You are here

Known activity

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
WB5PJB
Known activity

Along the Colorado front range, there has been sporadic mesh activity over the years using the Linksys WRTs. Most of the current known RF activity has shifted to using the Ubiquiti products on 13 cm, utilizing channels -1 and -2 at 5 MHz bandwidth and using the default AREDN SSID. So, if you live along the front range of Colorado, and want to setup a mesh node, then you might want to set your Ubiquiti node accordingly. 

There is an active RF-only group operating in the Boulder area. There is a node at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) that provides nice coverage for those in the Boulder to Longmont area. It is currently on channel -2 at 5 MHz bandwidth and uses the default AREDN SSID. Most of the participating nodes have MeshChat and HamChat installed, so you can connect and leave messages.

There is some activity in the Douglas and Elbert County area, south of Denver. Most folks have been connected using the tunneling feature, as there isn't currently a mesh node located at a high location for folks to connect to via RF. I currently have a node in Castle Rock on channel -2 at 5 MHz bandwidth, using the AREDN SSID, and it is tied into the tunnel, as well. It is on a Yagi at the moment, aimed northwest, but if anyone in the Castle Rock or Parker area wants to try a connection, I can move the antenna in their direction. 

Since we have some challenging terrain in Colorado for microwave signals, we are always looking for more nodes to get on the air. The more nodes there are, the better the chance that we have of covering a larger geographic area and getting to folks who are situated in more challenging areas.

73,
Gary
WB5PJB
Castle Rock, CO
 

W0AIR
W0AIR's picture
Link from Boulder to Larimer County

There is a Berthoud, CO (Larimer County) node on the Boulder mesh.  Overall Boulder mesh coordinator is N0YE.  Larimer County nodes are being coordinated by W0AIR.

N6RFI
N6RFI's picture
Which Band Is Used Locally?

I'm contemplating the purchase of some equipment for AREDN to use in the Fort Collins/Loveland area.  Is everything around here on the 2.4 GHz band?  It would be a shame to buy gear on other bands and find myself unwittingly isolated from the rest of you!

WB5PJB
Yes, most folks along the

Yes, most folks along the Front Range are currently on 2.4 GHz, using Channel -2 and 5 MHz. channel width. If you have adequate gain and a good location with line-of-sight to Boulder, you might be able to connect to the node at NCAR. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. 

73,
Gary
WB5PJB
​Castle Rock, CO

N6RFI
N6RFI's picture
Thanks!

Thanks Gary.  Everything I saw on the AREDN map suggested  2.4 is the way to go, but the nodes closest to me aren't on the map.  I appreciate your insight.

Off to Amazon.  :-)  I already have an old Nanostation but it's apparently too old and refused the firmware update for AREDN.  Insufficient space.

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
Nanostation 2 is NOT the same

Nanostation 2 is NOT the same as Nanostation M2.
We only support the "M" models...

WB5PJB
Yes, there are a number of

Yes, there are a number of folks who are out there on mesh and haven't sent their lat long node info to the map, so there is more activity than shown on the map. Hopefully, you can get some additional folks on mesh up in the Ft. Collins and Loveland area, and get a little network established. If you get a chance, post your activities here on the forum, as others are always interested in what activity is happening out there.

73,
Gary, WB5PJB

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
I've become less of a fan on

I've become less of a fan on 2.4Ghz band in recent time.   There's only 1 channel @ 10Mhz out of the wifi noise that works (or 2 side-by-side 5Mhz channels).  3Ghz and 5Ghz offer considerably more channels that are clear sailing.  Performance and usability decline as your network grows with everyone trying to stay on one channel for every link.   There are no options to deploy more clear channels in 2Ghz to segment coverage areas, you'll have to buy more hardware.  With 5Ghz devices, different channels can be configured to scale and segment channel coverage areas.

There are many channels above ch 165 in 5Ghz that are clear sailing.   WISP operators aren't licensed to use this space today.  

Joe AE6XE

k1ky
k1ky's picture
And even lesser fan of 2.4Ghz in dense Metro areas

We have several 2.4 Ghz high profile nodes in the Nashville ,TN area that even on Channel -2 are deaf as a post.  Even on 5 Mhz bandwidth, the noise floor is -95 but we get 0% NLQ on nodes trying to talk to these units in the proximity of downtown Nashville.  More research is in order to find out exactly what is happening, but we have wasted some good effort learning this.  Luckily, most of our high profile installations are on 5 Ghz with zero problems.  Our 2.4 Ghz stations that are located in outlying rural areas are working fine, including one 60 Mile shot between 2 repeater sites - Nanostation M2 to Rocket M2 with a Sector antenna.

