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help finding parts for projects for my aredn island in santa cruz ca

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k0cdf's picture
help finding parts for projects for my aredn island in santa cruz ca

my name is Ciaran k0cdf
this is my first time using aredn. I am currently an island. there are no other aredn stations in santa cruz california.
my rooftop tower k0cdf-0 is the first one. 

this is my first time putting ham infrastructure on my house and I wish I had a mentor for this.
I kinda got a bit out of hand with this question and it turned into a bit of a brain dump of everything i wish I could talk about with a mentor about aredn and digital ham stuff.

I want to be an ambassador to aredn and get my station setup as good as it can be to try to get other members of the local k6bj club to join me and make a mesh here in santa cruz.

I need a network switch for the project I want to do
it needs to be pole mount or fit in a telco box on the side of the house just under the pole
I need it to take standard 48/52v PoE+ or PoE++ INPUT from an Ethernet cable and can OUTPUT BOTH active PoE / PoE+ AND passive 24v PoE
no ac power available (I'll explain further down)

why do I need this you ask?

I am still building my aredn node and I spent a lot of time going through the supported products matrix before I bought what I have here but I want to expand the scope of my deployment now that I've started

this is what I have so far.
I have a j mount antenna mast bolted to the eave under the edge at the very peak of my roof.

I currently have my rocket m2 and 10db omni antenna (AREDN node K0CDF-0) mounted to it
ignore the black thing its an ATSC over the air tv antenna connected to my HDHomeRun tuner

ps the current wiring is temporary.
the ubiquity rocket m2 can only take passive 24v PoE

I also have a 42u server rack in the corner of my bedroom by the window.
I pass cables out the window to go to my security cameras and up to this rooftop ham mast and also to exhaust its heat in the summer.
I have invested in quite a few UPS modules.

if I shutdown my servers about 20 minutes after the power goes out I have enough juice to power all my networking for another 2 hours.
my modem, router and switches (and by extension, because of PoE, my access points and cameras) online that whole time.
if I can power my rooftop ham stuff from PoE off my switches I already have then I can keep AREDN and the services I host for it up until im completely out of juice in my battery backup.
I don't have a generator.

in this rack I currently have two raspberry pi;s in my aredn node's lan segment.
one is running my meshchat server and the other im working on getting freeswitch installed on it.

I cant decide if I want to keep using my crs328 with an isolated lan segment for the aredn network or if I want to get another aredn router like the hap ac lite to put in my rack
currently those pi's get their internet for doing updates from the internet going up to the rocket m2 on vlan1 from my server lan then its lan coming back down on untagged vlan0 and going to the pi's, so if I have to do anything topside and unplug the rocket the pi's loose connectivity.
if i get a hap ac lite and put it in my rack I can have internet on vlan1 going to both the rocket m2 and the hap ac lite. the rocket and the hap ac can talk on vlan 2. I can isolate the untagged traffic between the two and have the rocket take care of the lan for the pi's on the roof and the hap ac lite take care of the lan for the pi's in my server rack. the hap ac lite in my rack would let me have a wifi network I can join to get my laptop on the aredn lan.
what do you think?

up on the roof I want to add:
pi with SDRs for APRS IGate and anything else vhf / uhf I want to do
some kind of weather station
some kind of weather camera
probably either a pi based solution or a standard RTSP PoE PTZ IP camera

raspberry pi POE hats are really easy to find.
I have a few for the pi's in my server rack they are powered from PoE.
I have seen them online in both active and passive PoE flavors.
weather station im not sure how I would power. probably just off the pi, most of those sensors don't need much power.
I don't know of any non ubiquity ip cameras that take passive PoE.

I say this because I have found pass through switches where they can take passive PoE in and then also do passive PoE out.
but I cant seem to find any that can mix and match. take active in and output both passive and active.

my other idea was to get a poe injecter and splitter pair
I would put the top side in a telco box
in that telco box bring the 48v out to a power rail
but I cant find poe splitters for 48v
i can find splitters that take 802.3at and output data and 5v for powering a pi
I can find splitters that take 802.3at and output data and 12v for non poe ip cameras
but I cant find any 802.3af poe splitters that give me that raw 48v or 52v

for wiring currently I just have a 200 foot cat6 patch cable running up to the rocket m2
I know that is bad, I read the manual, I just wanted to see how well it works up there and what kind of range I get because i don't have the right cable yet.

in the past I had a project box with a raspberry pi and an rtl-sdr with the telescoping mag mount antenna it comes with stuck to the gutter on the end of this Ethernet cable.
when I went up to check on why the pi wasn't responding the antenna shocked me with static electricity.
I should have known this would happen. I don't know how I overlooked this given the training I did to get my ham license

this is how I plan to solve that issue for my new setup
I am going to have a shielded cat6 patch cable with the esd discharge wire
on the rack end it will plug into a lightning arrester grounded to the ground lug on my UPS.
then a patch cable from there to the poe power supply if needed or my switch.
it will connect on the top either to the switch I find to do what I want here or directly to the rocket m2.
if I have to put the topside switch in a telco box im going to get a shielded bulkhead connector to go through the wall of the box then that with a shielded patch cable to a ubiquity surge protector and bond the ground lug of the poe switch to that arrester with a shielded patch cable between the poe switch and the rocket m2 so I dont loose the protection on the antenna its self

these are the products that look promising to me but im unsure if they will actually do what I want:
this switch from mikrotik would be perfect if I could find a poe splitter that gives me 48v
it takes 48v in and can output poe and poe+ and also 24v passive
(you can also power it off of 24v or 12v but in that situation it can only do passive poe and only passive poe whatever voltage you give it in the barrel jack)
does 48v passive poe exist and could I use that with injector and splitter on each end to power this switch?
I think the ubiquity switch flex might do what I want but im not really sure from the specs sheet
also in order to make it work I would have to run a unifi controller on a pi either in my rack bottem side or on one of the pis topside.
maybe you know how to read it better and can tell me if it works or not

so uh yeah.
thats a lot
maybe some of you can help me out
maybe one of you wants a mentee and can exchange contact info with me and we can spend time talking about this stuff
anxiously awaiting your response


Take a look at the MikroTik PowerBox Pro, it will feed anything in, to the outputs either 24v or 48V. If you need both voltages on the roof you might need two and just feed them with a 24 and 48V power supply from the rack (not PoE but a seperate wire). You also metioned the CRS series with have dual inputs to supply either voltage on demand on a per-port basis.

Also look at Tycon They make pretty much every combination of Poe Injector, Splitter, etc. I use them on my stuff for 12VDC > 48V 802.3af and also the reverse. I find the much higher quality than the black epoxy filled amazon special of the day of which don't seem to last more than a year. gives 20W at 48V on terminals from 802.3at in.

PM'd you. Ian AJ6GZ

kj6dzb's picture
Can I suggest you join the

Can I suggest you join the BAM / SFWEM slack. PM me! It would put you in touch with the closest mesh.  I can set you up equipment to try out! and a regional tunnel into the Bay Area. 

73 Mathison KJ6DZB


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