Adding or updating your wireless network may be one of your objectives for the year. It’s one of those far-reaching plans where it helps to break down the information you’ll need into actionable steps to ensure a quality outcome.
In the case of a wireless network, there’s a variety of information that we suggest gathering beforehand. Some points to consider are:
∙ Current line of sight
∙ How large the network is and how many access points are needed
∙ Which RF channels can be used
We have wireless resources that can help with some of these questions, and it’s definitely a great idea to talk with an expert throughout the process – from design through installation. They’ll be able to work with you on an initial site survey, and assess what may be needed to build an industrial wireless network that operates in harmony with your PLC communications and equipment throughout your facility. (Just sayin’: We can help you with this! Contact us to learn more.)
Once you know how many access points you need, how far apart they’ll be, and other key data, we have a resource that can help you determine radios and antennas that can help connect your facility.
The recently updated ProSoft Wireless Designer (PWD) is a free download that leads you through questions about your application. It’ll help you determine the type of radio that’s best for your network, and the antennas you need based on the distance between access points. It will then allow you to export a complete Bill of Materials, including the radios and accessories that you specify.
There are other features that we recommend in PWD, so make sure to download it and explore the software, even if you’re at the start of your wireless journey. The index section especially has a lot of helpful educational listings that may help answer your questions about antenna selection, line of sight, and other key considerations.