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[Ham-80211] Fw: Providing Long-range Wifi

Marlon K. Schafer (509-982-2181) ooe at odessaoffice.com
Mon Sep 10 15:17:38 UTC 2012

Hi Chris,

Join the general mailing list at www.wispa.org.  There are a LOT of Ubiquity 
junkies on there.  It's an active list so you might want to filter it to 
it's own folder.  But that's where you'll find the most experts on the gear. 
There's probably also a ubiquity specific list.

If you really want to play with wifi in the trees give me shout off list and 
I'll hook you up with a guy that's at the front of the TV whitespaces pack. 
600mhz with the old (often still existing) TV antennas on the house and 10s 
of mbps throughput.  No need to worry much about trees, buildings etc.  I 
can't wait till the prices come down in the next year or two.  My life as a 
wisp is going to change a lot!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chriswlan2" <chriswlan2 at linnixislands.com>
To: "TAPR Mailing List for Ham Radio Use of 802.11" <ham-80211 at tapr.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:16 PM
Subject: [Ham-80211] Fw: Providing Long-range Wifi

> Chriswlan2 wrote:
>> Hi Bob, sorry for the delay: not quite retired and 10 hours west of
>> GMT...
>> I spent lots of time learning the ubnt world by myself last year, and
>> it is a steep learning curve, when from scratch. Countless hours
>> digging around the web. Love/hate relation with ubnt: they constantly
>> come up with new wonderful features, patches for weird bugs, and the
>> docs are far from all inclusive. Lots n lots of great features for a
>> cheap price. The mechanical plastic housing of the Bullet etc is
>> flimsy etc... as everything nowadays. Depending on how you price your
>> time you may wish a Bullet cost $500 and more!
>> By the way, there is a thread going on somewhere at the moment re
>> using "sort of wifi" commercial gear on 70cm: better in trees, but
>> less bps...
>> Concerning being outside the std wifi edges, while ubnt is quite wide
>> band many gain antennas are not, some have confusing specs, but some
>> bbq grid and some panels are rated 2300-2500.
>> ubnt's, at least bullet etc use nice plain POE, and I run mine on
>> plain unregulated 12V. In my case I made a 3-way custom harness, long
>> enough to use with the painter's pole, to test new sites. Same
>> harness is dandy at the test bench. PowerPoles I find a bit flimsy
>> but adequate. I make little portable batteries out of 2 Panasonic
>> 6V-12A, taped together, with at least TWO PowerPoles on each, so that
>> I can swap in fresh batts without disrupting the radio; or daisy
>> chain more of them etc. The 6V-12A are the most Whr for the buck.
>> Have a fleet of these to get running ASAP, while solar PV n gennies
>> can be sorted out.
>> ubnt's have a very good built-in web access: have your portable
>> cabling ready for plugging a netbook ( with expensive satin screen to
>> reduce glare) to use the scanning functions, etc, when setting up.
>> Reported signal strength seems to be rather accurate, even when
>> testing different antennas. In my case I find a 10 dB margin a bit
>> iffy, but am usually happy with 15+. I run the links at 5Mbps only.,
>> for better DX! I'd guess you'll loose lots of signal strength when
>> you do video etc. Could even have a cheap Voip phone part of the
>> permanent portable set up, as a private intercom, to help
>> coordinating the setting up... If 2 meter is busy with emerg stuff...
>> Thinking of it!...  Anybody in the emerg industry is including "wifi
>> voip
>>> telephone patch< "   in their modern versions? I'd think your
>>> Officialdom
>> customers in the bush site would love to call their office on their
>> "real" POTS number? Or call FEMA in DC?     :-)
>> Re: the annoying 5VDC well regulated wall warts: I've begun throwing
>> them all in the garbage. And popping all those fancy gadgets open to
>> solder in one of them tiny inexpensive DC/DC converters, so that said
>> gadget will now have a PowerPole pigtail that accept unregulated
>> plain 12V! Darn it! How dumb are designers nowadays....  Thinking of
>> a cheap LAN switch for the VoIP above...
>> Oh and yes, no PC or anything else required for the system in running
>> mode. You can also completely set all parameters remotely,  on any
>> node at any time, over the air, without any shut down, (except when
>> that one unit is rebooting) from the comfort of your office: careful,
>> think THRICE before clicking "Apply", as it is easy to lock yourself
>> out of that remote unit! Requiring a hike up that mountain...
