We have our first Meraki install in a couple of weeks. It's a multi-family (apartments) housing Meraki CCTV project.
My question is are we installing our outdoor MR76 with the proper antennas needed to pick up the signal from both our remote areas (mail kiosk and volleyball/gazebo) where we have a Meraki MV-52 and MV72X at each?
Each area has two cameras which we want to feed back to our outdoor MR76 which hardwires back into our LAN at apartment clubhouse. Can we use omni-directional antennas like MA-ANT-20 to reach these two areas about 75ft away to the gazebo and 125' to our mailroom (from the MR76 location).
Also, any reason to use a patch antenna here instead like the MA-ANT-21 or should the MR76 with MA-ANT-20 omni-directional antennas be enough?
The RED field of view below in the pic attached is a placeholder meant to represent the MR76 coverage with whatever antennas are needed. Blue is each cameras field of view. I appreciate any helpful feedback.
At first glance of your picture, the trees between the cameras and APs are concerning.
The moisture in tree leaves are notorious for disrupting wireless network connections.
Even if you go with the patch or sector antennas for the MR76, this doesn't help you
with the much weaker wireless radios that are built in to the MV cameras. Most of the traffic
is going to be going from the cameras back to the APs, so this could be problematic.
You will probably need to test with an AP with the omni antennas installed where you are
proposing as well as a camera where you are proposing and see what happens.
It's hard to predict how it will work with just a two dimensional picture.
Thanks for the reply. We can certainly field test it first to be confident and will. Just wanted to understand all the challenges in this application first regarding possible interference/distances and maybe have a few options to try and make it work.
As an option could we have 2 MA-ANT-21s installed at the MR76 with one pointed at gazebo cameras while the other is pointed at the mailroom? Also could we do these same patch antennas at each camera location (2) pointing back to the other patch antennas at the MR76?
I'm not feeling super confident about any of the options.
That bottom MV-72X is on the far side of the mail room, and the WiFi is going to have to punch through the building to get to it. Is it possible to get wired Internet there to run those two cameras?
I would normally have liked to use MA-ANT-25 (patch antenna), but the strongest part of its beam is 60 degrees wide, and you need a 90 degree coverage pattern. You could potentially use it and point it more towards the mail room cameras - but you have all those trees between the AP and the volleyball cameras. If those trees are leafy, and it rains, they might absorb a lot of the signal.
If you want to watch all the cameras at once (such as in a wall), it is going to chew a lot of bandwidth.
You really need a site survey for this one. Place an AP temporarily in the location you want, and then measure the bandwidth you can get to where all the cameras would go.
You might need to consider trenching under something to run a cable, put in a pole, and put the AP on that.
Depending on the power circuits, you could consider using power line extenders as well (which run Ethernet over power circuits).
Could we have (2) MA-ANT-21s installed at the MR76 with one pointed at the gazebo cameras while the other is pointed at the mailroom? Also could we do these same patch antennas (MA-ANT-21) at each camera location (2 locations) pointing back to the other patch antennas (2) at the MR76?
Thank you. Wireless between these areas back to the LAN is a must. Our client would clear up any necessary obstacles like tree limbs and make a path though, before they'll trench and lay conduit.
At the gazebo and mail room we were planning to have a weatherproof enclosure with a small network switch our two cameras will wire into. We already have local power available and ready for us to use. Then using a wireless bridge or patch antennas get the camera feeds (4 total/2 at each location) back to the LAN. We've used Ubiquiti ethernet bridges and other's bridges to support Hi-Res (up to 5MP) cameras on other projects (not Meraki) with success. The point to point bridges offer plenty of bandwidth. Is there a reason not to consider that over patch antennas to the wireless on cameras?
The cameras do not have external antenna ports. You should also not point the patch antennas that are attached to the APs in different directions. This causes all kind of interference problems.
As I have to tell my customers frequently, "WiFi is a 2-way street. Just because the client (in this case a camera) can hear the AP, it doesn't mean that the AP can hear the client."
I agree with @alemabrahao, wired is always preferred to wireless because it is generally reliable and predictable.
For the mail room, you could consider putting in a second MR76 (to form a MESH link back to the primary MR76), and an 8 port PoE switch (MS120-8FP or maybe MS120-8LP), and plug all three devices into the switch.
On mail room MR76 use a patch antenna pointing back to your primary MR76. The primary MR76 could probably get away with omni antennas then.
Thanks, that sounds more promising. Any reason why I wouldn't do the same patch antenna setup at the gazebo area with its two cameras pointed back to the main MR76 also?
I am worried that one patch antenna won't have a wide enough beam to hit all the areas required for coverage. It might do.