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Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/20/2009 5:39 PM

My connection to the internet is obtained through a radio with a 16 element Yagi antenna connected to the computer via 25 pair cat 5 ethernet cable and connections .

The antenna is one mile from the nearest tower beaming signals, but several trees (forest) are in the signal's path.

The ISP, when prompted enough times, does come out to re-aim the antenna as seasons change and as the tree's leaves come on or drop. Usually by the time this happens the signal is so weak the browser pops up error messages thinking I am no longer connected to the net. Rain and snow during any season will sometimes block the signal as well.

When network connection is lost the network preferences will show an IP Address number and a Subnet Mask number. The router number will become blank. After several clicks on the "Renew DHCP" icon, the router number will reappear and all is well for awhile. There was no router in the line between the radio and the computer. I have, just recently, installed a wireless router. I was in hopes the cabling was the weak point. That does not seem to be the case as no improvement is noticed.

I have turned off the Configure IPv6 option and this seemed to help a little.

The tech Support seems guarded about giving information on what type of signal is coming from the tower to the radio and internet searches only give information on WiFi hotspots .

The best info from the ISP's support is "An antenna is installed on your roof. This antenna is pointed at one of our nearby Access Point towers. When you send and receive information over the internet, it goes over the wireless link from your radio/antenna to our Access Point. From there that information travels over our "Back Haul", which is a point to point wireless link to our fiber-optic connection. From there the information travels out onto the Internet. The connection has very low "latency", also known as delay, and is well suited for gaming as well as other services such as VPNs.

Before going through the expense of installing a 60 foot high tower of my own, does anyone out there know of a method or device to increase the signal to maintain a stable connection to the tower? Obviously deforestation is not practical or desired.

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#1

Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/20/2009 6:45 PM

I would first consider looking for another provider in Kentucky, instead of trying to improve communication quality at your end of the link. Clearly you are not happy with the service this provider is can provide.

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#2

Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/20/2009 7:43 PM

find another provider or use a landline

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#3

Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 6:23 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I should have added my land line is connection is very poor. The last time a local isp number was available I was getting speeds up to 9600. On a very good day 28k. But alas since the wireless service came the providers saw a dwindling market and could not support the local lines.

There is no cable tv lines close enough to connect to and there nearest clear view of the horizon for satellite service is 1000 feet away.

At this time this wireless service is the only option for service at my house.

I am hoping to find if there is any way to boost the signal (incoming and outgoing) to compensate for the obstructions. This morning the signal seems fine and I am able to read and write to this page.

If nothing is available on the customer side, then I will feel better about investing in the tower to get a clear view.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 7:40 AM

GH,

If re-aiming your roof-top antenna fixes your problem for a time, you might be able to get by with what you have, by adding an antenna rotor. Do you have any indicator on your end of the signal strength reaching your antenna? A larger antenna (meaning higher gain) in the same place as the current one could result in the same improvement as going higher with the current setup. A bi-directional amplifier could help, too, up to a point. Sometimes, there's not enough signal there to "amplify", and all you end up doing is adding more "noise" to the signal. You would need to know the frequency band of the wireless link to purchase the correct amplifier, and a good one would probably not be cheap.

Does your ISP have any other suggestions? I suppose they are like many providers these days, "Give us your money, and keep quiet, and we'll get along fine!"........Unfortunately, customer service seems to have died sometime in the last 20 years or so. Get back to use with a few more details, if possible.

Tom

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#5
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 8:15 AM

Also depending on the frequencies used, the FCC may require a licensed operator/engineer to be responsible for not interfering with other signals. A higher gain antenna will likely mitigate any interference problems but at the expense of a more narrow acceptable angle for reception. A higher power transmission from each antenna will improve reception but should not be done without coordination with the FCC.

One thing that popped up in my mind is that on your end or your ISP's local transmitter, one of you may not have as good of a grounding system as you think. Improving your ground may increase both transmission signal levels. While not a cheap fix, it maybe less expensive than a tower.

