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Help getting started and choosing ubiquiti equipment

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Help getting started and choosing ubiquiti equipment
Hey Guys. New member here. I've ben rolling the idea of starting a mesh network around in my head for some time and have done a little homework. I think I want to start with ubiquiti equipment. I've narrowed it down to nanostations (not loco) or rockets. Not sure which frequency bands yet. However, I've seen talk of xw, and xm version hardware? I understand that xw won't work with aredn. Also U.S version/international version? How easy is the older xm hardware to find? Is that what I need? Do I need an international version, or will a U.S version work fine? Have looked on ebay and through distributors and can find lots of ubiquiti stuff, but no mention whether it is xw or xm. Just want to hit the ground running with the best chance of success and minimal headaches.
Dan kb0znu
K5DLQ's picture
Welcome Dan!  Glad you joined
Welcome Dan!  Glad you joined in on the fun.

XW hardware is currently only an issue on 5Ghz band devices.  In fact AREDN does support Nanostation M5 (XW).

5Ghz has more "part 97 only" channel choices than 2Ghz.
Generally, the 2Ghz equipment is slightly less expensive than 5Ghz.
The US/international version only comes into play with 3Ghz gear.  You DO NOT want the M365 gear (US), but, you DO want the M3 (international) gear.  If you order from Flytec, you can provide your callsign and they will sell to you.

Cool. Flytech was actually

Cool. Flytech was actually one of the web sites I was looking around on today. Their prices look pretty reasonable. Also found another distributor that has used equipment. So this is what I gather so far. I can use any nanostation m2, m5, or m9, and it doesn't matter if it's xm, xw, or international. I'd have to be more careful with the 3 ghz stuff. How about the rockets. Anything I need to watch out for there? Trying to get a few more guys in my club interested, but I'd like to aquire some hardware and know what I'm talking about first before I approach them with the idea. :) Thanks for the help. Dan

K5DLQ's picture
XW hardware versions are only
XW hardware versions are only (currently) only available on the M5 line.  (ie. there's no such beast as an M2 XW or M9 XW)
AREDN currently supports the Nanostations M5 XW (but not Rockets)
K6AH's picture
Supported Matrix

We have published a matrix of supported hardware:

Keep it handy when you're shopping.

Andre, K6AH

K7OPA's picture
short link
I have a short link to set up between a loco m5 and Nano M5, how do I make sure I can get XM Loco as the XW version is not yet supported?

Thanks, Ron K7OPA

Managed to find 2 rocket m5's that are supposed to be xm versions. Now trying to find some Omni antennas for a reasonable price, so I can get at least one flashed and stick it up on my tower. Don't really want to boot them up without any antennas. Have also been seriously looking at nanostations. Still here, just slow going. As with all things amature radio, finding the time :)

K5DLQ's picture
XW support is in
XW support is in available now
Rocket XW
Do I understand correctly that rocket XW versions are supported?
There is hardware support
There is hardware support added for a number of XW devices in the Release Candidate Build
Purchasing NSM2 XM hardware
Hello! I'm new to the forum and new to mesh networking. I hope to get set up at my home QTH to access the network here in the Dayton, OH area.

The NanoStation NSM2 seems to be one that would work well for me (stealthy, reasonable power/sensitivity, convenient mounting). I am trying to locate the XM version, which is currently the only one supported under AREDN. 

This raises two questions:

1. Are all the new NSM2s built with the XW hardware? If so I'll need to isolate my search for used models. I purchased a new one from an Amazon affilliate and to my disappointment, it was an XW version which I will need to return.

​2. Is there a way to tell prior to purchasing, based on serial number or manufacturing date, which models are XM? 

​Thank you,
​Kevin  KZ3L
K5DLQ's picture
New NSM2's are being produced

New NSM2's are being produced with the XW designator.  It generally takes months to get these into the sales channels, and we are now seeing them.  I can surmise that they have been in production for at least a few months.

The good news on the NSM2 XW, is that, while they are not officially supported yet in a production release, we are adding support for them in our next release.  If you understand the risks (ie.  not for "production" use, things may be broken, etc), you can download the AREDN nightly release that DOES load on this device.

As far as I can tell, the only way to tell XM from XW is to boot the device.

Upgrading NSM2 XW with nightly build

Thank you.

It sounds as though things are progressing well for supporting the NSM2 (XW). With this level of confidence I might just hold onto this one.  

U-Boot Test reports Bad/Good. 

Do I need to downgrade from 5.6.12 to 5.5.x first via XW.v5.5.10-u2.28005.150723.1358.bin,

or just install this file directly from the AirOS interface:


Thank you to you and the rest of the development team for all the hard work and many hours that go into these things. 

K5DLQ's picture
You can install it directly.
You can install it directly.
Sounds good--thank you! I'll

Sounds good--thank you! I'll give it a shot.

​Edit: And... it worked without any problems! Thanks again.


Just purchased an amo-5g-13 antenna today. Hope to have the node up and be playing with it in the next month or 2

choosing hardware
Is their an FAQ that helps you decide what the best hardware to use would be? Like out of all the 2.4 stuff... What's the best item? Features? Distance? Power? Ram? CPU? Supported users? Etc.

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