As part of our iPad project at Lincoln Lutheran, we’re redoing our wireless network. What you might not expect is that in order to redo our wireless network we ran over a mile of new wires on Saturday. If you are thinking that it is strange to run that much wire and still call it a wireless project, you are not alone.
We wouldn’t have had to run quite that much wire, but wire is relatively cheap, and you really never want to have to run wire to the same location twice. So since we were running wire for a wireless access point for each classroom, we decided it would be just as easy to run two wires and have a wired connection to the AppleTV (not a real TV, just what they call the little device that lets you display stuff from your iPad on a projector without actually having a wire run from the iPad to the projector*). That wire would make the display less choppy. And, since wire is cheap, you might as well run two. But since we were already running two anyway, why not run a third for the projectors? The projectors all have some management functions that you can do remotely if they have a network connection. You can turn them off remotely, check bulb life and such.
So we ended up running three wires to every classroom.
Matthew Schranz, one of Concordia’s computing services people, provided the mad skillz to do things right, and some teacher, students, alumni and Lauren provided the labor. There was some doubt as to whether we could get all 26 rooms (78 wires) done in a day, but things went better than I had any right to expect and we did. Well, we almost did. We sort of forgot the library, but the library was one that we didn’t actually have to do at this time, so we’re still good.
Lauren and I worked out in the portable classrooms, and that involved going up into the attic. This wasn’t so bad in the first one, because it was raining, and I had a student do it. But I did the others and the day just got hotter and hotter. Lauren suggested, and I completely agree, that if we ever have to go out in the attics again it will have to be at night –or maybe in winter.
*I’m pretty sure I didn’t explain that well. It actually works like this the iPad talks to the Access Point and the Access Point talks to the AppleTV. If you do both of those wirelessly, it can be slower than if the iPad talks to the Access Point wirelessly and then the Access Point sends the information over the wired network to the AppleTV. The teacher can still move around the room without any wires, but things work faster. There, clear as mud.