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Crestron & Your Backyard Part 4: Connectivity

We’ve spent the last few entries in this blog discussing the many ways that Crestron automation can transform your backyard with swimming pool automation, outdoor distributed video and audio systems. These systems, of course, will be set up for failure if the system connectivity in your the yard is weak or underpowered. For the final installment of our series on bringing Crestron control technology into luxury backyards, we wanted to take some time to discuss some of the methods we use for effectively extending wi-fi and internet connectivity into a large luxury backyard space.  

What Makes GMI Different In This Space

Depending on the distance that you are dealing with, in an average home, a wireless access point in the attic towards the back of the house will cover most smaller yards. However, as readers of this blog will know, the #DoneRightNotEasy crew specializes in taking care of big jobs and unique spaces that require additional steps to provide strong wi-fi throughout a spacious backyard. To accomplish this we will install as many outdoor-rated wireless access points as it takes to cover the property in an effective and safe manner. We utilize Ruckus wireless access points for these jobs as we have found them to be the most reliable, powerful and robust pieces of network hardware to offer to our clients. To connect these access points to the system at large we will use one of two methods. 

What About Infrastructure?

The traditional method to connect outdoor access points to a larger network is through a copper wire infrastructure, however as we discussed when talking about distributed video in outdoor spaces, copper should only be utilized when absolutely necessary, and with the health and safety of the system in mind. In a more heavily populated or tree lined area and in a less than 300 foot distance, copper is usually ideal, in any other scenario we recommend the use of fiber optic cable which will isolate an electric surge from the main system. The use of fiber for connecting to wireless access points does have one downside, in that the access points cannot be powered over ethernet as with a traditional copper infrastructure. To combat this we install an enclosure which converts the fiber back to copper wiring and powers the access point, while still keeping it separate from the main system. 

Don’t Forget About Security…

The security of a wireless network is always on the forefront of our customer’s minds, especially when their networks may be carrying sensitive information. Since our outdoor wireless access points and infrastructure are localized into the control system, these networks operate seamlessly with the secure network inside. We take this commitment to security to the next level by using a local network control to manage all individual access points, both inside and out. Whereas other integrators may opt to utilize a cloud-based network control system, we believe the hardware based solution is the most secure and robust option for our clients. These network controllers sit behind the systems firewalls ensuring the maximum level of network security across all wireless networks. 

In Summary…

Although wireless internet is truly awesome and a has been a boon to everyone’s life, when possible, nothing beats a secured hardwired connection. When connecting outdoor components to the internet, especially if the device is carrying vital information for the security or control system, we strive to hard-wire devices directly into the control system itself. Keypads, touch screens, and televisions, while often having wireless capabilities, are still hardwired in this manner, especially when located in a protected outdoor structure such as a veranda or pool house.

About GMI Automation

GMI Automation is a full service automation company that specializes in simple to operate, reliable automation systems that exceed client expectations. We design, integrate and support systems that are easy to use, with touch screen drag and drop functionality.


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