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econst
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WISP equipment recomendations

Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:10 am

Hi all,

I am considering becoming a WISP for a small community of about 100 clients in a radius of about 6 miles. I will be located in about the center of the community. I'd like to set this up with minimal cost.

I already have a Dual WAN load balancer. I need recomendations on Client CPE, AP antennas and radios and a Bandwidth controller capable of setting the subscribed bandwidth of each client. Which frequency band should I use for client access? We have 2.4Ghz activity in the area(home wireless routers).

Your ideas will greatly appreciated.
 
rodolfo
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:42 pm

1. use only 5ghx frequency
2. for cpe use RB411+R52+case with integrated antenna (20dbi)
3. for poin-to-point user RB411H+R52 + panels antenna (23dbi, 28dbi)
4. and Access Point use RB411H+R52 + sector antenna (60°, 90°)
5. use a rb1000 as user manager, eoip concentrator, pppoe server and queue tree manager

You can find all hardware in most international sites.

Good work
rodolfo
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econst
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:16 pm

Can I use the x86 ver of RouterOS to use in place of the RB1000 and use sectorial antennas connected by ethernet cable?
 
ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:14 am

Sure you can... You can also use Mikrotik board for your load balancing. I'm using and old RB532A with 9(?) -port LAN daughterboard to run about 170 clients Load Balanced through 6 WANs and it's working like a charm. Never worry about fans getting dusted up, HDD's failing... Just no problems. The Many LAN ports make it so easy to expand. I also started with a 2-port LB router, but IMHO, the MT is just so much better as you have full controll over everything and the hardware is not only more reliable than PCs, but also draw lot less power incase you have to solar/UPS/battery them against prolonged power outages.

If you really want to go cheap, you can have 1 RB433(AH) running 3 Cards on 3 120` sectors and then just a LB router to supply it with WAN.

The new(ish) n-draft is also supposed to be able to handle many more clients on a single AP(2 antennas)so you might want to look into that, but for full functionality, then clients should then ALL be on n also with a n-type(dual built in antennas) CPE which is more expensive and not to easy to find.

I agree also if you start from scratch, to use only 5GHz... Or if you MUST go 2.4, use HP rather than VP... Things are sooo crowded on 2.4 nowadays (where we are at least). ;-) Or mix/match your sectors between VP and HP... I have yet to see a HP 5.8GHz sector/omni antenna from my suppliers...

Ekkas
 
econst
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:32 pm

If you really want to go cheap, you can have 1 RB433(AH) running 3 Cards on 3 120` sectors and then just a LB router to supply it with WAN.
This scenario would be that I install the RB433(AH) on the tower? I'd then connect the antenna with coax directly to the RB433(AH) with the three wireless cards installed? Are the cards powerfull enough? I am kinda afraid of putting a board on a tower, but I guess panel antennas have electronics in them too. How wound you manage the board on the tower? Through the WAN?

My idea is that I'd install the antennas on the tower and connect them via ethernet cable to my equipment room. Which way is best?
 
ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:15 am

Thats how I do it. I have a weatherproof box on the tower with the RB in, drill 3 bigger holes for UFL<->N-type pigtails & one small one for the UTP cable. Yes, put the board close to the antennas (to avoid losses on long cables) with 3 cards in. If you want to leave holes for ventilation/drainage, be sure to block them with gause or something to keep insects out, they love the heat in there... ;-) Then you can have your UTP running down from where you can supply power-over-ethernet, eg. if you have a battery 'downstairs'. Yes, easy to manage via the same port/cable you use for POE.
You really shouldn't run long antenna cables. Try to keep them as short as possible. RB's are VERY reliable, no worries for putting it up there. Just if you live close to the sea or high-humidity, and your are really worried, then you can (carefully) spray it with a non-conducting oil that is made for electronics, which will make it last 'forever' by preventing corrosion. NB:Be sure to tape the cable connections up properly with rubberised tape (NOT insulation tape)on both the pigtail and antenna side...

