MR86 or MR76 coverage for 4.5 Acres

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MR86 or MR76 coverage for 4.5 Acres

Good Morning, Meraki wizards.


I have a project to cover an exterior farm of about 4.5 acres, that needs complete coverage. 


if each AP is wired I was considering 4 one on each corner facing inwards, if not wired I would have 5 main one would be wired in the middle and the rest in the same position.


let me know if this is overkill or someone has a better idea. 


11 Replies 11
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😁- are the farmers soaking up Netflix whilst out ploughing?


I'm surrounded by farmland so interested in the use case.  Mix of cattle and arable.

Darren OConnor |

I'm not an employee of Cisco/Meraki. My posts are based on Meraki best practice and what has worked for me in the field.

mostly horse stables and training, maybe they need to watch Mr. Ed.

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MG41 and MR76 attached to a horse? 🤔

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What are the dimensions of the area?


Would 2Mb/s be sufficient speed?

Area is an open rectangle 4.5 acres more or less

A model citizen


This is an interesting wireless network design scenario.


One acre is roughly 208.71 feet × 208.71 feet square.

So 4.5 acres would be roughly 522 feet x 522 feet, assuming that the property is square.


WIFI 6 (802.11 ax) has a maximum range of roughly 175 feet.

This estimate works great for the signal coming from the AP,

but WIFI is a 2 way street and you don't specify what the clients are.

Let's assume there is a clear line of site from the AP to the clients

with no obstructions. Let's also assume that all of the clients are

WIFI 6 capable and have a maximum range of 100 feet.

Based on this, I estimate you would need a minimum of 15 APs,

with 9 APs along the sides of the square and 6 more deployed

around the interior of the square. You would probably want

to use patch antennas around the sides of the square and omni-directional

antennas inside the square. Mounting each of the APs and antennas on a 10 to 12 foot

pole would probably be sufficient.


If the clients are only capable of WIFI 5 or even 4, then you would need to

double or triple the number of APs.


This is a rough calculation and a real site survey would be much more accurate.


The Meraki mesh design guide has some excellent recommendations on which APs

need to be wired repeaters or wireless gateways.


Based on the recommendations from the guide, all of the APs on the outside

of the square need to be wired and at least one of the APs in the middle of the square

would need to be wired too. And since the network deployment is outside,

I would recommend that you run fiber for all of the wired connections.

You would also have to run power to all of the APs too.

Since you would have to run power to the AP locations, you might as well run fiber too.

You would also need some power surge protection and proper grounding too.

Something like these adapters would work well for the AP side of the fiber connection:


Multi-mode fiber would be sufficient, no need for single mode fiber and the additional expense.

You would probably need a Meraki MS410-16 switch to connect all of the APs together.


Their are more factors to consider such as what the internet connection is and what

the requirements are for client bandwidth and what the clients are actually accessing over

the wireless network.


In order to take full advantage of the MR86 higher bandwidth, you would have to go with

10 gigabit over fiber, along with an MS425-16 switch and at least an MX105 firewall

to handle a 3 gigabit internet connection. I don't know if anyone even makes a 10 gigabit

fiber to multi-gigabit PoE converter. If their were a lot of clients consuming a lot

of bandwidth, an MX250 or MX450 would be a better choice.


The MR76 AP would probably be more than sufficient and much cheaper.


This would still be a significant capital expenditure to purchase and deploy.


That's my 0.02 worth 😉



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@jbright whilst I agree that technically everything you say is correct, there may be a lower cost option.  We have an MR46E with the omni-directional antenna slung under a canopy outside one of our central London venues.  @DarrenOC managed to connect to one of our SSIDs over 100m (328ft) away, and that is in one of the most congested WiFi locations on the planet!  Based on that 1AP in the middle might work 🤔🤞


I'm not saying that it's a certified design guide, but might be worth playing with 4 APs, one for each quarter...

A model citizen

@cmr I would not "bet the farm" on that working too well 😉

Would love if meraki had a design tool just drop the map and let it do its magic 

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LOL, it would need a 3D map with materials and densities etc.!  Seriously though you should be able to borrow some devices and try it out.

You mean like the Ubiquiti design center?

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