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#8
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 8:38 AM

redfred,

I had not thought to look at the grounding. As installed by the isp, the grounding is accomplished through the cat 5 cabling into a ground block with a circuit board then to my electric meter housing.

I will begin immediately to improve upon this.

thanks

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#6
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 8:21 AM

Redfred, thanks for mentioning the possible legal implications of the amplifier addition. I should have mentioned that. Also, I had a typo on my last sentence, should have read "Get back to us", not "use"..........

Tom

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#7
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 8:31 AM

Tom,

Thanks, I had thought maybe a rotor might help and most definitely would use one if the tower became a reality.

The ISP has discouraged several suggestions. I had also suggested a ribbon type heater to keep the ice off, a parabolic dish placed on the back side of the yagi to help with signal gathering and possibly deflect terrestrial interference, and shortening the ethernet cable by installing the wireless router in a weatherproof box as close as possible to the antenna.

They tell me they have tried these things in the past with little success and the last item burnt out the router with moisture and condensation.

When the signal is low, I can ask my mail software to get mail and it will work for a long time and eventually download the mail. (sometimes hours). When the browser is trying to load a page it will work for several minutes and eventually give up with a failed notice. I can then leave the browser open and leave for several hours and come back to find I have that page up to read. Other days, like this morning, it is blazingly fast.

The only information I can wrangle out of them as to what type of signal is coming from their tower is a caution to keep devices that use 2.4ghz signal away due to possible interference. I will keep trying to discover more details about this information.

A larger antenna seems to a good suggestion. I will investigate this further to find which will be the best for this use.

A signal meter would be a nice additional. Any suggestions of a brand or model. I am guessing it would measure the signal after the conversion to the ethernet side.

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#9
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 8:48 AM

GH, You said the rotor would be an option if the tower became a reality, are you saying there would be no way to implement it with the current setup?

To chose a proper replacement antenna or to augment your current setup, you will need to know the exact frequency band they are using. Sounds like they may be using regular 802.11 wireless signalling?

To be of any real use, the signal strength would need to come from the "radio" portion of the setup, not once it's gone through the conversion to Ethernet signal. Looking at the Ethernet connection is only going to give you three states, good (no errors), bad (no connectivity), and marginal (lots of errors). Ideally, you would want to see what the gain control on the wireless portion of the link is doing. The lower the signal, the higher the radio is going to set the gain. Most signal strength meters work on this principle, the lower the AGC voltage (automatic gain control), the higher the signal.

Any chance you can find make/model numbers on the radio link and/or the antenna?

Tom

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#10
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 9:16 AM

I have not thrown out the idea of the rotor. I was just discouraged from it by the isp tech. I still think it is a good idea. It will give me something to fiddle with and some sense of control.

I will climb up and obtain the make and model number this evening.

thanks

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#11
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 10:15 AM

Placing some kind of reflector "behind" a Yagi antenna is a bad idea. Some of the elements of a Yagi antenna are already reflectors and must be at the right distance from the receiving element to get the improved gain. An additional factor is that you must use a suitable down-lead wire that goes from the antenna to the RF demodulator ISP box. Be sure to use the correct cable impedance to match the transition from free-space impedance to cable and demodulator impedance. Placing your router closer to the antenna will reduce the power lost in this RF cable, but rarely is this small power loss critical if one uses the correct matching impedance cable.

Please this next idea is not meant to insult, but many people have gotten this next thing wrong.

Another factor you may have is that you might have your Yagi antenna pointing backwards. If you click on the link you'll see how to read a polar antenna radiated power diagram and will see a Yagi antenna pattern. You will notice that 0° has the highest gain but other directions including 180° have local maximums. So pointing an antenna in a non-optimal direction can still work. (You'll also notice the other local maximums are much more critical in angular accuracy.) Unfortunately like many antenna design pictorials, that link does not show what the 0° vector direction is for a Yagi antenna. The only Yagi antenna link I found that does give an orientation comes from Aerocomm. Figure 4 shows a proper orientation and an antenna pattern diagram. (Strangely the other antenna diagrams in this paper do not hold to the convention established by figure 4.)

