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Is the NanoStation M5 on the Supported Platform Matrix the same as

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WL7COO's picture
Is the NanoStation M5 on the Supported Platform Matrix the same as

Ubiquiti ROCKETM5 5GHz Hi Power 2x2 MIMO TDMA BaseStation?

It is currently available bundled on Amazon with Ubiquiti Nanostation NSM5, 5GHz, 802.11a/n Hi-power 20 dBm Minimum, 2x2 MIMO AirMax TDMA PoE Station and Ubiquiti NanoStation loco M5.

Is it incumbent on us to confirm that these come with XM rather than XW firmware before purchasing by direct communication with the reseller/distributor?

If this is comprises a reasonable 'starter set' I'll try to identify similar 'sets' for both 900MHz and 3 GHz and start shopping for better pricing.  

If I understand the topology, all of the bands can be integrated, where most useful, into a given island node location by use of a small 5 port Toughswitch or Netgear switch at each location where the band changes. i.e. similar sets of Mtn, Intermediate and local AREDN Nodes can be integrated easily wherever a switch can be supported.  

I think I'm looking for the optimal units to purchase for temporary placement (think mobile-portable deployments) with  40' push up or military tactical masts and for demonstration purposes (using MFJ1918EX)  Go Box like kit at appropriate locations while we learn and the Served Agencies get to see ARDEN's capabilities.

If it is useful to initiate a CA SJV Regional Forum perhaps this message can initiate it.

Based on work done  the last year (or more) by Merced County ARES, we in Mariposa County for sure and I believe Stanislaus County, Fresno County and Madera County will be initiating and linking additional AREDN islands with other contiguous Counties likely to follow as soon as they see an opportunity  for local support to connect and some of us are able to support them the way TARC and Merced ARES have supported us so far.

If there are any videos of demonstrations of AREDN to Served Agencies that can be made available,  we'd like to begin 'warming the filament' even before we can establish the critical Mtn Top to Town link and set up a few Demos at several County Offices, the Hospital,  CalFIRE VIP at MMU north of Mariposa, Senior Center, Mariposa FairGrounds, next October's State wide Hospital SET etc.  

Many Thanks in advance
...dan wl7coo


Greetings from Modesto.  I'm sure we were both at the Merced SJV-MESH kickoff meeting that Ken KF6IDK hosted.  I second your call for a SJV sub-forum for our coordination of the San Joaquin Valley Mesh.

I think it's going to be on us to confirm XM or XW as most sellers on Amazon have no technical clue, and the boxes aren't marked in any way that I'm aware of, so short of unboxing and powering up, they won't know.

I'm sure you've see then AREDN Supported Platform Matrix.

The good news is that the NSM5 (non-Loco) is supported for both XM or XW.  Items like the Rocket or NSM9/M2/M3 are going to be touch and go until support is added for the newer XW.  I'm guessing used or more technical dealers will be where we'll need to go to find what we need.  I've got "quote" requests out to and have specified that I need very specific versions, and I'm hoping they'll assist by powering them up and letting me know.  I'll pass on what I hear back here.

Jason de KG6H

WU2S's picture
Central Cal -SJV forum added
Per your request, there is now a Central California - San Joaquin Valley sub-forum for topics of interest to the people and counties in that area.
We're looking forward to hearing about your progress in deploying and using an AREDN mesh network.
All the best,
Randy WU2S
AE6XE's picture
FYI,  this 'XW' issue is only
FYI,  this 'XW' issue is only an issue on 5Ghz.    There's not a concern of getting the wrong hardware when ordering a NanoBridge, AirGrid, Rocket, etc. on 900Mhz, 2Ghz, and 3Ghz for the AREDN supported device list.  There is however, the possibility on all devices of AirOS XW/XM5.6.x that must be downgraded in the AirOS Gui to AirOs XW/XM 5.5.x version first (to avoid bricking the device) before loading AREADN.

WL7COO's picture
Jason: AirLink has proven to be very valuable in combination

with Google Earth Pro.  

It looks like MAARO will be able to learn, test, train and demonstrate AREDN with an investment initially comprised of a single NanoStation on Big Bullion at 33' AGL, a single NanoStation on a Mobile Portable 40' push up mast and several smaller NanoStation go-box kits with parking lot or roof top deployable 10' masts.    

Development goals are focusing on the ability to provide demonstrations of broadband apps between any 2, 3 or 4 County Offices simultaneously.   I suspect that laptop based video conferencing,  even if just between two offices  at a time will be the clincher.  (... is MicroSIP  'heavy' multipoint capable?) 

