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The new kid with lots of ??????

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NH6HI
The new kid with lots of ??????

Aloha from Kauai, Hawaii

This is a new road for me. Not sure if this is posted in the right spot?  I live on an island that is a blank canvas. There is no AREDN network of any kind on the island of Kauai that I am aware of. I run a string of Allstarlink VOIP 2m & 70cm repeaters on Raspberry Pi3's around the perimeter of the island that are linked via the internet and to the rest of the state and the world. I would like to link the repeaters on this rock using the AREDN technology and not have to rely solely on the internet or a lot of high dollar link repeaters.

Having gone through Hurricane Iniki (Sept. 11, 1992), I see things and understand things that those that haven't experienced these kind of events, miss. So with that in mind I have a lot of things going here. I have a Winlink RMS Trimode setup running on 15, 20, and 40 meters with Pactor3, Ardop and VARA HF (No Winmor). I'm also playing with VARA FM on RMS Packet with great results. I understand this can all be tied through AREDN Mesh so it looks to me to be the icing on the cake so to speak.

My problem, I'm not an "IT Brain" but do have friends that are and are willing to get involved. I am a hardware guy and know how to install it. I played with mesh on the WRT54G routers a little and had a tunnel to Oahu for a while but that is the extent of my knowledge and gave it up when I saw it wasn't going to do what I want to do. Enter AREDN!

I was told by one of my friends Jesse, WH6AV  on Maui who is an IT Brain, to pick up the MikroTik hap ac lite. I did and after some issues of not being able to get the AREDN firmware to load with Windoze or linux, I was finally able to after scouring the forum here and using the suggestion of placing a old dinosaur Netgear 10/100 hub between the computer and the MikroTik. I was able to get it to load up and running. So there is now 2 of us in the State of Hawaii, Jesse on Maui and mine on Kauai. Jesse helped me set up a tunnel between me and him.

Well, All the stuff he's connected to is nice but this is not the direction I want to go. It's all fine and good but when the fecal matter strikes the rotating oscillator and the internet goes down, I'm still an island. So what I'm asking is for someone to point me in the right direction and give me a good shove. Since I'm just getting started, What advice would y'all give on the next pieces of gear I need to invest in. I don't want to spend money on stuff I don't need.

Because the towns run around the perimeter of the island and there are inaccessible mountains in the middle, I need to have a plan. I am on the south shore and I need to run east and west to extend coverage. The road ends at the west and north shores. Between them is the Napali coast, also inaccessible. Towns are also separated by mountains so linking them is going to be a challenge.

Sorry for the long dissertation but I wanted to give some perspective of what I'm dealing with. I have a number of hams on the island that have the same vision so it's not like I'm doing this by myself. I see redundancy as a plus and I think once the ball gets rolling that it will run like wild fire.

It's going to be an adventure! All comments appreciated. if you want to take it offline, I'm good on QRZ.com

73 & Aloha,

Jim NH6HI

w6bi
w6bi's picture
For starters...

Sounds like you have a plan, Jim!  For starters, you need to use one of the online tools and see if your sites are line of sight with each other.  That's almost mandatory with this stuff.  If not, you'll have to find sites in-between to set up as relay sites.   We stayed last month at Poipu so I'm aware of the challenges you face.

If you're going strictly point to point, any of the Ubiquiti or Mikrotik dishes will work fine (longer distances need bigger dishes).  In an ideal case you DON'T put them all the same channel; sites A& B go on one channel, then another pair of dishes on a different channel go between B & C.  You get the idea.
And if you expect to have any users within line of sight of any of the sites, plan on implementing one or more sector antennas/radios at each of those sites (on a third channel  :-)  )
How's that for starters?

73
Orv W6BI
 

WU2S
WU2S's picture
Welcome to the Mesh

Welcome to the community, Jim!
I just uploaded a short presentation on installing AREDN firmware using Windows that might help other local hams get started.

AA7AU
AA7AU's picture
Nicely done, Randy! Thank you

Nicely done, Randy! Thank you!

