (or returned) to the transmitter output circuit, the reflected power can burn ut the electronics of the transmitter. VSWR’ effects are evident when transmitter circuits burn out, power s output levels are unstable, and the power observed is significantly different from the expected power. The methods of changing VSWR in a circuit include proper use of proper equipment. Tight connections between cables and connectors, use of impedance matched hardware throughout, and use of high-quality equipment with calibration reports where necessary are all good preventative measures against VSWR.

VSWR can be measured with high-accuracy instrumentation such as SWR meters, but this measurement is beyond the scope of this text and the job tasks of a network administrator. 2. 2 Spread Spectrum 2. 2. 1 Spread Spectrum Spread spectrum is a communications technique characterized by wide bandwidth and low peak power. Spread spectrum communication uses various modulation techniques in wireless LANs and possesses many advantages over its precursor, narrow band communication [4]. Spread spectrum signals are noise-like, hard to detect, and even harder to intercept or demodulate without the proper equipment.

Jamming and interference have a lesser affect on a spread spectrum communication than on narrow band communications. For these reasons, spread spectrum has long been a favorite of the military. 2. 2. 2 Narrow Band Transmission A narrowband transmission is a communications technology that uses only enough of the frequency spectrum to carry the data signal and no more, spread spectrum is in opposition to that mission since it uses much wider frequency bands than is necessary to transmit the information. This brings us to the first requirement for a signal to be considered spread spectrum.

A signal is a spread spectrum signal when the bandwidth is much wider than what is required to send the information. [4] Figure 2. 8 illustrates the difference between narrowband and spread spectrum transmissions. One of the characteristics of narrow band is high peak power. More power is required to send a transmission when using a smaller frequency range. In order for narrow band signals to be received, they must stand out above the general level of noise, called the noise floor, by a significant amount. Because its band is so narrow, and high peak power ensures error-free reception of a narrow band signal. 12

Figure 2. 8: Narrow band verses Spread Spectrum on a frequency domain A compelling argument against narrowband transmission-other than the high peak power required to send it-is that narrow band signals can be jammed or experience interference very easily. Jamming is the intentional overpowering of a transmission using unwanted signals transmitted on the same band. Because its band is so narrow, other narrow band signals, including noise, can completely eliminate the information by overpowering a narrowband transmission; much like a passing train overpowers a quiet conversation. 2. 2. 3 Spread Spectrum Technology

Spread spectrum technology allows taking the same amount of information than previously using a narrow band carrier signal and spreading it out over a much larger frequency range. For example, 1 MHz at 10 Watts with narrow band, but 20 MHz at 100 mW with spread spectrum. By using a wider frequency spectrum, we reduce the probability that the data will be corrupted or jammed. A narrow band jamming attempt on a spread spectrum signal would likely be thwarted by virtue of only a small part of the information falling into the narrow band signal’ frequency range. s s Most of the digital data would be received error-free [4].

Today’ spread spectrum RF radios can retransmit any small amount of data loss due to narrowband interference. While the spread spectrum band is relatively wide, the peak power of the signal is quite low. This is the second requirement for a signal to be considered spread spectrum. For a signal to be considered spread spectrum, it must use low power. These two characteristics of spread spectrum (use of a wide band of frequencies and very low power) make it look to most receivers as if it were a noise signal. Noise is a wide band, low power signal, but the difference is that noise is unwanted.

Furthermore, since most radio receivers will view the spread spectrum signal as noise, these receivers will not attempt to demodulate or interpret it, creating a slightly more secure communication. 2. 2. 4 Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Frequency hopping spread spectrum is a spread spectrum technique that uses frequency agility to spread the data over more than 83 MHz. Frequency agility refers to the radio’s ability to change transmission frequency abruptly within the usable RF frequency band [4]. In the case of frequency hopping wireless LANs, the usable portion of the 2. GHz ISM band is 83. 5 MHz, per FCC regulation and the IEEE 802. 11 standard. 13 How FHSS Works In frequency hopping systems, the carrier changes frequency, or hops, according to a pseudorandom sequence. The pseudorandom sequence is a list of several frequencies to which the carrier will hop at specified time intervals before repeating the pattern. The transmitter uses this hop sequence to select its transmission frequencies. The carrier will remain at a certain frequency for a specified time (known as the dwell time), and then use a small amount of time to hop to the next frequency (hop time).

When the list of frequencies has been exhausted, the transmitter will repeat the sequence. Figure 2. 9 shows a frequency hopping system using a hop sequence of five frequencies over 5 MHz band. In this example, the sequence is: 1. 2. 449 GHz 2. 2. 452 GHz 3. 2. 448 GHz 4. 2. 450 GHz 5. 2. 451 GHz Figure 2. 9: Single frequency hopping system Once the radio has transmitted the information on the 2. 451 GHz carrier, the radio will repeat the hop sequence, starting again at 2. 449 GHz. The process of repeating the sequence will continue until the information is received completely.

