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bigbillsd
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Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:07 pm

Hello, I am searching for a solution to replace my existing NanoStation used to connect to Campground/Business WiFi when on the road in my RV. Currently I need to find an AP by looking around for one so I can point the Nanostation at it. I then logon to the Nanostation, scan for WiFi signals, pick the strongest signal, connect and logon to it via the Nanostation GUI. I have another AP inside my RV that is connected to the Nanostation via an Ethernet cable. That other AP is what I have all my devices connected (laptops, tablets, phones etc.) so I don't need to constantly update each of them every time we move. The current solution works well but after a few years of use I would like to be able to just connect without all the searching and pointing at each new site. Plus I am encountering more and more campgrounds that have 5 ghz and almost no one is connected to it.

I would like to mount an Omni-Directional device on my TV antenna that I crank up when camping and down to travel. I want to have both 2.4 and 5 ghz capability for the new device.

I saw this device on the Mikrotik site: RBMetalG-52SHPacn-US

Problem is I cannot tell if its possible to use this device like I've been using the Nanostation, just to connect to and logon to external WiFi AP's. Is there a better device for my purposes? I have seen the Wifi Ranger and it appears to be using Mikrotik hardware, but their implementation is quite pricey for my wallet at $750 US.

Also, another concern is its waterproof capability, Can this device be laid flat when driving? (thru rain) Based on it being attached to the RV Batwing Antenna the bottom of the device would be in the "line of fire" while driving in a rain storm.

Thanks for any suggestions. -Bill
 
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bigbillsd
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:20 am

Wow, two business weeks later and no responses. Makes me think that the Mikrotic stuff might not be a viable solution? -Bill
 
helipos
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:03 am

I would suggest the majority of the equipment you find is going to struggle if you point it "bottom in to the rain" as that's where the water ingress protection is the weakest.
That said the Metal52ac does have rubber grommet to pass the cable through which is quite a snug fit and the "latch bottom section" (for want of a better description) does have some form of seal around where it connects to the main housing. It might be a neoprene seal.

If you want to wait a couple of days I can get some good pictures of the sealing setup.

Other than that I use them for my setups and they work quite well.
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:03 am

I use an older GrooveA 52 as a utility wireless device in similar circumstances. I don't think it would be good to have the bottom end pointing into the wind so to speak when traveling. You could add a short length of coax to enable mounting the AP in a better attitude. Or a carefully selected heat shrink boot with sealant should be able to provide adequate protection of the cable entry.
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:00 am

I saw this device on the Mikrotik site: RBMetalG-52SHPacn-US

Problem is I cannot tell if its possible to use this device like I've been using the Nanostation, just to connect to and logon to external WiFi AP's.

In case you missed this: Metal 52 ac is not truly dual-band device in a sense it can use both bands simultaneously ... it's got a single radio, so you have to choose a band and the other band "is non-existant" until you reconfigure.

Other than that: your intended usage is possible, but it involves some clicking through user interface: select band, scan for AP signals, select the other band, scan for AP signals, set device as AP client and type in needed data (SSID, password). Not exactly fool-proof, but it gets you where you want.
BR,
Metod
 
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w32pamela
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:24 pm

In case you missed this: Metal 52 ac is not truly dual-band device in a sense it can use both bands simultaneously ... it's got a single radio, so you have to choose a band and the other band "is non-existant" until you reconfigure.
You can setup a custom scan using Wireless->Channels and the radio will scan both bands based on the custom scan list that is created. No re-configuring required.

As others noted, laying the radio down with the base into the wind is a bad idea. The use of a short coax is a good solution. I don't see any weatherproofing advantage to using a Metal 52ac over the less expensive Groove 52ac.
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:02 pm

Thanks Everyone!!!! I will probably buy the Groove model, I had figured that the metal would have waterproofing advantages. How long of a piece of Coax can I use so I do not lose signal? I am thinking it would need to be about 3' or so to allow the unit to sit on the roof with the bottom facing the rear of the RV and then the coax could go up the Antenna mast when cranked up.

Also, are there any mounting brackets available to flat mount it... how about something other than tie wraps to mount the antenna to a square pole?

Also, just to make sure I am positive, the Groove 52 AC is POE powered like the Metal? I only want to drill one hole in the roof as very soon I will be driving to Alaska for a few months and it appears that it rains a lot up there in the summer. (being from SoCal where there is no rain for 6 months in the summertime)

Thanks Again, Bill
 
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w32pamela
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:17 pm

In general the thicker the coax the less the loss. I would use something like this cable from Air802.

Some Groove models come with an antenna that expects the user to use the Groove as the mounting. To use the Mikrotik provided antenna you'll need an n-female bulkhead adapter and a n-male to n-male coupler. With those adapters you can use some aluminum angle to fabricate a bracket. The N-female bulkhead adapter needs a 5/8" inch hole to mount it.

All Groove models come with a passive POE adapter for power.
 
anav
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:01 pm

Remove the need for any length of attennae wire, the extra cost if any is well worth it.
I'd rather manage rats than software. Follow my advice at your own risk! (Sob & mkx forced me to write that!)
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:14 pm

Remove the need for any length of attennae wire, the extra cost if any is well worth it.
I was told I should not mount the Groove with the bottom of the unit facing forward on the RV due to water infiltration when driving in the rain. So that precludes me from mounting it on the Batwing antenna directly as the bottom would face forward into the wind while driving. Currently I cannot think of any other way to mount it on my batwing (to get it higher than any RV's next to me when parked)

Im guessing a 4' very flexible antenna cable will be required.
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:03 pm

If there are no normal egresses/ingresses for cables into your camper make one and use shielded ethernet (even an electrical box with a ubiquiti or mikcrotik surge suppressor etc..........) I would avoid any antennae cabling.
I'd rather manage rats than software. Follow my advice at your own risk! (Sob & mkx forced me to write that!)
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:51 am

You could just mount it bottom in to the wind and use silicone grease or silicone sealant to seal the cable entry
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:04 pm

You could just mount it bottom in to the wind and use silicone grease or silicone sealant to seal the cable entry
I may just do that. Too bad I cannot find someone selling a boot or something. I wonder of that liquid rubber stuff would hold up to the sun?

BTW. I did just find this article for configuring the Groove as a CPE device. https://sailbits.com/mikrotik-groove-st ... tup-guide/
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:18 pm

Hey bigbills, that was an interesting article and highlights the versatility of MT products.
The one question I have is.................. Does MT not have a decent LTE to ethernet product. The author seems to really love that netgear and actually pooh poohs anything MT in this area.
I would be interested if anyone has good experience with MT LTE that would make it comparable-competitive with the netgear offering mentioned.
My own quick survey revealed that MT does not use gigabit ports on their devices despite the fact that LTE can be as high as 150Mbps down.................. strange?
I'd rather manage rats than software. Follow my advice at your own risk! (Sob & mkx forced me to write that!)
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:11 pm

Hey bigbills, that was an interesting article and highlights the versatility of MT products.
The one question I have is.................. Does MT not have a decent LTE to ethernet product. The author seems to really love that netgear and actually pooh poohs anything MT in this area.
I would be interested if anyone has good experience with MT LTE that would make it comparable-competitive with the netgear offering mentioned.
My own quick survey revealed that MT does not use gigabit ports on their devices despite the fact that LTE can be as high as 150Mbps down.................. strange?
As I now have my first Mikrotik product (Groove) coming to me on Thursday I have no idea about the LTE products. Probably best to start a new thread specifically for that question. -Bill
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:01 pm

LTE can be as high as 150Mbps down...
This statement is wrong ... mildly said.
LTE in its first standardized incarnation (I believe it was called release 8 or R8 ) indeed defined max DL speed to be 150Mbps ... but that was like 10 years ago, when devices could only use single carrier (max carrier bandwidth is still 20MHz and max modulation scheme in DL at that time was 64QAM, MIMO was limited to 2x2 ... which indeed offered around 150Mbps).
Today it's possible to reach much higher: max modulation in DL is 256QAM, MIMO rank is up to 8x8 (but devices are falling behind, there are handfull of devices supporting MIMO 4x4 on select frequency bands), so if stars align nicely it is possible to reach up to 400Mbps using single FDD carrier. When one throws carrier aggregation into the mix, 1Gbps can be reached quite easily. Nope, beam-forming doesn't help that much at reaching high speeds for a particular user/device, but does help to reach higher "sector throughput".

All of the above can be, more or less, reached in a lab. Real life drops numbers at least by one third due to various reasons (inter-cell interference, high pathloss, reflections causing intra-cell interference, poor separation of MIMO "branches"). And multiple users all fighting for same set of resources. So even if modem's air interface supports higher speeds, it is quite likely that those speeds won't be sustained for longer periods of time ... and ethernet (or USB if you want) interface can be slightly slower than theoretical maximum of the radio.
BR,
Metod
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:16 am

JFYI, recieved my Groove today. There are 4 holes drilled in the bottom of the unit along with the opening for the Ethernet cable. Not really waterproof at all. Instructions that come with it say it must stay upgright. Maybe the metal was the way to go after-all. I will call the vendor and see if the metal has the holes in the bottom too. Really Bummed!

Double Checking the descriptions. The Groove is WeatherProof the Metal is WaterProof I guess that is a big destinction. The folks at WiFi Ranger that use the Metal said they mount it on Batwings that have the base pointing forward when driving without any water issues. I am returned the Groove to Baltic Networks and have the Metal on order.

Dang, well at least I know know how it works. Came with v 6.42.11 and there was no IP address setup on the ethernet port, nor DHCP so I had to find Winbox, connect and notice the IP address field was 0.0.0.0 Changed that to the "default" of 192.168.88.1, added a DHCP scope and we were in business using a web browser to configure it.
 
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Re: Need Reccomendation for Omnidirectional device

Thu May 02, 2019 6:25 pm

I received my "Metal" device today. It did NOT have the extra 4 holes on the bottom of the unit so it should be quite a bit more water resistant than the Groove I originally purchased. I will continue to look for a "rubber boot" to put on the bottom as extra protection against water intrusion due to it being mounted with the bottom pointing into the wind while driving. (rain too)

It was interesting as this device came running the same firmware as the groove, but the metal had an ip address in the IP field and DHCP was on. I did not need to use winbox to connect and input those settings. So there is something odd it appears with that firmware as the groove IP settings stayed blank even after factory resetting it twice. I did it twice in case I didn't follow the reset directions correctly the first time.

Now I need to figure out how to do that 2x5 ghz scan that was mentioned in a previous post in this thread.

-Bill

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