You might want to add this to the several Mikrotik threads here - wish I had this when I did my first three installs on the "Swiis Army Knife of Mesh Networking".

- Don - AA7AU

AA7AU
AA7AU's picture
AllStar over AREDN

Interesting post, good luck, wish I had your Winlink knowledge and experience as that's next on my list to get addressed.

Anyway, I have some experience running AllStar over AREDN and thought I should share. I have a few Pis, loaded with HamVoip and configured with a "public" node# on the first NIC (eth0) which is connected to an internet linked network (standard AllStar stuff). However, each of those PIs can have a second node# and I've used a "private" node# for those. I use a USB-Ethernet adapter plugged into the PI USB and the cable goes to my mesh network. Properly configured, that PI has a separate connection to both the internet and to my mesh, with no worries of digital traffic bridging over the two. But, I then can "bridge" the public and private node AllStar traffic together using either a standard *3 type connect or a "permanent" connect to join the nodes in that PI. Connect to the public node and you're automatically connected into my private node network (only problem is bubble charts don't like it).

The only hassle is you currently still need to manually edit your [nodes] stanza in each PI's rpt.conf for the routing for all private nodes on each of your HamVoip instance (see HamVoip documentation).

Once done, you can even use Supermon from another LAN device to manage/monitor your remote nodes and control the connections as you wish.

If your case, if you wanted you could just use your best public node connection to "bridge" in for the rest of the world (while it still exists) and then connect all the rest of your nodes as permanent private nodes over the 10.0.0.0/8 addressing on your mesh. Remember, it's all just digital packets being routed by networking rules. The secret sauce is just adding that second private node and the second NIC (for mesh) to each PI.

Of course, you need to build at least part of your mesh first - have fun!

Hope this makes some sense,
- Don - AA7AU
 

NH6HI
Mahalo to all for the welcome

Aloha All and Mahalo for all the welcome great comments.

Orv, I was eyeballing the RBLDF-5nD as the price looks pretty good for the gain. I have a few dishes laying around. The biggest is 6 footer but it's not an offset dish. I also have a 130mm one that came off DirecTv. They are bigger here due to the satellite being at 88 degrees give or take. DirecTV is way down on the horizon from here. I might get some pretty good gain out of that. I used to install the Filipino Channel dishes for some of my wife's friends before they sold out to DirecTv and still have a couple 100mm dishes. Just have to find something to point at.

Randy, That was spot on. That is exactly what I did when I finally got it to work for me. I was watching the video from Ray Suelzer and missed the part about the dumb switch. Hope that great right-up will help the next guy. Google was my friend that led me to the forum that someone suggested the dumb switch.

Don, Mahalo for the heads up on the Allstar stuff. I'll keep this in the back of my head for now. You are right, I need to get some the Aredn Mesh going first. Winlink isn't as complicated as you think. I don't know if you ever did packet but but the new VARA FM is amazing. I can send what takes almost 16 minutes on 1200 baud packet in 1.4 minutes on VARA FM 9600 and 2.6 minutes on VARA FM 1200. Unlike FLDIGI, No one needs to be on the other end to receive it. A bunch of ECOM guys in California and Europe are using it with great success. We are implementing it here in Hawaii too. The Winlink development team has included it in RMS Packet and RMS Express.

I just retired last year and now I do what I love.... Play and learn! <GRIN>

Jim NH6HI

AJ6GZ
How far?

Let us know some approximate distances and we can recommended dish size/gain. Wouldn't want you to have to use a 6' dish for something that be done with a 14" one straight out of the box.

NH6HI
Here's an interesting bit of

Here's an interesting bit of information. Hawaiian Telephone had a microwave system to run phone signals in the 5ghz range at Kukuilono Park here in Kalaheo that points to a passive reflector on Mt. Kahili to the east side Lihue main office. Kukuiolono park also looks west to a tower going up the road to Kokee and Waimea Canyon that we have a repeater at. Also on Kalepa Pk. in Lihue there's 2 huge dishes and one that points to Oahu with what looks like 2" hardline that is hooked to waveguides in the site where another of our club repeaters resides. All this gear has been abandon in place. Is there possibilities? Trying to think out of the box here.