The receiver radio is synchronized to the transmitting radio’ hop sequence in order to s receive on the proper frequency at the proper time. The signal is then demodulated and used by the receiving computer. Effects of Narrow Band Interference Frequency hopping is a method of sending data where the transmission and receiving systems hop along a repeatable pattern of frequencies together. As is the case with all spread spectrum technologies, frequency hopping systems are resistant-but not immune-to narrow band interference. In example in Figure 2. 9, if a signal were to interfere with our frequency hopping signal on, say, 2. 51 GHz, only that portion of the spread spectrum signal would be lost. The rest of the spread spectrum signal would remain intact, and the lost data would be retransmitted. 14 In reality, an interfering narrow band signal may occupy several megahertz of bandwidth. Since a frequency hopping band is over 83 MHz wide, even this interfering signal will cause little degradation of the spread spectrum signal. Frequency Hopping Systems The IEEE and Open-Air standards regarding FHSS systems describe: 1. The frequency bands which may be used 2. Hop sequences 3. Dwell times 4. Data rates The IEEE 802. 1 standard specifies data rates of 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps and Open-Air (a standard created by the now defunct Wireless LAN Interoperability Forum) specifies data rates of 800 kbps and 1. 6 Mbps. In order for a frequency hopping system to be 802. 11 or Open-Air compliant, it must operate in the 2. 4 GHz ISM band (which is defined by the FCC as being from 2. 4000 GHz to 2. 5000 GHz). Both standards allow operation in the range of 2. 4000 GHz to 2. 4835 GHz. Channels A frequency hopping system will operate using a specified hop pattern called a channel. Frequency hopping systems typically use the FCC’s 26 standard hop patterns or a subset thereof.

Some frequency hopping systems will allow custom hop patterns to be created, and others even allow synchronization between systems to completely eliminate collisions in a co-located environment. Figure 2. 10: Co-located frequency hopping system Though it is possible to have as many as 79 synchronized, co-located access points, with this many systems, each frequency hopping radio would require precise synchronization with all of the others in order not to interfere with (transmit on the same frequency as) another frequency hopping radio in the area. The cost of such a set of systems is prohibitive and is generally not considered an option.

If synchronized radios are used, the expense tends to dictate 12 co-located systems as the maximum. 15 If non-synchronized radios are to be used, then 26 systems can be co-located in a wireless LAN; this number is considered to be the maximum in a medium-traffic wireless LAN. Increasing the traffic significantly or routinely transferring large files places the practical limit on the number of co-located systems at about 15. More than 15 co-located frequency-hopping systems in this environment will interfere to the extent that collisions will begin to reduce the aggregate throughput of the wireless LAN.

Dwell Time In frequency hopping systems, it must transmit on a specified frequency for a time, and then hop to a different frequency to continue transmitting. When a frequency hopping system transmits on a frequency, it must do so for a specified amount of time. This time is called the dwell time. Once the dwell time has expired, the system will switch to a different frequency and begin to transmit again. Suppose a frequency hopping system transmits on only two frequencies, 2. 401 GHz and 2. 402 GHz. The system will transmit on the 2. 01 GHz frequency for the duration of the dwell time100 milliseconds (ms), for example. After 100ms the radio must change its transmitter frequency to 2. 402 GHz and send information at that frequency for 100ms. Hop Time When considering the hopping action of a frequency hopping radio, dwell time is only part of the story. When a frequency hopping radio jumps from frequency A to frequency B, it must change the transmit frequency in one of two ways. It either must switch to a different circuit tuned to the new frequency, or it must change some element of the current circuit in order to tune to the new frequency.

In either case, the process of changing to the new frequency must be complete before transmission can resume, and this change takes time due to electrical latencies inherent in the circuitry. There is a small amount of time during this frequency change in which the radio is not transmitting called the hop time. The hop time is measured in microseconds (µs) and with relatively long dwell times of around 100-200 ms, the hop time is not significant. A typical 802. 11 FHSS system hops between channels in 200-300 µs. With very short dwell times of 500 – 600µs, like those being used in some frequency hopping systems such as Bluetooth, hop ime can become very significant. If we look at the effect of hop time in terms of data throughput, we discover that the longer the hop time in relation to the dwell time, the slower the data rate of bits being transmitted. 2. 2. 5 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) Direct sequence spread spectrum is very widely known and the most used of the spread spectrum types, owing most of its popularity to its ease of implementation and high data rates. The majority of wireless LAN equipment on the market today uses DSSS technology.

DSSS is a method of sending data in which the transmitting and receiving systems are both on a 22 MHz-wide set of frequencies. The wide channel enables devices to transmit more information at a higher data rate than current FHSS systems. 16 How DSSS Works DSSS combines a data signal at the sending station with a higher data rate bit sequence, which is referred to as a chipping code or processing gain. A high processing gain increases the signal’s resistance to interference. The minimum linear processing gain that the FCC allows is 10, and most commercial products operate under 20.

The IEEE 802. 11 working group has set their minimum processing gain requirements at 11. The process of direct sequence begins with a carrier being modulated with a code sequence. The number of–chips-in the code will determine how much spreading occurs, and the number of chips per bit and the speed of the code (in chips per second) will determine the data rate. Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) Direct sequence spread spectrum is very widely known and the most used of the spread spectrum types, owing most of its popularity to its ease of implementation and high data rates.

