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Tracy to Mt Oso

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Tracy to Mt Oso

I have a large supply of Direct and Dish TV dishes and a smaller supply of Hughes Sat Net dishes.

I need to make a 13.5 direct clear line of sight hop to Mt Oso from Tracy.
the possibility of a 27-mile hop to the NZ6Q QTH in Stockton, CA?

I was thinking that a MikroTik device like the LDF 5 (International). Would that work well with the already installed but unused l Hughes Sat net dish at I have read were these devices offer up to. 35+db. Is this a workable plan?

The future? Possible access to Gopher Ridge site, Large tower east of Copperopolis, Ca the tower is at 1550 feet. This should cover most of Stockton and Lodi Ca.

Any comments hints or suggestions. The end vision is to offer an integrated backbone between SJC-OES, Stanislaus, and Mariposa (points south?) counties. There does exist a possibility of reaching Cal-OES. I suspect that will require one more mountain top (2 additional hops).

That's the next pipe dream.

Does this plan work/play well with existing Arden plans.

I am fairly new to this type of networking so forgive my mistakes. This idea has piqued my curiosity since listening to a presentation at Q-Fest 4 years ago.

There exists a Packet Node on Gopher ridge which covers Tracy, Stockton, Lodi, and Galt. which belongs to Ron, (N6GKJ).

Bob, N6TCE-  

w6bi's picture

Bob, I had always heard that an LDF 5 (9 dBI gain) at the feedpoint of a satellite dish (~25 dBi gain at 5 GHz [?] ) would yield above 30 dBi.
That amount of gain (while resulting in very narrow beamwidths), should be more than enough for both paths, if they are true line of sight.

Hope that helps.

Orv W6BI

MikroTik with a dish 30+dB gain


The MikroTik's website states 35dB of gain with a 30cm dish. I was hoping for someone with actual experience. 

I can see the caretaker's headlights when he drives around the massive repeater site at night. and I been on the tower at one of the sites at 20 feet and can see the light in my shacks window.

Bob, N6TCE

nc8q's picture
13.5 mile link, 27 mile link

I need to make a 13.5 direct clear line of sight hop to Mt Oso from Tracy.
the possibility of a 27-mile hop to the NZ6Q QTH in Stockton, CA?

Hi, Bob:

I have a 13.5 mile near line of sight link with a pair of Mikrotik LHG-HP5-XL devices which average over 100 TxMbps.
This link is stable even at 10 dBm at each end.

Attached is a link profile including the 1st fresnel zone.
Your description indicates, to me, that your path is more clear.

I cannot find the information now, but there is a chart that indicates that at around 27 miles you man need to choose 10 or 5 MHz bandwidth.

Image of my profile attached. (Source:

I hope this helps,

Image Attachments: 
Thank you Chuck. this is the

Thank you Chuck. this is the info I and our Ares Section Tech expert is needed. 
eventually, we want to link and extend the ARES ARDEN MESH net northward. we have a nice location with a clear shot east of Stockton between Mt Oso and our site on MT Oso.  We should cover all of San Joaquin Co.   

We sourced the devices at a good price. The dishes and mounts are free.

nc8q's picture
The dishes and mounts are free.

That is what the LDF devices are meant to do.
Note that you will likely need to point the dishes downward (?~22 degrees?)
as they were orginally pointing at a satellite 22,900 miles above the equatorial plane.
Now they will need to point at the horizon...more or less.


kj6dzb's picture
I know that the temptation to

I know that the temptation to use direct-tv dishes looks attractive! It dose work BUT Its not the best option that you have! The advantage to using antennas with known radiation patterns and frequency response characteristics, is that you KNOW! going for as much link margin between sites is key, because not only with there be external factors like: line of site, height above ground, obstructed fresnel zone, and the free space path loss between the sites. Im going to tell you from experience that the free space path loss over DX microwave links will shift from time to time, and its out our control except to expect it, with as much gain as possible from the antenna. By achieving the a very high link margin with antenna gain dbi and transmit power dbm the free space path loss will be minimal between site 1 and site 2, this will alow the odfm modulation to run at the maximum allowable data rate. Maximum allowable data rate!  line of site, height above ground, obstructed fresnel zone all effect this. It's very important to minimize this loss with directional high gain antennas. Ive bean able to open the channel bandwidth up from 10mhz to 20mhz that increased the data rate of the link. 

---Comments I made to another local ham about using dishes with a nano station--------

your using a reflector that's designed for a 11ghz signal, and a "narrow horn".  Dish feed horns are designed to have a narrow beam ~30deg or less. So a horn is placed at the feed point of a "parabolic dish" the over all horn and reflector system produces a narrow beam field. Using a dish designed for a 11ghz horn isnt going to produce the same radiation pattern, with a 5ghz NanoStation (~60deg radiation pattern) mounted on the front. It interesting to hear that the NS and dish are producing a beam pattern like that. With that said ive torn apart a few dead NSm5, NSm2, NS Loco M5, NSm3, and Nanobridge M3. The NSm3 and NanobridgeM3 have a interesting variation in the NS shell. The NS have 2 "elements" on there PCB antenna. The Nanobridge M3 and NSm3 are have the same size case and pcb but the lacks the second element! Why you ask? because the Nanobridge M3 is designed to be paired with a parabolic reflector! it likely produces narrower beam that's suited to be paired with a reflector.[…]e=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCOjg8pH1le8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ
I dont know any thing about the vector your trying to build a link between. Im willing to take a look at the details, and suggest a solution. If you think it could help.

73 Mathison kj6dzb 
Technical Specialist (mesh) ARRL East Bay Section

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