Long range Wi-Fi for remote location



  • I am hoping someone can help me get a start on what may actually end up being impossible. There are so many complications with doing something of this nature but I will give it a go anyway.

    I have moved my home office to a more rural location . My previous office space supplied a 175/175 fibre connection and now I have a wireless 'rural broadband' connection that offers 1/500kbit . I cannot work from home with this speed but was forced to leave my previous location.

    I have called every single ISP in my area and none of them can do anything for me . The best I can come up with is setting up a point-to-point wireless solution dedicated to my office ( just me ). I live in a valley and 100 meters behind my house is a hill that overlooks the entire valley.

    My question is this :

    Without taking into account legality ( Canadian laws ) , is it possible for me to do such a thing? I am about 2 - 3 KM from the nearest cable/fibre line. I do not need anything above 10/5 . Ive looked around and have seen several long range Wi-Fi towers but before making a purchase and dealing with possible legal issues id like to know how one would go about such a thing

    Thanks



  • what legal issue's ?
    the various 2.4 & 5 GHz channels should be respected in relation to the country you live in. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels)
    every country has a max allowed dBm rating. (100mW in belgium & netherlands for example). You'd need to calculate your max allowed dBm/milliwatt for your setup, then buy whatever equipement is needed to get close to that maximum.

    around 50-150 Mbit should be easily achievable with some ubiquiti nanostations in a point-to-point setup for your required distance. (they cost around $150 / p)



  • Well the real issue will be finding a place to actually put the transmitter . I need to contact someone who is willing to let me put this on their property since I don't think I am allowed to put it on an existing pole.

    Thanks a lot for your help , now I can at least look in the right places for what is needed.



  • I would suggest 2 5ghz nanobeams if you have optical view from the two points



  • +1 for Ubiquiti wireless. But I personally would maybe go with a nanostaion M5 the nano beams can be more difficult to align unless you have good line of sight but you would get good throughput on a nanobeam.

    This is one of our links it is approx 3 kilometers with fairly good line of sight some low trees in the way and it wasn't aligned by professionals.

    We have a few M5 links around the site they have been very reliable, that one has been up for about two or three years. Note the up time is only 39 days due to a black out we had.

    This is the product we are using:

    http://www.ubiquitishop.com.au/226_32_loco_m5.product

    It has a fairly wide beam angle/radiation pattern so it's fairly forgiving in terms of lining it up. Just work out some compass bearings if you can't see that far line of sight and then once you get a bridged connection just fine tune it to the strongest signal. You shouldn't need a license to set these up.

    They are powered via power over Ethernet, you don't have to run power which is great so an amateur can set this up. They are also small and don't look bad on a house/building.

    The other option is a nanobeam M5 which is newer but has a more concentrated beam width so you have to be more precise with alignment but would probably get much better throughput.

    http://www.ubnt.com/airmax#nanobeam

    As you can see we get approx 50mbps througput with the older (cheaper) M5 Nanostation. This will easily max out your wan connection. But if you want to access your work network too then you might want a faster throughput from the nanobeam, but I'm not sure what you'd get, up to 150mbps but I haven't ever used one so not sure.

    There are tons of videos on youtube about using them they are easy to install and easy to configure and Ubnt are very good in terms of firmware update, the webgui is awesome.



  • Yeah  +1 for ubiquiti here too.
    They are rock solid.

    Andyroo54 you mean that a person NEADS a license
    from the government or something ? In your part of the world?


  • Netgate Administrator

    I think he was just referring to not having to run 240V power cabling to power the remote end, use PoE instead, which should be installed by someone who at least has the ability/equipment to test it correctly. Here in the UK an external 240V cable run like that would need to be signed off/certified by a qualified electrician.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    I think he was just referring to not having to run 240V power cabling to power the remote end, use PoE instead, which should be installed by someone who at least has the ability/equipment to test it correctly. Here in the UK an external 240V cable run like that would need to be signed off/certified by a qualified electrician.

    Steve

    Yes Steve is correct, I meant you don't have to be a licensed electrician because you don't need to run 110/240v power.

    In Australia if you terminate CAT5 then you have to be a licensed cable installer, most electricians are. But for example, at home, I just ran a CAT5 cable through my roof but I didn't terminate it, it just runs straight to the nanostation so this is no different to patching in a computer to a router.

    So to be clear, you don't need any radio licenses to run this ubiquity radio gear, at least in Australia anyway, because it is all on 2.4 or 5GHz spectrum and it is not against the law. I would however suggest you try and use the 5GHz range because you will get less interference from 2.4GHz devices.

    Also it won't interfere with existing radio equipment most probably anyway as all the older more serious wireless gear will operatre in a licensed spectrum which is different to 2.4 or 5GHz. In other words you could safely mount it on existing radio masts like you mentioned.

    Thanks,


  • Netgate Administrator

    @andyroo54:

    In Australia if you terminate CAT5 then you have to be a licensed cable installer.

    Really? In your own home? On your own network?
    Surprisingly regulated. Interesting how things vary between countries.

    Steve



  • Wow!! I guess then that I would be doing 25 to life with the installations I've done so far…



  • @stephenw10:

    @andyroo54:

    In Australia if you terminate CAT5 then you have to be a licensed cable installer.

    Really? In your own home? On your own network?
    Surprisingly regulated. Interesting how things vary between countries.