The majority of wireless LAN equipment on the market today uses DSSS technology. DSSS is a method of sending data in which the transmitting and receiving systems are both on a 22 MHz-wide set of frequencies. The wide channel enables devices to transmit more information at a higher data rate than current FHSS systems. How DSSS Works DSSS combines a data signal at the sending station with a higher data rate bit sequence, which is referred to as a chipping code or processing gain. A high processing gain increases the signal’s resistance to interference.

The minimum linear processing gain that the FCC allows is 10, and most commercial products operate under 20. The IEEE 802. 11 working group has set their minimum processing gain requirements at 11. The process of direct sequence begins with a carrier being modulated with a code sequence. The number of-chips-in the code will determine how much spreading occurs, and the number of chips per bit and the speed of the code (in chips per second) will determine the data rate. Channels Unlike frequency hopping systems that use hop sequences to define the channels, direct sequence systems use a more conventional definition of channels.

Each channel is a contiguous band of frequencies 22 MHz wide and 1 MHz carrier frequencies are used just as with FHSS. Channel 1, for instance, operates from 2. 401 GHz to 2. 423 GHz (2. 412 GHz ± 11 MHz); channel 2 operates from 2. 406 to 2. 429 GHz (2. 417 ± 11 MHz), and so forth. Figure 2. 11 illustrates this point. 17 Figure 2. 11: channel allocation and Spectral relationship The chart in Table 2. 1 has a complete list of channels used in the United States and Europe. The FCC specifies only 11 channels for non-licensed use in the United States. Each of the frequencies listed in this chart are considered center frequencies.

From this center frequency, 11 MHz is added and subtracted to get the useable 22 MHz wide channel. Easy to see that adjacent channels (channels directly next to each other) would overlap significantly. Table 2. 1: DSSS channel frequency Assignment Channel ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 FCC Channel Frequencies GHz 2. 412 2. 417 2. 422 2. 427 2. 432 2. 437 2. 442 2. 447 2. 452 2. 457 2. 462 ETSI Channel Frequencies GHz N/A N/A 2. 422 2. 427 2. 432 2. 437 2. 442 2. 447 2. 452 2. 457 2. 462 To use DSSS systems with overlapping channels in the same physical space would cause interference between the systems.

DSSS systems with overlapping channels should not be co-located because there will almost always be a drastic or complete reduction in throughput. Because the center frequencies are 5 MHz apart and the channels are 22 MHz wide, channels should be co-located only if the channel numbers are at least five apart: channels 1 and 6 do not overlap, channels 2 and 7 do not overlap, etc. There is a maximum of three co-located direct sequence systems possible because channels 1, 6 and 11 are the only theoretically non-overlapping channels. The 3 non-overlapping channels are illustrated in Figure 2. 2 18 Figure 2. 12: DSSS non-overlapping Channel 2. 2. 6 Comparing FHSS and DSSS Both FHSS and DSSS technologies have their advantages and disadvantages, and it incumbent on the wireless LAN administrator to give each its due weight when deciding how to implement a wireless LAN [4]. This section will cover some of the factors that should be discussed when determining which technology is appropriate for your organization, including: 1. Narrowband interference 2. Co-location 3. Cost 4. Equipment compatibility 5. Data rate and throughput 6. Security 7.

Standards support Narrowband Interference The advantages of FHSS include a greater resistance to narrow band interference. DSSS systems may be affected by narrow band interference more than FHSS because of the use of 22 MHz wide contiguous bands instead of the 79 MHz used by FHSS. This fact may be a serious consideration if the proposed wireless LAN site is in an environment that has such interference present. Co-location An advantage of FHSS over DSSS is the ability for many more frequency hopping systems to be co-located than direct sequence systems.

Since frequency hopping systems are-frequency agile-and make use of 79 discrete channels, frequency hopping systems have a co-location advantage over direct sequence systems, which have a maximum co- location of 3 access points. 19 Figure 2. 13: Co-location Comparison However, when calculating the hardware costs of an FHSS system to get the same throughput as a DSSS system, the advantage quickly disappears. Because DSSS can have 3 co-located access points, the maximum throughput for this configuration would be: 3 access points ? 1 Mbps = 33 Mbps At roughly 50% of rated bandwidth, the DSSS system throughput would be approximately: 33 Mbps / 2 = 16. 5 Mbps To achieve roughly the same rated system bandwidth using an IEEE 802. 11 compliant FHSS system would require: 16 access points ? 2 Mbps = 32 Mbps At roughly 50% of rated bandwidth, the FHSS system throughput would be approximately: 32 Mbps / 2 = 16 Mbps In this configuration, an FHSS system would require 13 additional access points to be purchased to get the same throughput as the DSSS system. Also, additional installation services for these units, cables, connectors, and antennas would all need to be purchased.

Cost: When implementing a wireless LAN, the advantages of DSSS may be more compelling than those of FHSS systems, particularly when driven by a tight budget. The cost of implementing a direct sequence system is far less than that of a frequency hopping system. DSSS equipment is widely available in today’s marketplace, and its rapid adoption has helped in driving down the cost. Only a few short years ago, equipment was only affordable by enterprise customers. Today, very good quality 802. 11b compliant PC cards can be purchased for under $100.

