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Help to save the rainforests in the Amazon with your networking knowledge. UK volunteers wanted.

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jebus197    22

Hi this may be one of the more unusual requests ever posted on Neowin. I hope some people here will find it an interesting enough challenge to want to help.

 

I am currently working for a project which serves a remote biological research station in the Amazon rainforests in Brazil. I won't mention the name or location of the project publically, as they do not wish the details of their project to be made public at this juncture, although I will fill anyone in who can show a demonstrable ability and willingness to help. (If you have genuine industry networking/engineering experience this would be a huge bonus.)

 

In essence they have a problem. They are located in a fairly remote region in Amazonia in Brazil and currently they access the internet via a connection to a wireless ISP. Things are not entirely drastic, as the nearest small town is approximately 2 km away and this town is served by a wireless ISP. (An ex logging town I believe.) At present they are connected to this ISP over a number of wireless repeaters/relays, with no clear line of sight to the signal. To overcome this they have some of their repeaters on hilltops on top of towers that they have built, to enable them to pick up the signal. This seems to work OK, but the end result after a 2 km journey is a fairly weak signal, frequent drop outs and maybe only 2-4 Mbs to divide up over several clients at the end point where the research station is located.

I am not quite clear on all of the details yet myself, as I have only just volunteered to join the project. I am not being paid for my efforts and the project is a charity. However from what I can gather sometimes connections to the internet can be unreliable and slow. I suspect this is because once the signal reaches them at busy times they may have anything up to 6 or more clients connected to the internet all trying to access it at the same time. So with maybe only 2-4 Mbs to go around, if one or two of them decide to play a HD YouTube video, life can quickly begin to suck for everyone else. They have a teaching facility there with classrooms, both for locals and for international students, so multimedia and the internet are a fairly intrinsic part of what they are trying to do there. 

They want me to fix this problem for them. They also have a very flakey file server setup there (Sharepoint) that for reasons they haven't gone into yet they say has been a disaster and that they are extremely anxious to ditch, preferably in favour of a cloud based solution of some description. It was put in place by their last tech guy, who only volunteered for a short time before baling and leaving them high and dry, with a half cocked and not very functional solution.

 

Basically I will come clean. I am a keen amateur and am passionate about technology. I am also passionate about doing my bit to save the environment. I stumbled over this project after looking for something constructive to do and having been involved in and having been passionate about both these topics all my life, I felt I could almost certainly help.

However I am concerned (a little) not so much that I have bitten off much more than I can chew, but that as I have never worked in such an ambitious capacity before, that I want to make sure I can provide them with the best, most flexible and most applicable solution possible.

 

So with that in mind I have opted to seek as much help and advice as possible. We do have a budget for improving the speed/reliability of our network. I won't go into details about what that budget is on the boards here, or even in PM, as I don't wish to attract the wrong kind of person. There is no money to be made from this project (only prestige) and indeed if you did wish to participate, you might even find that you would have to meet some of your own costs yourself. We can certainly discuss budgets and the practicalities of the project if we can meet in person and gain each other's trust.

But this is nonetheless a unique opportunity for anyone wishing to enhance their CV. Just imagine how spectacular for a prospective employer it would be, to say you worked for a  project in the Amazon, whose objective was to help design research methodologies to help save the forests from destruction?

 

Currently one possible limitation they face is that their hardware is fairly basic, and appears to comprise of a variety of 'off the shelf' store bought products. There is sufficient scope within the budget to probably significantly improve on the quality of some of this equipment. So one question I have that might be worth asking is, what might there to be gained from doing this? Specifically I mean, what would be the difference in upgrading their equipment to something of a more industrial quality? Would there be any major benefits in doing so?

Another quick solution I thought of right off the top of my head was that in order to effectively double (or perhaps even triple their bandwidth, if say their ISP was only willing/able to provide them with 2-4 Mbs per account at the point of access, would be to simply pay for two or more connections and arrange them as in this video: 



This would bring the project in well under budget and might be a quick and effective way of increasing their bandwidth, without requiring them to drastically upgrade their entire network.

Right now all of this is very speculative, as we have not yet settled on a particular solution. But I would nonetheless like to ask if there is anyone else out there (particularly in the UK - and especially in the North of England, or borders of Scotland - although not strictly vital) with good, demonstrable knowledge of this subject who might be willing to help? You would in effect be helping to save the world through your efforts - and your efforts would receive full acknowledgement. Physical fitness, or a willingness to put effort into becoming physically fit would be an advantage, as the project might involve working through some very difficult and rough (and sometimes potentially slightly dangerous) jungle terrain. If you have an inherent fear of tarantulas, anacondas, or flesh eating insects - or of perhaps hundreds of potentially deadly jungle diseases, this job might not be for you. The jungle is a beautiful place, however for most of the time you're there, it may seem as though it's out to try to kill you. (Lol). If none of this worries you and you still wish to help and you have good relevant experience, you might be the ideal kind of person we are looking for.