The cards are as powerfull as you want them to be. The RB can handle 3 cards, no problem, just make sure you give it enough ampere. It's no use trying to pump 3 XR5 cards with a 12V or 18V 500mA PSU... Give it the power it needs and you wouldn't be dissapointed. If I were you, starting of from scratch, I'd go for a battery setup from the start. A 24V battery is ideal (or 2X12V batteries in serie) or you can use 1X12V battery(if the POE isn't too long/far). Then hook them up to a good trickle charger. Using 2X12V batteries can become tricky (only sometimes) over the long term because due to slight differences in manufacture, they might go out of balance (i.t.o. charging/discharging), but that is another topic entirely. If the tower isn't to high(POE cable long), a 12V battery should do it.

Hope this help

Ekkas
PS: You can of course use MMCX in place of UFL for some cards, but I use only R52 cards and have no problems. Well, no problems that is the card's fault at least. ;-)
 
econst
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:08 am

Let me summarize my understanding. Install RB with 3 cards in weatherproof case on tower. Next connect antennas. Administration is via the WAN cable. Since ROS has a User Manager, all users will be controlled by this AP, ie on tower? So really, all I have to supply is WAN and power?

One thing that just came to my mind. How do you allow and disallow clients from being able to see each others data/equipment/IP? Can each sector have its own subnet?

Something else came to my mind. The R52 card's parameters are software adjustable? Can I have 2 sectors in the 5Ghz and the other sector in the 2Ghz band? Is there a 4 MiniPCI card? The extra card could be used for PtP Link.
 
ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:11 am

Let me summarize my understanding. Install RB with 3 cards in weatherproof case on tower. Next connect antennas. Administration is via the WAN cable. Since ROS has a User Manager, all users will be controlled by this AP, ie on tower? So really, all I have to supply is WAN and power?
Everybody have their own opinions, but I'd agree with that.Yes.
One thing that just came to my mind. How do you allow and disallow clients from being able to see each others data/equipment/IP?
That will depend on how you set it up. I use normal IP network (no PPP) but since all CPE are routers with NAT to their respective LANs, it does not matter if they see each other's equipment. Regardless, even if they use laptop to associate to the AP directly (bad idea..hehe), a few firewall rules should be all that's needed to isolate them. Just post in the General forum when you get to that point.
Can each sector have its own subnet?
That would be preferable as simple routing gives better performance (less router load) than other ways (e.g. WDS). eg. Card1 have IP of 192.168.1.1/24; card 2 have 192.168.2.1/24 etc.
Something else came to my mind. The R52 card's parameters are software adjustable? Can I have 2 sectors in the 5Ghz and the other sector in the 2Ghz band?
Well software and hardware. Yes the R52 can handle both frequency ranges, so you add the appropriate antenna for the frequency you want to use.
Is there a 4 MiniPCI card? The extra card could be used for PtP Link.
I believe the RB100 has 4 miniPCI slots, but what I'll do is put 2 RB433's up there, 2 cards each with a flylead connecting the 2 boards on one of their (they have 3 each) ethernet ports.(in fact, I have 3 towers like that) Then you just need to route so they can know where to find each other's respective subnets, but that is really simple, not to worry about that. Check out the prices for the boards, also IN CASE something goes wrong, it's cheaper to replace 1 RB433... Using 2 boards might need you to adjust your POE strategy, either have 2 UTP running up the tower, or a power cable that you split & connect to the RB's power sockets.

Exciting times for you... Enjoy.
 
econst
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:28 am

Thanks for the response. I now have a better idea as to what to do. Since I am starting from scratch, do you thing it would be good to use the R52N card from now?
 
ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:54 am

I use only R52 but you can get cards from Ubiquity that's higher powered, better sensitivity. Just keep in mind that there's no substitute for good design, to just pump up the power in not the best solution. Good height (clients included), good LOS, always keep in mind fresnel zone... Remember that if you have 1 bad client, it affects all on the same AP as that baddy will cause unnecesary rebroadcast of packets/frames. I have had many 'fights' with my techies that do bad installations and 'because it works ok', or 'it was easier this way', is not good enough. Get EVERY client as good as possible and you'll have a network that you can be proud of. ;-)


BTW, it;s the RB 600 that have 4 MiniPCI slots.
http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=55
 
ste
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:01 pm

Thanks for the response. I now have a better idea as to what to do. Since I am starting from scratch, do you thing it would be good to use the R52N card from now?
Software for 11n is still RC/Beta. If you've time to wait until it's production
quality I would start with R52N as it's the future. For now R52 is a very good card.

Stefan
 
rodolfo
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:46 pm

I cannot suggest to use more than one radio card inside a box.
You will have big interference problems between them.
This is terrible if you deliver voip services: the ping grow and the jitter go and go.

And if a rb433 have a problem: all three sector have problems.

Use at maximum 2 radio card inside a box and only if user totals are not more than 30.

The best in my experience is: on box + one rb411AH + one R52

good work
rodolfo
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ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:20 pm

I cannot suggest to use more than one radio card inside a box.
You will have big interference problems between them.
Like I said... Everyone have their own opinions & experiences.. hehehe
If your channel seperation is far enough (at least 3 frequencies apart) there should be no (or very little) problems. I can see no real difference (or very little) between my 3-card and single card AP i.t.o. ping and/or throughput, as long as the channel seperation,antenna & LOS(+fresnel zone) is good.
As far as things going wrong, in my experience, RBs hardly ever fail. It is much more likely that you'll have to climb the tower to replace a card that 'popped' or a PSU due to power spikes if you don't use batteries.
Having said that, there is always 'a better way'. You just have to weight up the costs, complexity, construction and manageablity of your system. I might add that I would definately not feel comfortable to put all 4 cards in a single RB. Using 2 RB433 will also give you open slots, if in future, you need to set up another PTP or something.
Use at maximum 2 radio card inside a box and only if user totals are not more than 30.
That would be nice to have it like I said with 2XRB433, each having 2 cards. Also, channel seperation becomes a problem if you just use one band with more than 3 sectors, and then you still need an uplink...4 frequencies. Also, as you might be using 5Ghz for your 3 sectors, make the PTP links HP, to minimize interferrence with the VP AP.

Just as an afterthought, it would be ideal if your UM RB is a seperate unit. I use a breakout router that does all the LB and user management, firewall rules, forwarding, etc. with no wireless cards on it.
 
econst
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:12 pm

Thanks again for all your inputs. I really appreciate them.

I see that the R52N has a throughput of 300Mbps. You'd have to use Gigabit ethernet ports to support that?
 
ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:19 pm

And two antennas for each 'sector' + all clients should also have dual antennas and R52n cards... If it will be of any use. Then to get true (or even close to) 300mpbs, you'll have to use a control channel, doubling effective frequency usage, creating more problems regarding channel seperation.
 
econst
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:56 pm

I think I'll be using 1 RB411AH and 1 RB433AH, 3 sectorials and R52 cards. That way I'll have an extra minipci port for future use.

Any recommendation on the exact brand of the sectorial antenna(i.t.o quality, durability, gain, etc)?
 
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:16 am

I have yet to see a HP 5.8GHz sector/omni antenna from my suppliers...
Check this out:
http://www.roc-noc.com/product.php?prod ... =20&page=2

I set up my base station on RB600 with 3 of these antennas and it's working like a charm...i'm typing this on a 32km link from one of the sectors! My area has serious interference on 5ghz from other radios (2 major canopy and alvarion VL base stations from carriers are on the 2 buildings on the left and right of my antennas, less than 600m away)

Price is a bit steep though...so yes, I don't work for Tom! :mrgreen:
 
ekkas
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:05 am

wow! Cool! Now that seems like the ultimate 5GHz sector... Pity I can't get it here in my country...
Thanks for that info.

Ekkas
 
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mariko
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Re: WISP equipment recomendations

Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:58 am

i'm in kenya btw...not too far away from you... :D

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