WB5PJB
3 and 5 GHz

Joe, yes, I agree with you on the relative wide open spaces on 3 GHz and 5 GHz.  We have used both of those bands with the stock AirOS for point-to-point links and they work really well. Once our winter goes away and I can get on a snow-free roof, I will probably do some testing with 3 GHz and 5 GHz. I kinda wish I had put a link up on those bands prior to the winter starting, as I would like to compare them to 2.4 GHz propagation during snowstorms. We just had a little storm go through the last 24 hours, and it is interesting to watch the LQ, NLQ and S/N while it is snowing. I would be curious if 3 GHz and 5GHz would suffer greater signal loss during such snow situations.

73,
Gary WB5PJB 

WB5PJB
Known activity

There is an AREDN mesh node in Castle Rock at Silver Heights on channel -2 and 5 MHz channel width. Best coverage to the northeast through east to south. The antenna is currently too low to clear some rock and dirt to westerly directions.

Also, W0ARP is up and running with a node in Elbert County. Wayne can get into the Silver Heights node with an AirGrid at about 30 feet.

73,
Gary
WB5PJB
 

KK4JZS
KK4JZS's picture
Interested in putting up a node the Littleton area

Gary and others,

I did not see any nodes shown in the Denver area on the AREDN map, but it sounds like you have some in place.  I have recently moved into the area and am interested in seeing if I can establish a node at my location in Littleton.  Any suggestions on equipment would be appreciated.  I have fiddled with the WRT54Gs in the past using BBHN, but AREDN seems like a more structured approach.


Best Regards,

Kevin
KK4JZS 

WB5PJB
Littleton area

Hi, Kevin. Welcome to the Front Range of Colorado!
At the current time, there are two nodes on with omnidirectional antennas - one in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and one in Castle Rock, right off I-25 and Hwy. 86. From Littleton, you would not be able to get into the Castle Rock node due to a lot of rock and dirt blocking the path. Depending on where you are in Littleton, you might have a shot at the Boulder node. 

There are about a dozen active mesh participants in the Denver area that I know of, and probably quite a few more who are interested but haven't put up a node yet. Maybe some see a blank map for Colorado and assume there is no activity, so they don't want to put up a node if no one is around to connect with, hi. But, it all has to start somewhere, so if you can get a node on the air in Littleton, then that would be great. 

The good ol' blue Linksys WRTs are no longer the preferred choice. Most folks are using Ubiquiti products with the AREDN firmware installed. Night and day difference from the old Linksys days. There are hardware options for 2.4, 3 and 5 GHz. Locally, so far all the known activity is on 2.4 GHz, or actually, a little below that in frequency on what is labeled as Channel -2 on the AREDN firmware. That gets us out of the horrific QRM that exists in the standard 2.4 GHz WiFi frequencies that every neighbor around you is likely using. Getting the ability to go lower in frequency, and still be in our allocated ham band, has been a godsend for mesh activity in the 2.4 GHz area. Anyway, if you look at the Supported Platform Matrix under the Software section of this website, and then look under the 2.4 GHz column of the matrix, all the products that have a green background are good to go for accepting the AREDN firmware. For a main node at your QTH, you probably are NOT going to want to use an Air Router, NanoStation Loco or PicoStation, as those are more on the short range side. Among the other hardware options, it then depends on what your goal is and your particular environmental conditions at the QTH. If you want an omnidirectional station, then the Bullet M2 HP with an Omni antenna that has a female N connector is one popular choice, or you can get a little more sophisticated with a Rocket and a Ubiquiti MIMO Omni antenna. If you want to try and get into the NCAR node, then you might need a directional antenna which could be an AirGrid or NanoBridge (complete self-contained units) or a Bullet, NanoStation, or Rocket with an assortment of antenna options. The NanoStation is self-contained, but you can get third party dishes for them. So, there are quite a few options to choose from. I am sure some on the forums here have their favorites and can offer suggestions about what has worked well for them.

If you want to discuss local specifics, please feel free to email me at my call sign @gmail.com and we can go from there.

Thanks, Kevin.

73,
Gary
WB5PJB

 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer