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RaylanGivens

Match Network Access - Password Protected? or Open Access?

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We held our annual 'Doc Welt Memorial' match this weekend...  Once again, it was a wildly popular match with great attendance of over 150 people...  It's become so popular that we are thinking about adding an extra day of shooting next year.

 

Like previous years, we ran an open scoring network...  Unlike previous years, we had many, many more people accessing the network this year...  especially during the last half of the second day of shooting...  Staff and some others shoot Saturday...  Everyone else shoots Sunday...  Eight stages.

 

I have always run an open network because I know shooters like to check on their friends scores and follow what's going on during the match...  This year it became problematic because the network slowed down and I had trouble pulling scores late in the match...  scoring tablets would drop off the network...  It was sort of a Denial Of Service (DOS) attack, but not malicious...  It was just people wanting their scores...  The more they all tried, the more congested the network got...  I need to make a change before our next big match.

 

I'm afraid it will get worse in the future...  especially as we start to generate more data per user...  It looks like I have two options:  password protect the network, or get a higher powered router...  or I guess maybe both.

 

Do those of you running big matches still leave your networks open?

 

Is there a particular router that you have success with for large matches?

 

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Get a router with a separate guest network. There are many on the market. The shooters get guest, which can be throttled. With staff and scoring devices on the private net. Should fix your problem.

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You could keep the network private and just post the scores to Practicescore more often.

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For home club we run the matches on an open network. For large matches like US Steel Shoot and WSSC I run it on a private WiFi network and use a Cradle Point device to provide Internet Connectivity for score logging. I'm coming down for the West Coast Steel Challenge match and I can bring my gear down if you want to check it out. It would be interesting to see how much gear it would take to cover all bays. I'd guess not much at all. 

 

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On 6/3/2019 at 4:57 PM, Bhayden said:

Get a router with a separate guest network. There are many on the market. The shooters get guest, which can be throttled. With staff and scoring devices on the private net. Should fix your problem.

 

Most of the Guest router options seem to be for sharing the Internet with guests...  Not sure how that would help us...  Plus, we don't have Internet access at our range anyway.

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On 6/4/2019 at 12:22 PM, ts111 said:

You could keep the network private and just post the scores to Practicescore more often.

 

That's a good idea!

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11 hours ago, ZackJones said:

For home club we run the matches on an open network. For large matches like US Steel Shoot and WSSC I run it on a private WiFi network and use a Cradle Point device to provide Internet Connectivity for score logging. I'm coming down for the West Coast Steel Challenge match and I can bring my gear down if you want to check it out. It would be interesting to see how much gear it would take to cover all bays. I'd guess not much at all. 

 

 

Thanks, Zack...  We aren't using anything hi-tech... Simple travel routers...  We use this one for the main bays.

 

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/wifi-router/tl-wr810n/

 

I place that router across from the bays on our cover area by the connex area and get good coverage...  The problem is that so many people want to get their scores continuously during a match nowadays...  It overwhelms the network.

 

This year we might put Showdown in our Multi-Purpose area...  Its a couple of hundred yards away, so I put another really small travel router down there ...  The tablets auto Sync to both routers, so when I walk up I can grab the scores.

 

First I've heard about Cradle Point devices...  I guess you use them to upload scores to PractiScore.com during the match?  We have no Internet service at the range...  I usually just sync the match to my cell phone and upload it from there...  Would love to see how you do things, though...  Sounds like you're more sophisticated than I am.

 

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I use Ubiquiti gear along with the cradle point. Basically I create what Ubiquiti calls a mesh network meaning one or more access points talk to each other. We used the following setup at WSSC:

 

Mesh8 <-> Mesh7 <-> Mesh6 <-> Mesh5 <-> Mesh4  <-> MASTER AP / Cradle Point  <-> Mesh1 <-> Mesh2 <-> Mesh3

 

This was probably overkill but it worked like a champ. The Master AP was powered by AC outlet and all other Mesh AP's were powered by batteries. We use iPads for scoring and that version of PractiScore supports score logging which sends an email to the competitor with their stage time as soon as they tap the approve button. The Cradle Point provides the Internet connection to the private WiFi network. We ran this setup Wed - Sunday morning and it worked like a champ. We pushed 1.5 GB of data through the cradle point over the course of the match. 