FHSS cards complying with either the 802. 11 or Open-Air standards typically run between $150 and $350 in today’ market depending on the manufacturer and the standards to which the cards s adhere. 20 Equipment compatibility and availability The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) provides testing of 802. 11b compliant DSSS wireless LAN equipment to ensure that such equipment will operate in the presence of and interoperate with other 802. 11b DSSS devices. The interoperability standard that WECA created and now uses is called Wireless Fidelity, or Wi-Fi, and hose devices that pass the tests for interoperability are-Wi-Fi compliant-devices. Devices so deemed are allowed to affix the Wi-Fi logo on the related marketing material and devices themselves showing that they have been tested and interoperate with other Wi-Fi compliant devices. There are no such compatibility tests for equipment that uses FHSS. There are standards such as 802. 11 and Open-Air, but no organization has stepped forward to do the same kind of compatibility testing for FHSS as WECA does for DSSS. Due to the immense popularity of 802. 11b compliant radios, it is much easier to obtain these units.

The demand seems only to be growing for the Wi-Fi compliant radios while the demand for FHSS radios has remained fairly steady, even decreasing to some degree over the past year. Data rate and throughput The latest frequency hopping systems are slower than the latest DSSS systems mostly because their data rate is only 2 Mbps. Though some FHSS systems operate at 3 Mbps or more, these systems are not 802. 11 compliant and may not interoperate with other FHSS systems. FHSS and DSSS systems have a throughput (data actually sent) of only about half of the data rate.

When testing the throughput of a new wireless LAN installation, achieving 5-6 Mbps on the 11 Mbps setting for DSSS or 1 Mbps on the 2 Mbps setting common using DSSS. When wireless frames are transmitted, there are pauses between data frames for control signals and other overhead tasks. With frequency hopping systems, this interframe spacing is longer than that used by direct sequence systems, causing a slow-down in rate that data is actually sent (throughput). Additionally, when the frequency hopping system is in the process of changing the transmit frequency, no data is sent.

This translates to more lost throughput, albeit only a minor amount. Some wireless LAN systems use proprietary physical layer protocols in order to increase throughput. These methods work, yielding throughputs as high as 80% of the data rate, but in so doing, sacrifice interoperability. Security: It is widely touted-and is a myth-that frequency hopping systems are inherently more secure than direct sequence systems. The first fact that disproves this myth is that FHSS radios are only produced by a minimal number of manufacturers. Of this small list of manufacturers, all of them adhere to standards such as 802. 1 or Open-Air in order to sell their products effectively. Second, each of these manufacturers uses a standard set of hop sequences, which generally comply with a pre-determined list, produced by the standards body (IEEE or WLIF). These 2 items together make breaking the code of hop sequences relatively simple. 21 Other reasons that make finding the hop sequence quite simple is that the channel number is broadcasted in the clear with each beacon. Also, the MAC address of the transmitting access point can be seen with each beacon (which indicates the manufacturer of the radio).

Some manufacturers allow the administrator the flexibility of defining custom hopping patterns. However, even this custom capability is no level of security since fairly unsophisticated devices such as spectrum analyzers and a standard laptop computer can be used to track the hopping pattern of a FHSS radio in a matter of seconds. Standards Support: DSSS has gained wide acceptance due to low cost, high speed, WECA’ Wi-Fi s interoperability standards, and many other factors. This market acceptance will only accelerate due to the industry moving toward newer, faster DSSS systems such as the new 802. 1g and 802. 11a compliant wireless LAN hardware. WECA’ new Wi-Fi5 s interoperability standard for 5 GHz DSSS systems operating in the UNII bands will help move the industry along even faster in the same direction it is already headed. The new standards for FHSS systems include Home RF 2. 0 and 802. 15 (in support of WPANs such as Bluetooth), but none for advancing FHSS systems in the enterprise. 2. 2. 7 BPSK In BPSK, the phase of the carrier is varied to represent binary 1 or 0 . Both peak amplitude and frequencies remain constant as the phase changes.

For example, if a phase of 0 represents binary 0, then the phase 180 represents binary 1. the phase of the signal during each bit duration is constant. And its value depends on the bit (0 or 1). Figure 2. 14 shows a conceptual view of BPSK. BPSK is also known as 2-PSK. because two different phases (0 and 180) are used. The table below shows BPSK which makes the relationship of phase to bit value. Bit 0 1 Phase 0? 180? Figure 2. 14: BPSK. 2. 2. 8 QPSK The diagram for the signal is given in Figure 2. 15. A phase of 0 now represents 00; 90 represents 01; 180 represents10; and 270 represents 11. This technique is called QPSK.

The pair of bits represented by each phase is called a dibit. 22 Bit 00 01 10 11 Figure 2. 15: QPSK. Phase 0? 90? 180? 270? 2. 2. 9 QAM QAM is a Combination of ASK and PSK so that a maximum contrast between each signal unit (bit, dibit, tribit, and so on) is achieved. QAM takes the advantages of the fact that it is possible to send two different signals simultaneously on the same carrier frequency . by using two copies of the carrier frequency. One shifted by 90 with respect to the other. For QAM, each carrier is ASK modulated. The two independent signals are simultaneously transmitted over the same medium.