>> Robert Dixon wrote:
>>> Christian - Thanks for the good comments.  Having the capability for
>>> an intermediate relay point is a good technique to have in our bag of
>>> tricks.
>> To make the expense easier, not having 2 full-fledged portables, may
>> be have a Mr Heavy portable designed to also carry a lightweight Mr
>> Satellite, in a big box,  if it is on a trailer? Satellite would be
>> quite light weight (water pipe, surveyor tripod), ready for use, just
>> in case. And as well, depending on the circumstances, (ie trees) the
>> one or the other could be used at the end site.....     ? It is
>> common to have at least one of the 2 sites clear enough that a tripod
>> is plenty. Bungy cord- tie a pipe to a farmers fence post...  Or
>> sometimes you really, really, need to pack a tripod 300ft up a steep
>> embankment, from the pavement...
>> Cheers
>> Christian
>>> The Ubiquity Bullet sounds wonderful, as it would allow operation
>>> just below the wifi band, hence avoiding all the QRM mentioned by
>>> others, yet still allowing use of inexpensive wifi antennas.  I see
>>> they are for sale new on ebay, including both USA and export models.
>>> Presumably one would buy an export model, so it would go outside the
>>> wifi band?  Is the included firmware all one needs, and does it
>>> operate thru the ethernet cable to the PC?  Or is separate PC
>>> software needed?  I looked at the Ubiquity web site but didn't find
>>> it completely clear.
>>> Bob W8ERD
>>> On Aug 27, 2012, at 3:20 PM, Chriswlan2 wrote:
>>>> My 2cts:
>>>> 1-Splitting off a minor fraction of the effort on a "secondary" leg
>>>> option would tremendously increase the success rate, while lowering
>>>> frustrations: have the 24dB portable site fitted with another
>>>> antenna to "shoot back" down a great LOS second link into the
>>>> target, when it is shaded out by obstructions on the 90ft tower
>>>> first link. Many times whenever a direct link has any doubt with it
>>>> before starting out, it will be much faster, as well as more
>>>> sffective, to drive straight to an intermediary clear location, and
>>>> do a 2 leg relay that have great LOSs.
>>>> 2-I did a 3 mile link with good result, with 20dB panels, although
>>>> there was an obstructing hill perhaps 1/3 1/4 the way on the path.
>>>> But it was a smooth hill top and "only" perhaps 15ft "too high".
>>>> Obstructions that are toward the middle of the path are definately
>>>> less trouble; important to keep in mind.
>>>> 3-I have several links across a flat treed atoll, around 7 miles:
>>>> clean "beach to beach" LOS across the lagoon, just grazing the mid
>>>> point sea level,  with panels on a single piece of pipe, is quite
>>>> strong, but trying to get "inland" from there is extremely tricky.
>>>> Doing a WDS relay from an existing nearby "beach" station is so much
>>>> more effective. With lots of luck, hours of GPS work, and walking on
>>>> roof with a test panel, I once succeeded in feeding internet
>>>> directly to a "cafe", accross the lagoon and then on through the
>>>> ending half a mile of intermittent coconut plantation; but in this
>>>> special instance there was definately a somewhat vague but helpful
>>>> notch in the tree line, as seen from the Internet cafe roof.
>>>> 4-In 3 above, getting UP into the notch, getting a taller pole was
>>>> helpful; but "laterally" was quite pointy.  But usually I spend a
>>>> few hours with a probing portable telescopic pole, mapping signal
>>>> strength, to find the spot, usually only a few feet in diameter,
>>>> with the strongest (and hopefully stable in varying wind directions)
>>>> signal, and in my atoll situation, "getting higher", mostly never
>>>> works. Instead if I have only a very short distance of coconut trees
>>>> to go through, at the end of the path, I end up with a panel at 8 to
>>>> 15ft ONLY, to go over small brush and small buildings, and UNDER the
>>>> coconut crowns. Works fine if I can see through the TRUNKS. Only a
>>>> few (moving) coconut fronds, close in, play hell with my links.
>>>> 5-Ubiquiti 2.4 radios have the option of setting channels 2 MHz off,
>>>> "in between", but in busy area probably wouldn't help. But another
>>>> very effective step in keeping non-Hams out.
>>>> 6-Ubiquity affordable radios are really flexible: with the export
>>>> f/w, one can choose all kinds of freq above and below the 2.4
>>>> "wifi". (don't have US ham allocations in mind...). The "Bullet High
>>>> Power, screws direct on to the panel N jack.
>>>> YMMV
>>>> Cheers
>>>> Christian
>>>> WO1V
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