All posts tagged network

Teacherwall modification

One of the schools we have been providing network and audio visual services to for many years purchased some new classroom furniture recently and asked Cablers to have a look to see if we could bring our education technology expertise along and modify it to suit a 21st Century classroom.

We are always up for a challenge and so sent along a couple of our engineers to have a look and  come up with a plan.  When they arrived they got their first look at a Teacherwall which is a modular teaching and storage system for the education sector.

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Both of the engineers we sent along with their modification caps on have many years experience building bespoke ICT suites and classroom benching and they liked what they found.  The build quality was very good and we immediately  saw the potential for this type of storage solution in primary schools. Teacherwall could be the perfect solution to create an efficient, tidy classroom.

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Teacherwall already allows for the mounting of any interactive whiteboard and projector on the market today so the first thing Cablers decided to do was not to use an interactive whiteboard and separate projector. Instead we allowed to install a SMART LED Touch Screen which will provide the teacher with a all of the multimedia connectivity they will need without the need of a separate projector.

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If you want to know more about touchscreens have a look at another of my blogs here: TouchScreens

The next thing we turned our attention to was the installation of some extra electrical sockets and some more network points because in the 21st Century you never seem to have enough and in a classroom you will never have enough.

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By the end of the day our engineers and the school were very happy with the modifications to  the Teacherwall and we are sure it will serve them well for many years to come.

Cablers can help your school incorporate technology into classrooms too. Why not give our education team a call when you need something. We of course provide excellent standard installations but we can also do those things which are a little bit special. 

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If you would like to know more about a Teacherwall solution contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

Why you need a wireless survey before you spend money on a wireless network?

Comments Off on Why you need a wireless survey before you spend money on a wireless network?

Why do we carry out wireless surveys? 

Cablers Network & AV Solutions provide a complete range of services to organisations planning to implement wireless and mobile network solutions.

The best piece of advice i can give you before you embark on your wireless adventure is to do some homework on the company or consultant you plan to work with. Ask for testimonials and case studies, these will always be provided by businesses with a proven track record. Unfortunately we visit too many organizations that have had wireless networks installed which have never worked properly or were not fit for purpose. Cablers have consequently improved these networks beyond measure for the end users but problems are easily avoided in the first place if you choose the right installation partner and you take advantage of a comprehensive wireless survey.

What is a Wireless site survey?

A wireless survey is the necessary first step in the deployment of any wireless network. It is the most essential element for providing the wireless coverage you are expecting and it will ultimately help you avoid any disappointment with its desired operation.

All wireless signals are broadcast as radio frequencies (RF). A wireless survey is a process by which a surveyor studies your building to understand the behavior of the radio frequencies. (RF)  The purpose of a wireless survey is to make sure that the wireless you have in place or the wireless you will order is fit for purpose.

Through the process of RF testing we are able to build a detailed picture of your site. Signal information is collated onto a map which shows the behavior of the RF signals. The testing will have taken into account the fabric of your building, routes for additional cabling (if required) and signal strength in detail. It will pinpoint any areas prone to interference and will help determine the appropriate placement of wireless access points to provide the best coverage.

Signal Strength is most commonly known as ’coverage’ and it is the basic requirement for a wireless network.  As a general guideline, low signal strength means unreliable connections and low data throughput. This will have a direct bearing on the way any device connected to the wireless network performs. Therefore a survey such as this is a great way to check the health of your existing network and asses any negative interference and/or Access Point connectivity.

The results of a proper site survey provide the detailed information that addresses coverage, interference sources, equipment placement, power considerations and cabling requirements. The site survey documentation will also serve as a guide for the network design and for the installation of your wireless infrastructure.

Be careful not to underestimate the effort and resources required to properly survey, design and deploy a wireless network. We have seen experienced IT professionals make the same mistake. You cannot just throw a few access points where you think they are most needed, or that the managed wireless controller that is sitting in your communications cabinet will take care of everything. Your wireless signal is impacted by many elements including neighboring wireless networks, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, microwaves, alarm systems and even plumbing.

Not all wireless surveys are equal and it can be quite difficult to tell if that person walking around your site knows what they are doing. Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Make sure they want to attend site to carry out the survey. If your offered a remote survey without the vendor ever visiting site be aware that a remote survey will not answer any of the questions needed to design a robust wireless network.
  2. Hopefully you are asked pertinent questions relating to you current number of devices and usage patterns and your aspirations for the future use of your network. This shows that the company you are dealing with is consultative and your not just going to get a prescriptive solution. One size does not fit all!
  3.  You have been asked for a plan of your building so that it can be incorporated into the software package that tests you RF coverage.
  4.  Make sure they take their time and check your whole building, they should also check the communications cabinet to make sure you have space for the supporting infrastructure requirements such as available switch ports, power over ethernet (POE), electrical power, and rack space needed to support the installation. They may also want to test existing cables that you plan to utilise or look at potential routes for new cabling and containment.

These are just a few things to look out for when choosing who provides your wireless solution. You will pay for a properly designed network with your time or your money when you have to redo the work. Our customers save time and money by avoiding poorly designed and deployed wireless networks. They have Cablers experts on hand providing radio frequency & interference analysis, cabling, coverage and all the capacity information needed to deploy a high performing, secure and reliable wireless network.

The moral of this story is to “Get a Survey, before you go wireless.”

We are easily contacted if you wish to discuss a wireless solution or BYOD deployment.

Why not take advantage of some  good advice and contact our team.

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Why all primary schools should have a wireless network.

Comments Off on Why all primary schools should have a wireless network.
“Wireless networking works well in all schools and can help deliver major educational benefits.” Now that may be a sweeping statement but i believe it is a powerful truth.
A carefully planned wireless network will allow more children to benefit from ICT learning. It also gives teachers the freedom to incorporate ICT into more subjects and the flexibility to use more areas of the school for a wider range of purposes. Which is no bad thing considering the pressure many primary schools are under as they are squeezed for space with another baby boom generation filtering into the education system.
With classroom space in short supply and pupil numbers increasing it is now being recognized that reliable wireless solutions are giving schools the power to start utilising those nooks, crannies and corridors which were previously dead space. Dedicated ICT suites filled with bulky PC’s and monitors are being converted back into classrooms. Schools now have the opportunity to replace outdated equipment with tablets and laptops which can be strategically deployed on trolleys where they are needed most, creating one to one learning opportunities that traditional methods of placing hardwired computers throughout a school do not provide.
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As a flexible resource mobile devices give better value for money than desktop computers. Schools using wireless networks report that when combined with their mobile devices which allow easy access to classes across the school, both the amount and the quality of ICT use surge ahead dramatically. These shared resources are giving more children better access to school networks and the internet on a daily basis.
Wireless networks are also making it possible for teachers to blend other technology within the classroom seamlessly into lessons too. For instance your interactive white board & projector, large format touch screen and audio equipment can often be connected to your favorite mobile devices and to the schools network wirelessly. And let’s not forget your mobile devices can also connect to each other as well.
This of course leaves the door wide open for you to explore new ways to engage with students and colleagues across multiple devices and platforms.
Current wireless technology coupled with up to date mobile devices in schools are giving 21st Century teachers and students a fantastic chance to explore new ways to present, share and collaborate with each other.

Why not give us a call if you would like to know more about the benefits of a managed wireless solution on  01787 221166 or contact us through facebook or Twitter.

 

 
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