The best method to troubleshoot this will be to be able to monitor the received RF power that is being detected by your wireless router. Sometimes there's an analog scale displayed on the case of the router, others there is a web page located in your router that a computer can access for viewing. By adjusting different antenna orientations through all directions and not for just the local maximum you can improve your transmission.

Lastly, and I'm reluctant to bring this up, your strongest signal orientation maybe from a reflected multi-path signal. By being one or a series of reflections, you now have multiple objects that must stay in the same alignment to get the same signal level. If you can find out from your ISP where they are broadcasting from, and with your knowledge of antenna patterns you can select the signal direction that uses the least number of reflections so a more consistent power level can be used.

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#24
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/22/2009 4:24 PM

In some places the power output to the antenna is not what will put you in conflict with the law. The use of a high gain antenna will increase the effective radiated power and that is what is specified in the regulations. An antenna with 12 Db gain will increase your effective radiated power by a factor of 16, it will also have an equivalent effect on the received signal.

In order to actually calculate the effective gain of an antenna system one starts with the power output of the transmitter and subtracts losses due to connectors, transmission lines, etc and adds the gain of the antenna. It can be a more complex exercise than one might first expect. At the frequencies involved keep any transmissions as short as possible and probably as expensive as you can find because transmission line losses can be high at the frequencies involved and the transmission lines and connectors designed for use at those frequencies don't come cheap.

I thought that farmers built silos to have a place to put their internet antennas, that way it is a business expense.

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#26
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/22/2009 9:33 PM

A silo is not a legal placement, it's a myth

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#34
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 1:14 PM

I have tried googling for a manual that would describe the radio's workings, but have not stumbled across it yet.

Here's a possibly stupid question (and I am just one to present it). Would two of the yagi antennas connected to the same radio pointed the same direction be of any use? The surface area for signal capture would be increased, but I don't know what happens on the output side. And from what has been offered so far, could multi pathing be prevented?

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#35
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 1:30 PM

In theory, two Yagi antennas can produce a 3dB improvement (double the power). However, the phase match must be perfect for the frequency that needs improvement. If this RF link does any carrier frequency changing, then the phase adjustment must compensate with the frequency change. You're now into the fascinating realm of a phased array antenna system. Certainly something much to expensive and impractical for your application.

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#37
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 4:52 PM

Found a manual for you at the Motorola support site. Click on 7.3.6 user guide. (I think I pasted things correctly. )

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#42
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 6:32 PM

Worked fine Thanks,

looks like I should have used 10 gage wire instead of the 12 gage .

Also looks like mighty fine reading. I will be diving into it shortly.

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#38
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 4:57 PM
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#39
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 5:06 PM

How far is the computer from the antenna/radio set?

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#41
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/23/2009 6:20 PM

I used 70' of grounding wire and follow the installed cat 5e line down the roof to the ground. From there the cat5e enters the house and is connected to a NetGear wireless router (and the Motorola radio's power injector /supply. The house was pre-wired with cat 5 and , if I remember corectly this run is not more than 50'. I have tried using just the wireless router and no wire with no improvement.

So the answer is 120' +/-

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#12

Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 1:58 PM

The service guy for my wireless ISP brings a Windows laptop, which provides him a window into the radio side of the radio/modem box connected to the antenna. He gets readings in dBi. I'm at 7.5 miles with a parabolic dish, not a yagi and get excellent service, but it's a good ISP. (I have direct line of sight to the tower)

When the service guy came out to tune for maximum RSSI, he made slight adjustments this right or left, up or down, in order to maximize signal strength.