    Steve

    Yeah  it sucks. I did the cat 5 cabling in my house though. But because I used cheap ebay cat5 I only get 100mbps not 1000mbps which really sucks.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ouch! I must have just been lucky because I've never spend much on cat5 cable and never had any problems getting 1000Mbps. Of course that's once it was terminated correctly, very easy to get one wire not connected and then the connection will fall back to 100Mbps.
    I must remember that if I'm ever back in Australia. Last time I was there I..er.. didn't know that. ;)

    Steve



  • There are limits to the max. EIRP in australia:
    General:
    http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/licensees/types-of-licence/general-user-licences/short-range-devices/information-on-the-operation-of-wireless-lan-and-related-systems-in-the-2-ghz-and-5-ghz-bands

    2.4GHz:
    http://archive.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_1794

    5GHz:
    http://acma.gov.au/webwr/radcomm/frequency_planning/spps/0001spp.pdf
    pages 12, 13 and 14

    I find the regulatory documents for 2.4 GHz quite confusing….
    Apparently the rules in australia are closed tied to the FCC rules.
    http://www.air802.com/fcc-rules-and-regulations.html
    I think it's safe to use the values provided by this page.



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    There are limits to the max. EIRP in australia:
    General:
    http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/licensees/types-of-licence/general-user-licences/short-range-devices/information-on-the-operation-of-wireless-lan-and-related-systems-in-the-2-ghz-and-5-ghz-bands

    2.4GHz:
    http://archive.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_1794

    5GHz:
    http://acma.gov.au/webwr/radcomm/frequency_planning/spps/0001spp.pdf
    pages 12, 13 and 14

    I find the regulatory documents for 2.4 GHz quite confusing….
    Apparently the rules in australia are closed tied to the FCC rules.
    http://www.air802.com/fcc-rules-and-regulations.html
    I think it's safe to use the values provided by this page.

    You have to choose which country you are in and the radio will then not allow you to exceed the maximum transmit power for your country. You can easily just change countries, I think Russia is the least regulated. But whatever the limit is in Australia it's plenty powerful enough.



  • 7 years ago I did this with normal AP from d-link at fixed speed 54mbit but using 100mw But 21 DBI antennas (not legal) and a clear view. 4km and I hade around 30-40mbit up and down in bridge mode.

    Now I hade 1/1Gbit fiber last 6 years :)


  • Netgate Administrator

    That's a good result. I struggled to get much of anything with domestic hardware but external antennas over a much shorter distance (~300m). That was maybe 12years ago now. I'm sure I could do better now but with near universal internet access at reasonable cost it's no longer worth bothering.  ::)

    Steve



  • @andyroo54:

    You have to choose which country you are in and the radio will then not allow you to exceed the maximum transmit power for your country. You can easily just change countries, I think Russia is the least regulated. But whatever the limit is in Australia it's plenty powerful enough.

    The country itself is not enough.
    There are several layers of "protection" to prevent the user from doing illegal stuff.
    The most basic is the hardware itself.
    The second layer comes from eeprom/driver. Most vendors default to US. There was just a nice rant by luis r rodriguez on the linux wireless mailing list today: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel.wireless.general/124643
    On top comes the user provided country code which can only be more restrictive than the previous two layers.

    Unless you want to hack your own driver, you're pretty much limited to whatever the vendor of the card you're using thought they have to comply to.
    This is usually not what you're allowed where you are but much less.



  • @stephenw10:

    That's a good result. I struggled to get much of anything with domestic hardware but external antennas over a much shorter distance (~300m). That was maybe 12years ago now. I'm sure I could do better now but with near universal internet access at reasonable cost it's no longer worth bothering.  ::)

    Steve

    On longer distances than a few hundred meters you need some way to adjust the timing of the link.
    Atheros based cards allow the user to set set this value (in increments of 450m).
    On pfSense this is the "Distance setting" field.
    That's actually the reason why "normal" Accesspoints/clients aren't able to communicate over longer distances.
    Not because of the hardware, but just because you can't configure it correctly.

    Here in switzerland there is a amateur radio group operating the "ham-net" http://www.swiss-artg.ch/index.php?id=37
    Quite fun what they are doing. They are using ALIXes with a moddified openWRT.
    Some day i'll have to gain access to their net :D


  • Netgate Administrator

    Looks like fun.  :)
    Thanks for that I didn't realise that about the link timing, makes sense now I think about it.

    Steve



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    @andyroo54:

    You have to choose which country you are in and the radio will then not allow you to exceed the maximum transmit power for your country. You can easily just change countries, I think Russia is the least regulated. But whatever the limit is in Australia it's plenty powerful enough.

    The country itself is not enough.
    There are several layers of "protection" to prevent the user from doing illegal stuff.
    The most basic is the hardware itself.
    The second layer comes from eeprom/driver. Most vendors default to US. There was just a nice rant by luis r rodriguez on the linux wireless mailing list today: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel.wireless.general/124643
    On top comes the user provided country code which can only be more restrictive than the previous two layers.

    Unless you want to hack your own driver, you're pretty much limited to whatever the vendor of the card you're using thought they have to comply to.
    This is usually not what you're allowed where you are but much less.

    All I know is when I change the country suddenly I'm allowed to increase the output power more than the limit in my country.



  • Well it allows you to set higher power on the surface.
    The lower layers still make sure no illegal levels are transmitted.
    Unless you connect a power-meter and measure what's getting out you only get shown a number which might or might not be correct.


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