How to Set Up a Microwave Internet Link Over Distance

Round this time of 12 months some buddies and I often pack up a bunch of our brick-like ham radios, a few unwieldy 30-foot masts, a helium balloon antenna and a few pop-up shade shelters and lug it throughout to a native mountaintop close to our suburban Los Angeles houses.

How to Set Up a Microwave Internet Link Over Distance

We traipse up the baked hillside with this gear every year to carry out a nonstop radio experiment that lasts over a weekend. Its function? To see what number of different fanatical radio-heads we will contact world wide, bouncing indicators off the ionosphere and the like — all off the grid utilizing batteries as a substitute.

One expertise we have lacked — till now — has been helpful Internet up on that scorching hill: wi-fi provider indicators have been spotty.

This 12 months, nevertheless, we have been efficiently experimenting with a point-to-point Ubiquiti Networks bridge product. The founders of Ubiquiti have been behind early Motorola wi-fi Internet merchandise, and Ubiquiti now makes an US$80 antenna that the corporate reckons will bridge a WiFi sign 30 kilometers.

We have been sending the sign about half a mile no drawback.

That is a undertaking that might have value 1000’s of {dollars} to do exactly a few years in the past, however it may possibly now be achieved for lower than $200.

This is how to method the undertaking when you’ve got a comparable utility. Like-minded makes use of may embrace sharing an Internet service between residence and outbuilding and even a residence and workspace over miles.

The key is to get a line-of-sight sign.

Step 1: Get hold of the elements

You’ll need two microwave antennas; some lengthy Ethernet cables; a couple of photographic tripods; a laptop computer; an outdated WiFi Router; and energy.

I like to recommend the
Ubiquiti AirGridM
5 GHz microwave broadband antenna, which is what we used. The radio is built-in within the antenna feed.

Step 2: Survey the appliance by eyeballing the trail that the sign will take

The important thing factor to keep in mind about 5 GHz WiFi is that it is a minuscule wave and is line-of-sight at distances. This equipment will not work when you’ve got a ridgeline in the best way at brief distances, and even tree limbs at lengthy distances. We used a buddy’s residence to provide the Internet as a result of it’s in sight of our mountaintop.

Step 3: Set up the {hardware}

Mount the 2 antennas onto photographic tripods utilizing the antenna-included {hardware}.

Then align the 2 antennas at their potential areas by pointing the antennas at one another. The shorter the gap, the much less correct you want to be.

Tip: For a everlasting set up, use the included {hardware} with optionally obtainable masts.

Step 4: Set up the entry level community (the facet with Internet)

Join the included Energy Over Ethernet injector to a energy supply close to the incoming Internet router. Internet will be provided by a regular home modem or router.

Then join an Ethernet cable from the POE injector to the Ubiquiti entry level antenna, and from the POE injector’s LAN port to a laptop computer with one other one of many Ethernet cables.

Assign a static IP handle to the laptop computer. Use the handle offered by the antenna producer — will probably be within the documentation. Then save the settings, open a browser and navigate to the IP handle offered. The entry level’s dashboard will open.

Enter the Person ID and Password — Ubiquiti’s is all the time “ubnt.” Then open the Wi-fi tab, set the Wi-fi Mode to Entry Level WDS and create a distinctive SSID.

Set the safety to a most popular mode, like WPA2-AES or comparable. Use PSK for authentication. Enter a key.

Then select Bridge from the Community tab and enter the community settings offered within the antenna’s documentation.

Tip: Ubiquiti recommends some point-to-point mode modifications for lengthy distances, like one referred to as No Ack.

Entry these settings within the first tab on the dashboard. The documentation will advise what to use. Don’t fret about this in case your hyperlink is lower than 17 km.

Step 5: Set up the station community (the facet on the distant location)

Observe the identical steps that you just carried out with the entry level, besides that the wi-fi mode needs to be set to Station WDS, not Entry Level WDS. Then lock to the entry level’s SSID that you just arrange earlier.

Step 6: Deploy the entry level

Swap off the incoming Internet modem or router and POE. Then unplug the laptop computer cable and plug that cable into the Internet supplying router. Flip all the things again on once more.

Step 7: Deploy the station

Observe the identical deployment course of as with the entry level besides plug the configuring laptop computer cable into a now nonstatic IP-addressed laptop computer or a configured 2.4 GHz family WiFi router.

Tip: Use an automotive 12-volt battery and inverter to present energy on the distant web site if mandatory.

Step 8: Check

Internet might be obtainable on the laptop computer or WiFi community on the distant location.

Tip: Run the channel selector utility beneath the Instruments menu to discover a clear channel if outcomes are poor. Search for swaths of shade representing air pollution on the waterfall graphic.

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How to Set Up a Microwave Internet Link Over Distance

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