I just switched to a new WISP in the Santa Cruz mountains and was told to install the Ubiquiti Nanobridge M2-18 Outdoor MIMO 2.4GHz 18DBI.
This new UBNT NB-2G18 comes with "AirView", which is apparently a new spectrum analyzer feature.
Looking to debug why my "Capacity" & "Quality" results are lower than a neighbor's with the same equipment and only slighly shorter LOS, here are my AirView result from a moment ago:
The WISP is on a Rocket M2 + Rocketdish on channel 5 about
3.2 miles away, LOS.
My neighbor, 0.2 miles closer to the access point, has almost double the quality & capacity numbers, and 3dB better signal strength ... using the same equipment.
Here are my current readings:
My questions? Q1: Help interpreting noise in Santa Cruz would be appreciated ('specially by Jeff!). Q2: What can I do to improve capacity & quality? Q3: Why is there that much noise at channel 12 anyway?
install the Ubiquiti Nanobridge M2-18 Outdoor MIMO 2.4GHz 18DBI.
A couple of things look concerning. Wireless Mode is shown as Station WDS. WDS, really? Is there no Client mode? The second thing is the use of channel 5, which is a strange channel to use since it's not one of the 3 completely non-interfering channels, (1, 6, 11).
You asked about noise, but all I see is a noise floor of -98dBm, which looks excellent to me. You asked about noise on channel 12, which I assume was a typo.
Regarding improving your reception, have you made sure the antenna is properly aimed, both horizontally and vertically?
The only options are: a) Station b) Station WDS c) Access Point d) Access Point WDS
Personally, I don't even know what WDS stands for. But googling, I find this thread:
says: "WDS is always recommended if possible. Sometimes it's not possible with other vendors, since WDS is not astandard protocol. ... Enabling WDS provides a true "transparent" layer 2 bridge."
There's nothing 'called' client mode in the UBNT AirOS gui. :(
I understand. That's the choice of my WISP.
Seems to me that channel 11 is better taking only the noise level here in the Santa Cruz mountains into account.
Thanks. I didn't know WHAT to look for!
Looking again at the spectrum analysis from the radio:
I see you're looking at the current (or average) noise (green line), while I was looking at the peak noise (blue line).
There is about 20 dBm difference - so that's huge!
So, looking at the average noise (green), I see what you mean.
Noise is about -100 dBm at channel 1, peaks at -85 dBm at channel 2, drops back to about -98 dBm for channel 3 through 8 (roughly), then it peaks again at channel 9 to about -79 dBm, and then drops down to about
-100 dBm for the remaining channels 10, 11, and (yes), 12 before finally dropping to about -108 dBm after that.
That's the kind of information I was looking for! I didn't know what was a good or bad number, nor what to look at.
Well, um, er.... there is a channel 12 on the spectrum analysis; so I 'was' talking about channel 12. Dunno if I can actually 'use' that channel, but, it's there on the graph. (I have the export version of the nanobridge.)
I can visually see the access point, which is about 3 to 4 miles away, so I first aimed the antenna by eye - and then aimed it using the built-in signal strength aiming software which comes with Ubiquiti AirOS.
The reason I don't like it is because it's an operational method that retransmits some of what it receives, sort of like a repeater, and I'm under the impression that doing so severely impacts throughput.
I'm not too familiar with the Ubiquity UI, but I think Station is the equivalent of what I called Client mode. Of course, if they want you to use WDS, you're probably stuck doing so.
Actually, I got the -98dBm from the UI snapshot that you provided, not from the spectrum analysis screen.
To me, a noise floor of -98dBm looks very good, but it's only half of the equation. Equally important is your signal strength and how it compares to that noise level. (Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about.)
You won't be using channel 12 in the USA, so whatever noise is occurring out there is of little or no concern.
That's how I would have done it, as well. Eyeball it first, acquire the connection, then while watching the real time signal strength meter slowly swing it side to side until you're sure you've maximized the signal strength. Note that the antenna may have one or more side lobes that could potentially work for you, as well, depending on whether you're staring at a huge source of interference when the antenna is aimed directly at the WISP. Finally, if the antenna is capable, adjust the antenna's vertical aim. Don't just eyeball that axis, since some antennas have built-in downtilt that may not be obvious. I don't know if that applies to the Nanobridge.
I'm at or beyond the edge of my knowledge, so hopefully someone who actually knows will chime in.
Y'er noise level is about -95dBm. If everything else were perfect, that would be a really good noise level. However, I think you have other problems. There are only 2 signals visible on Ch 2 and Ch 9. From your lofty location, you should be picking up all kinds of junk, even with the directional antenna. Point the Nanostation at SCZ, San Jose, or Loma Prieta and see if it can hear more signals. If not, fix your radio, antenna, coax, etc.
Post a picture of your derangement. Most of the problems I find are not equipment problems. They're installation problems.
Because there's someone transmitting on Ch 12. -70dBm is not very strong. -30dBm would be a strong signal. A better question to ask is why don't you hear more signals?
Yeah, much better. Thanks.
mountains above Silicon Valley?