If you're not based in the UK, you can still help by lending your advice here.

If so could you please simply post a response here saying I wish to help, so that the topic stays current and has a chance of getting noticed by other members.

I would also like to request if maybe the mods might be willing to pin my appeal for a week or two so that anyone who wishes to become involved can spot the topic and let me know?

It's not often geeks (of which I am certainly one) get to be real life superheroes. This I think is one of those very rare occasions. :)

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sc302    1,792

The ubiquiti is the way you should go, if a replacement is needed/warranted.  Bridgewave is expensive, but you are paying for the name (much like you pay cisco for their name on their appliances). 

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The Evil Overlord    18,442

If so could you please simply post a response here saying I wish to help, so that the topic stays current and has a chance of getting noticed by other members.

I cannot help in a more productive manner, but if this helps in keeping the topic fresh, in the hopes of getting more members and possibly Budman (Whom I consider an expert in networking) to notice your post,

I wish I could be more help, :)

Paging Budman

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jebus197    22

What about a load balancing router? If the ISP we connect to can only serve maybe 4 Mbs per connection (yet to be confirmed) and there is no restriction on them serving us mutiple accounts, there should be no technical imitation with us connecting to 2 different Wifi accounts from the same ISP and effectively doubling our speed right? The only difficulty is that at 2-4 Mbs, it quickly gets to be a process of diminishing returns. If say we have 3 connections, at best we get 12 Mbs, at worst we get only 6 Mbs. There's a point where value for money and increased number of connections becomes an issue.

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+BudMan    3,737

That video is prob crap, not going to watch - I have gone over how you can use 2 routers with 2 connections and one lan network - there is no good way to have clients use both, you can split the users between the connection this way.  If your going to get more than 1 wan (internet) connection then you need a multiwan router, be it off the shelf like say the rv042 which very reasonable price $150 http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-RV042-4-port-100-Router/dp/B0002I7288

 

Or you could leverage say some pc/server hardware and run as many wan connections you want with say pfsense.  You could put together a very nice budget solution there, pc with a quad nic and your cooking with gas..  Could leverage 3 or 4 internet connections without much issue then.

 

If you want faster then you would have to work with the ISP.. There are lots of ways to bring great speeds great distances over wifi..  Kind of need line of site to be sure.  But you build a tower maybe?

 

Something like this

https://www.ubnt.com/airfiber/airfiber5/

 

Your talking  around $1k which is cheap has hell - can do 1Gbps at 100KM..  How far is this location from the ISP?  What is the budget?

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sc302    1,792

Microwave transmitters is the way I would do it too.  You can get a lot of distance and ubiquiti's airfiber supports up to 2Gb/s but only at a 20km range...1.2 at 100km, not to mention that they are fairly cheap for the range.   The downside is that it is line of sight.  You can get away with repeaters if needed or build a large tower.   After you get line of sight, the next hardest part is to aim the antenna at each other.   While the antennas may be cheap as hell, building the tower will not be as a lot will have to be taken into consideration other than height (winds, storms, etc)...If the towers sway you will loose your connection to each other...going to need something a bit sturdier than a flag pole.

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farmeunit    699

Airfiber, that Budman mentioned, is what I would suggest.  It's not the cheapest solution, but would be a good one.

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sc302    1,792

It's not the cheapest solution, but would be a good one.

OK then, what would be the cheapest solution for 100km distance where there is no isp that covers the area anywhere between?  1000 is pretty cheap for 1.2Gb/s...even 2000 is pretty cheap.   Do you know how much equipment costs to get that speed in a business that isn't attached to a isp who can provide that service in the sub 1000 range?  Let me give a personal example (I have the ISP quote in my email), I have a building 5 miles (4.9 to be exact or roughly 8km) apart.  To get 100Mb/s between the two buildings it will cost 4500 a month.....that is right, 100Mb/s $4500 a month just for services...it is another $4000 to buy the equipment to support this.  We are contemplating putting up a tower at each location because we don't have line of site and putting up the ubiquiti antenna's because it will save us a ton of money in the long run.  The issue is that the towers are not cheap while the antenna's are.  1 time cost for equipment, no leasing, no monthly charge. Even at $100 a month, how long would it take to pay yourself back to get 1.2Gb/s?...10months for the antennas.