In QAM the number of amplitude shifts is fewer than the number of phase shifts. Because amplitude changes are susceptible to noise and require greater shift distances than do phase changes, the number of phase shifts used by a QAM system is always larger than the number of amplitude shifts. [5] Figure 2. 16: QAM. 23 2. 2. 10 Orthogonal Frequency division Multiplexing (OFDM) Orthogonal Frequency division Multiplexing offers the highest data rates and maximum resistance to interference and corruption of all the signal manipulation techniques in use in 802. 1 today [5]. Although it is not considered a spread spectrum technique by the FCC, OFDM shares many qualities with spread spectrum communicators, including using a low transmit power and wider-than-necessary bandwidth. OFDM is used to provide data rates up to 54 Mbps in 802. 11a and 802. 11g. How OFDM Works OFDM achieves high data rates by squeezing a large number of Communication Channels into a given frequency band. Normally, two communication channels must be separated by a certain amount of bandwidth or they overlap and interfere.

Specially, each Channel has harmonics that extend up and down the frequency space, decreasing in amplitude as they get farther from the channels fundamental signal. Even if two channels are non-overlapping, their harmonics may overlap and the signal can be corrupted. An OFDM communicator can place adjacent communication channels very precisely in the frequency space in such a way that the channels harmonics exactly cancel each other, effectively leaving only the fundamental signals. OFDM achieves high data rates by dividing a single communication channel into a large number of closely-spaced, small bandwidth sub-carriers.

Each sub-carrier individually has a relatively low data rate, but by transmitting data in parallel on all sub-carriers simultaneously, high data rates can be achieved. Figure 2. 17: OFDM frequency plot. Figure 2. 17 shows an example of a frequency spectrum for an OFDM transmitter. Each of the peaks represents a single sub-carrier, and the sub-carriers together make up the communications channel. The sub-carriers are precisely aligned so that the zero-points of their harmonics overlapped exactly. The majority of the harmonic energy will cancel out, leaving just the sub-carriers. 4 CHAPTER 3 RF Antenna and Accessories 25 Chapter 3 RF Antenna and Accessories 3. 1 Introduction Antennas are most often used to increase the range of wireless LAN systems, but proper antenna selection can also enhance the security of your wireless LAN. A properly chosen and positioned antenna can reduce the signal leaking out of workspace, and make signal interception extremely difficult. 3. 2 RF Antennas An RF antenna is a device used to convert high frequency (RF) signals on a transmission line (a cable or waveguide) into propagated waves in the air [6].

The electrical fields emitted from antennas are called beams or lobes. Antenna convert electrical energy into RF waves in the case of a transmitting antenna, or RF waves into electrical energy in the case of a receiving antenna. The physical dimensions of an antenna, such as its length, are directly related to the frequency at which the antenna can propagate waves or receive propagated waves. The physical structure of an antenna is directly related to the Shape of the area in which it concentrates most of its related RF energy. There are three generic categories of RF antennas: 1.

Omni-directional 2. Semi-directional 3. Highly-directional Each category has multiple types of antennas, each having different RF characteristics and appropriate uses. As the gain of an antenna goes up, the coverage area narrows so that high-gain antennas offer longer coverage areas than low-gain antennas at the same input power level. 3. 2. 1 Omni-directional (Dipole) Antennas The dipole is an omni- directional antenna, because it radiates its energy equally in all directions around its axis. Dipole antenna is Simple to design; dipole antenna is standard equipment on most access points.

Directional antennas concentrate their energy into a cone, known as a “beam. ” Figure 3. 1: Dipole doughnut 26 Figure 3. 1 shows that the dipole’ radiant energy is concentrated into a region that s looks like a doughnut, with the dipole vertically through the “hole” of the “doughnut. ” The signal from an omni-directional antenna radiates in a 360-degree horizontal beam. If an antenna radiates in all directions equally (forming a sphere), it is called an isotropic radiator, which is the theoretical reference for antennas, but rather, practical antennas all have some type of gain over that of an isotropic radiator.

The dipole radiates equally in all directions around its axis, but does not radiate along the length of the wire itself – hence the doughnut pattern. The side view of a dipole radiator as it radiates waves in Figure 3. 2. Figure 3. 2: Dipole-side view If a dipole antenna is placed in the center of a single floor of a multistory building, most of its energy will be radiated along the length of that floor, with some significant fraction sent to the floors above and below the access point. Figure 3. 3 shows examples of some different types of omni-directional antennas. Figure 3. 3: Sample omni-directional antenna

Figure 3. 4 shows a two-dimensional example of the top view and side view of a dipole antenna. Figure 3. 4: Coverage area of an omni-directional antenna High-gain omni-directional antennas offer more horizontal coverage area, but the vertical coverage area is reduced, as can be seen in Figure 3. 5. 27 Figure 3. 5: Coverage area of high gain omni-directional antennas This characteristic can be an important consideration when mounting a high-gain omni antenna indoors on the ceiling. If the ceiling is too high; the coverage area may not reach the floor, where the users are located.

