Entry level outdoor AP for 2021

Hello I badly need a outdoor AP to lift it up on a pole around 4 or 5 meters high to finally get a proper wifi coverage (That's my hope!). My setup at this very moment with 2 repeaters and a main router on ground level is very volatile and is just a pain.

So just to give a idea, yellow are housing areas and most important for wifi coverage. The pole is the red spot and is above all roofs. It would be nice to also cover the white area (mostly garden with smaller trees). The highest area is on top and the altitude is steady declining till the end (bottom of this nice drawing). If you wonder what this small thing on the bottom right is, it's a tiny building housing a water pump :potable_water:. The whole area is about 150m long and 30m wide.

I'm actually seeking for a used device as my budget is quite tight. I found some TP-Link CPE210 for around $25 and wonder if they still worth it for 2021? :fireworks:

Hope for some comments and hardware ideas :wave:

I prefer 5 GHz in any situation where there are neighbors. This does look like a good application for a CPE rather than something with an omni antenna. I would site the CPE on the smaller house at the back pointing down over the whole property, and maybe turned a little toward the other house. The pole is likely to be up too high, especially as the ground slopes away from it.


Luckily I'm the only one here having the idea to pollute the air :stuck_out_tongue: Also over 90% of my network devices (L106 32-bit RISC based microprocessors) are only capable of 2.4GHz so I will need to stick with it.

There is one problem though. The uplink is managed with a mobile network connection (actually the antenna is on that pole) and the wiring only leads into the bigger house on the right side.
It will no be easy to provide a proper wired network access in the top building of the property despite it's only around 20 meters line of sight between the two buildings :house:

I wonder if it could make sense to use two of the CPE210 but seem's like a little overkill.

Also what I was thinking of (despite getting the proper location): Running openwrt on a CPE210 "unlocks" all features like a normal openwrt install - right? Because the v1 (not v2 and v3) have two ethernet jacks, I could use one of them as WAN uplink to the mobile modem and the other for LAN. So the 3 devices (router+2 repeater) I use at the moment could maybe all be replaced by this CPE210v1 then :thinking:

Btw: The buildings all have only one floor no cellar or anything.

I also found this picture on the official site about the cpe210:

Could it be that even mounted on the pole and facing mostly downwards the building on top (nearest part about 20m, most far 35m to cover) could be still in coverage somewhat?

I think I go ahead and really buy two of this. I can both fix them on the pole (not to high and maybe facing a little bit more the the ground then normally). So I can easily cover both buildings.

Other option would just to fix one on the pole just to do a point to point connection to the second one fixed on top of the upper building. facing downwards on the property to catch all users.

What I wonder about these devices, can they do a point to point connection and a classical access point at the same time?

Yes with OpenWrt you can have an AP running simultaneously with a point to point (STA or mesh) backhaul on the same radio.

I would expect a CPE attached to the pole and pointing across the lower house will spill to the inside of that house pretty well, unless the roof or other structure is metal. Overall though the best way to cover the rooms inside buildings is from an AP inside. If you already have some indoor APs it would be worth it in the long run to bury or string or somehow install an Ethernet cable between the two houses and serve the upper house from inside, or be able to attach an outdoor AP to the outside of the upper house and backhaul it wired over to the ISP on the pole.

If I had two CPEs for this project I'd consider putting one at the pump house pointing back upward to fill in the lower garden area. That would be contingent on signal test results of how well that area gets covered from the top.

1 Like

This is a very good point actually! The bigger building on the right has a "classical" clay tile roof but the one on top of the property actually has this metal sheet type :grimacing:

You are absolutely right. about this. Also there is not to much to cover around that building so a small wifi ap (from the drawer) will be very sufficient as long it has the ethernet connection as uplink.

This is a great idea! :tada: 2021 is here :stuck_out_tongue:

That's also very nice to hear! The last time I was running a setup like this with openwrt only STA was available and mesh was still in early stages (testing, no luci setup, etc.).

Is this now stable and recommended way to do a setup like this? My setup right now (no openwrt) is also configured as mesh but it's not very reliable and the handover from one AP to another often leads the device without connection for some time.

My CPE210's are ordered already :package:

Thank's for sharing your valuable knowledge with me @mk24 and have a great and healthy year :tada:

Try Maxwell... There's an outdoor node option with excellent coverage... All running openwrt.