Ubiquity Online Mapping and Equipment
Brett Popovich KG7GDB
Hi Mesh Network Members,
Working at microwave frequencies presents some challenges due to our local geography. We need to predict what happens to our signal if we place a node on a given location. We are considering AREDN MESH software which is compatible with certain Ubiquity radios.
We are currently trying to find sites to deploy 5GHz radios and antennas which have great bandwidth, but are limited by path obstructions. You may wonder if you could deploy a MESH base station or access point at your location. Fortunately, powerful online mapping tools are available for free.
Ubiquity maintains an online webpage to predict the performance of their current model lineup of WiFi routers here: https://link.ui.com/
You need to enter your address, zoom in and place the icon carefully on the map. Next, choose an antenna and radio type. Keep in mind that this site was designed for commercial users, so default values of mounting height are too high for most of us. Click on the icon, and move the height downward to about 3 meters for a portable setup and perhaps 6-7 meters for a rooftop or push up mast. As an example, try using the Rocket M5 ($89) plus a Airmax AM-5G16-120 16 dBi 5GHz ($79) sector antenna which has a broad beam width of 120 degrees for a Point to Multipoint access station. Next, click on the map or search for another site address for your potential link.
Once you view the results (green is good!), keep in mind that trees, and buildings (clutter) aren't modeled by this program, but it will predict your path and signal strength if not blocked. You want to achieve -70 dB or higher for a high speed connection.
If you register for the site, you can save your maps and export them as KMZ files to be viewed in Google Earth or shared with others.
Let the group know if you find a good location with broad coverage!
Here is their page describing the Ubiquity AirMax equipment:
(I have no commercial interest in Ubiquity or other brands, but I appreciate their online resources such as this mapping tool).