Usages Omni-directional antennas are used when coverage in all directions around the horizontal axis of the antenna is required. Omni-directional antennas are most effective where large coverage areas are needed around a central point. For example, placing an omni- directional antenna in the middle of a large, open room would provide good coverage. Omni-directional antennas are commonly used for point-tomultipoint designs with a hub-n-spoke topology. Used outdoors, an omni-directional antenna should be placed on top of a structure (such as a building) in the middle of the

Figure 3. 6: Point to multipoint link coverage area. For example, on a college campus the antenna might be placed in the center of the campus for the greatest coverage area. When used indoors, the antenna should be placed at the middle of the building or desired coverage area, near the ceiling, for optimum coverage. Omni-directional antennas emit a large coverage area in a circular pattern and are suitable for warehouses or tradeshows where coverage is usually from one corner of the building to the other. 3. 2. 2 Semi directional Antenna

Semi directional antennas direct the energy from the transmitter significantly more in one particular direction rather than the uniform circular pattern that is common with the omni- directional antenna; Semi-directional antennas come in many different styles and shapes. Some semi- directional antennas types frequently used with wireless LANs are Patch, Panel, and Yagi (pronounced “YAH-gee”) antennas. All of these antennas are generally flat and designed for wall mounting. Each type has different coverage characteristics. Figure 3. shows some examples of semidirectional antennas. 28 Figure 3. 7: Sample semi-directional antenna Semi-directional antennas often radiate in a hemispherical or cylindrical coverage pattern as can be seen in Figure 3. 8. Figure 3. 8: Coverage area of a semi-directional antenna Usages Semi-directional antennas are ideally suited for short and medium range bridging. For example, two office buildings that are across the street from one another and need to share a network connection would be a good scenario in which to implement semidirectional antennas.

In a large indoor space, if the transmitter must be located in the corner or at the end of a building, a corridor, or a large room, a semi-directional antenna would be a good choice to provide the proper coverage. Figure 3. 9 illustrates a link between two buildings using semi-directional antennas. Figure 3. 9: Point to point link using semi-directional antenna In some cases, semi-directional antennas provide such long-range coverage that they may eliminate the need for multiple access points in a building.

For example, in a long hallway, several access points with omni antennas may be used or perhaps only one or two access points with properly placed semi-directional antennas – saving the customer a significant amount of money. In some cases, semi- directional antennas have back and side lobes that, if used effectively, may further reduce the need for additional access points. 29 3. 2. 3 Highly directional antenna Highly-directional antennas emit the most narrow signal beam of any antenna type and have the greatest gain of these three groups of antennas.

Highly-directional antennas are typically concave, dish-shaped devices, as can be seen Figures 3. 10 and 3. 11. These antennas are ideal for long distance, point-to-point wireless links. Some models are referred to as parabolic dishes because they resemble small satellite dishes. Others are called grid antennas due to their perforated design for resistance to wind loading. Figure 3. 10: sample of a highly directional antenna Figure 3. 11: sample of a highly directional grid antenna Figure 3. 12: Radiation pattern of a highly directional antenna

Usages High-gain antennas do not have a coverage area that client devices can use. These antennas are used for point-to-point communication links, and can transmit at distances up to 25 miles. Potential uses of highly directional antennas might be to connect two buildings that are miles away from each other but have no obstructions in their path. Additionally, these antennas can be aimed directly at each other within a building in order to “blast” through an obstruction. This setup would be used in order to get network connectivity to places that cannot be wired and where normal wireless networks will not work. 0 3. 2. 4 Antenna Gain An antenna element without the amplifiers and filters typically associated with it is a passive device. There is no conditioning, amplifying, or manipulating of the signal by the antenna element itself. The antenna can create the effect of amplification by virtue of its physical shape. Antenna amplification is the result of focusing the RF radiation into a tighter beam, just as the bulb of a flashlight can be focused into a tighter beam creating a seemingly brighter light source that sends the light further.

The focusing of the radiation Measured by way of beam widths, which are measured in degrees horizontal and vertical. For example, an omni-directional antenna has a 360-degree horizontal beam width. By limiting the 360-degree beam width into a more focused beam of, say, 30 degrees, at the same power, the RF waves will be radiated further. This is how patch, panel, and Yagi antennas (all of which are semi-directional antennas) are designed. Highly directional antennas take this theory a step further by very tightly focusing both horizontal and vertical beam widths to maximize distance of the propagated wave at low power. . 2. 5 Intentional Radiator As defined by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), an intentional radiator is an RF device that is specifically designed to generate and radiate RF signals. In terms of hardware, an intentional radiator will include the RF device and all cabling and connectors up to, but not including, the antenna, as illustrated in Figure 3. 13 below. Figure 3. 13: Intentional Radiator Any reference to “power output of the Intentional Radiator” refers to the power output at the end of the last cable or connector before the antenna.

