I apologize now for the crude quality of the drawing I made.
I need to provide a wireless hot spot to one area of a parking lot. Mobile clients will roll up to the hot spot and connect to the network. I want to use a 3500e AP with eternal antennae. I'd like to house the AP inside the building and run ultra low loss antenna cable outside to the two antennae. I chose the AIR-ANT5160NP-R 5GHz and AIR-ANT2460NP-R 2.4GHz directional patch antennae. The reason I chose the 3500e AP instead of a bridge is so I can get speeds greater than 54Mb and so they can be managed from our 5508.
I'm estimating 200-300ft from the antennae to the wireless client, as poorly illustrated in my diagram.
My questions are:
1) Will this work?
2) How can I calculate the loss of the signal due to the antenna cable? The only calculator I know of is for wireless bridges.
3) Should I use wireless bridges instead?
4) What are the pros/cons of using APs vs. bridges?
1) Will this work?
I'm just going to answer this question because it's the rest is irrelevant. The answer is NO.
The reason is this: You have chosen a set of good patch antennas. Each has a maximum gain of -6.0 dBi. But let me ask you this question: What is the maximum gain of the clients on the parking lot? You'll be lucky to see a client that has a client higher than -2.2 dBi.
So what does that mean? This means that your client can hear the signals coming from the AP (that's good) but the AP can't hear the signal coming from the client.
Here's a solution for you to consider: If your parking lot has poles for you to mount your AP then mount your APs there. If you can't run cables to these poles then you need to configure point-to-point wireless bridge. Use one of the radios to bridge (or link) the SSID and the other radio to provide wireless service.
If you don't have a Wireless LAN Controller then this is useless. Cisco TAC will not support 3500 running autonomous IOS. The autonomous IOS is available on the proviso that it's to be used exclusively for wireless site survey and not to be used as a wireless service.
Thanks for the response. I've always wondered about what you pointed out. It makes sense that the AP antennae won't hear the client. What's odd is that I've worked on a scenario similar to that where we put a hot spot in the middle of a football field, except we used bridges. And... it worked. I don't see what would be different with bridges.
Any idea why that would have worked?