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Ubiquiti PowerBeam PBE-5AC Gen 2

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Ubiquiti PowerBeam PBE-5AC Gen 2

I'm very new to all of this. Have done some reading and wanted to get the ball rolling. I was wondering if the Ubiquiti PowerBeam PBE-5AC Gen2 would be suitable to deploy a AREDN Mesh network with for use on Field Day. I live about 5 miles from my Club's site and could provide internet access via my home's cable modem network for the computers doing the logging.  
          Trying to figure if I configure the PowerBeam at my house to use an IP doled out by my wifi, then ensure the other PowerBeam is using an IP on the same network so when they connect everything will be on the same network. I also realize I'll need something at the Club site to provide a Lan for the computers doing the logging. Also, we have our CW group that operates probably 100 yards away from the rest of us, so trying to figure out how to deploy an IP to them...not sure if wifi at the Club Field day site would make a very good connection for the CW folks. 


The AC chipset in the PBE-5AC Gen2 is not supported. Please view the supported hardware matrix here:

For your application a pair of Power Beam M5-400 or MikroTik LHG would work. Stick with 5Ghz. I assume you have a clean line-of-site with no trees to the field day area?

On site, a pair of Nanostation M5 or MikroTik SXT could provide a link between the site and CW group. You could have either a wired switch or a regular garden variety wi-fi AP for access at each location. If both locations are line-of-site you might also have a dish at each remote end, pointed home. Several ways to do this :)

Back at home, you'll need a way to break out the WAN connection, which goes to your internet source. This can be done with a VLAN capable switch, or a MikroTik hAP ac lite running the AREDN code. The hAP will break out the WAN, LAN, and also provides a PoE port for your dish.



Thanks for the info. Yeah I had checked the compatibility matrix and was still a bit confused. Hence my reason for asking. It's about 5 miles to the site according the the Ubiquiti tool. The tool also states that both ends will need to be 12 meters high....roughly 40 feet and I think that is something we can do. I ran the tool with all kinds of different equipment just to see the results and what kinds of speeds the various equipment would allow.

I'll look at the Nanostation M5's for onsite I think to connect the 2 groups. And good to know about what I'll need to do at home too......definitely a lot more research to do, but know I'll get it done.....

KE2N's picture
ubiquiti tool

Careful with the UBNT tool. It does not consider that trees exist (nor buildings either).  The tool will say everything is fine as long as the fresnel zone does not touch dirt according to the terrain model.  If you (for example) have a stand of 75 foot trees on the high spot between the two nodes, you will have to jack up both ends by 75 feet to get the results predicted by the tool. Partial obstruction of the Fresnel zone will give gradual deterioration of results. But if the center of the beam goes through vegetation, generally that gives zero usable signal on the other side.  You also need to check along the path for man-made structures. 

I did wonder how good the

I did wonder how good the tool is. It is an absolute great tool for a starting point I guess. Short of actually testing I'm not sure how else to see if it'll work. 

KE2N's picture
its a good tool

Just have a look at the satellite picture and see what obstructions are in the path ... recognize that you have to shoot over that stuff.  You would be surprised the number of times my path explorations have hit a multi-story apartment building - or went straight through a water tank.   Of course, east of the Mississippi the US a basically a forest - and trees are the first obstacle most people encounter.


K6CCC's picture
If what you are trying to is

If what you are trying to is get Internet to your field day site, and assuming you already have the Ubiquiti PowerBeam PBE-5AC Gen2, leave them on Part 15 for your Internet link.  Then use with Cat-5 or something like Nano-Stations for your local distribution.

 Yes the goal is to get

 Yes the goal is to get Internet to the Field Day site, but to also hook into the nearby mesh network as well. 

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