For example, consider a 30- milliwatt transmitter that loses 15 milliwatts of power in the cable and another 5 milliwatts from the connector at the antenna. The power at the intentional radiator would be 10 milliwatts. As an administrator, it is your responsibility to understand the FCC rules relating to Intentional Radiators and their power output. Understanding how power output is measured, how much power is allowed, and how to calculate these values are all covered in this book. FCC regulations concerning output power at the Intentional Radiator and EIRP are found in Part 47 CFR, 1 3. 2. 6 Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) EIRP is the power actually radiated by the antenna element, as shown in Figure 3. 14. This concept is important because it is regulated by the FCC and because it is used in calculating whether or not a wireless link is viable. EIRP takes into account the gain of the antenna. Figure 3. 14: Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power Suppose a transmitting station uses a 10-dBi antenna (which amplifies the signal 10fold) and is fed by 100 mill watts from the intentional radiator.

The EIRP is 1000 mW, or 1 Watt. The FCC has rules defining both the power output at the intentional radiator and the antenna element. 3. 3 RF Accessories When wireless LAN devices connect together, the appropriate cables and accessories need to purchase that will maximize throughput, minimize signal loss, and, most importantly, allow making connections correctly. Different types of accessories are needed in a wireless LAN design. [7] 1. RF Amplifiers 2. RF Attenuators 3. Lightning Arrestors 4. RF Connectors 5. RF Cables 3. 3. 1 RF Amplifiers

An RF amplifier is used to amplify, or increase the amplitude of, RF signal, which is measured in +dB. An amplifier will be used when compensating the loss incurred by the RF signal, either due to the distance between antennas or the length of cable from a wireless infrastructure device to its antenna. Most RF amplifiers used with wireless LANs are powered using DC voltage fed onto the RF cable with an injector near the RF signal source (such as the access point or bridge). Sometimes this DC voltage used to power RF amplifiers is called “phantom voltage” because the RF amplifier seems to magically power up.

This DC injector is powered using AC voltage from a wall outlet, so it might be located in a wiring closet. In this scenario, the RF cable carries 32 both the high frequency RF signal and the DC voltage necessary to power the in-line amplifier, which, in turn, boosts the RF signal amplitude. Figure 3. 15 shows an example of an RF amplifier (left), and how an RF amplifier is mounted on a pole (right) between the access point and its antenna. Figure 3. 15: A sample of a fixed gain Amplifier RF amplifiers come in two types: unidirectional and bi-directional.

Unidirectional amplifiers compensate for the signal loss incurred over long RF cables by increasing the signal level before it is injected into the transmitting antenna. Bi-directional amplifiers boost the effective sensitivity of the receiving antenna by amplifying the received signal before it is fed into the access point, bridge, or client device. Configuration and Management RF amplifiers used with wireless LANs are installed in series with the main signal path seen below in Figure 3. 16. Amplifiers are typically mounted to a solid surface using screws through the amplifier’s flange plates.

Configuration of RF amplifiers is not generally required unless the amplifier is a variable RF amplifier. If the amplifier is variable, the amplifier must be configured for the proper amount of amplification required, according to RF math calculations. The manufacturer’ user manual will s explain how to program or configure the amplifier. Figure 3. 16: RF amplifier placement in the wireless LAN system 3. 3. 2 RF Attenuators An RF attenuator is a device that causes precisely measured loss (in dB) in an RF signal. While an amplifier will increase the RF signal, an attenuator will decrease it.

Consider the case where an access point has a fixed output of 100mW, and the only antenna available is an omni-directional antenna with +20 dBi gain. Using this equipment together would violate FCC rules for power output, so an attenuator could be added to decrease the RF signal down to 30mW before it entered the antenna. This configuration would put the power output within FCC parameters. Figure 3. 17 shows examples of fixed-loss RF attenuators with BNC connectors (left) and SMA connectors (right). Figure 3. 18 shows an example of an RF step attenuator. 33 Figure 3. 7: Sample of a fixed loss Amplifier Figure 3. 18: A sample of a RF step attenuator (Variable loss) Configuration and Management Figure 3. 19 shows the proper placement in a wireless LAN for an RF attenuator, which is directly in series with the main signal path. Fixed, coaxial attenuators are connected directly between any two-connection points between the transmitter and the antenna. For example, a fixed, coaxial antenna might be connected directly on the output of an access point, at the input to the antenna, or anywhere between these two points if multiple RF cables are used.

Variable antennas are generally mounted to a surface with screws through their flange plates or simply placed in a wiring closet on a shelf. Configuration of RF attenuators is not required unless a variable attenuator is used, in which case, the amount of attenuation required is configured according to your RF calculations. Configuration instructions for any particular attenuator will be included in the manufacturer’ user manual. s Figure 3. 19: RF attenuator placement in a wireless LAN 3. 3. 3 Lightning Arrestors A lightning arrestor is used to shunt transient current into the ground that is caused by lightning.

Lightning arrestors are used for protecting wireless LAN hardware such as access points, bridges, and workgroup bridges that are attached to a coaxial transmission line. Coaxial transmission lines are susceptible to surges from nearby lightning strikes. Lightning arrestor are only needed for outdoor antennas that are 34 Susceptible to lighting sticks in the vicinity. They are not necessary for indoor antennas because of the existing building ground. A lightning arrestor can generally shunt surges up to 5000 Amperes at up to 50 volts. Lightning arrestor performs the following function 1.

