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Mesh Network in Maine

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ng1p's picture
Mesh Network in Maine

I am new to this group. I do have a network background and have setup building to building wireless networks in a past life. Attached is a high level diagram (Future-Mesh.pdf). This is what I am proposing and the only high ground mesh node that is approved so far is in Brunswick, Maine (direct approval from Bill K1MNW and placed on the top of his 250 foot tower). I have a home mesh node up and running at 60 feet and above tree line. The first mesh node with great coverage will be going up at K1MNW's QTH (in the lower left of the PDF). Before I get to far down the road I just wanted to get some rules/guidelines in place so when future nodes get added things will continue to work. In my design all nodes will be at 5 Mhz bandwidth and channels that are used at each site should not overlap. Knowing that the FCC is taking away the 3Ghz band my focus is around 2.4Ghz and 5.8 Ghz. Also knowing that changes are coming to 5.8 Ghz I thought it would be wise to focus on using channels 179 and above. Im my case I picked channels 180, 182 and 184 to minimize any adjacent node interference.

Please take a look at the attached PDF and I would appreciate any feedback you can provide.(other channels perhaps?, any other channel in the lower part of the band that would also work? Anyone have some guidelines you might already have?)   

Thank you 73 Bill NG1P

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K6AH's picture
This is a good design

Hi Bill.  This is a good design.  I would offer the following comments:

  • If the 22 mile link to Oak Hill Wales is the only link the 120 deg sector on Streaked Mtn is needing to support, then I would change it to a MikroTik LHG XL HP5.  If you intend to pickup additional sites from there, then the sector is certainly the way to go.
  • I have little experience with the Ubiquiti MIMO verticals, if that's what you intend for the 2.4 GHz devices.  Don't expect terrific coverage with these... while they're probably the best in their class, their 10-13 dBi gain limits access to users with high gain antennas over 10-15 miles.  Others with more experience please step-in here, but if you could get by with narrower coverage, I'd consider a NanoStation (45° beamwidth) at a lot less money and a better performer at that distance.
  • VLANs only apply to local nodes and their connected switches.  The nodes are routers (layer 3), not switches (layer 2) and VLANs only apply to layer 2.  AREDN VLANs are only necessary because most nodes only have one Ethernet port and, of course, as you point out, there are potentially 3 different networks (LAN, DtD, and in rare cases WAN-Internet).


ng1p's picture
Thank you


Thanks for your thoughts. I should have talked about was I was thinking in the PDF.
- The Brunswick node will support multiple other mesh node connections via the 13 dBi omni. The Oak Hill Wales site will support multiple connections via the 120 deg 19 dBi and the Streaked Mnt node will do the same (trying to save some money). I am using the Nanostation M5 at my house and I assume most home users will do the same if they can.

- My Note in the upper right corner of the PDF was to reference the need to have a vlan capable switch at node locations that have more then one node to connect back over ethernet via VLAN2 Device to Device (DtD) and having a LAN port configured for each node for local troubleshooting via a directly connected laptop perhaps. None of the pictured nodes in the PDF will have a WAN port connected. My home node will and perhaps 1 other.

- Looking at the channels I want to use 180, 182 and 184. I wonder if any of the gear and or antennas will even work up that high? Testing with the nanostation and Rocket at home but not at any great distance (yet). Most antennas only claim 5.9 or just 5.85 for the high end. If this is true I may need to change to other channels? Any thoughts on channels I should pick that would not be impacted by an up coming FCC change or have minimal interference. 

Thanks again! Bill NG1P

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