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Questions, services and co-location

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W7ADD's picture
Questions, services and co-location
I feel like I spend more time reading this forum than I do the news lately. 

A group of us in the Mesa, AZ area working on building a mesh and have I have a few questions.

Using one node with AREDN software and a switch at a location, can I host a VoIP phone, webcam, and webserver?

Also, is it advisable to locate a directional 2.4Ghz and a omni 2.4Ghz at the same location if not on the same tower? Both on the same frequency.

Thanks for your input,

kg9dw's picture
sure and maybe
Hi Doug. I've been an AREDN junkie for about a year now. I'm pretty sure the AREDN site is one of my highest read sites each day as well. It's a gift and a curse.

Yes, you can host multiple services from one node. You choose the size of the local LAN for the node (1 host, 5 hosts, 13 hosts, or NAT), and so 3 devices is fine. 

As for putting two nodes at the same location on the same wifi channel, that's certainly possible. The better way to have two nodes at the same location communicate to each other via ethernet (DtD linking in AREDN parlance) and have them not on the same wifi channel. For instance, I have KG9DW-BMIETWR-P2P-S on channel 181, then an ethernet connection to KG9DW-BMIETWR-OMNI, and the OMNI is on wifi channel 184. The switch you use should be able to do vlan tagging - while not required, it is the best design. The Netgear switches (search the forum) are good and relatively cheap.

The problem with putting two nodes at the same location on the same RF channel is you'll reduce the overall throughput of your wifi links. 
K6AH's picture
Collocated nodes on the same RF channel

In addition to what Mike, KG9DW, accurately describes, collocated nodes on the same RF channel:

  • tend to hear remote nodes simultaneously and respond simultaneously... clobbering each other on the RF channel in the process;
  • exacerbate the "hidden transmitter" problem by extending the channel coverage into areas the other node(s) couldn't possibly hear.

We have an example in San Diego on the top of a 13-story building.  Three 120 degree Rocket/Sector nodes forming a 360 degree patten on channel -2.  They can be heard across a wide area and it is very difficult to pass traffic across the cluster.  I personally believe they are also responsible for causing routing loops and flaps (a route changes, even doubling back on itself, in the middle of passing a multi-packet message).

I would avoid collocating nodes on the same RF channel.


I'm in Tucson, and I'm running I think 6 services on a single computer. So yeah, you can run all kinds of services.

As for colocation, don't do 2 nodes on the same frequency. However, by all means use 2 antennas on the same freq on the same MIMO node, such as a Rocket.

BTW if you'd like to join our mesh visit You may not be able to hit it directly, and if that's the case, join the Google Group on the site and ask KY7K for tunnel credentials.

Note: a MIMO antenna usually
Note: a MIMO antenna usually comes as a single unit and is generally referred to as a single antenna.
K5DLQ's picture
and... if you have a Rocket..
and... if you have a Rocket... dont put an omni on one port and a yagi on another...  put a MIMO antenna on it.
kg9dw's picture
or two yagis pointed in
or two yagis pointed in different directions. That was not a fun experiment in my early AREDN days....
W7ADD's picture
Thank you all
Thank you all for the input. It has been over 10 years since I did any networking and wireless was not popular with the small and medium office folks in banking.

We are in our first stages of setting up our area and trying to get all the information we can. We have many folks with the Linksys gear that still want to be a part of the system and twice as many forks that are out buying UBNT gear. We have put the cart before the horse in some cases but are starting to come to our senses. 

Again, thanks.

k1ky's picture
Site Planning
And of course you need to analyze exactly what it is that you wish to accomplish.  I've taken a 2-tiered approach.
1. Establish connectivity between my repeater sites using highly directional "backhaul" units on 5.8 Ghz.
2. Establish 120 degree panel installs; usually 5.8 Ghz with "some" 2.5 Ghz maybe one panel.  These would typically be the Rocket models since they have expanded memory capacity and possibly a more powerful proccessor.  These will typically be fore your client units, portable deployable stations, etc.

And yes, all on different frequencies at the tower sites for the most part - or experiment with different bandwidths between 10 Mhz and 20 Mhz in order to keep the noise floor at -95.  As long as you have that - you are usually good to go.  We use Rocket Shields and the Nanostation Mounts from EuroDK to keep the isolation in check as best we can.

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