We are going to do some experiments with 70cm on low power and a beacon from Kalaheo to the passive reflector and drive around Lihue to see what we can hear. I also found out there were some guys on the east and North shore that were playing with the old the ham mesh system with Ubiqiiti stuff. It kind of fell by the wayside. I'm hoping that what they have is still usable and that we can re-flash it with the new software. I'm putting out an email for a list of what's out there. It's looking good to me! I'm going to snap some lines on Google Earths.

Jim NH6HI
 

K6AH
K6AH's picture
This can be modeled

Jim,

If you can give me the lat/lon for these sites and the dish diameters, I'd be happy to run a path analysis and tell you whether it'll work or not.

Andre, K6AH
<callsign>@arrl.net
 

NH6HI
KMZ files work?


21.976004  -159.369754
21.914433  -159.493331
21.911812  -159.527899

K6AH
K6AH's picture
Well, can I get lat/lon for

Well, can I get lat/lon for the following sites?  And identify which pairs of sites will be linked together.  You will need to be pretty accurate.

  1. Kukuilono Park
  2. Mt. Kahili
  3. Kokee and Waimea Canyon
  4. Kalepa Pk.
  5. Oahu
  6. Kukuilono Park
  7. Mt. Kahili
  8. Kokee and Waimea Canyon
  9. Kalepa Pk.
  10. Oahu
NH6HI
Waimea

Here's the Waimea tower on the way to Kokee where the repeater is.... 22.053079  -159.661530
Jim

KM4TZE
Using the LAT/LON

Jim,
I wish I could help more as I'm over on Oahu, but I am leaving the islands in a couple of months and just had ankle surgery so I won't be mobile anytime soon. So I hope that this helps you out some. I looked at the locations you provided and I think all of them would work out, except one. This one station could be switched with one at the KARC tower in the below photo.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=12wUi4FAj0RS1IjJThb3_TmlUAbbHpoJH
The overall link would look like this.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Tuy4yANQQIHDdSJRbDaXpgsy2PJtKaJd
The three link strengths are in the below pictures. The only concerning part it the required device height on the one at  22.053079  -159.661530. All the sites would use 5 GHz Powerbeam.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RPCS7QWeCNfBgkvStUCYPsKFCnxtBa6a
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FwspWUVVub3dLeoXmrv71g15FjhNF-ix
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Dzql1XXW_JhepAzIoc4MyvUE3ehBvYFc
If this placement does not work for you then reach back out or try plugging them in at this site. https://link.ui.com/#
Ray


 

NH6HI
The red one is my house

I ran a ruler line on google earth from my house to Kahili and nothing is in the way. (This snapshot you took. The red circle is my house) https://drive.google.com/open?id=12wUi4FAj0RS1IjJThb3_TmlUAbbHpoJH 
We have to go up there soon as the plan is to take the repeater down. This is a helicopter ride $$$$ but there is a trail that goes up there. Some serious offroading! So in this case what should I be looking at? Something  like a Bullet with an omni on 2.4ghz and a 5.8ghz directional to and from Kahili to Lihue at 5.8ghz to  21.977416°  -159.367892 ? Any suggested devices?

