Only in Canada

Thanks to Colin for this one 🙂

At a hockey arena in Edmonton, they installed a Cisco AP over the ice, presumably to try and maximize coverage across the whole arena. That makes sense… until you think about the age range of the players.

If you look closely, you can see black smudges on the AP where kids where shooting hockey pucks up at the AP. And it looks like even with the cover over it, the kids are still keen to try and knock it down. 😁🏒

 

Rogers Place in Edmonton

I was recently in Edmonton for work and made a point of going with a colleague (hi SK!) to the brand new Rogers Place stadium to catch an NHL game. This stadium is fully teched out with digital signage, a high capacity, robust IP backbone, and of course, serious Wi-Fi coverage. The stadium offers free Wi-Fi to event attendees and also uses the network for their own services and applications.

First off, at the top of each section is a narrow-beam panel antenna that covers the top half of the section:

Rogers Place YEG Panel Antennas

These antennas seemed to be everywhere in both the lower and upper bowl.

Rogers Place YEG Panel Antennas

Mounted behind each of these panels is a Cisco 3702e AP:

Rogers Place YEG Access Point

Now, one of the coolest installs I’ve ever seen (or kinda, NOT seen, actually) is where the APs sit that provide connectivity to the lower part of a section. The APs and antennas are actually built into the railing!

Rogers Place YEG Railing AP

Those rhomboids are the plastic-y enclosures that the AP+antenna sits inside of. The enclosures blend right in and are so thin that they don’t get in your way as you’re moving up and down the stairs. The cabling for the AP runs inside the hollow railing and down one of the vertical legs and through the stair where it’s run back to the nearest access switch.

Rogers Place YEG Railing AP
Rogers Place YEG Railing AP

Lastly, even though there’s no visual evidence of this, the inside of the scoreboard is filled with APs and antennas providing connectivity to the event floor (think concerts and such where you have event attendees standing/sitting where the ice is in this photo).

Rogers Place YEG Scoreboard

Needless to say, the Wi-Fi service was excellent! We were told by someone who helped build the network that there is mega Internet bandwidth coming into the building so end to end, the service was awesome. The biggest issue seemed to be that the Wi-Fi was not advertised very well. We saw very few people using it and the folks we asked about it had no idea it was there.

Cisco Indoor and Outdoor at Spruce Meadows

Spruce Meadows is an equestrian facility in Calgary, Alberta which hosts multiple well-known horse jumping events throughout the summer. There’s lots to see there, but of course I had one eye peeled for technology 😉.

I spotted this Cisco 1532I access point at a distance of a few meters. At that distance, I almost mistook it for a speaker because it’s so small! I guess I’m used-to the larger-sized 1552s. The grey color also didn’t help in identifying it.

Cisco 1532I at Spruce Meadows
Cisco 1532I at Spruce Meadows

A label has been placed on the front which says, somewhat humorously: “ANT 2”.

Cisco 1532I at Spruce Meadows
Cisco 1532I at Spruce Meadows
Cisco 1532I at Spruce Meadows
Cisco 1532I at Spruce Meadows

Kudos on the installation though: the AP is facing towards a large area where shops are setup during events and visitors sit and eat.

On the indoor front, I found some 3702I units in the stables.

Cisco 3702I at Spruce Meadows
Cisco 3702I at Spruce Meadows

Not sure why these are so close together or why the one near the exit sign isn’t mounted on the lower part of the ceiling so it has clear sight down the wings of the stable.

Cisco 1552EU at Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship

In August 2016, the Canadian National Women’s Open Championship was held at the Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alberta. A friend of mine, Stephen K, went to watch the tournament and took these pictures (👍).

Cisco 1552EU at Canadian National Women's Open Championship, 2016
Cisco 1552EU at Canadian National Women’s Open Championship, 2016

He said there were tripods like this all over the course holding Cisco 1552EU APs. A few things strike me as interesting here:

  1. The combination of a directional panel antenna and a dipole antenna in the same frequency band (in this case, 5Ghz, on the bottom of the AP in this photo). The install guide for the 1552 says you can either run with just dipoles in both bands or with dipoles in one band and a directional antenna in the other band. I’d be really interested to know why they’re running it in this hybrid configuration and what kind of performance they’re getting in the 5Ghz band.
  2. Look closely. There are no cables along the ground leading up to the tripod. Power for this unit must be coming from batteries in the pelican case. Naturally, I’m really curious what kind of run time they get on this setup. I’m also curious what’s in the smaller, black case.
Cisco 1552E at Canadian National Women's Open Championship, 2016
Cisco 1552E at Canadian National Women’s Open Championship, 2016