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I'm investigating different options for mounting a wireless access point outdoors to cover my back yard better.

One of the options I'm considering is running a cable through the wall and along the outside of the house to the location the AP should be. It's not practical to go straight through the wall to the AP location. This would most likely involve having the cable come through the exterior wall on one side of the house, then go several feet and around a corner to where the AP would be mounted.

I want to do this in a way that is durable, as aesthetically pleasing as possible, and keeps potential for damage to the house to a minimum. I also want to retain as much flexibility as is practical for future upgrades, modifications, etc. I'm thinking that I probably want some sort of weatherproof junction box outside the house where the cable comes out, then run it through conduit to the AP location. Is that the proper way to do this? The instructions in this question seem like they'd work, but is there a better way to do this for my situation?

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    How long is the proposed run, and also -- is the AP itself in a weatherproof box, or are you planning to put a standard indoor AP inside a weatherproof box? Also, how are you planning to power said AP? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 7 '16 at 4:12
  • I'll be using an AP designed for outdoor usage (Ubiquiti). The run would probably be 4-6 feet down one wall, around a corner and then maybe 1-2 feet on the second wall. – Wouldchux Jun 7 '16 at 4:39
  • Just to make sure: you know about PoE (Power Over Ethernet)? – Daniel Griscom Jun 7 '16 at 11:04
  • Can't you just run a cable to the AP and set it on the basement wall on that side of the house? – Rob Jun 7 '16 at 12:45
  • @Rob I don't have a basement. I have tried APs just inside the house, but due to the construction of the house, the signal is attenuated enough to make the signal too weak in the parts of the yard where I want to use it. I've temporarily tested with an AP outside (just hanging out a window) and it works great. – Wouldchux Jun 7 '16 at 23:50
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Be sure to use a shielded Cat5e or Cat6 cable, as Ubiquiti clearly specifies the use of shielded cable and connectors for outside access points.

Conduit is not required if you use the correct type of cable. Ubiquiti would like to sell you ToughCable and connectors, but IMHO those are overpriced .vs. any other cable that meets the need (exterior and shielded) so my Ubiquiti outdoor APs are connected to another brand that I could get for considerably less cash. It can also be difficult to keep the cable bend radius reasonable if running in 1/2" conduit with sharp corners around the building corner. If you want to use conduit, make the corner with sweeps.

Depending on the building layout and wiring access, running the cable up near the roof (or on the soffit, if there's a soffit) is generally less obtrusive than in the middle of the wall. It's also, not at all incidentally, a drier, more protected location for the hole in the wall (or you can come out the soffit if you have access from in the attic.)

If you are using any of the outdoor APs with the stock omni antennas, your best method is to run direct burial shielded Cat5e or Cat6 to a pole in the yard somewhat away from the house. The APs are well weatherproofed and don't need the shelter of the house, and a pole location in the center of your coverage area will give the best coverage. Conduit with sweeps (not sharp corners) would not be a bad idea if digging that trench, and removes the requirement that the cable be direct-burial rated, though it's usually not an extra cost on the cable. The conduit is a small extra cost in never having to dig the trench again.

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    Agreed. +1 for mounting away from structure. But, you can use a satellite type post mount as well allowing you to avoid any trenching. I'm talking about the type of mount you see on a roof mount satellite. – bigbull15 Jun 7 '16 at 15:29
  • Thanks, good stuff. Yes, I agree mounting away from the house would be ideal, but I think it would make the project a fair bit harder. And from my testing, I get more than adequate coverage with it on the side of the house. My first choice is to come up from my patch panel on the first floor, to the attic, and out near the top. But I fear that I won't be able to fish the cable all that way without cutting holes in the wall (which I really want to avoid), so this question is about the feasibility of my backup plan. – Wouldchux Jun 7 '16 at 23:53
  • We would really need to see photos of the proposed location to better answer the question of cable routing. – bigbull15 Jun 8 '16 at 14:51
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Ubiquity seems to make some good equipment with good range. I don't think a few feet will make much difference especially if you close to the house while accessing the WiFi.

It is questionable it will be worth the effort and cost for weatherproof Cat6 cabling or conduit on the outside of the house. Not to mention the unaesthetic appearance of cabling on the outside of the house.

If you need more range you might also consider paying more for the commercial quality Ubiquity WAP with a longer range.

Good luck!

  • Around the corner of the building makes a big difference, coverage wise. – Ecnerwal Jun 7 '16 at 12:39
  • That being the case IMHO all the more reason to mount it away from the building and prevent unsightly cable attached to the house. – ArchonOSX Jun 7 '16 at 15:53
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In terms of getting AC power to an outdoor remote wireless access point - you don't need to. Most Internet router type products run on 12 volts DC. Code compliance is much easier with low voltage wiring, and there are lots of products specifically made to distribute 12V power outdoors, typically to pathway lighting, etc.

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