Jim

 

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
FWIW, the Bullet is a single

FWIW, the Bullet is a single chain device.  Stay away from those.   You *REALLY* want a dual-chain (MIMO) device.   (ie. Nanostation, Rocket, Basebox, LHG, LDF, etc)

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
Stick with MIMO devices

Jim,
I'm just throwing out free advice from a telecom engineer (my day job). We have found that the 2x2 MIMO devices have higher and much more reliable throughput - especially in urban or mountainous areas, or in areas where there are bodies of water. 
Bullets with small antennas are great for tactical/temporary setups and running out of a backpack, but if you're installing something I recommend a BaseBox 2 or a Rocket M2 with a large omni from Altelix for 2.4GHz, and on 5GHz I would use one of the many available 2x2 MIMO dishes (Rocket Dish 30 with BaseBox 5 or Rocket M5 or if it is a shorter link use the 'cheap but amazing' RBLHG-5HPnD-XL).
I always prefer the MikroTik equipment, especially the BaseBox as it has a full Watt of power, USB port, and an internal Mini-PCIe slot for a myriad of future stuff (C2 via a LoRa module, LTE modem, etc.).

-Damon K9CQB

NH6HI
Altelix for 2.4GHz

Aloha Damon,
I'm just wondering since I'm just starting out with nothing to point at, I'm thinking that I'm going to pick up 2 BaseBox 2 units, 1 for the house and 1 for my van to do some testing with. Which Altelix for 2.4GHz antenna do you you recommend? I see there is 12 & 15dbi models or is there something else?  
Jim NH6HI
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Altelix-2-4-GHz-15dBi-MIMO-Omni-Antenna-for-Cam...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Altelix-2-4-GHz-12dBi-MIMO-Omni-Antenna-for-Cam...

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
You are correct on the 2 Omni's

Jim,
I'd get the 15dBi antenna - even on a vehicle (unless your shooting 30 degrees up to a hill with the other Omni). When I mentioned the 17dbi Altelix antenna I was confusing the dBi with this panel antenna (which I own, but only for a very specific purpose):
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Altelix-2-4-GHz-17-dBi-90-Degree-Dual-Pol-2x-MIMO-WiFi-Sector-Sectorial-Antenna/153228473378

By the way: if you're looking for a good 2.4GHz panel antenna I've found this one is my favorite, because it has a 120 degree beamwidth (instead of only 90 like above) and you only sacrifice 1dB for that extra beamwidth:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Altelix-2-4-GHz-16-dBi-120-Degree-Dual-Pol-2x-MIMO-WiFi-Sector-Sectorial-Antenna/153228466239

Back on point: I think the BaseBox 2 with Omni antennas  (the 15dB one is the best value) is the way to go for what we call 'edge nodes' (as opposed to core nodes). That brings up the 2.4GHz vs 5GHz issue. We've been using 2.4GHz for 3 reasons here in Virginia:

1. Edge nodes - to provide service to local, short distance areas to a community via a 120-panel or omni (usually delivered via 5GHz core nodes).
2. Point to Point dishes/panels - used in our core network in conjunction with 5GHz (and future 3GHz) on a tower or building where we have multiple core network nodes and we've run out of 5GHz channels and we decide to shoot a link using 2.4GHz due to the lack of noise level in that direction (usually a rural direction).
3. Early adopters - we have many of our founders that started on 2.4GHz equipment (and still on it) and we will do our best to make sure these guys are taken care of.

Other than that I recommend setting up a core network of all 5GHz equipment due to SNR and the incredible distances we are able to achieve with such cheap equipment. 

-Damon K9CQB
 

NH6HI
great overview

Damon,
I'm kind of in the same situation you were even though I'm starting fresh. The guys with the older gear aren't going to be real excited to run out and sink a lot of money into new gear when they have stuff already. I'm thinking I need to start in the same ballpark they're playing in while using the newer updated gear and simultaneously putting up the 5ghz gear as the opportunity presents itself.

The prices of the gear are fairly reasonable like the 30 degree directional you sent the link for but go down to the shipping tab and put in my zip code of 96741. Be sure that you are sitting down. I have a freight forwarder I use but to make it worthwhile, I need to ship a lot of stuff.

I'm I'm at almost 1100' above sea level and some locations are at sea level. If you look at my location on the South side of the island, everyone within line of sight is below me at about a 90 degrees in the azmuth. Is an Omni or a directional a better choice?

