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Old 20-12-2009, 16:04   #331
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My order with the two Bullet 2HP's will be here today. Unfortunately, the New-Zealand based supplier I purchased the 2408 antennas from is slower at processing and shipping than the US company (not surprising!).

I'm looking forward to testing the range limits of the gear, and building my land "base station". I tried to get approval to install on the 3rd floor roof, but that was turned down. Perhaps I can hide it in a big palm tree?

I'll report back any findings once I get everything set up.

Edit: I highly recommend http://www.wisp-router.com. They ship internationally and handled everything very efficiently.
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Old 20-12-2009, 16:49   #332
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Regarding PoE. PoE standards claim 300 feet distance but it really depends on what the device needs and can take. Cat5e cable is 24 gauge so doing the calculations if you need a minimum of 9.5V DC at the device and feeding from a 12V DC supply, bank on 60 feet maximum. So find out what the device actually needs in terms of voltage and then see whether the distance will work. Devices that can accept a wide range of voltage 9.5-48V DC are great, no chance of a blow up and you can go up the mast.
Jack, a very good observation. I haven't run the math myself but did you take into account that the power runs on 4 conductors of the Cat5e?

George
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Old 20-12-2009, 17:10   #333
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John,

A successful relatively high speed signal is required for Skype. We work from our boat and depend on Skype for communications, both audio and video. The important factor is bi-directional signal strength which can be affected by range and many other factors.

It takes 2 to tango, so bi-directional is the key. If you are relying on connecting to "free" unsecured wireless routers in someones shoreside home where you are receiving a signal less than -70dB then the most expensive and powerfull solution on board will not help.

If you are receiving a reasonable signal, you will need to transmit at a signal stength that can be received at -70dB or less. Here is where adding equipment can help.

Most important is the EIRP power which is what is radiated from your antenna and line of sight.

EIRP is the sum of what the transmitter puts out and what the antenna concentrates. Of course a directional antenna gives the best concentration but you have to keep it pointed. My view is a 500mW device with an omnidirectional antenna of around 8dBi. This gives you close to the max FCC power and a 25 degree vertical cone with 360 horiz that will allow you to swing at anchor. Avoid antenna cables, expensive and lossy at 2.5GHZ.

So this points at electronics mounted in a weatherproof box with an antenna mounted on the box.

Weatherproof is important. Waterproof mounted to the side of a building is very different from salt environment. Look for IP6 or NEMA6 ratings.

Up the mast or on the rail depends on line of sight.

Most important is that you have the ability to understand the technology or the technology is simple enough for you to use. Low cost components used by professionals abound, but they don't provide tech support and the documentation is often in Chinglish.

So, depending on your budget, on the low end, you can take an Alfa USB unit, add an antenna and a waterproof box, essentially the Wirie and live with the limited outside 12-15' distance provided by the USB cable.

The 5 mile wifi is similar but has higher power to offset the antenna cable losses and is much more expensive.

As posted, PoE is great in allowing device and antenna to be connected without coax. I would look for 500mW with an 8dB antenna.

The bullet 2HP looks great in terms of power and concept. I have not tested it but plan to do so soon. My concerns are the RJ45 connector being weatherproof and the user interface for setup. The data sheet is tehnical and sparse. The AIROS operating system looks good for network technicians but may be beyond the typical user.


The OmniBox is also a PoE solution with a NEMA 6 waterproof rating It is designed for the boater in terms of the marine environment and ease of use. Its repeater function, dual antenna support and multi-user support is probably more than you need and it is priced similarly to the 5 mile WiFi which is above your budget.
With respect to permanant mounting, use a waterproof enclosure, make sure connectors are sealed and take the cable, USB or ethernet with PoE through the deck with a low cost waterproof gland.

Much better than trying to get LMR400 coax through the deck with a bulkhead connector or a big hole sealed with gunk. I have not found a sealable gland that will pass a N type connector although glands for cat 5 are available.

Jack
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Old 20-12-2009, 17:27   #334
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Jack, a very good observation. I haven't run the math myself but did you take into account that the power runs on 4 conductors of the Cat5e?