Be aware that water in the coaxial antenna connections will suck up the RF like a paper towel. The threaded coax connectors are not water tight. Dry connections should be wrapped with a rubber tape, Scotch 2242 Linerless Rubber Splicing tape (it doesn't do any good to trap water in the connection).

Leaves & pine needles are a known RF signal attenuator - about the right wavelength and full of water. I suspect a tower is your means to better signal. The ethernet cable is on the wrong side - it's not the radio side.

I am also sceptical of putting a dish behind the yagi. I suspect it would create multi-pathing.

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#13
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Re: Community Wireless internet - What can customer do to improve performance?

12/21/2009 3:00 PM

Very Interesting.

I do not remember how the radio is connected to the antenna. It is very close and most likely not more 8 inches of wire. I will be taking a closer look tonight. The rest of the wiring to and from the ground block is cat 5 wiring. I remember watching the installation and the insides of the wiring was sticky, so I assumed rated for outdoor use, but now I wonder.

When the signal is strong, I have gone to speedtest.com and found the ping test would provide packet loss errors. This site does not help at all when the signal is weak and will not complete the loading of its page.

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#14

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/21/2009 7:46 PM

Just got down from the roof. This would have to be the shortest day of the year.

the radio is a Motorola "Canopy Wireless Broadband Platform" model number 900SMC and it is connected to a Yagi model number YA9-13 (could have sworn I counted them correctly from the ground) antenna.

The radio is connected to the antenna's 900mhz attachment via a coax with a bnc connector. It appears to be protected from water with a gasket. From the radio to the ground block is the cat-5 wire with rj-45 connectors.

The tips and hints have been tremendous and very much appreciated.

I am going to improve on the grounding.

The multi path signal makes alot of sense. It seems to point different directions each time it is adjusted. I once adjusted it myself by marking the location of the tower with gps coordinates and aiming to those coordinates while on the roof. The wife would yell up when the signal was back online. My aiming was changed during one of the tech's visits. I still might have been off a degree or two, but it worked a long time.

I have been saved a lot of time by not furthering the experiment with the deflector towards the back. That option worked in my B.U.D. days.

I am reading and re-reading these posts and will try just about all the suggestions in order to improve this connection.

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#15

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 8:39 AM

Raise the antenna until you have an uninterupted line of sight to the provider point of transmission.

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#16

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 10:53 AM

Im not sure if this will help but a bellsouth employed tech told me that fencing can block wireless signal. Specifically in treeless country, Oklahoma'?? they used a 20' section of chain link fencing free staning on a knoll to block cell phone transmission interference from?? a certian location. Is there a ridge line road (cat ridge road) with a suitable fence that might be interfering with the signal, except in the morning when the cows are rubbing on the fence letting the signal through?

No dB invovled here just line of sight possibilities.

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#28
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 10:09 AM

No fence between the antenna and the tower. Lots of trees then a corn field then more trees in that one mile path.

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#17

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 10:56 AM

General rule of thumb that Ham operators use...more height, amplification, and check and recheck all connections AND the coax. You may be able to find a Ham operator in your area that also has equipment that can check the impedance of the antenna and the coax. Miss-matched impedance will reduce your signal from the antenna to the unit a lot.

I don't think you mentioned how the antenna is attached to the house currently. You may be able to increase the height by the use of a couple of TV masts. An additional 20ft isn't hard to do and you won't need very heavy guy wires.

Tom - (call sign KG1O)

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#29
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 10:36 AM

Tom - (call sign KG1O),

The antenna is attached through my shingles on the tallest cupola type dormer with a 3 foot adjustable angle 1.5" pipe. it over looks another lower roof that begins eight feet below the antenna and slopes the remaining 20' to a wood deck below. The house is built into a hill side and the ground is 10' below the deck.

Currently the signal is coming and going and I am writing responses to the many posts that have made their way in textedit and pasting them as signal is returned.

Thanks

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#18

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 11:10 AM

As of post 17, no one has mentioned satellite connection. I know several people who live in valley bottoms with no DSL available and no cellphone service either. They use Hughes Satellite service. I understand that service has improved both in speed and in price in recent years.

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#20
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 2:46 PM

My thoughts exactly. I have a Peek-A-Boo line of sight to an antenna but should the trees grow just a little taller I will be looking at the new and improved Hughes service. I understand their upload and download speeds have both improved. Just what I've heard. It shouldn't take much to check them out. Simply wait for the stars to align for your current ISP and check them out.

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#30
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 10:37 AM

dkwarner,

I have had several different satellite providers come to survey the site and all have suggested not to complete the install. It seems a clear view of the south western horizon is needed. (you would think they would want to beam in on a satellite with a higher azimuth to increase their potential customer base).

I experimented with bud (big ugly dish) for several years and poured dollar after dollar into it.

The 10' dish , later expanded to a 12' dish with the best lnb , several line amps, and 800' of rg11 cable was able to grab signal on several satellites and provide most of the digital channels I cared to watch. except the sci-fi channel and history channel. When the Animal planet refused to get through, the wife cut my funding for further "improvements".

The little dish guys say I should not have receive any signal and could not think of placing their dish that far away.

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#36
In reply to #30

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 4:04 PM

Something is fishy here... You are around a degree closer to the equator than we are, so your dish should be aimed higher.

My wife's favorite TV transmitter is around 100 miles away. For analog TV, a homemade cubical quad/yagi worked acceptably most of the time for many years, sometimes with considerable snow. Now with digital its all or nothing, and there was just too much nothing. So just two days ago we had a 32" Dish installed, and it works fine.

Now that is TV; I am fortunate to have DSL for my internet, but I just checked, and there are several satellite internet providers whose area of coverage includes the entire United States. You are pretty close to the center, so you should have no problem getting service.

Satellite is very different from microwave. One of my brothers has a microwave internet provider; his dish is aimed nearly horizontal, and must be line-of-sight to the next link on a nearby mountain top.

Now that 800' of RG11 is very strange, and could well be what is causing the problem. Your area appears to be no more mountainous than ours, so unless you have very large trees overhanging the house, I see no reason why a rooftop dish should not work.

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#19

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 2:34 PM

There is a confusion due the information given, I question the location of ISP tower, I don't believe the tower at one mile is that broadcasting the 900MHz signal, I think the 900MHz tower is at a distant location.

You need ascertain frequency range of the one mile distant tower, I believe you will find it is 2.4GHz and at this point you should put up the sixty foot tower with appropriate signal reception equipment including remote positioning hardware.

At one mile the 900MHz should average 3.3Mbps and the 2.4GHz about 8Mbps, the given information draws a picture of great disparity eh?

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 2:49 PM

Bwire, did you read his post about the equipment models? He states the wireless link is a ""Canopy Wireless Broadband Platform" model number 900SMC". I do think his equipment is working in the 900MHz band. The literature I found on this says it's a 900Mhz system (confirming what the model number implies). It also says the 900MHz band is preferred for NLOS (near line-of-sight) installs, where foliage or other obstructs would preclude the use of the higher freq units.

Tom

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#22
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 3:00 PM

Yes I did read all that and also understand 900MHz does not require back-haul creates a question.

I'm not questioning the OP's equipment only the broadcast frequency of the near tower.

I don't see any information describing the broadcast signal frequency of the near tower do you?

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#23
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 3:27 PM

Bwire,

Sorry, misunderstood your comments. I was assuming (as was the OP), that the nearest tower is the location of the transmitter his equipment is linked to. Your point is that this might not be the case, correct?

Tom

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/22/2009 9:30 PM

Yes correct.

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#31
In reply to #25

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 10:48 AM

bwire and Tom,

I am not sure what the signal is from their antenna on the water tower. They seem to be guarded about releasing that info. I suppose from reading other posts here, that if I am able to increase my signal it may interfere with others in the path.

