(damn, just lost the whole post! New member!)

Hi there,
I need to setup a room with 30 wifi-connected laptops and a small application server (for audio transfers). I'm hoping for your advice and insight.

My basic plan is to setup a router as my primary wifi access point, offering DHCP (and eventually a connection to the Internet). The app-server will be wired to this (static IP), as will a second wifi access point, running on a different channel (use 1 & 11).

I'd then manually connect half the laptops to each wifi access point.

But is that the best way to do it? Are there other techniques to do this?
For example - could a single router offer 2 wifi networks on different channels (like the Airport Extreme does, but both 802.11g)?

Are 2 access points enough?
Are there any brands of access points that will do this particularly well?
Your insight is much appreciated!

In my experience you cant really pick an AP if they're using the same SSID. A single router (assuming its a soho brand like linksys) running 30 clients would be slow and unstable. You might be able to setup the second one using a different SSID and channel, but don't do NAT on it, that way DHCP can be forwarded through it.

As for brands, well if you can get say a wrt54g linksys and flash it with dd-wrt, you'll have lots of configurability

You mentioned audio in your OP. If 30 laptops are going to connect to a single app server over WiFi on 2 APs, you'll either have to limit the bandwidth to each wireless client that connects, or add another 5 or 6 APs to your network to handle the load. If you spread the APs out around the room and decrease the power output (on the AP), you'll be able to "force" a limited number of clients in the immediate vicinity to connect to the nearest AP, thereby creating a kind of "managed" wireless network. If the laptops start moving around the room, then that'll defeat the purpose of what I just described.