Jim NH6HI

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
Multiple panels may be better than an Omni

Jim,
You're in a tight spot. That 15dBi Omni doesn't have much vertical beamwidth (8 degrees) and the 12dBi version only has 12 degrees of vertical beamwidth. Anything else would not have the gain to connect solidly on 2.4GHz over kilometers of terrain.
You might want to take a look at using a 2.4GHz panel with 120 degree horizontal beamwidth and point it in the direction of the most users on channel minus 2. That Altelix panel has a mechanical down-tilt capability that works perfect in your situation. 
Then consider using two similar 5GHz 120 degree panel antennas providing coverage to the other two thirds of the compass. One node could be on channel 184 at 10MHz bandwidth, the other node on channel 180 at 20MHz bandwidth (just suggestions). I'll bet the folks who are in the coverage area of the 5GHz panels may not like it, but they'll have to use 5GHz directional nodes. But the good news is that MikroTik has some really cheap 5GHz MIMO devices (LDF-5, LHG-5, etc.) that can be had for less than $40-65 new and $35-55 used. 

- Damon K9CQB

NH6HI
Is this what you are suggesting?

Aloha Damon,
Basically, I have a mountain to my back so 2 of either one of these would cover the line of sight for me. Just wondering if the hardware is all stainless steel. This place is hell on steel unless it is the old time really heavy galvanized. I like the looks of the  LHG-5. Mostly non-corrosive. I'm running into a big problem with shipping costs. I can get 2 of the RBLHG-5nD for $115.30 and free shipping, Something I should consider?  It looks like everyone else is looking at $29 or more for shipping.

The items below they want as much to ship as the cost of the item. Guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet so to speak. I emailed them to see if they can ship USPS rather than FedEx or UPS.

http://www.altelix.com/2-4-GHz-Ubiquiti-120-Degree-Antenna-Kit-p/as24g16...
http://www.altelix.com/5-GHz-Ubiquiti-Mimosa-120-Degree-Antenna-Kit-p/as...

 



This is my only beef about living in paradise. Shipping sucks!

Jim NH6HI
 

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
I love the LHG-5nD

Jim,
I love the RBLHG-5nD and the ​RBLHG-5HPnD even more (higher power). Both of these can be ordered with the larger dish '-XL' version if you need more directionality.

-Damon K9CQB

NH6HI
I pulled the trigger

Pulled the trigger on 2 Mikrotik LHG 5 Light Head Grid 5 GHz, Integrated Dual Polarization 24.5 dBi Grid Antenna - US Version. I also bought the LDF 5 as I have a couple of Satellite dishes and wanted to play with on the passive reflector on the mountain. Still looking for a reasonable shipping price on the BaseBox 5 and antennas. It looks like I'm just going to experiment with 5ghz for now. 
I really appreciate the suggestions. I plan on doing some driving around and seeing what works and what doesn't. I believe none of the purchases so far will be a waste.

Aloha Jim NH6hi

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
Just wait till the LHG 2 and LDF 2 are AREDN capable

Those MikroTik LHG and LDF devices are really light, cheap, easy to ship and easy to deploy/install. The 2.4GHz versions all share the same board. Once the LDF 2 or LHG 2 are cracked, we'll have those as an option as well - and it will be great.

-Damon K9CQB

NH6HI
Update on testing the passive reflector

Monday we set up a 900mhz FM radio to test the passive reflector on Mt Kahili. With a half watt and a 13 element vertical polarized yagi we were able to find the sweet spot in Lihue. I was driving around in my van with a receiver and a 3dbi vertical antenna. The right vertical line in the picture is where we were actually transmitting from. The lower horizontal line is the path we plotted with the mobile van and the last, about 2 miles was where we were able to pick up signal full quieting.The left vertical line in the picture and the center horizontal line is the original path of the Hawaiian Tel system. The top horizontal line is an old existing 2.4ghz HSMM node that we are shooting for. It is about 100 yards from the Hawaiian Tel building. When my 5ghz LGH's & LDF arrive, We're going to the original Kukuiolono Hawaiian Tel site and try the test again and shoot for the top line in the picture. Hope it works! This is too much fun!

