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Advice and Guidance needed for mesh network between Ajo, Why and other places.

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Advice and Guidance needed for mesh network between Ajo, Why and other places.

Looking for advice and guidance on setting up a mesh network between Ajo and Why (120 miles west of Tucson).  Have access to a high spot near Ajo with a clear 18 mile shot to Why. Can't get into site details here as quite "political" but very good clear shot. Also very good potential for a link north to Gila Bend.

Would be fun (in the distant future) to work out a shot from Ajo to Tucson. Long distance though (about 130 miles from hill in Ajo to Mt.Lemon) across the T'O Nation. I don't know of any ham activity on the Nation but perhaps we could stir things up.

I have been playing with mesh for several years but decided to let things settle out for awhile. Not familiar with the current AREDN software and ubuquity hardware however I am a retired IT guy so it is pretty much a matter of getting updated on the current state of affairs.

I will give complete description of situation via personal email. 

Biggest issue at the moment is equipment needed for the 18-20 mile shot from the high hill in Ajo to a 30' pole in Why.  All very much in the clear. Thinking of a 5g link with either 5 or 2.5g omni to serve the endpoint communities.  3gig out because of high military activity in the area.

Either respond here or use my email which is

Any assistance appreciated.
Ron, N1AHH, Why AZ.

K7OPA's picture
18 mile link


We have successfully demonstrated a solid 2.4Ghz link of 33 miles, between Yarnell area (north of Wickenburg) and a spot just north of Surprise.  Sent and received 700 kb file in a matter of seconds. This was using Ubiquiti NanoStations on channel -2.  Since opening up the ham only channels we have seen vast improvement in range for 2.4 devices.  You may not need extra expense of 5 Ghz.  Good luck

Ron, K7OPA
Wickenburg, Az. 

k0tan's picture
2.4 vs. 5.8 GHz

Ron - I just bought an NS-M2 and an NS-M5 for the about the same price on Amazon. I didn't notice any price difference on the Rocket + 120 Sector for the two bands. Is your source different?  Of course, we'd like to buy as cheaply as possible!

Charlie KØTAN
Lake Havasu City, Az

w6bi's picture
It's all about bandwidth

Costs being equal (or even just close), go for the 5 GHz gear - you can do 20 MHz channels there, whereas you're limited to 10 MHz BW on 2.4 GHz/Ch -2.

Yuma Node
During a Feb 2017 Yuma Hamfest​ presentation, Andre K6AH (AREDN Project Manager) spoke to a relatively near term expansion of the SoCal network eastwards to El Centro.  I had the opportunity to speak with him again at the Dayton booth.  At this point there is no initiative yet to expand further eastward.  To reach Yuma, AZ there would need to be an intermediary link at a location such as Black Mountain.
There are considerable Amateur and Yuma County repeater facilities located at Telegraph Pass approximately 20 miles east of Yuma proper.  This includes a Cactus Intertie System ( repeater plus another associated with the Yuma AUXCOM group (  To reach either Gila Bend or Ajo there would undoubtedly need to be one (or more) backbone hops.  There is high ground near Rolla and to the west of Dateland.  Alternatively, it might be possible to partner with the Cactus Desert Intertie system and to take advantage of their existing repeater sites to create an AREDN backbone up to Phoenix.  At and estimated kilobuck a site assuming some existing infrastructure, accomplishing such a vision is not overly expensive to achieve.  And at 100 kcs per user site, as Andre says (words to the effect of) 'build the backbone and the users will come'.  It's the vision that's needed.
Snowbird mbr YACS
k0tan's picture
Current Map with new nodes near Palm Springs

VA3QT - have a look at current map. There are nodes headed east, now as far as Palms, soon to Indio.  We in Lake Havasu City hope to see RF to us in a year or so.  That's hope, of course.

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