Monday, May 4, 2020

UCCU Center Part 3

Well the install couldn't have gone better. We scheduled for 5 days and it only took 4. Two days to pull the wire, terminate and certify the connections, and two days to hang the AP's and aim the antennas. I printed out the coverage pattern of each AP separately in Ekahau so my guys would know where to aim them and that seemed to work. The first couple of AP's were a bit challenging until we figured out the best way to use the beam clamps we had and the optimal mounting points for the antennas. Once we got that
down the rest went much faster. The arena has a jumbo-tron right in the middle of the ceiling and we happen to have an IDF down inside of it. This is where we pulled the wires to and mounted a 24 port mgig switch there. Worked out perfect because I used 24 AP's. We also used two 10 gig fiber up-links in a port channel to the building core. Since this is where I work and there is no one around because of the panic I was able to go survey anytime I liked. I ended up doing 4 different validation surveys just to tweak a few things and try and get it working the best I could. It's looking pretty
good so hopefully one day soon we can actually have events in there again and we'll see if I know what I'm doing.

UCCU Center Part 2

As luck would have it, not long after I submitted my design for the arena we got called into a meeting with the management team of the UCCU Center. They had just landed a contract with ESPN to have the Olympic finals for gymnastics there (Pre-Corona virus). They asked us if there was anything that could be done to improve the wifi in the arena bowl and we just happened to have a nice Ekahau report printed out with the design specs that we handed them. My director told them how much it would cost and a time frame for the install. A week later we were notified that the design had been approved and they had the money to proceed (funny what the opportunity to be on the national stage can do for a budget). We ordered the equipment and everything was a go. Then the whole world shut down. But all of the stuff arrived  and we had a lift rented and no one was in our way so we decided to go ahead with the install. One of the stipulations with the install was that everything we put in had to be black because it was in the ceiling and they didn't want anything to stick out. We were able to get black Cat6a but I had to get a little creative with the AP's and antennas. We thought of getting enclosures for the antennas but didn't have enough lead time to get then built, so I ended up painting the antennas flat black and we bought some black stretchy swimming caps from Amazon to put
over the AP's. Worked out great!

UCCU Center Part 1

Since I got hired here there have been complaints about the Wifi in the UCCU Center arena being horrible. We would tell them, "All it takes is money." But it never went beyond that. Fast forward three years and after the install of our smaller arena seemed to work I got a wild hair and decided to put all my book lurnin' to use and actually create a High Density wireless design for the UCCU Center. There were many things to take into account for the design such as where I would actually be allowed to install AP's, how we could pull the wires we needed, capacity and so on. I had to design for the many configurations of the arena because it wasn't just used for basketball games. It was also used for expo's and graduations and many High School events from around the valley. We couldn't install in the seating because they "may" get new seats in the next couple of years so it looked like it would be a ceiling mount with tight beam directional antennas. I grabbed some floor plans for the arena bowl and my laser distance meter and measured all the heights lengths and widths I thought I would need for the design. It's an 8000 seat arena and I was designing for basic high speed internet, nothing crazy. There were 4 beams in the ceiling I could mount to and run the wire on so that's where I started my design. I stuck with the Cisco 3802e AP's and used a dual 5ghz design with 20mhz channels to maximize the channel usage. I ended up with 24 AP's with 48 antennas. I used Terrawave antennas with 30 degree beams on the inside two I beams, and 45 degree on the outside two beams that were closer to the seats because of the angle of the bowl. I submitted it to my Director just so we could have it on hand next time the conversation came up.


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Wireless network engineer at Utah Valley University

UCCU Center Part 3

Well the install couldn't have gone better. We scheduled for 5 days and it only took 4. Two days to pull the wire, terminate and certi...

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