Jim NH6HI

Image Attachments: 
AJ6GZ
Paths

Download yourself Google Earth Pro for desktop and use the 3D path tool. There is no lidar data in it for Kauai so bulidings and trees will be flat, but you can at least see hills and terrain that might be in the way. See what paths you have. The common recommendations for point to point links are 5Ghz or 3Ghz with dual polarity (MIMO) dishes or panels to and from or between the mountaintop sites. These links would comprise the backbone of the sytem and should not have users connected to them. Then, a 5GHz sector on a different channel can be used for client access. 2Ghz is really best for shorter distance distribution and remember there is only 1 10Mhz channel to work with. Given the size of Kauai you should be able to accomplish most links with a PowerBeam 400 (not AC model, that's not supported), MikroTik QRT, or Rocket or Basebox with a suitable ~24dB dish or panel. As far as Oahu that's a long shot, literally, which is why you see the giant telco dish! If you have access to it and a real dish on the other end not a passive reflector it would be worth a try. It might even still be aligned! It's probably non-MIMO if it is old and abandoned so that would be a huge limitation as others have noted. I have not seen a lot of data here for long distance over-water shots so that would be valuable info (think Catalina Island for us SoCal people!).

NH6HI
Mahalo for all the great advice

Ah.. Catalina Island. 26 miles across the sea.... About 1/4 the distance to Oahu. Yes, I have Google Earth Pro. Didn't know about 3D path tool. I'll be checking it out. I usually snap a line using RULER and then click SHOW ELEVATION PROFILE. I want to thank everyone for the item specific recommendations and the descriptions. Now I can start spending my money Wisely... Just wondering, Kauai is the "Wettest place on earth".  Mount Waiʻaleʻale gets 450" of rain a year. I get about 80+ inches at my house. I'm wondering about rain fade. Having had satellite TV, I know when it was going to rain before it gets to me. I'm guessing I need to look at devices with the highest gain to assure a solid as possible signal. Wind is an issue too! Is the Mikrotik LHG 5 Light Head Grid 5 GHz or
MikroTik LHG XL HP5 a good choice?

Ron, WH6TR for reference.. It's a 6' chainlink fence.

Jim NH6HI
 

Image Attachments: 
K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
Can you repurpose that dish?

Jim,
Are you allowed to repurpose that huge dish? It appears to be an old single feed PCM antenna of some unknown frequency. If you were allowed, you could easily pop off the cover and replace the feed horn with this 5GHz 2x2 MIMO version for $57 from ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-polarity-feed-horn-antenna-WiFi-5-GHz-for-parabolic-dish-reflector/233113664742 

This feed horn may be of higher quality, it just mounts to the rear, not to the front (use PVC pipe extension maybe). It's almost $120, but probably better:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/FEED-HORN-DISH-5-GHZ-34-dBi-Gain-MIMO/222942557709

You may have to fabricate your own adapter from PVC pipe and angle bracket to put either of these in the same parabolic focal point as the old feed horn. Just eyeball it the best you can, then adjust it once on the air when you can get SNR readings. I'd run the coax out the back via the same hole the old giant coax ran through and connect your BaseBox 5 there on the back.

FYI for rain fade: with 5GHz MIMO you won't see much noticeable rain fade. I have seen reduced SNR during rain when using single polarized devices (SISO node), but I attributed that to the rain getting the foliage and buildings wet and causing more multi-path that SISO devices can't mitigate. If you stick with MIMO equipment that will be negligible.

-Damon K9CQB

 

NH6HI
Big dish

Not sure how I'd get up there to work on them. They aren't going anywhere. Hawaiian Tel is still paying rent on them from what I understand and they'd need to get a crane up there and the road isn't that great. I have been told they are in the 5ghz range but next time I get up there, I'll look at the racks and see if there's any writing on them. You can't see in the front as there's a cover like a drum head over them and a lot of bolts holding it on.