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jebus197    22

Well, we could do private chat about budgets Budman via WhatsApp if you PM me your number - and maybe phone later in the week if you're based in the UK. (I am out of the UK for a few days and will be slightly incommunicado during that time.) I am looking for any experienced bodies who might be in the market for a small adventure. But the budget is confidently better than 1K at this time. I have a half decent map of the network set-up, although it's missing some detail, which I am attempting to fill in. He says he will also send me a full topographical map over the next few days. The guy I'm working for is a bit vague about some aspects of the set-up, firstly because I don't think he's aware of the level of detail that's required to set a network like this up (I have basically asked him for all of the details of every piece of equipment attached to his current network, including router/repeater models, antenna types/models, firmware versions etc) and have taken him though a bunch of fairly standard network set up procedures, like asking him if he's ever upgraded the firmware on any of his devices etc and asking him to check for ISP limitations via Glasnost and so on.)

I think he thinks either I'm being a tad pedantic (which I'm not, because I can't tell him what to upgrade unless I can source where the weak spots in his network are, or like most non-technical sorts, he just finds the whole thing a little boring and expects me to be able to guess it all. Second he didn't install the network, that was just another volunteer, who as I said, probably just did the best job he could in the time space that was available, with the much more limited resources he had available to him. Third, some of this equipment does appear to be located in quite dense primary forest, mounted on towers (yes there are indeed towers) that the guy who installed the network for him back in 2009 built for this purpose. So it's probably not a straightforward task, to get through the jungle for him and look at the hardware versions. (So I assume he thinks anyway, but of course if I or any other participating party gain access to the network, this should be easy enough to check remotely.)

The issue at the moment I think is, I'm not  quite clear where he thinks the bottle neck is, or where he thinks the extra bandwidth is going to come from, looking at the network diagrammatic, it appears the ISP is only serving him ~4 Mbs.  As for budgets, let's just say initially, over the last couple of days he has expressed a willingness to expend considerable resources updating and stabilising his network for an overall faster connection speed. His initial network install cost him $5000 US, and he has indicated he is willing to substantially increase this budget for a faster and more stable network overall. He has big plans to extend the functionality of the research station and would like a network to match his ambitions.

 

So my initial instinct was if the ISP wouldn't budge on the 4 Mbs down limit (which crawls to 2 Mbps by the time it reaches him by relay and which is then again chopped up by several wireless clients that are connected to this at the station), then the only option might be to double up (or treble up) on the connections for a speed boost. This would still be cheaper over the medium term (say over a 5 year period, until perhaps the next upgrade cycle), until perhaps satellite K-Band becomes a viable option. (It's a tad flakey and unreliable ATM, due to poor availability of satellites and poor coverage as a result of this). In doing this he could potentially avoid the cost of upgrading his entire network. So rather than spend $$$$ of dollars upgrading everything, he would only have to spend $50 or so on a load balancing router and pay for the extra bandwidth over the next 5 years from the budget. I mean, I think it's perfectly reasonable that he should be able to approach and work directly with the ISP. I don't think he has tried in the past, as his budget was simply too small. The ISP after all, holds all of the bandwidth keys.

I like your antenna. I think he already has reasonable directional antennas, but maybe not as good as this. It sure looks pretty, but antennas can be pretty picky things, so if we were going to blow that kind of money on maybe 3 or 4 of these, we would probably need to see some kind of real time demo first. Maybe I could contact the company and fill them in on our problem and see if they can offer any assurances, or help? 

Also to be clear, you don't recommend this?  

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001VFS5B4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

 

It has rave reviews on a whole bunch of tech review sites. This is the load balancing router I was speaking about. I have seen maybe a dozen videos of it working - and it all seems pretty seamless. You can essentially plug any network into it, WiFi, ADSL modem, 3G, 4G etc and it does it's thing and serves it up as a single connection to connected clients.

If you're interested in jumping on board and have the knowledge, experience and skills to help (and so long as you're not afraid of big ass spiders, lol) feel free to drop me a note and let me know. Maybe we can work together and make a bunch of scientists happy?

Sorry for all the info, but this is a fairly substantial project.

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sc302    1,792

 

 

Also to be clear, you don't recommend this?  

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001VFS5B4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

 

It has rave reviews on a whole bunch of tech review sites. This is the load balancing router I was speaking about. I have seen maybe a dozen videos of it working - and it all seems pretty seamless. You can essentially plug any network into it, WiFi, ADSL modem, 3G, 4G etc and it does it's thing and serves it up as a single connection to connected clients.

If you're interested in jumping on board and have the knowledge, experience and skills to help (and so long as you're not afraid of big ass spiders, lol) feel free to drop me a note and let me know. Maybe we can work together and make a bunch of scientists happy?

Sorry for all the info, but this is a fairly substantial project.

 

 

 

 

 

Why would you do this?  It already sounds as if the current antenna array may be the bottle neck. If it is, you aren't going to get more speed by installing that router.  If you can get some speed tests at each point it would give you a very good idea of where the bottle neck is...it could even be that the antenna aren't pointed at each other properly.  You should be able to see that at each antenna but would require someone to do some climbing and verifying.   Before putting money into anything, verify verify verify.  Check your speeds, check your communication points, check your hardware.  If someone is too lazy to do it, find someone who will.  You should also do some research with max limits of current antenna setup, max limits of hardware between your jungle point and the start point (isp or whatever the start point is).

