Canopy Coverage Extender?

What exactly does the Canopy Coverage Extender accomplish that a simple switch can not? … _extender/

Is this just a fancy outdoor switch? We have a few locations where we do a hop by having an SM on one side of a house, coming into a switch inside the house and going out to an AP on the opposite side of the house to provide a link to other areas that do not have LOS to the tower.

What is the advantage of doing this with the Canopy Coverage Extender? It says that you can connect up to 3 AP’s to it. So does that mean it has some sort of mini CMM built in?

I suppose you can achieve the same result using a CMM or a plain switch and right sync connections but here it’s probably simpler since you can connect directly 4 devices with unique cables (data + power + sync).

The coverage extender takes the sync from the SM and passes it to up to 3 AP’s along with POE and switching. This ensures that the AP’s are in sync with the tower feeding them. It’s clean and looks nice but I think it’s pretty overpriced for what it does.

Memory Link originally came up with the idea:

A custom version would use a 50W 24V power supply, switch, and an outdoor enclosure. You could go with an unmanaged switch to save money, or a managed switch if needed.

In the case of your remote AP’s, if you are not passing the sync from the SM to the AP you will start to have interference issues later on as you have AP’s that are generating their own sync. There are alot of topics on sync and remote AP’s on the forum.

Yes I am aware of the sync issue, although I am not clear about one thing. Is the sync absolutely necessary even if the SM and AP that are linked at the relay point are totally separated from each other and on different frequencies from the SM and the feeding AP on the tower?

For example we have a relay site that has a 5.7 SM on it receiving its signal from a 5.7 AP on the tower about 10 miles away. Then clear on the other side of the house, 200 feet away on a post we have a 900 AP that is broadcasting to a neighborhood below that can not see the tower at all. The two are connected via a switch inside the house. Is sync still necessary in this scenario?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: Sync is a fundamental design element in a Canopy network. Because Canopy is so easy to get installed and working it may not seem important and initially you may not see a problem.

However as you add SM’s and AP’s that are not in sync, you will start to create an unfavorable RF environment. The result is that you will not get as many users on your network, and you may get less performance overall. Your ability to deal with outside interference (Canopy’s real strength) will be reduced because you are creating you own self-interference.

Sync is the magic sauce that makes Canopy work. Better to follow the guidelines for proper Canopy network deployment:

    - Sync is always observed, either by carrying the sync cable from the SM to the AP (one hop), or using PacketFlux SyncPipes (cheap!).
    - All AP’s have the same DL%, Control Slots, Max Distance or configured as per the Frame Calculator.

Thanks for the detailed responses, Jerry.

I guess my understanding was that sync is only necessary for AP’s that are co-located, and by that I mean physically on the same tower, close to each other.

So are you saying that 2 AP’s that may be 2 hops away from another, should still synch with each other? That would almost seem to indicate that the ENTIRE network should be synched? Even if they are separated by various links and hops and relay points?

Yes, the whole network should be sync’d.

The only time you would not use sync is if ALL of the AP’s and associated SM’s are completely isolated from the rest of your network, say down in a valley.

That’s not to say that your network won’t run if you don’t. It’s just that you are building in network performance limitations and you will hit the wall sooner than if you properly build the network.

Well we do in fact live in a very montainous area, such that most of the sectors of our network are pretty well isolated from each other physically and can not really “see” each other (thus the various hops and relay points).

But I will look into doing some experiments to see if will help us to sync the various sectors as well.

Thanks again.