Jim NH6HI
 

NH6HI
Hawaii repeater map from WH6CTX

Here's a map from a Kauai Boy on Oahu. This is an interactive map on a smart phone if you have the GPS turned on. It will show all the repeaters close to you and if you click on it, it will tell you the Freq,Pl and what it's linked to You can zoom in on the island of Kauai and see the repeaters and it's up to date. There's 2 systems. The Allstarlink system that goes throughout the state and mainland and the Kauai Amateur Radio Club Kauai only linked repeaters.  Jim

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yzLw8DZxYvQRL4lJKmA-KGpMn3aH4Ch_&usp=sharing

KL5T
Hawaii and Alaska

Hi Jim,

I've installed our AREDN neteork bere in Anchorage. I've taled to mord than one person in Hawaii thinking about mesh. It is the way to go. Wish I were there to help.

Feel free to give me a shout if you want to talk.

73,

Kent, KL5T 907.632.3963

NH6HI
Mahalo Kent

I just may take you up on the offer. You are 1 hour ahead of me so not too bad.
Aloha Jim

KM4TZE
Kauai - Oahu Link

This can be set up to pass data through to Oahu, I'm assuming similar to the DtD, by using the 11 GHz links to connect the islands. This isn't cheap at about 2k for both nodes. See the below image for tentative placement. It north shore location could be moved around as you have a couple of choices.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=101Xw1AzXnqJ52Jl3oxNohv5ssa91kPJD
Ray

NH6HI
Looks like a plan!

Aloha Ray,
Mahalo for sharing that. It might not be too big of a deal if we split the costs. Since we are at the top of the chain and the Big Island on the bottom, We'll both get off easy. Oahu and Maui will have to pay double to connect to each other and the ends. 
Jim NH6HI

KM4TZE
Jim,

Jim,
Not sure if you saw the response above, but it's not going to be possible to work on this project together. I wish I had a few more years on the island so we could could figure it out. Either way I hope the other nodes placements I recommend work out. 
Ray KM4TZE

NH6HI
Ray,

Ray,
I guess my response didn't come across the way I meant. I was referring to the folks on the other islands in the chain, Not you. That would be very presumptive on my part. If they want to get on the bus, they're going to have to pay the fare so to speak. I'll be thrilled to pick your brain when mine fails to function in a rational fashion though. 
73 & aloha,
Jim NH6HI

KM4TZE
My apologies for the miss

My apologies for the miss understanding. It would be nice to have a backhaul that connected the chain, and comparatively speaking it will definitively be the most cost-effective when judged on data rates. I think that will come when you have proven your network on Kauai. Good luck and let me know if I can help.
Ray KM4TZE

NH6HI
Next step for me?

So once I get the RBLHG-5nD then from what I've been reading, I use the files below to flash the firmware just like I did with the hAP AC Lite? Is this correct

aredn-853-94816c4-mikrotik-vmlinux-initramfs.elf

aredn-853-94816c4-mikrotik-rb-nor-flash-16M-sysupgrade.bin

nc8q
nc8q's picture
Next step for me?

Hi, Jim:

Unless there is some specific feature you want in that Nightly Build,
I recommend the current Stable:
aredn-3.19.3.0-mikrotik-vmlinux-initramfs.elf
aredn-3.19.3.0-mikrotik-rb-nor-flash-16M-sysupgrade.bin
found here:
http://downloads.arednmesh.org/firmware/ubnt/html/stable.html

3s, Chuck

NH6HI
Mahalo Chuck.

These are linux only files. I'm a little slow in linux. The one on the nightly build can do either linux or windoze. I did my MikroTik  hAP AC Lite from the windoze procedure in the nightly build. Is this going to come back and bite me in butt?
Jim NH6HI

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
the files are just files.  

the files are just files.   the only thing that is OS specific is the procedure.
 

NH6HI
1 more question... Cable?

