You are here

New AREDN Hub Configuration

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
N0MRZ's picture
New AREDN Hub Configuration
I am hoping to get some feedback on the system we are seriously contemplating purchasing and installing. We need to provide 360 degree coverage on 5.8 GHz to serve as a main hub for our AREDN network. This installation is 263' up a guyed tower in the center of the area we hope to service. We are a self-funded group that can't afford the luxury of the best possible setup, but need to make sure we spend our money wisely and get it right the first time. We have to use a commercial climber to install the system.

(We started with (3) TP-Link CPE-210s, all on the same channel, and while it gave us service, there were too many dead ares and too much interference).

The new plan we need feedback on would consist of (3) Ubiquiti Rocket M5s paired to (3) Ubiquiti AirMax 2x2 MIMO BaseStation Sector Antenna AM-5G16-120 Cross-polar Isolation 22 dB Min antennas. One on each of the three legs with an overlap of 10-20%. This would leave an open spot in the direction we least need coverage. (It is also a spot that we could add a PTP unit to in order to fill).  We had considered putting a NanoSwitch N-SW at the top to reduce the number of cables, but have decided to run individual cables to minimize the chances that the unit goes out and we lose everything until we can get a climber back up the tower. So, (3) runs of direct-burial, double shielded CAT to the top. The nodes will be on 5.8 GHz, with a minimum of 4 channels separation.

The only other piece of equipment we plan to install at 263' is a PTZ camera which will have it's own ethernet run and POE in the comm building at the base of the tower.

Would this be an efficient and dependable system? That's where we need feedback on from those that know what they are doing. If it is a good plan, where does everyone buy their equipment?

Need all the help we can get!  All comments are appreciated. If more information is needed, please let me know!
AE6XE's picture
I've always used Ubiquity
I've always used Ubiquity ToughCable, most everything purchased on Amazon.    RF shielding can be limited on sources, always a good idea if budget allows.  

For the ipCam,  I ended up using 48v with a golf cart 48 to 12v converter at the ipCam.  The converter is weather proof and mounted just at the cam mounts, so all the wires and cat5 connect inside the camera base.    With lower voltage, not enough power could be delivered at that distance.  The ipCam would reboot at night when IR was on and increase power draw.  This was around a 150ft cable run.   Those cheap eBay 30x zoom ipCams have lasted 5+ years on towers here in SoCal. 

N0MRZ's picture
Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for the tip on the camera... That's exactly the kind of information we were trying to find out! Much better to find this out now... than later when it's too late to do anything about it. It is appreciated!
nc8q's picture
minimum of 4 channels separation.
This comment does not affect your install, but
separation is not necessary...only no-overlaping of channels.
Previously mentioned:
"nodes on three separate channels (177, 178, 179 at 10MHz bandwidth)."
Those channel/bandwidths overlap, so I would not call them 'separate'.

Here is a link to an excerpt from a video:
1 minute, 46 seconds.

I hope this helps,

N0MRZ's picture


  I think we decided to go with channels 170, 175 and 179. So we for sure wouldn't have any overlap. Thank you!

  That was another important thing we would have not known had you not clued us into it.

Use even-numbered 10 mhz channels without overlap or skipping

Might want to review this section of the online docs about channel planning.  If you go with 10 MHz channel widths (which seem to offer the best performance), then you can use all of the even-numbered channels without having to worry about any overlap and no channel skipping is required.

K5DLQ's picture
yep.   Read the docs!
yep.   Read the docs!
nc8q's picture
I think we decided to go with channels
 There is no need to choose channels before installation.

I do a 'Wi-Fi Scan' at 20 MHz at each end to see what channels might be the quietest.
I have done some testing of each 5 MHz channel at 5, 10, and 20 MHz bandwidth and found that
some channels did not work well in spite of 'apparent' SNR. YMMV.

 I know, I know, it is hard to get those HF/VHF/UHF -- AGC, IF, RF gain, bandpass, and de-sense
issues out of one's mind. Those concepts seem to not apply to this hardware.

I suggest that you choose channels based on what works best...after installation.

N0MRZ's picture
True, we have access to that
True, we have access to that remotely. Thanks
N0MRZ's picture
Does the equipment list sound adequate?
The equipment listed above is what we THINK we need.
Will this do the job?
Are there better options in this price range?
Are we better off to get pre-made cables? Or a bulk spool and build our own?
N0MRZ's picture
Not hearing anything back on
Not hearing anything back on the proposed equipment.  If anyone has a better idea, please let us know.  If it seems adequate, we will it order in! Thank you for everyone's input!
K6AH's picture
Plan seems reasonable.

Your plan seems reasonable... although there are higher gain sectors available.  You spec'd
the AM5G16-120 which is small and more easily hidden, but the AM-5G20-120 gives you another 4 dB of gain.

N0MRZ's picture
Good Idea
We decided to go with the 

Ubiquiti AM-5G19-120 airMAX BaseStation Sector Antenna, 120 Degree Dual-Linear Polarization, 5GHz Frequency Range, 19dBi units. They arrived a couple of days ago an I am very happy with the quality of these units. Anxious to get them paired with the Rocket M5s and get them in the air for testing.  Everyone's input is greatly appreciated.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer