Outdoor Wireless Access Point

The Haywood Regional Medical Center recently called us to install an outdoor antenna for their Hospice Building.  The problem from management’s point of view was that when the employees returned to the building for downloading their test data, they were spending far too much time socializing inside the building.

Management wanted them to be able to download their data without the necessity of entering the building.  The Information Technology department’s solution was to install a Cisco wireless access point on the exterior of the building pointing towards the parking lot.  Thus, the Hospice employees could pull into the parking lot, download their data, and subsequently leave the premises without having to enter the building. The chosen antenna was an Aironet 8.5-dBi Patch Antenna (AIR-ANT2485P-R).  It operates on the 2.4 – 2.484 MHz channel and transmits through a cone of roughly 60 degrees.  It is an indoor/outdoor model with a single patch configuration. Our installation consisted of drilling a hole through the exterior of the building directly into the telecom closet.  Once we ran the antenna cable through the hole, we needed to mount the antenna on the outside of the building.  Unfortunately, the angle of the building was not perpendicular to the parking lot, so we needed to place spacers underneath the antenna to aim it in the proper direction.

Once installed on the outside, we needed to ground the incoming cable to prevent any outdoor lightning strikes from damaging the internal equipment.  This was accomplished using an APC ProtectNet surge protector and bonding it with an eight gauge grounding wire to a conduit clamp on the network’s dedicated electrical circuit.