[Techtalk] Wireless Network Problem. HELP!!! (please?)

E. Sterling Wall sterling at sumgai.co.uk
Sat Aug 17 18:30:33 EST 2002

Hi Guys, I need some massive help.

Recently I took on a wireless network project because I had a new
employee (my second) who said he could do this sort of stuff and the
project happened to be for some friends... Unfortunately, the project
has bombed big time, the new employee has gotten canned already, and I
still have to finish up the contract. I've already spent more than the
original contract was worth trying to fix the mistakes of the guy who
supposedly could do this crap. (do I sound frustrated??) I have done
wired networks in the past myself, but this is the first time I've
needed to do a wireless network that included more than one access point
on my own, so I'm on totally new territory for me personally.

Here is a diagram of an "office" where I need to set up the wireless
network. In reality, Office #1 is an apartment being used as an office
and Office #2 is the apartment where the owner of the business in #1
lives. Office #2 needs to have access to the network in Office #1, but
there is no way, within the agreements of the building where the
apartments are located, to string wires between the two office/flats.

|                           |
|     Office #2             |
     ^^^    |___________________<--Wall that transmissions _________
   Windows  |                       won't go through
          > |
          > |      Office #1
 Garden   > |
  Area    > |R*

W* = Wireless Access Point to transmit to Office #2 and connect to R*
R* = Router/Switch/Wireless Access Point  Connects to Internet, serves
as a "hub" for Office network. File Server and Print server are
connected by hardware to the switch. Other machines in Office #1 connect
via wireless cards.

	Logically (I thought), since the transmissions cannot go through the
wall that separates Office #1 and Office #2, we could use the windows to
increase the coverage area of transmissions. Putting the Router (R*)
next to the window in #1 and the second access point (W*) next to the
window in #2 I expected that  W* would be able to talk to the R* either
through a point to point bridge or just being friendly neighborhood
access points to each other...  Boy was I wrong.

	R* is a Netgear MR314 Router/Switch/Wireless Access point. It is
serving basically as the hub for the Office #1 network and is just fine
as far as that goes. W* is a Netgear ME201 Wireless Access point which
cannot talk to the R* at all except via a hard-wire. (Ummm... so what's
the point of a wireless network if you need wires to make it work?)

	Somehow, by a miracle apparently, I had this set up working for about
12 hours when I first installed all the hardware. But then it
spontaneously died. When I couldn't get it all working again, I called
Netgear who swear that the MR314 cannot talk to other wireless access
points at all, has no bridging, and can only connect to wireless cards
or hard-wired other devices. So, whatever happened the first day did not
in fact really happen, it is all a figment of my (and everyone else in
the office) imagination. They suggest that I get a second ME201 and have
our existing ME201 (W*) connect to the MR314 (R*) by a hard-wire and
then put the second ME201 (W*2) in the other office. 

|                           |
|     Office #2             |
     ^^^    |___________________<--Wall that transmissions _________
   Windows  |                       won't go through
          > |
          > |W*      Office #1
 Garden   > | }wired connection
  Area    > |R*

I'm a bit nervous now, though. I've already wasted hours and hours on
this really annoying network and I'd like to just get it finished. Does
this new set up look to you like it should work? Do any of you have any
advice and/or caveats about this set up? 

-- elizabeth

Sumgai Technology
p. 01628 780738
m. 07766 073235

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