Investing in only QTH and/or deployable kits that can be temporarily 'deployed' to any  Served Agency site in the County we should be able to effect adequate demonstrations of MESH capability and capacity to encourage eventual access to County or State owned Towers/ radio masts.

I am very fortunate to have a clear air shot at W6BXN on Little Bullion and also to our local W6MPA site on Big Bullion.  Both sites are well within a 22 degree beam width of my tower with clear Fresnel from about 40' up to the top plate at 95'.   Pending establishment of a 'backbone' link of just under 2 miles between these two Mtn Tops, this routing will connect Mariposa and Merced Counties.  

This should be adequate initial infrastructure for testing, training and demonstrating at as many sites simultaneously as the # of go-box kits and participating Amateurs permit.  Every Served Agency Location in the county except for the Fairgrounds, Public Works and the Sewage Treatment Plant but including the Hospital and CalFIRE MMU is located well within a 22 degree beam width from the site on Big Bullion with a NanoStation center focused on one at the Sheriff's Office Downtown.  

The 40' mobile deployable will be used to ground truth suitable locations for similar 3 person deployable Military Surplus 40' Tactical masts or equivalent.

With cautious planning, iterative acquisition and testing and a continuous feedback loop from Served Agencies, I think it is inevitable we'll see an escalating level of interest and support.  Once we've accomplished this I expect  implementing access to the remaining 3 County locations will become very simple. 

How is it going in Modesto?   Are any specific plans gelling for you yet?

I'll try to figure out how we get a 'CA SJV' Regional Forum going here.  
...dan wl7coo

WL7COO's picture
Thank you Joe and Randy, The back story of AREDN emerging in

this 5  + county area is the work done over the last two years by Merced County ARES collaborating with the Turlock Amateur Radio Club (TARC).   Last week at TARC's monthly meeting they voted to fund a 5GHz Rocket and 90 degree sector antenna to be mounted on the TARC repeater  W6BXN site at 4041' ASL at the base of the tower Structure..   This site at 30' AGL provides clear air paths into significant portions of Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Madera and Fresno Counties  and less so to the adjacent 4 or 5 Counties.  The first 'high level' AREDN Node can and probably will be what would be the 'HUB'  were there such a thing in a MESH, of the SJV Section ARDEN 'Big Island'.      

This Turlock Amateur Radio Club (TARC) installation should do a great job in the more or less westerly orientation that will cover the largest number of TARC Member QTHs possible for the Club in a 90 degree slice of northern Merced County and southern Stanislaus County.  

This leaves those of residing in Mariposa, Madera and Fresno counties with a requirement and the motivation to initiate adding our efforts to what Merced County ARES has already spent a couple of years doing.   Each County will be deciding on the development and implementation strategies for our own islands with an eye towards optimizing sharing our planning and iterative testing results.  We're all very happy to make use of already rolling wheels.  

The few of us in Mariposa County appear close to achieving a consensus re: how to optimize and leverage our efforts and expenditures of funds, study and training time by implementing a small local island comprised of a single Nanostation with it's (22?) degree  MIMI beam coverage on the Mt. Bullion at circa 3965 +/- AGL on a club owned  Rohn 25 extended to between 30 & 40'  (with a mast) at the corner of  a former Commercial Broadcasting facility and it's ice bridge to the base of the 400' tower on Bullion.    

Two of us are ready to purchase one or two test radios soonest to confirm our understanding of how we believe this would work so we can encourage several more to make what in the end will be a moderate investment they may not have known they wanted to make as recently as a week or two ago.

I'm ready to begin gaining some hands on experience with both the native Ubiquity software  apps and firmware  flash as well as the ARDEN versions.  
If there are non obvious safe ways or best practices to move back and forth between the two environments now is a very good time to point us at the information.

More details as they become clearer.

Thanks again for everything.
...dan wl7coo 

K6AH's picture

Would you send me an email at my callsign at arrl dot net?

Andre, K6AH
Firmware upgrade steps
I'm ready to begin gaining some hands on experience with both the native Ubiquity software apps and firmware flash as well as the ARDEN versions. If there are non obvious safe ways or best practices to move back and forth between the two environments now is a very good time to point us at the information. Dan,
The Software Upgrade page has great info. I just followed it and had no problems upgrading a NSM5 two weekends ago. The main thing is using the ARDEN U-Boot Test tool and getting a "Good/Good" report first before you put the AREDN software on it. In my case, my NSM5 had "too new" of a AirOS software, so I had to backrev it to an older one. Once I did that, the test tool reported "Good/Good" and then an AREDN software upgrade went off without a hitch.

I have two more NSM5 coming in the next week or so, and would be happy to make a weekend trip to Mariposa to show you what I've learned. I can save one as "factory default" so you can see the process from unboxing.

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