George
George,

Great point. I did the calcs based on 2 conductors giving a 100% "margin of error" for connector resistance and the occasional folks who decide that their equipment sort of conforms to the PoE "standard" and have saved the 2 other connectors for something else. (Remote factory reset)

The calculation was done for a board that draws 4-8 watts and can run on 9.5VDC. I wanted to make sure that with a feed of 12V DC, folks that really wanted to mount the unit at the top of a 50 foot mast could do so with confidence. We tested with a standard 50' cable. Theory and practice on boats can often be different, especially as manufacturers specs are often brief, incomplete and optimistic.


Jack
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Old 20-12-2009, 17:33   #335
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I'll be running our network cable greater than 60 feet to a Bullet 2HP as soon as our weather permits. After this discussion I think I'll do a ground level test first. Although it's inelegant I can still hack the cable and lay the 12 volts onto the two pairs myself if I have to and that can happen anywhere in the run.
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Old 20-12-2009, 18:19   #336
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I'll be running our network cable greater than 60 feet to a Bullet 2HP as soon as our weather permits. After this discussion I think I'll do a ground level test first. Although it's inelegant I can still hack the cable and lay the 12 volts onto the two pairs myself if I have to and that can happen anywhere in the run.
The bullet 2HP is rated at 8 watts, it uses 4 wires for power. The data sheet says up to 24VDC for supply but not the actual minimum voltage. The limitation on length is from where you apply the 12V to the bullet.
Based on the 8 watts and 4 wires you will probably be good to 120 feet. Use good cable, they are not created equal. I would use a PoE injector and not just apply the 12V on 2 pairs. The time and potential problems are not worth the few dollars.

Did you get decent documentation with the Bullet 2HP. Is it understandable to the layman. Mine has not yet arrived.

Jack
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Old 21-12-2009, 05:30   #337
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A Bullet 2HP will operate without power or signal problems with up to 120' of cable. This observation is based on tests by myself, information from commercial users. I have several customers using 100 foot lengths and a much larger number using 50-80 foot lengths. There have been no power related probelms. This is with good grade outdoor cat5e cable.

George, I recommend all my customers power their system up prior to carrying it up the mast. It can save a lot of questions.

Jack, your B2HP will not come with any documentation other than a couple of lines printed on the box. Ubiquiti does have a large Wiki section on their website. Most of Ubiquiti's gear is not marketed to the consumer market. The B2HP will be in bridge mode when you get and you will have to reconfigure it to operate as a NAT/router for easy operation on board.

TrevC, Check with Wisp-Router and make sure they are aware of this Ubiquiti Forum Message regarding a manufacturing defect in a recent batch of B2HP's. I'm in the process of replacing 20 of the bad batch. I will be very frustrating if they ship a bad one.
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Old 21-12-2009, 05:53   #338
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Hey Bob,

Thanks for the heads up. Both of mine are test date 10/22/09, so looks like I could have the dud units. I can't test them yet since the POE injectors haven't arrived (local supplier).

Just starting to read the Ubi forums now. Anything else I can check ahead of time to identify if these are defective?
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Old 21-12-2009, 06:19   #339
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Jack, and others.

There is a great little down and dirty PDF that was intended for the Ubiquity Nano Here It's either the same firmware or similar enough to get you through. I think the big hurdle for the neophite (including me a few short months ago and I wouldn't go beyond calling myself a "novice" today) is setting up your computer for a static IP address to initially communicate with the device. Why they don't send it out DHCP ready is a mystery to me. I have *not* found a "quick start" type document like the one I linked to for the newer Bullet "M". Also the firmware that comes with the "M" doesn't support legacy (b/g) operation although there is a beta version that is supposed to fix that. I've downloaded the beta firmware but have not uploaded it to my Bullet M yet and will probably not mess with it until I'm in Florida.
@Jack, Amen to testing on the ground before going aloft with it. It's upstairs right now with a big yagi hooked to it picking an open wifi on the next block over from us. That's being redistributed on our home wifi network via a WRT54G.
@Everyone interested in this gear. If you don't understand all of what I typed above, you are better off purchasing a unit from someone like Bob at Islandtime because you will get the value added of the excellent tech support. I have no skin in this game, just a happy customer.

