setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

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Teacher

setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

I have a bit of a complicated set up at my house. In order to get a wifi network to cover my entire house I have had to use poweline adapters from my main router to extend the network wo the other end of my house where I have set up an accesspoint that covers the other side of my house. 

 

In all of the years I have had att I have never had service at my house so as soon as the mcell came out I got it. It works great if you are in really close proximity to it. So I would like to add another mcell to the other end of my house. 

 

My current set up is: the modem connected to my apple airport router and then to my mcell. Then I have a powerline adapter connected to my router than extends the network to the other end of my house where another powerline adapter is connected to my apple airport extreme which is set up as an access point. 

 

Is there any way to connect a second mcell to my apple airport router acting as an access point at the other end of my house?

 

I am also open to any other slution anyone has to setting up a second mcell. 

 

 

Message 1 of 71 (6,221 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

[ Edited ]

You can setup a second MicroCell is the same location but PowerLine Adapters are very problematic for some. I don't recommend the use of them. If they work for you, that's great but you may have problems if one of the circuits is noisier than the other one.

 

As far as using a MicroCell as an access point for another MicroCell I'm not sure if that's possible. The 2nd MicroCell would function just like the first one, iow, you'd need access to the sky for GPS lock (which can be done with an extension antenna if a window is not close by) and go thru the entire initialization process.

 

Under ideal conditions, the "range" of the MicroCell is about 5000 sq feet so maybe there's a way to place your current MicroCell so that it gives you better coverage in your house.

 

BTW, you double-posted so I'll ask the mods to remove one of your posts so as to not confuse anyone.

 

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 71 (5,933 Views)
Teacher

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

Do you have another solution to setting up a second cell thats is not through power line adapters?

To extend my wifi network I have to use powerline adapters in order to set up my apple access point on the other end of my house. And since the mcell has to be plugged into a router isn't that the only other place to put the second mcell?

I wasn't talking about using an mcell as an access point for my other mcell. The access point is for my wifi. I was wanting to know if I could use my access point to plug in another mcell.

I need coverage for over 5000sqft which is why I want to set up a second mcell.
Message 3 of 71 (5,920 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

I think there may be another way besides the PowerLine Adapters so let me check. There's another poster, Avedis53, who has some experience in this area so let me reach out to him, if he doesn't see this post first, and pick his brain.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 4 of 71 (5,915 Views)
Teacher

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

That would be great, thanks.

Im open to absolutely any way of setting up a second mcell.

Message 5 of 71 (5,902 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

Sorry I'm drawing a blank on this because we just went thru this a couple of months ago, and I think Avedis53 came up with a working solution without using PowerLine Adapters that may work for you. It's something I've been meaning to put into the Guide so this will be a good incentive. Hang tight.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 71 (5,895 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

 Apple Airports can communicate wirelessly with each other.  What prompted you to connect your Airport Extreme to your Airport (I'm assuming Express) via Powerline adapters?

 

Here's what I would do given your existing hardware.  First off, I'd switch your Airport Extreme to be the one that is connected to your modem and use the Airport Express as your repeater.  The reason for this is that the Airport Extreme has a range of 150 feet due to better antennas and power.  The Airport Express has a range of 50 feet.  In order to maximize bandwidth throughout your house, the repeater needs to get a strong signal from the base station (the Extreme).  A weak signal will reduce bandwidth.

 

Use the Airport Utility to set up the Extreme as your router. Connect your existing Microcell to your Extreme via Ethernet cable.  Make sure that is all working before moving on to the following steps.

 

There are instructions in the Airport Extreme manual for extending the range of your wireless network.  See Chapter 3, page 43 for the steps.  I won't bother repeating them here.  Once you've completed that, your Airport Express will be wirelessly connected to your Airport Extreme.  You can then connect a second Microcell via Ethernet cable to your Airport Express and have additional cellphone coverage throughout your house. 

 

When operating two Microcells within your house, keep this in mind.  While the Microcell will hand off a connected call to an external cell tower as you move out of range of the Microcell, a Microcell will not hand off to another Microcell.  So if you establish a cellphone connection to one of your Microcells and start walking around your house and move out of range of that Microcell, your call will drop.

 

Another issue to keep in mind is (and you may already know this) that with two WiFi access points in your house, you will have the option of which one you can use with other WiFi devices.  I know with the iPhone that it will automatically switch to the access point with the highest signal. 

 

A problem can occur where wireless devices on your network have to be connected to the same access point in order to communicate.  I've seen this with my iPhone when trying to use a Yamaha app that controls my home theater receiver which is equipped with WiFi.  If my iPhone isn't connected to the same access point as the receiver, the app will not work.

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 7 of 71 (5,869 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

[ Edited ]

Thanks Avedis53. To the OP, is it possible to run cable (via the attic and down the inside of a wall) to where ever you need an ethernet connection? That's a big hassle I know but I recently did just that using CAT-6 to extend my ethernet connection to my HTS (Home Theater System) so I could have a wired connection for streaming instead of wireless. I connected that to an 8-port giga switch for future expansion. Avedis53's suggestion is a good one but if you need more than 5,000 sq feet coverage, distance and obstacles may be your biggest problem.

 

You may want to consider placing your AEBS as high up as possible to decrease interference and increase propagation thru your house. However, if you have a two-story home, and the router is upstairs, you've already done that.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 8 of 71 (5,865 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

OR.....

