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Any Ideas - Wireless Mesh Network For 6-8 Cameras For An Event

Any ideas on how to set up a wireless Mesh network for 6-8 cameras for an event, have them link back to WIFI and then send the data back a local view station about 50ft away?

Any ideas?


Jon, is this something you are required to use mesh or need to use because you want redundnacy or?

I ask because the events where I did wireless surveillance, system complexity was a major risk / issue as typically there's not a lot of time to setup and things can go wrong do to traffic / obstacles / crowds at the event.

To that end, I would think PTMP would be simpler / better, yes/no?

The complexity risk in this case seems like exactly the scenario to use a proper mesh network. As guests come in or other things happen during the event you could find that your previous PTMP "clear shots" aren't so clear any more. A mesh network would provide multiple paths through the mesh in order to provide the strongest possible network (theoretically).

Much of it depends on the exact area being covered, if it's indoors or outdoors, overall size, etc. I'd stay anyway from any consumer-ish stuff (D-Link, dropcam) on this and at a minimum use something like Ubiquiti, which will also give you some tools and means to do a low-level RF site survey and see what else in operating in the area and keep a better eye on signal strengths.

But your best option might be to ask Firetide if you can get a demo kit/equipment for a few days ;)

I would agree with John for using a PTMP for this solution. If you can do a sight survey before the install to determine what interference and obstacles you might have to work around it would allow you to avoid using mesh. I would also avoid cameras that are inherently wireless because as said below they are usually horribly weak clients on the network. You would probably have better luck hard wiring the cameras into the access points or CPE equipment you have at the camera end and let those products send the data over the air back to the base station.

It is more for a hotel event that we want situational awareness. Thoughts on a D-link solution where the wireless signals can go over a wifi network back to a central viewing point? or a dropcam solution where the cameras can go out of a local wifi and then to a few Ipads?


My experience with Dropcams (both original and Pro) is that they do not have terribly strong wireless range. I am not saying it's bad, just that's it's on par with consumer / residential equipment.

So they would need to have access to a local WiFi that is really strong that the cameras can connect to?

Yes, strong / close. A key logistical problem is that Dropcam (like most wireless cameras) have integrated internal antennas so optimization / tuning / adjustment is no very feasible, short of moving the cameras closer to the wireless nodes or vice versa.

Thanks for your feedback John. Much appreciated. Otherwise stick standard cameras linked to high power wireless routers?

Try this link... easy to use... easy to setup... works well... (single camera per link I get 6Mbps from each camera without issues, average 52ms latency) use the 5Ghz if you can.

MikroTik Routers and Wireless - Products: SXT Sixpack

" Use the 5Ghz if you can": Yes yes and yes. You must use it, it's not an option

avoid sharing 2,4Ghz with regular customers, and the very few wifi channels at the hotel where Hotspots already are ... and kill your bandwidth.

You said 6 cameras minimum : so 6 x 5 Mb (no PTZ) =30 Mb/s real Throughput. Better get a dedicated channel on the 5 Ghz to avoid riots with customers losing Wifi during your event!

I use these units fore one main reason, it uses a propriatry protocal "NV2" so you dont have to contest for signals with other users in an area.

from mikrotik website : "Nv2 protocol is proprietary wireless protocol developed by MikroTik for use with Atheros 802.11 wireless chips. Nv2 is based on TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) media access technology instead of CSMA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access) media access technology used in regular 802.11 devices.

TDMA media access technology solves hidden node problem and improves media usage, thus improving throughput and latency, especially in PtMP networks."

Below is a snapshot of what i get on a single link over 4km Line of Site,

I use these units fore one main reason, it uses a propriatry protocal "NV2" so you dont have to contest for signals with other users in an area.

Barry, how exactly does it accomplish this? Did Micro-Tik win a frequency spectrum auction and are using a proprietary slice? Otherwise it would seem that it would need to 'contest' with everyone else on that frequency, regardless of what higher level protocol is used.


this is Cosimo from Fluidmesh. Lost of good suggestions here. First thing I would check is where your cameras are and if you have direct LOS to the head end. Mesh can be great but unless you have LOS issues or need extra redundancy, you are probably better off using a PTMP solution. You should stick to 5 GHz although try to stay out of the DFS band as it tends to be less stable. Also, I would try to avoid using traditional off the shelf 802.11 APs as sometime have features such as Automatic Channel Allocation and Automatic Proberate that may affect the reliability of your network for video, particularly if you bump into interferences. Also running multicast may be an issue depending on your setup.

Finally, If you decided to pick a PTMP solution try to go with a product that support TDMA as CSMA (which is what most Wi-FI AP run) may create hidden terminals and congest your network if you use it in a PTMP fashion.

Anyhow hope this helps. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out!


Ubiquiti 5GHz PtMP Omni-Directional Mid-Range Link Starter Kit INTL

Add in a few more Nanostation M5 CPEs and you are ready to rock. Just make sure you have line power at each camera location. This should be good for a mile at least.

We have used the Nanostation Loco M5 (low cost edition of the Nanostation) as both the headend and the remote side. We didn't even have them aimed at eachother and they lcoked signal instantly, even though there were buildings and trees in the LOS. Our distance was about 1/4 mile between radios. We saw about -50db signal strength. After pointing them roughly, we saw that drop to around -35db.