188 Chapter 8: Discovering Site-Specific Requirements
Most WLAN devices are designed to be located in a “friendly climate,” meaning areas
where the temperature ranges from 0 and 60 degrees Celsius. In addition, a friendly envi-
ronment is one in which the AP stays dry and clean and vibrations are minimal. If you are
putting an AP into a retail store or office building, a friendly climate might very well exist.
In many scenarios, however, such as a food distribution center with a large freezer that
might reach temperatures of –20 Celsius, or for outdoor installations in climates with
extremely cold or hot weather, you need to design the WLAN based on the worst-case
WLANs are deployed in a wide range of locations, from climate-controlled offices to truck
loading docks, outdoor rental car lots, airport tarmacs, shipyards and railyards, and even on
board luxury cruise liners, locomotives, and passenger trains. Each location entails slightly
different circumstances and therefore requires different survey tactics and installation
For applications that require the AP to be mounted outdoors, use an AP that has an appro-
priate National Electrical Manufacturer Association (NEMA) rating, or place the AP inside
a NEMA type of enclosure. This provides proper weatherproofing to prevent moisture
damage and corrosion. Salt water is extremely damaging to most APs, so consider this fact
if your WLAN installation area is anywhere near an ocean or sea.
Some WLANs are even used in hazardous areas, including industrial facilities where chem-
icals are manufactured or stored, locations where painting is occurring (for example, auto-
motive factories), or sites where explosives might be used (mines, for example). At such a
hazardous site, use products that meet the site’s intrinsic requirements or find suitable
enclosures. Check with the customer to determine the level of safety necessary and the
degree of isolation required.
Using Cookie Cutter Designs
Although every site differs and a survey for each site should be considered, you might be
able to use a cookie cutter approach in some cases. Consider, for example, a chain of small
auto-parts stores (see Figure 8-8). These stores are built in a very similar manner and are all
about the same size. They also contain very similar products, arranged in a similar way. A
single AP positioned in almost any location provides adequate coverage for a store. After
you have determined this fact (by a survey), you can establish specific guidelines regarding
AP placement and make deployment much simpler.

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