For sure outdoor rated.... Cat5 or Cat6? In high rf environments on towers, un-shielded or Shielded?
Jim NH6HI

AA7AU
AA7AU's picture
Ubiquiti Tough Cable, comes

Ubiquiti Tough Cable, comes in Pro and Carrier: https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=ubiquiti+tough+cable. Approx $135/1000' for Pro right now, varies. Choose your tthird-party seller well.

- Don - AA7AU

k1ky
k1ky's picture
Outdoor cable

Shielded - high quality Ubiquiti Tough Cable Carrier - runs about 178.00 per 1000' plus get their connectors.
I do have some "cheap" shielded CAT5 that I bought off e-bay 1000' for around $55.00 that has served for over 4 years, but some of it started failing after less than 1 year.  Leaks water like a seive - I suspect damage from tower climbers, so the "tougher the better".

NH6HI
5ghz ham band omni

I'm looking at this omni antenna to put on my van to do testing with using a BaseBox5.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Altelix-5-GHz-11dB-MIMO-Omni-Antenna-for-Cambiu...

Seems like they only do 5150-5850 MHz. Just wondering about 5855 to 5915? I don't have any equipment to measure SWR at 5ghz to start with so just taking the manufactures word that it's really resonant at the published frequencies. Antenna is everything. Suggestions appreciated.

Jim NH6HI

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
That Alelix Omni goes to 5960MHz at least

I spoke with the folks at Altelix in Florida and they said they only spec'ed it to 5850MHz because that's the highest typical users go. He said it will go almost to 6GHz with close to the same properties before it drops off.
We only tested it to 5950MHz and it seems to have very little difference from 5850MHz.
In our area we have many of the Altelix antennas (Omni, Dish, and Panel) up on 5900MHz (Channel 180) without any issues at all.

-Damon K9CQB

NH6HI
Mahalo

Damon, Thanks for the info. I guess I'm going to have to call them and workout the shipping to Hawaii. Typically more than the antenna costs.
Jim

NH6HI
BaseBox 5 and Altelex omni kicking my okole!

I just bought 4 MikroTik BaseBox 5's, 1 Altelex 13dbi omni (AU5G13M2-PRO) and 2 120 degree DP Sector antennas (AS5158G16B120M2-KU ) ... Got more ????? Went to the software page and downloaded the proper files for flashing. Re-read the flashing procedure and flashed the unit and updated callsign etc. without a problem so far. See attached screen shots. Notice the first one the there's no Signal/Noise/Ratio and this node sees nothing unless they are all plugged into the same switch.

I re-flashed and re-downloaded the files with the samo results. Decided to try the nightly build in final desperation with the same results. Busted out a second BaseBox 5 and gev'er another bloody go. Same results. So now the only thing left is the omni antenna. It happens, and usually to me as I have to pay extra to get stuff to and from Hawaii. Guess I'll have to bust out one of the 120 degree sector antennas.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm open. I was going to post this to the hardware part of the forum in a new thread but it wouldn't let me post .png screen shots for some reason.

Jim NH6HI

Image Attachments: 
nc8q
nc8q's picture
I just bought 4 MikroTik BaseBox 5s

Hi, Jim:

I have read your note several times and seems you recently bought 4 BaseBox5 nodes and 3 antennas.
It seems you flashed one node.
Did you load AREDN firmware on all 4 BaseBox nodes?
It seems the 'first' node is deaf.
Is it also 'dumb'?
Are any of the other 3 BB5 nodes hearing the 'first' node?
Ensure that the channel and bandwidth is identical on nodes being tested.
You also own 2 LDF 5GHz nodes?
Do any of your LDF 5s hear this 'first' node?
Perhaps do not use a switch during the testing.
How well do the rest of the nodes get along?

Hope this helps.

Chuck

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
SSID must be that same on all

SSID must be that same on all node too if you want them to mesh....

NH6HI
Same thing with the 120 Degree

Swapped antennas thinking the Omni was not good but no joy with the 120 degree sector antenna. What did I do wrong?
Jim NH6HI

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