George
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Old 21-12-2009, 06:41   #340
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Hey Bob,

Thanks for the heads up. Both of mine are test date 10/22/09, so looks like I could have the dud units. I can't test them yet since the POE injectors haven't arrived (local supplier).

Just starting to read the Ubi forums now. Anything else I can check ahead of time to identify if these are defective?
There is a 4 digit number next to the MAC address printed on the base of the bullet. In my case all my bad units had 0942 printed next to the MAC. I think this is a batch number or contract manufacturer number.

If you attach a bad bullet to an antenna it will be unable to associated with an AP unless it is within a few feet but it will be able to associate without an antenna at distances of 30 feet and up.

When your antennas arrive check the mounting hardware with a magnet. I used these early on and found that the nut holding the antenna to the bracket wasn't even close to stainless. Also the chrome looking base will deteriorate rapidly in a salt environment. Other than hardware they work fine.
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Old 21-12-2009, 06:58   #341
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George and others,

Can anyone explain the difference between the M and HP versions of the Bullet?

On vendors sites its not clear.

Also I saw a few posts on a installers forum dated a while back about cases of bullets filling with water. Anyone had such problems.

George, I agree with you about using these devices that are marketed to professionals. I have used the EnGenius 3220, 3500 and 2610. Tech support is basic when you get them. They don't use trouble tickets unless its for a RMA. Unless you have a simple problem or busted hardware its no help. Reams of documentation that repeat what you see on the screen in Chinglish.

So if you are not technical, support is the difference between working and not working for these products.

Jack

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Old 21-12-2009, 07:08   #342
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Ubiquiti seems to have awesome support, although not so much intended for someone that doesn't have prior knowledge of networking, etc. I prefer this sort of set-up.

Thanks for the heads up about the fake stainless. The antennas are "Senao/Engenius". I ordered some extra mounting hardware, mostly for the land-based station. I hope it's not too cheap.

Looks like I'm lucky number 0942 on both of these Ubi Bullets. What do I win? .... An RMA number? awww

I'll wait to test them, but it sounds like nearly the whole 0942 run was bad.
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Old 21-12-2009, 07:10   #343
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Jack, A friend of mine had water in his Bullet 2HP. It entered the unit (according to manufacture) via the little clear cover over the led indicators. My friend dried his unit and it began working again, he resealed the cover over the LED indicators and has not had any further trouble. I plan on sealing over this area since I wont be able to see it up there anyway and I can always see the same indication but selecting; Tools > Align Antenna on the main tab of the GUI in the Firmware.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:15   #344
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"what is really needed is a system that automatically gets around security,"
That's called "user authentication" and the cellular WAN cards do it. Any router using WEP or WPA will also do it, but it all comes back to the question of "who are you?" and being given the credentials (permission) to use the system. In the case of just piggybacking into random privately owned equipment...That ain't gonna happen, unless you start up some kind of open source Wifi network conspiracy. But then again, if it is open to anyone...that's the same as simply being totally unsecured, which is what folks are shutting down because no one wants to ask who your are much less what you are up to. Catch-22. Or, a reason to buy cellular broadband.

Jack-
RJ-45 being designed for indoor use...and even then subject to problems as it ages...I wouldn't worry about using it up the mast. Just put some silicon grease *inside* the socket, and generously wrap coax seal (butyl tape) around the outside. I haven't seen that combination fail yet.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:31   #345
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Well, I called around today to order the bullet 2HP. It became clear that the big guys with reasonable prices are out of stock. Some admitted to sending back a bad batch as a reason, others said due to high demand. I called because many places will show in stock, then after or during the purchase you get informed of out of stock or back order.
A few places with HIGH prices claim online to have stock, but its probably old stock with the problem. Not worth taking a chance.
Estimates are that new stock will arrive "late this month".

I guess I'll wait.

Jack
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