I do know when the system goes down for all their customers in this area, they claim to have technicians at this location working on the problem and my antenna appears to aimed in its direction.

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#33
In reply to #31

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 12:35 PM

Lexington, Shelbyville, Frankfort, Taylorsville, Lawrenceburg and Harrisonville are within range of 900MHz, what is the elevation of your site?

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#27

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 2:49 AM

Hello Geode Hunter, How is the cell phone coverage in your area? Also if you do have cell phone coverage and a phone. Look at the signal type indicator, X1 or EV?

If yes then you have a fast enough connection to use cell.

Not making a plug for any service here just a power user who moved recently from in town with cable/fiber internet to an area that ONLY HAS dialup and IF your in the right areas RF link like you, But I have good cell coverage. I chose the company that advertises "Can you here me now?" ad or the one where The dude standing with the Large support crew behind him.

Now the package I'm using is 5gb month around $65.00 mo. Plus I have the ability to take my laptop anywhere I like. Or I can use the usb modem on the home pc also.

Normal internet browsing, e-mail, up/down loading, some video/audio streaming, pod casts and most anything else you would like to do is possible. There is a user friendly usage bar to help you keep track of your monthly allotment. Unless up/down loading is your thing, I've give it a look. The only downside I've run into is getting bumped from the tower during peak times but the unit can be set to re-auto connect. Living where I do now i have left an open connection for hours. Only uses monthly allotment when data is being transmitted or received.

Good luck on getting your setup working. I just wanted to give you my option on what I'm using without making it sound like an ad for them.

Charles

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#32
In reply to #27

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 10:59 AM

Charles,

I have looked, seriously, into the cell phone connection and worry about the monthly allotment. I get 2 bars on the red map network and 2 bars if I stand near a window , on the blue map network. I would someday like to begin download of movies through either Frontrow, Itunes, apple tv, netflix .ect... and feel the ceiling would be hit quickly.

On the other hand I would not dare to try that now and at least the cell would be somewhat stable and in a pinch I could always set up a tent in the clearing to get something important out. I have not completely discounted it yet and it is an option.

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#40

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 6:05 PM

I just completed the addition of a 12 gage ground wire attached to the yagi's mounting bracket all the way down to my house grounding system. The house grounding system is connected to ALL the steel rebar in my footings and lower level walls and three 8' ground rods positioned along the perimeter of the house.

I checked the fitting between the yagi and the radio. It did not seem to have been invaded by water, but......... (you won't believe this)....... there appeared to be a brown gasket or cork inside. I poke it a little with the end of a cable tie I found lying around up there and it broke up. I then shook it out of the fitting to reveal a really shinny interior. I bet that mud should not have been there. I put it all back together wrapped it with tape and continued to install the ground wire.

Eager to see the results of the improvement I went immediately to speedtest.net and pingtest.net to see if any thing changes. The results after several tests:

Download speed 0.39 Mb/s

upload speed .05 Mb/s

packet loss ranged from 68% to 0% (I was never able to see 0% before)

ping from 262ms to 153ms

jitter from 154 ms to 46ms

overall grade from pingtest was a "D"

Things are getting better!!!!

hmmm.... maybe spoke too soon it just went down while trying to complete this post. now for the wait. Luckily I type into textedit before pasting into the post. otherwise, 2 hours later, all the above would have been lost.

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

12/23/2009 7:48 PM

Is the radio firmware up to date?

Does the ISP provide a software or downloadable optimizer for the connection? That's the way my provider accomplishes the connection speed.

If I recall the distance from the radio/ antenna set to the router should be less than 60' for optimal signal without a booster.

Have you tried a laptop connected cat5 direct at the roof location?

12ga should be sufficient for ground, are you using a surge suppressor (highly recommended) to protect the radio?