 

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Yeah that’s a big mesh network. For my needs I didn’t see the point of it but the overhead of multiple aps without having power to plug them into made the cost go way higher than I wanted. With the one ap I was able to get my needs met. I figured if I needed two of them I was still in cheap. 

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On 6/6/2019 at 3:50 PM, Nathanb said:

Zack I’ve found a tplink outdoor wap that covers my entire range from end to end. I was impressed with the amount of signal and our range is not very small. I had four bars of signal 200 yards away

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07953S2FD?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

 

 

That's a sweet wireless access point...  We have been using the  TP-Link access points I mentioned above for years with great results...  I've been wanting to upgrade them for quite a while now...  Your AC1200 seems to be more powerful than our smaller units and would mount on our flagpole...  I assume you take it down between matches?  How do they handle the congestion of large matches?

 

We have seven bays in a row that are fairly close together...  Our smaller routers work well except when the tablet is in the back of a bay (our bays are enclosed in concrete on each side, the back, and the top)...  We also have an eighth, longer bay that we use in larger matches...  It's probably 200 yards away from the main seven bays...  I wonder if I could use the router you have to reach that bay, too...  Would be nice to have all the bays on one network.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

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On 6/7/2019 at 7:22 AM, ZackJones said:

I use Ubiquiti gear along with the cradle point. Basically I create what Ubiquiti calls a mesh network meaning one or more access points talk to each other. We used the following setup at WSSC:

 

Mesh8 <-> Mesh7 <-> Mesh6 <-> Mesh5 <-> Mesh4  <-> MASTER AP / Cradle Point  <-> Mesh1 <-> Mesh2 <-> Mesh3

 

This was probably overkill but it worked like a champ. The Master AP was powered by AC outlet and all other Mesh AP's were powered by batteries. We use iPads for scoring and that version of PractiScore supports score logging which sends an email to the competitor with their stage time as soon as they tap the approve button. The Cradle Point provides the Internet connection to the private WiFi network. We ran this setup Wed - Sunday morning and it worked like a champ. We pushed 1.5 GB of data through the cradle point over the course of the match. 

 

 

Wow!  That's impressive!  Sounds like you have it really dialed in.

 

I'm looking to upgrade our connectivity for the West Florida Steel Challange Championships...  We don't have Internet access or any iOS devices...  But...  We work closely with Alex and Eugene and like the AMG timer <-> Android PractiScore combination.

 

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7 hours ago, RaylanGivens said:

 

That's a sweet wireless access point...  We have been using the  TP-Link access points I mentioned above for years with great results...  I've been wanting to upgrade them for quite a while now...  Your AC1200 seems to be more powerful than our smaller units and would mount on our flagpole...  I assume you take it down between matches?  How do they handle the congestion of large matches?

 

We have seven bays in a row that are fairly close together...  Our smaller routers work well except when the tablet is in the back of a bay (our bays are enclosed in concrete on each side, the back, and the top)...  We also have an eighth, longer bay that we use in larger matches...  It's probably 200 yards away from the main seven bays...  I wonder if I could use the router you have to reach that bay, too...  Would be nice to have all the bays on one network.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

I take it down between matches. I dont typically give out the password though and no one has made it an issue. I work in info sec and have a more than healthy background in networking so I’m pretty sure I could ensure that the tablets are not over ran by people who just want their scores. Our range is shaped like an L and the furthest berm is 240 yards from the end of each berm. I can stand at one and get signal and sync etc at the other. I’m fairly confident with two of these you could cover half the county.  

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