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HELP - Node connects but mesh data will not populate

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KI6GOA's picture
HELP - Node connects but mesh data will not populate

Greetings all,

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday but if anyone has a few minutes to have a look at this and give their input I'd sincerely appreciate it. Here at my home in Corona I have Mikrotik HAP Lite acting as a router for a separate physical network dedicated to AREDN and a Mikrotik LHG device mounted on a converted DTV dish connecting the home network to the KE6BXT hub node on Pleasants Peak. Up until the last few days this setup has been working perfectly and I typically have a great connection, seeing as I'm about eight miles from the site and have a perfect view of it from here.

However, I came home this evening and was going to do some setup work on another node I'm setting up at a remote location to find something I've never expierenced before. The best way to describe it is I can see that I have an RF connection to KE6BXT at Pleasants Peak and the signal appears to be strong (SNR 28 dB). However, while the node's splash page shows 538 connected node nothing shows up in my mesh status page, nor can I connect to any nodes outside my home network. Additionally, while my local Link Quality shows as 99% with some minor fluxuation, the NLQ for KE6BXT is in the toilet, which is very unusual. I've attached some screenshots to this post as a PDF.

I've tried rebooting and reloading the firmware. There are no obvious obstructions to the dish here at the house, however I am going to get up on the roof in the morning just to double check.

Anyone have any idea of what I'm missing here???

Thank you in advance for your time and input, and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!


File Attachment: 
SNR from AP isn’t only factor. NLQ is poor.
So, you do have a good SNR and 100% LQ means you are hearing 100% of the DX packets, but it cannot hear you. If LQM is on the DX node, generally it will drop its connection to you if <50%. 
So, reboot and try again to connect. Next, open the chart program on the target node, and select your own station from the dropdown menu. Now try to aim to achieve the highest SNR from that station hearing you. 
Go to the status page on the target. Look at neighbor status. Hopefully you see your station and "pending." Now look for problems like excessive distance, poor LQ or SNR. 
Why the low NLQ from your perspective?
First check that you have at least 7 feet of clearance below your dish. You can't have more than 40% of the 7 foot radius Fresnel zone obstruction. If you are shooting over a rooftop, that could explain it. Mount on the edge of the roof on the target side to maximize clearance.
Tilt and shifting mount position may help a lot. I know satellite dishes are heavy and difficult to mount without sagging. 
If you can get both LQ/NLQ up to 50% or more, you should pass data. When you are maximized, turn on your LQM on your devices. 
Good luck. 
 Brett, KG7GDB
KI6GOA's picture
Thank you
Thanks for the tips Brett,

I'm about to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner but will give those a shot later this afternoon. The dish is mounted on an upper eve of the roof but it does have a portion of the lower roof protruding about four feet below. However, its been in that same location for more than a year with no issues up to this point so it seems a bit odd to me that it would start acting up now. I'll post an update as soon as I can. 

Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!
nc8q's picture
Mikrotik LHG device mounted on a converted DTV dish
Hi, Tom:

Do you mean a LDF device mounted on a converted dish?

If not, I am confused.

On the other hand, may there be a new issue with KE6BXT at Pleasants Peak?

73, Chuck

KI6GOA's picture
Reply to Chuck
You're absolutely right Chuck. It was late and I must have been getting my devices mixed up. But, I think I figured out this problem at least.

After getting up on the roof late yesterday and today it looks like a palm fron in a backyard two doors down has grown into the path of the antenna. When the wind blows it just the right way is when I seem to see a connection but then it snaps back into place and the NLQ goes back in the toilet. Unfortunately, where my dish is mounted now is really the only spot with somewhat clear line-of-sight to Pleasants. I'm ordering a replacement mounting pipe with about four feet of extra elevation to see if that will move things just enough to overcome the obstacle. Otherwise I may be SOL until I can get the relay at my Sierra Peak repeater site up and running.

Thanks Chuck!

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