 

You keep your existing system as is and you can simply plug a second Microcell into the Airport Extreme via Ethernet cable. You might try this first as it would be the simplest thing to do and you already have the Powerline Adapters. 

 

However, Powerline adapters are susceptible to ground loops, AC cross-phase interference, AC cross-breaker interference, GFCI interference and line noise induced by multiple AC appliances.  I tried to use Powerline Adapters in my 4-level, 4000 sq. ft. house to move my Microcell to a centralized location to service all floors.  Constant connection drops between my Microcell and the network were caused by some electrical anomaly within my home's AC wiring.  I solved this by dumping the Powerline Adapters and using a wireless repeater as suggested in my initial response.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 9 of 71 (5,862 Views)
Teacher

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

Thanks for the info Avedis53.

Although, I have my network set up exactly as you described. Im not using an express at all.

I have my modem connected to my extreme which is connected to my mcell. Then through powerline adapters I have a second extreme set up as an accessponit to further my wifi signal.

There is no express in the mix at all.

To answer this question: "Apple Airports can communicate wirelessly with each other. What prompted you to connect your Airport Extreme to your Airport (I'm assuming Express) via Powerline adapters?" - The reason I use powerline adapters to extend my wifi network is because the signal from the 1st extreme does not reach the location where my 2nd extreme (access point) is located. The only way for me to extend the network was via powerline adapters.

So, since I have to have poweline adapters and since I have the rest of my network set up essentially like you suggested... Youre saying I should be able to just plug in a second mcell to my extreme accesspoint and it should work? It wont matter that I dont have a router connected to my accesspoint?

Thanks
Message 10 of 71 (5,860 Views)
Teacher

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

Thanks Otto Pylot

I would love to be able to just run cable through the attic. The problem is I have two serarate attics. One on one side of the house and another on the other side. They are not connected and are serarated by the middle of my house which has high ceilings. The poweline adapters is what alloys me to extend my network via the powerlines to the other end of the house.
Message 11 of 71 (5,855 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

[ Edited ]

Hmm, you could always conduit the CAT-6 outside of your house and then bring it in thru a convenient wall. I did that with my security cameras running the cable underneath the eaves of the house from one end of the house to the other end where my router is (no conduit). Ideally, I should have run it thru the attic and down the inside of the wall but my wiring/construction skills aren't that good. We recently remodeled so I had the electrician wire the CAT-6 from router to family room being as we already had the ceiling and walls open.

 

But as Avedis53 pointed out, you still may have issues because the MicroCell's aren't designed to transfer signal between each other. They would be independent femtocells sharing only the internet connection to the AT&T servers. You still need GPS lock and ideally a tower nearby to adjust transmission strength and to hand off from MicroCell to macrocell (tower) when moving in and out of range.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 71 (5,852 Views)
Teacher

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

Im not trying to transfer signals between the two mcells. I just want two separate mcells that give off their own signal.
Message 13 of 71 (5,849 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

Ok....thanks for the clarification.

 

Yes, you should simply plug the second Microcell into one of the LAN Ethernet ports of the remote Airport Extreme.  It does not have to be a router.

 

If you have problems with the Powerline adapter connection (the Microcell is pretty finicky about this) then there are other alternatives.

 

Do you have Gen 4 or Gen 5 Airport Extremes?  On its label there should be a FCC ID number.

 

Gen 4 - BCGA1354

Gen 5 - BCGA1408

 

If you have Gen 4 AE's then upgrading to Gen 5 AE's could help as the power output was substantially increased as shown in the table below.

 

WLAN ModeGen.4 (BCGA1354)Gen.5 (BCGA1408)
2.4GHz—802.11b286.42 mW257.04 mW
2.4GHz—802.11g143.22 mW307.61 mW
2.4GHz—802.11n (20 MHz)130.92 mW257.63 mW
5GHz—802.11a202.77 mW326.59 mW
5GHz—802.11n (20 MHz)164.82 mW337.29 mW
5GHz—802.11n (40 MHz)139.32 mW392.64 mW

  

If you already have Gen 5 AE's, there are routers/range extenders that have even higher outputs than that.  You might look at the Amped Wireless equipment line.  They have up to 700 mW routers, access points and range extenders.

 

http://ampedwireless.com/

 

I have their SR 10000 range extender (600 mW) and it covers the entire house.  Granted, upgrading either the AE's to Gen 5 or getting a new router and repeater is an expensive proposition.  If you already have Gen 5 AE's, I'd seriously look at going with higher powered Amped Wireless products.  If you have Gen 4 AE's I'd still look at the Amped Wireless products unless you can buy the Gen 5 AE's and then return them if they don't have enough power to connect.

 

Keep in mind that the higher the signal strength between the router and the range extender, the higher the bandwidth you will have, so getting the highest output power units you can will be better. 

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 14 of 71 (5,850 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: setting up multiple MicroCells in one house with one router

I understand that but I just want to make sure you understand that if you're on a call on one MicroCell, and then move within range of the other MicroCell, the call will probably get dropped because the MicroCell's can't hand-off calls to one another. An interesting situation for sure. If the PowerLine Adapters/repeater doesn't work, then some sort of a hardwire solution may be your only option. The MicroCell can be a touchy device and the fewer "hops" between it and the router, the more reliable it's going to be.

___________________________________________________________

MicroCell Technical Guide by Otto Pylot


I am not an AT&T employee. For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 15 of 71 (5,848 Views)
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