[HamWAN PSDR] Beacon Tower-Capital Park Backbone Link

Bart Kus me at bartk.us
Thu Mar 29 19:32:51 PDT 2018

As another data point, I do plan to install an AF-3X based uplink to 
Haystack this summer when the snow clears.  But those modems are like 
$600/ea.  :-(

- Does the Rocket M3 support GPS-sync?
- Does it require an M5 or some other modem on the LAN to sync with that 
GPS?  (I don't see it having a GPS port)
- Are the Rocket M3 GPS-synced TX/RX windows in phase with the AF-3X 
GPS-synced transceivers?  (ie: can they coexist on a site)

To clarify my earlier email, since I consider it implicit but perhaps it 
should be stated explicitly, I'm not opposed to using other bands.  It 
is healthy though to contribute points of balance to the conversation so 
that good decisions can be made by weighing all the pros / cons.

Let me also address Bryan's IRC statement of "it's ham radio, just buy 
some stuff and play with it".  While that's totally valid for smaller 
networks, we're finding ourselves stretched very thin in the task of 
maintaining this network.  It's grown pretty large, and too few people 
know how to operate it.  We have to take a multi-faceted approach to 
keeping things operational:

1) Onboard more skilled folks who know what to do
2) Keep things as simple as possible to minimize management
3) Rely on automation to offload manual labor

While some of us operate far larger networks professionally, those 
networks come with significant financial resources in staffing, vendor 
support contracts, and automation software development / tuning.  We 
don't have any of those benefits here, so we're hitting the wall far 

Finally, I saw a point come up in this thread from Kenny that said: "We 
have hit a situation that the old approaches are not working". I haven't 
yet seen strong evidence for that being true.  Where "that" means "using 
the 5GHz band".  For the QueenAnne-CapitolPark example cited in this 
thread, I haven't seen anyone post results of spectral analyzer runs at 
both sites to find a common free channel. I suspect if this is done, 
we'll be able to find a frequency that works A-OK for that link.  
(Earlier point about us running out of manual labor capacity exemplified 
here.)  Given the excellent LoS between [Beacon, SeaEOC] and [Beacon, 
CapitolPark], I wouldn't be surprised if both CapitolPark and SeaEOC can 
link to Beacon via the same dish there.  SeaEOC can live on a sidelobe 
since it's extremely close.  This would cut out the requirement to 
install yet-another-dish @ Beacon (a pro!), and save money (another 
pro!). It may be slower than a dedicated [3,10,11,18,24,74,etc]GHz link 
(a con).


On 3/29/2018 6:06 PM, Fredric Moses wrote:
> We are just using the RocketM3 $179 with the RD-3G26 Dish $229 and 
> Radome $49.00   Now times that by 2 for each side of the link.. we 
> have 19 to 26mile links going now.. with 6 more on the todo list here 
> in Michigan ourselves..
> We use them as simple layer2 PTP bridges between our site routers...
> --
> Fredric Moses - W8FSM - WQOG498
> fred at moses.bz <mailto:fred at moses.bz>
>> On Mar 29, 2018, at 21:02, Tom Hayward <tom at tomh.us 
>> <mailto:tom at tomh.us>> wrote:
>> On Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 16:45 Bryan Fields <Bryan at bryanfields.net 
>> <mailto:Bryan at bryanfields.net>> wrote:
>>     Why not use 3.4 GHz UBNT radios?  We have a link here in Tampa at
>>     16.2 miles
>>     across Tampa Bay running at 130 Mbit/s.
>>     3.37 to 3.5 GHz (the frequency range of the M3 radios) is totally
>>     unused for
>>     the most part.  A complete link is well under $1000 including
>>     antennas.
>> Have you published a BoM for this? Can you?
>> Are you still trying to unload a pile of modems?
>> Tom
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