Lightning strikes a nearby object 2. Transient current are induced in the antenna or the RF transmission line 3. The lightning arrestor senses these currents and immediately ionizes the gases held internally to cause a short (a path of almost no resistance) directly to earth ground. Figure 3. 20: Lightning Arrestors installed in a network 3. 3. 4 RF Connectors RF connectors are specific types of connection devices used to connect cables to devices or devices to devices. Traditionally, N, F, SMA, BNC, and TNC connectors (or derivatives) have been used for RF connectors on wireless LANs.

In 1994, the FCC and DOC (Canadian Department of Communications) ruled that connectors for use with wireless LAN devices should be proprietary between manufacturers [7]. For this reason, many variations on each connector type exist such as: 1. N-type 2. Reverse polarity N-type 3. Reverse threaded N-type Figure 3. 21: Sample N-type and SMA Connector 35 Choosing an RF Connector There are five things that should be considered when purchasing and installing any RF connector, and they are similar in nature to the criteria for choosing RF amplifiers and attenuators. . The RF connector should match the impedance of all other wireless LAN components (generally 50 ohms). 2. Know how much insertion loss each connector inserted into the signal path causes. The amount of loss caused will factor into your calculations for signal strength required and distance allowed. 3. Know the upper frequency limit (frequency response) specified for the particular connectors. This point will be very important as 5 GHz wireless LANs become more and more common. Some connectors are rated only as high as 3 GHz, which is fine for use with 2. GHz wireless LANs, but will not work for 5 GHz wireless LANs. Some connectors are rated only up to 1 GHz and will not work with wireless LANs at all, other than legacy 900 MHz wireless LANs. 4. Beware of bad quality connectors. First, always consider purchasing from a reputable company. Second, purchase only high-quality connectors made by name-brand manufacturers. This kind of purchasing particularity will help eliminate many problems with sporadic RF signals, VSWR, and bad connections. 5. Make sure you know both the type of connector (N, F, SMA, etc. ) that you need and the sex of the connector.

Connectors come in male and female. Male connectors have a center pin, and female connectors have a center receptacle. 3. 3. 5 RF Cables Proper cables are needed for connecting an antenna to an access point or wireless bridge. Below are some criteria to be considered in choosing the proper cables for your wireless network. 1. Cables introduce loss into a wireless LAN, so make sure the shortest cable length necessary is used. 2. Plan to purchase pre-cut lengths of cable with pre-installed connectors. Doing minimizes the possibility of bad connections between the connector and the cable.

Professional manufacturing practices are almost always superior to cables manufactured by untrained individuals. 3. Look for the lowest loss cable available at your particular price range (the lower the loss, the more expensive the cable). Cables are typically rated for loss in dB/100-feet. The table in Figure 5. 29 illustrates the loss that is introduced by adding cables to a wireless LAN. 4. Purchase cable that has the same impedance as all of your other wireless LAN components (generally 50 ohms). 5. The frequency response of the cable should be considered as a primary decision factor in your purchase.

With 2. 4 GHz wireless LANs, a cable with a rating of at least 2. 5 GHz should be used. With 5 GHz wireless LANs, a cable with a rating of at least 6 GHz should be used. 36 Table 3. 1: Coaxial Cable attenuation ratings LMR Cable 100A 195 200 240 300 400 400UF 500 600 600UF 900 1200 1700 30 3. 9 2. 0 1. 8 1. 3 1. 1 0. 7 0. 8 0. 54 0. 42 0. 48 0. 29 0. 21 0. 15 50 5. 1 2. 6 2. 3 1. 7 1. 4 0. 9 1. 1 0. 70 0. 55 0. 63 0. 37 0. 27 0. 19 150 8. 9 4. 4 4. 0 3. 0 2. 4 1. 5 1. 7 1. 2 1. 0 1. 15 0. 66 0. 48 0. 35 220 10. 9 5. 4 4. 8 3. 7 2. 9 1. 9 2. 2 1. 5 1. 2 1. 0. 80 0. 59 0. 43 450 15. 8 7. 8 7. 0 5. 3 4. 2 2. 7 3. 1 2. 2 1. 7 2. 0 1. 17 0. 89 0. 63 900 22. 8 11. 1 9. 9 7. 6 6. 1 3. 9 4. 5 3. 1 2. 5 2. 9 1. 70 1. 3 0. 94 1500 30. 1 14. 5 12. 9 9. 9 7. 9 5. 1 5. 9 4. 1 3. 3 3. 8 2. 24 1. 7 1. 3 1800 33. 2 16. 0 14. 2 10. 9 8. 7 5. 7 6. 6 4. 6 3. 7 4. 3 2. 48 1. 9 1. 4 2000 35. 2 16. 9 15. 0 11. 5 9. 2 6. 0 6. 9 4. 8 3. 9 4. 5 2. 63 2. 0 1. 5 2500 39. 8 19. 0 16. 9 12. 9 10. 4 6. 8 7. 8 5. 5 4. 4 5. 1 2. 98 2. 3 1. 7 37 CHAPTER 4 Wireless LAN 38 Chapter 4 Wireless LAN 4. 1 Wireless LAN (WLAN) 4. 1. 1 Wireless LAN

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