WISP Teamwork to make signals better

This post is a huge shout out to Tasos Alexiou from RF Elements.  This story started out at WISPAPALOOZA Vegas this year.  I had a few clients who have been fighting noise issues. While working the Cambium booth we would go over the benefits of ePMP for noise mitigation.  This would naturally lead to an antenna discussion. You can’t have an antenna discussion without mentioning RF Elements and their horn design.  As with anything, clients are skeptical to things outside the conventional way of doing things.  It’s not that the client is closed minded, but change becomes a little harder when revenue and cash outlay are involved.  I am a very visual guy so I walked several of these clients over to the RF Elements booth so they could see the product and have it explained by the folks themselves.

These clients were getting it, but I could tell they were a little hesitant to make the leap.  This is where the teamwork of the story really comes into play.  Tasos could sense the same thing I was seeing, and came up with a plan.  In the shipment of their gear to Vegas, they had some extra gear.  After some negotiation, he told us to stop by after the show and he would see what he could do to get some gear in the hands of both of these clients.  After the show, I was able to send both of these clients home with some 30 and 45-degree horns.   Not only that, but these clients were able to talk about their specific situations, draw diagrams, and get a great understanding of how to get the best fit out of the equipment.

I am happy to say we have the first results from these horns.  Mohave Broadband was able to put up a 30-degree horn in an area where they were having clients with signal and interference issues. By adjusting their 90/120 sectors, which even have beamforming,  they were able to have the horn fit in their most troublesome area.  Some of the troubles were customers who could not connect on a certain frequency very well, but others could.  If the frequencies were changed the good customers became bad and vice versa.  Once the horn was in place we noticed a couple of things.

The first was customers in the 30-degree beam of the horn were able to connect at good signals and data rates. These were customers who were pointed right at the sectors before, not ones on the fringes.

Secondly, due to the nature of the horn we were able to select from more channels due to the lack of sidelobes from the horns.

Customer links on the AP.

We could go on and on how the ePMP 2000 APs with their noise filtering, and the “clean” pattern of the horn make the difference but that is not the focus of the article.  The focus is how many separate pieces of the WISP community came together to help.  From WISPA putting on the show to the willingness of Tasos and RF elements to help these customers, and the ability to sit down and draw out diagrams and antenna placement to get the best place to place antennas. For those of you who don’t attend tradeshows, this is one of the success stories with a few more to come on this blog.


MTIN Family of Sites
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MTIN Family of Sites
https://indycolo.net
https://j2sw.com
https://startawisp.info

Frequency does matter

Recently we installed a PTP 550 link for a client.  This is a connectorized version with 2-foot dishes on it for a four-mile link.  Overkill you say, but the idea is the dishes make up the gain and not transmitter power.  A much cleaner signal can be achieved which falls within the FCC guidelines for total EIRP.

So let’s get to it.  Our first image is out path.  This link had clear line of sight from a 150-foot foot water tower to a 240-foot tower.

Google Earth Path

The 240 Foot tower

150 Foot water tower

After getting out of the cold we let things burn in for a few days. This is what an initial spectrum analysis looked like.

Radio Frequency set on 5820 mhz

Radio Frequency set on 5200mhz

As you can see the RSSI was within 2 DB, which isn’t terrible.  However, due to interference, the MCS rates are markedly different, which is what results in the big differences in speed.  Please note this is only with one radio enabled and on a 20mhz channel.  We fully expect bigger speeds once we up channel sizes and enable the second radio.

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MTIN Family of Sites
https://indycolo.net
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https://startawisp.info

CPE Grounding

A discussion which comes up over and over in the WISP space is grounding and proper installation of customer CPE. The folks at perfect-10 (https://www.perfect-10.tv/) were a vendor at #WISPAPALOOZA2018.  One of the best things I have seen them in a long time is the below photo they created. This is a great illustration of how a proper CPE goes.

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MTIN Family of Sites
https://indycolo.net
https://j2sw.com
https://startawisp.info

Updating your Bind DNS for latest trust anchors

A little Background on the rollover

From: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/ksk-rollover/#overview
ICANN
 is planning to perform a Root Zone Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) KSK rollover as required in the Root Zone KSK Operator DNSSEC Practice Statement [TXT, 99 KB].

Rolling the KSK means generating a new cryptographic public and private key pair and distributing the new public component to parties who operate validating resolvers, including: Internet Service Providers; enterprise network administrators and other Domain Name System (DNS) resolver operators; DNS resolver software developers; system integrators; and hardware and software distributors who install or ship the root’s “trust anchor.” The KSK is used to cryptographically sign the Zone Signing Key (ZSK), which is used by the Root Zone Maintainer to DNSSEC-sign the root zone of the Internet’s DNS.

Maintaining an up-to-date KSK is essential to ensuring DNSSEC-validating DNS resolvers continue to function following the rollover. Failure to have the current root zone KSK will mean that DNSSEC-validating DNS resolvers will be unable to resolve any DNS queries.

If you are running bind the quickest way to check is this:

If your configuration shows dnssec-validation yes;, you must change it to dnssec-validation auto;and restart your server before taking the steps below. This is in your named.conf

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MTIN Family of Sites
https://indycolo.net
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Baicells announces local EPC

Dubbed BaiEPC, the solution will be available in two forms – Standard and Professional. The Standard version is designed for small to mid-sized networks, while the Professional version is designed for larger networks and provides smaller companies an expansion path as their businesses grow.

Baicells Announces Localized EPC at WISPAPALOOZA

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MTIN Family of Sites
https://indycolo.net
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https://startawisp.info

Internet Freedom transparency rule for xISPs service

The Federal Communications Commission’s Internet Freedom transparency rule, 47 CFR § 8.1, requires an Internet service provider, or ISP, to publicly disclose information about its network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services.

https://www.fcc.gov/isp-disclosures

MTIN is now offering a full turnkey service for your website to be compliant with the Internet Freedom Transparency rule.  We have two options.  For a document you fill in yourself it is $200.  For a turnkey document, you can export to HTML or link to a PDF from your site it is $300.

Contact us for details 

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MTIN Family of Sites
https://indycolo.net
https://j2sw.com
https://startawisp.info