Dunno. You have an 18dBi antenna, which should have a beamwidth of about 10 degrees. You'll hear plenty of junk if the antenna is pointed in the right direction, but none if it's to the side. If your Nanostation is pointed at the Hilltop (or is it SurfnetC) access point, you don't have anywhere near enough usable signal. Something is wrong with your setup.
Same as transparent bridge mode. MAC addresses are preserved through the bridge. If you connect an ethernet switch (not a router) to your Nanostation ethernet port, and then connect more than one computah to the switch, the MAC address of each machine will appear on the ethernet port of the ISP access point. With just station (client bridge) mode, all the traffic looks like it's coming from the MAC address of the client bridge radio. A major advantage of this mode is the ability to talk between two wireless routers.
Ordinary access point.
Ordinary access point plus store and forward WDS repeater. Ordinary user machines (such as laptops, PDA's, and cell phones) can connect to the access point, which then repeats the traffic to the central access point. Other WDS access points can also pass traffic through the same path.
Good idea. It's easiest to point to Loma Prieta or San Jose. I'm picking up an antenna mount from an old Dish TV antenna because the mount I have isn't sturdy enough for Santa Cruz winds - so when I set that up, I'll test the AirView for more signals like you suggest.
Here's a picture of the mount on the wall of the house near the roofline. I tried to drill through the wall but ran into the hardest steel plate you can imagine. Dulled two drill bits before I realized it was impenetrable.
You can see my first set of drill holes in this picture (to the right). What is it that is inside the wall, I'll never know.
When I replace the antenna mast, I'll run that test for you!
I think the spectrum analysis images of noise are really useful in general to anyone who has WiFi!
You know the mountains well. Rude Dave at Surfnet & Loren at Hilltop are out here as well, but my signals are from Mike at Ridgewireless.net who installed an AP recently to serve the mountain community.
These are the known ISP providers for the mountains that I know of (do you know of any others)?
I would think that using the electronic alignment tool is better than eyeballing it. That L-shaped mounting bracket looks more flimsy than I was expecting, BTW. I think you said you were planning to replace it, which sounds good to me.
The nanobridge, for about $70, comes with everything except cat5 cable & the mounting arm.
It comes with the antenna, the mounting hardware, the power over Ethernet supply (POE), and the transceiver.
I'm replacing the mounting arm with one from an old Dish TV antenna.
My only tactical problem is there is 'something' hard as steel in the walls an inch under the stucco that I just can't drill through - so I'm going to have to re-locate the antenna if I can't figure out how to get through it.
Looking at the data sheet, it appears that you're looking at about a
10 degree beamwidth:
Take a protractor and a piece of paper and draw 10 degree angle. That's your alignment accuracy. Trying to bore sight aim that antenna is not going to work. You'll have to rock it back and forth to find the maximum signal point. From the screen shots you've posted, I don't think your antenna is aimed at their AP.
Looks like you have it mounted vertically polarized. Is that what RidgeWireless is using?
Probably a nail stopper protecting the area where Romex crossed over a
Consider yourself lucky that you didn't continue as you would eventually have drilled through a power line. Next time you drill, use a stud finder to find the stud, but also use an AC voltage detector to make sure you're not drilling into a power line.
Please remember that you have only one life to give for your connectivity.
Ummm... you're on AirMax ISP firmware 5.3.5. Version 5.5 is out. Ask your ISP before upgrading:
Client Connection Quality. Basically, it's the ratio of how an ideal radio would be expected to act, divided by what you're really seeing. The Ubiquity definition is kinda vague. This is from Mikrotik and hopefully should apply to Ubiquiti.
Client Connection Quality (CCQ) is a value in percent that shows how effective the bandwidth is used regarding the theoretically maximum available bandwidth. CCQ is weighted average of values Tmin/Treal, that get calculated for every transmitted frame, where Tmin is time it would take to transmit given frame at highest rate with no retries and Treal is time it took to transmit frame in real life (taking into account necessary retries it took to transmit frame and transmit rate).
The antenna gains are roughly the same (18dBi verus 19dBi). The radios are the same boards but different power levels (100mw Nanostation M2 versus 600mw overkill Bullet M2). You should get roughly the same performance and signal levels. The dish will probably be more difficult to aim than the panel antenna due to slightly narrower beamwidth.
Whatever it is, it's big because the two bracket holes are a good four inches apart, and I drilled four of them, about six or seven inches apart, so the impenetrable object is (at a minimum) four inches by six inches large.
I wasn't sure which way to mount it so I simply followed the instructions that came with the radio.
I do know the WISP has both polarities because he's the one that told me I was only using half the bandwidth with my Ubiquiti Airgrid - so gaining the other polarity is the whole reason for me buying the nanobridge.
Jeff suggested it might be a nail stopper, but that's not it. Those things are much too small to fit your description and they're installed on the inside edge of the wall framing, not the outside where you're drilling.
It's not framing hangers, either. Those are also small and located at the ends of the framing members, so you wouldn't have hit 4 of them. Besides, hangers are almost never used on vertical walls.
Random thought, are you in a designated earthquake zone? Some builders do all kinds of things under that umbrella that would be weird and unheard of elsewhere.