Over the past year, many SCLS libraries have asked if we could facilitate extending wireless internet access to outside the building. The new Meraki wireless infrastructure that most SCLS libraries are using gives us the ability to support outdoor access points. The access points are very powerful, reliable and can withstand the harsh weather we enjoy in Wisconsin. This page will give you more information about outdoor access points and lead you in the right direction for getting the installation process started.
Each outdoor access point installation requires an access point (Meraki MR84), two pairs of external omnidirectional antennas, and a license. Some libraries will require an injector to power the device. The cost for the equipment fluctuates, so a new quote will need to be generated for each request. Expect the cost for equipment to fall between $1,300 and $1,800 per installation.
As with any device on the SCLS network, there is a yearly port fee associated with an outdoor access point.
Each outdoor access point requires a network cable run to its mounting location outside the building. The library is responsible for hiring an electrician to run a network cable from the network closet to the location of the access point. So far, we have found that terminating the outdoor end of the cable run with an RJ45 male connector is the best option. Please make sure the cabler leaves some extra slack on the cable run. This will allow the outdoor end to be repaired if it ever becomes damaged. The SCLS web site has a list of some electricians that have done work for SCLS libraries in the past.
Mounting the Access Point
A mounting plate is included with the MR84 access point. The mounting plate is attached to the exterior of the building with (4) wall anchors and screws. SCLS staff can be on-site during the installation, but the library is responsible for drilling the mounting holes into the exterior of the building and mounting the access point.
The MR84 is a high capacity access point designed for areas with high client-density. The performance of outdoor access points can be affected by dense foliage, buildings, heavy rainfall, fog and other sources of RF interference. The unimpeded range of Meraki access points equipped with external, omnidirectional antennas is up to 100 meters.
Who to Contact?
If you would like to get the ordering process started or have any questions regarding outdoor access points, please submit a Help Desk ticket.