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#44

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

02/28/2010 8:08 PM

Hi, I work with this very equipment daily. I work for an ISP in a rural community. The 900sm series is in fact 900 MHz and has about an 8" 50ohm coaxial wire terminated with an 'N' male connector. We have done extensive testing with antennas for 900MHz and found one that tops them all in both TX and RX. The model is cyclone 900-17y, you can find the antenna on www.lastmilegear.com. If this is ineffective, and you are positive you are pointed in the best direction (catching good reflection or pointed directly at the access point) then I would agree that your next best solution to receiving a good signal would be to get at a height that would bring your antenna into clear line of sight with the access point on the tower. Also, if you do end up having to put up a tower, make sure to ask if they have any higher frequencies that the use on that tower or another one within range. The higher the frequency the more bandwidth that link can carry.

If you do have to get a tower make sure you get an extra 20' above any tree lines. Some trees can grow up to 1' a year!

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

02/28/2010 10:37 PM

Nice antenna. I suspect that this should solve this problem.

GA

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#50
In reply to #44

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

03/01/2010 1:57 PM

Thanks for the info:

All the replies and answers here have been looked at , evaluated and implemented, (or will be implemented as soon as the weather clears.)

The suggestions I have implemented, so far, have improved the performance greatly, there are still some down times and I believe they are the results of the ISP providing blackouts to spread the bandwidth around. (I Guess) It seems strange that I can call them (during the their 9 to 5 with no weekends office hours) and they say the radio on their water tower needed to be restated and, magically, I am back online again.

This seems to be the case for my area of the boonies. Even the phone company played this game back when I had dial-up. I will call for service. They come out and work on distribution box out on the highway and all is great. Now my neighbor has bad service. after he puts up with it , he calls for service... Then guess what......! It seems the circuit board is bad and only a couple of spots left with good connection.

Maybe the isp guys are ex phone guys.

Well any way, (sorry about the rant), the service is much better and getting rid of the mud in the "N" connector and adding the ground-wire to the antenna seems to have done the trick. I still intend to go higher and have sight of 60' metal pole , once used for football field lighting, to get above the trees.

I can get the ip address, subnet mask, and router address settings when I connect directly through without the router by looking into my network preferences. I have disabled the "configure for IPv6" button and this seemed to help before the recent grounding improvements. I never re-enabled it because it is working most of the time now.

I tried to use these addresses as fixed settings. Oh! it really did not like that then and I have not tried it since. I told the tech that answered the phone once what I tried and was politely scolded.

Again , thanks for the information and I will look into the better antenna as an option.

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#45

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

02/28/2010 8:37 PM

A couple of more things to add....

First, Make sure you don't have anything operating in the 900MHz range like cordless phones, baby monitors, speakers, headphones...etc...

Second, The antenna that you mentioned that your ISP is using is a bad idea. The 900sm models already have a pigtail attached to the radio, and that is all that should be used with these radios to the antenna!

Third, I would most certainly not use any kind of rotor with this antenna as you have absolutely no way to see what the signal and interference rate is.

If you can find out what your Private ip address assigned to the radio is then you can see this information with out ever having to log into the administrative interface. I would disconnect the radio from your router and use something like wireshark to hopefully figure out what that ip address is. I seriously doubt the ISP will give you this information.

And a question.

How close are you to the nearest obstructions in line with the way the antenna is pointing, and what are they?

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

03/01/2010 6:58 AM

Excellent! Have disconnected the cordless and moved the baby into the barn.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

03/01/2010 7:25 AM

Oh yea. and i have a contract for your soul too.

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#49
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Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

03/01/2010 7:47 AM

You'll have to wait in line (which starts with my bank manager and gets progressively longer)

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#51
In reply to #45

Re: Community Wireless Internet - What Can Customers Do to Improve Performance?

03/02/2010 8:24 AM

The "wireshark" recommendation appears to be very interesting.

and there is is a mac version as well. Cool!!

With this and the radio's manual download, surely I can come up with something.

Thanks

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