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WildWISP_N2
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Cold weather issues with SR5 or SR2 in outdoor enclosures ?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:12 pm

Hello All,

We have been using MT routerboards for years with success in outdoor enclosures with no heat but always used Tranzeo radios.

Last winter we deployed a hotspot with 112 RB and 2 wireless cards. It had cold weather issues that we were never able to figure out when the temp was < 10 F.

Now we are planning a new deployment using a PacWireless Rootenna enclosure which has an integrated 5.8GHz panel antenna. We are planning on using an RB5 card for Backhaul and then an RB2 for an AP radio. So we will have RB532 + RB5 radio + RB2 radio all in the outdoor antenna case.

Has anyone else tried this? Should this work in the cold?

The spec sheet for RB2 and RB5 only shows that the radio will work to 0C. However, MT puts that same radio with a 0C temp spec in their own unheated outdoor antenna box and then they give that box a temp rating to -40 F ???

Thanks in advance for any replies.
 
Montana
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Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:05 am

I have had some sr5's at our mountain top site that seem to work ok. -35F That was the temp in town. The site is about a 1000 FT higher than the town. Most the time when we have a cold issue it was the wrap boards and not the cards.
 
WildWISP_N2
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Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:07 am

Montana,

Thanks for the reply.

Please clarify: The SR5's that you mention are mounted in a simple outdoor box without any heat?
 
Montana
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Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:17 pm

Yes, no heat. several are located in an enclosure that is inside a 4x4x8 wood box I call the OutHouse. It is solely powered by a wind turbine and a solar panel. There is a diversion controller there but the heat it dumps is next to nothing. And it is on the other side of the wall from the box.
The board I am running is a 800mhz x86 with two pci slots.
 
aaronm
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Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:11 pm

I run SR5's mounted in RB532A's in low temp conditions with no problems. Coldest temps around -30F and sometimes staying below 0F for several days at a time. We have them installed in small metal sealed enclosures that are not heated. I haven't measured the temps but I suspect the circuit boards inside the enclosure keep the internal temp 10-15 degrees warmer than outside.
 
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Mike-Ubiquiti
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Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:25 pm

Hello WildWIsp,

Can you explain the exact nature of the Cold Related issues? We have had many Sr5's in our temp chamber, with the boards exposed directly to the elements. We runt them at -40C for extended periods of time (up to 5 days) to test the low temp robustness. I really would like to know the nature of the problems you are having.

Thank you,

Mike
 
WildWISP_N2
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:38 am

AaronM,

Thanks for the reply!

Montana,

Thanks for the clarification. I really enjoyed your description the the outhouse! We have put some gear in some pretty crazy mountain top locations ourselves but we try to keep the routers in more accessible locations (also cuts down the solar power budget) and just put radios on the mountaintops. BTW, we are in Idaho.

Mike,

Thanks for your interest. The configuration is a MT RB 112 configured as a hotspot router with 2 2.4GHz cards in the PCI slots. One wireless card is a backhaul and the other is for the Access Point. We originally had an Atheros and a SR2 in the setup and then we tried two Atheros cards. Both setups showed the same problem: When ambient temps dropped to < 10 deg F we started seeing lost packets and dropped pings. We would lose contact with the routerboard. By pinging both the routerboard and the BackHaul radio we determined that it was BH radio that was falling out... at least first. Clients also fell out from the AP side. As soon as the weather warmed up all was well again. I don't know if some of this trouble was from the close physical proximity of the cards? Definitely temperature was the trigger. This setup was mounted outside in an MT outdoor enclosure.

We are now planning to do some more setups with 2 PCI cards (SR5 and SR2) and I wanted to make sure that the hardware is capable of working in the cold. The new setups will be better (532A RB instead of 112) so we are hoping to get better results this time around.

It is good to know that you have tested these cards for cold weather and that others have had success.
 
Montana
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:52 pm

WildWISP_N2 I too dont like to go up in the winter. I am looking at taking the diversion controller that controls the resistor bank that charges the battires and shoot some of that excess power to a heating element inside the PC box. I must say that I havent had but one sr5 fail. I have a link up on another mountain that still has about 6 feet of snow left on it so I havent got up there to replace that unit. Were near Butte Montana. Maybe we could get together sometime and shoot war stories.
Mike
 
jo2jo
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Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:52 pm

ive posted this idea before, but no one even replied.

what about artificially adding load to the RB to general heat?

if this is not a good idea, please post why.
:beep :beep :beep
 
WildWISP_N2
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Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:44 am

Mike,

I am always up for war stories but I don't get to Butte Montana much... I am near Boise, Idaho. If you every find yourself over this way give me a shout.

As far as adding a load to the RB to generate heat I am not sure how much you could generate with a POE setup... there isn't a lot of spare power to give... especially with in the case I propose with 2 wireless cards already powered from the RB.

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