Replacing School Network

zizo911

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Dec 24, 2010
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Good Day

I would like to enquire with regards to having a network re done. We recently received 20 mini pc's from the department, but unfortunately they connect via WIFI. The wifi network is not as strong and hence creates major problems for us. There is an existing network, but due to age it is about 12 years old already, and many of the ports are non functioning. There was a guy who came to quote us, but he charged R7000, to rewire and patch the network ports. Is there perhaps a company in Cape Town, which would not be as expensive, and might even give a discount for a public school. I would hate for these new computers to become white elephants due to not being utilized to it's full potential.

Regards

Z.
 

UrBaN963

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Why not simply boost the WiFi network for a fraction of the fee?
 

zizo911

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Why not simply boost the WiFi network for a fraction of the fee?
The WiFi is in the same room as the computers, it picks up signal, but it's not stable. We have a cable network, but it's not working very well
 

Cius

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Is this a fee paying school or a free school?

Sounds like your tech is very out of date. We recently re-did the WiFi network at the school I am on the SGB for and it cost a fair bit to re-do just about the entire network and but Ubiquity high density WiFi spots throughout the school covering all the classrooms.
 

IOPS

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Is this a fee paying school or a free school?

Sounds like your tech is very out of date. We recently re-did the WiFi network at the school I am on the SGB for and it cost a fair bit to re-do just about the entire network and but Ubiquity high density WiFi spots throughout the school covering all the classrooms.
^^This
It'll be your cheapest option. If your switch ports aren't working it might be best to do things properly and replace those too. Ubiquiti comes in at a really good price and can be replaced by anyone.

How confident are you that the ethernet cabling doesn't need replacing too though?
 

thehuman

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Diy would be a 24 port or 2x 16 port network switch, Some network cables and ends . Plug this into one of working network points.
 

Cius

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In absence of a response I would recommend the following based on school type:
Fee paying:
Fund raise for a new network. Put in decent POE switches with new cabling. For a computer center go with wired if possible and if not Ubiquity AP's.

Free school:
Go to businesses in the community who are upgrading and beg for older tech they are busy replacing. You would be surprised how often still good but slightly older network switches and AP's get replaced especially by corporates or bigger outfits. Beg borrow and steal to get it from them and get it installed at the school. Either that or try get local business sponsorship. A big issue will be security. Can the equipment be installed in such a way that it won't vanish in a few days? Happens a lot in "Free schools" unfortunately. You may first need a strong room or something to house the equipment.
 

irBosOtter

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We pay about R1000 to get a cable installed, more if ducking is needed (lenth does not matter) , how many cables will be fixed/replaced in that quote you got?
 

zizo911

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Dec 24, 2010
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Is this a fee paying school or a free school?

Sounds like your tech is very out of date. We recently re-did the WiFi network at the school I am on the SGB for and it cost a fair bit to re-do just about the entire network and but Ubiquity high density WiFi spots throughout the school covering all the classrooms.
This a a fee paying school with non paying parents. Our WiFi network falls under the department's mandate. The LAN network though is our responsibility, such as cabling and network ports.

^^This
It'll be your cheapest option. If your switch ports aren't working it might be best to do things properly and replace those too. Ubiquiti comes in at a really good price and can be replaced by anyone.

How confident are you that the ethernet cabling doesn't need replacing too though?
It most definitely will need replacement, but unfortuanatly our budget isn't to big.
In which area is your school?
Athlone.
 

zizo911

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Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
9,031
In absence of a response I would recommend the following based on school type:
Fee paying:
Fund raise for a new network. Put in decent POE switches with new cabling. For a computer center go with wired if possible and if not Ubiquity AP's.

Free school:
Go to businesses in the community who are upgrading and beg for older tech they are busy replacing. You would be surprised how often still good but slightly older network switches and AP's get replaced especially by corporates or bigger outfits. Beg borrow and steal to get it from them and get it installed at the school. Either that or try get local business sponsorship. A big issue will be security. Can the equipment be installed in such a way that it won't vanish in a few days? Happens a lot in "Free schools" unfortunately. You may first need a strong room or something to house the equipment.
We do have a spare switch which is still in good working order. Our school is actually quite safe, we have quite a few high value electronic equipment and it's been safe for years.

We pay about R1000 to get a cable installed, more if ducking is needed (lenth does not matter) , how many cables will be fixed/replaced in that quote you got?
There would be approximately 21 network ports required.
 

Speedster

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We do have a spare switch which is still in good working order. Our school is actually quite safe, we have quite a few high value electronic equipment and it's been safe for years.


There would be approximately 21 network ports required.
Ports are about R2 a pop, cable shouldn't be more than R5/m. Give some of the more technical kids a gluegun and let them do the install. Cabling is really pretty straight forward.

Edit: it'll do the kids good too to add some value to their school. I bet they'll be super proud of their work once they're done.
 
Last edited:

CT_Biker

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I have a 32 Port switch fiber capable switch at home....

It might actually be 64. Just checked if I have the firmware too. Which I do have.

It's an HP switch.
 

rh1

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690
Ports are about R2 a pop, cable shouldn't be more than R5/m. Give some of the more technical kids a gluegun and let them do the install. Cabling is really pretty straight forward.
Know nothing about networking, but glue gun tend to come undone in the heat. My own experience. Now I use glue what the sell for alarm cables.
 

netcruiser

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Sep 21, 2012
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242
Maybe try the DIY cabling route. Its really not that difficult. All you really need is a crimping tool. Maybe get some students involved as a learning experience.
 

IOPS

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Oct 2, 2016
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446
Do you know what your budget is?

Maybe a good place to start would be:

1) Try and borrow a LAN cable tester unit from a mate, test your terminations
1a) Replace faulty cables
1b) Cables all good, consider a switch
2) Find WiFI dead spots and replace with UniFi gear

You can pick up switches for pretty cheap.
 

zizo911

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
9,031
Do you know what your budget is?

Maybe a good place to start would be:

1) Try and borrow a LAN cable tester unit from a mate, test your terminations
1a) Replace faulty cables
1b) Cables all good, consider a switch
2) Find WiFI dead spots and replace with UniFi gear

You can pick up switches for pretty cheap.
Less than R3000. Where can we get cabling for cheap? Our WiFi network is under the department of education. So there is no problem there
 

yogidabear

Active Member
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Jan 20, 2011
Messages
57
Sounds like you need a 24 port patch panel, 305m or 500m cable and some boxes and flyleads. The R7000 quote is actually pretty good unless you do the labour yourself. Its really pretty easy to patch and pull the cables in and material would cost about R3000. Any company will give you a good deal as a school and maybe throw some freebies in as well, like the punch down tool and crimper. Try Scoop CPT

Tel: +27 (0) 21-555-4740
Email Sales: cpt[at]scoop.co.za
Physical Address: Unit 18 & 19 Drill Park, 3 Drill Avenue, Montague Gardens, Cape Town
 
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