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Recommendation for small outdoor router?


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#1 twintone

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:40 AM

We have an outdoor display sign at our business, and I would like to somehow communicate with the sign (to change messages on it) wirelessly. It currently has 1 Cat5 jack to connect to it, but also has a power outlet which I could draw power from. For now if we want to change a message on the sign, we either need to walk outside and connect to it with a laptop via cat5 cable (not ideal in the rain, or in winter) or we need to run a really long cable out to it which can't be left out permanently due to needing to mow the lawn etc.

 

So I started to do some searching online, but haven't been able to come up with something that would work well. The space I am dealing with is pretty small, and I couldn't just purchase any old kind of router and setup a bridge. It would have to be pretty small, maybe the size of a pack of cigarettes or smaller. It would be protected from the elements somewhat (mainly just from above) but would be exposed to heat and cold.

 

I was wondering if anyone might have a suggestion on such a device? Or some other idea of how I can possibly make this connection wireless and do away with having to run a cable out there all the time.

 

Thanks much!



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#2 smax013

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:59 AM

One option might be to look at PowerLine adapters. Here is an example:

http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PA4010KIT-Powerline-Adapter-Starter/dp/B00AWRUICG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408726464&sr=8-1&keywords=powerline+adapter

That option assumes that the power plug outside is using the same overall electrical system as the office.

In terms of an actual router to use, the smallest router that I am aware of is an Apple AirPort Express, but even that is not the size of a deck of cards. It is about 4"x4"x1".

Do a quick search on Google got me this:

http://www.dlink.com/us/en/home-solutions/connect/portable-routers/dir-510l-wi-fi-ac750-portable-router-and-charger

Here are some other small routers (the article is about a year old):

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-travel-routers-1452441479

Would the router be protected from the elements in some way?

Edited by smax013, 22 August 2014 - 12:02 PM.


#3 Kilroy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

If PowerLine isn't an option.  I'd recommend running an ethernet run to it and bury the cable.  You don't mention any distances, which are a factor for both wireless and wired solutions.  You want to either run a conduit or use direct bury cable.  While this is more time and effort once it is done you shouldn't have any issues with it.



#4 twintone

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:47 PM

Thanks for the info guys. Distance isn't an issue in either wired or wireless options. We did consider a burying a cable, but it would be a fair amount of work to run it through the building and outside. It's not out of the question, but thought a wireless solution might be easier.. which I am finding it's not.

 

Thanks for the links to the routers. First thing I thought of was the power line option, however I just wonder how reliable it would be in the summer. I have installed and used those in the past, and they can get really warm (at least the ones I have tried) and then add 90 degree heat.. not sure it would hold up. 

 

I didn't even think to look at travel routers, so thanks again for the links. I think I will check these out and see if I can make something work. Again, I see heat being the biggest hurdle, but it's really not a large investment if that becomes a problem.

 

There really isn't much protection for the elements, so I will need to build some kind of box and weather proof that.

 

Thanks again for the suggestions. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't possibly missing something new on the market that I wasn't aware of that might work. This gets me going in the right direction.






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