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jebus197    22

Why would you do this?  It already sounds as if the current antenna array may be the bottle neck. If it is, you aren't going to get more speed by installing that router.  If you can get some speed tests at each point it would give you a very good idea of where the bottle neck is...it could even be that the antenna aren't pointed at each other properly.  You should be able to see that at each antenna but would require someone to do some climbing and verifying.   Before putting money into anything, verify verify verify.  Check your speeds, check your communication points, check your hardware.  If someone is too lazy to do it, find someone who will.

 

Yeah I already said that to him. I told him to drive to the town where he connects to his ISP (which is a tiny little place about 2.5 km from the station) and try connecting at the nearest access point there to see if his ISP really is only serving him 4 Mbs down. I don't think he's lazy, I just think it's a lot for him to take on board. He clearly hasn't thought it through. Heck he could just pick up the phone and ask his ISP how much they are serving him. But I don't think it has occurred to him to do that yet. I think like most non-tech people he thinks I'm something of a magician, because if the ISP is only serving him 4Mbs, 4Mbs is still only 4Mbs a second, no matter how much he spends on updating his network.

The first thing to check then is how much bandwidth his ISP has allocated  him. If they say 4 Mbs and they won't budge, then his only option is to sign a few of his friends up for accounts too and use the load balancing router method as above. I suspect there's a chance if he went directly to the ISP and asked them to up his bandwidth, like the business guy above, they might demand a premium for a much faster service.

Of course checking individual points along the route to see if the antennas are lined up optimally is a really good idea. I am not in Brazil ATM. I have offered to help and expect to travel there in January 2016, to help complete the project. But if it was up to me, I would be up these towers like a rat up a drain pipe, lol.

The point where the load balancing router becomes a valid option, is if it is if the bottleneck is with the ISP. There is another bottleneck along the way, where the 4 Mbs signal drops to 2 Mbs by the time it reaches the research centre. But my understanding is that this is pretty gnarly terrain, separated by an initial span of about 1.6 KM, from source and then another 1 KM span from here to the station. these two points are mounted on towers on pretty big hills covered mostly in thick jungle vegetation. So it would take a bit of balls maybe to hack your way through this to go and check on the alignment.

The antenna Budman pointed me to seems interesting, as the current antennas are directional, whereas the ones Bud posted don't appear to be. So why exactly in our scenario would these be a preferable option?

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sc302    1,792

The air fiber is directional. Directional gives you the distance. Why would they be preferable over your existing? They may not be, we don't know what equipment you are currently using.

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jebus197    22

The air fiber is directional. Directional gives you the distance. Why would they be preferable over your existing? They may not be, we don't know what equipment you are currently using.

No I won't know that for a day or two either. I have basically busted the guy's balls already with questions about his set up (I am pretty damn keen to do this thing, as you might be able to tell.) I don't want to melt the guy's brain with more questions yet. I don't think he quite realises how important even the choice of antenna is. A job like this involves an awful lot of little details that most ordinary folk struggle to get their heads round, or to even find interesting. So I have told him to take a break for a couple of days before I ask him any more questions.

I am still in the market for any actual, real physical help, if anyone is up for it? A little jolly outing in the jungle, so to speak... Deadly snakes, potential death by jaguars, or excruciating agony and delirium from Malaria, or Yellow Fever, are all just occupational hazards, lol.

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jebus197    22

Microwave transmitters is the way I would do it too.  You can get a lot of distance and ubiquiti's airfiber supports up to 2Gb/s but only at a 20km range...1.2 at 100km, not to mention that they are fairly cheap for the range.   The downside is that it is line of sight.  You can get away with repeaters if needed or build a large tower.   After you get line of sight, the next hardest part is to aim the antenna at each other.   While the antennas may be cheap as hell, building the tower will not be as a lot will have to be taken into consideration other than height (winds, storms, etc)...If the towers sway you will loose your connection to each other...going to need something a bit sturdier than a flag pole.

I like that. That's a good post. I missed it originally.

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farmeunit    699

OK then, what would be the cheapest solution for 100km distance where there is no isp that covers the area anywhere between?  1000 is pretty cheap for 1.2Gb/s...even 2000 is pretty cheap.   Do you know how much equipment costs to get that speed in a business that isn't attached to a isp who can provide that service in the sub 1000 range?  Let me give a personal example (I have the ISP quote in my email), I have a building 5 miles (4.9 to be exact or roughly 8km) apart.  To get 100Mb/s between the two buildings it will cost 4500 a month.....that is right, 100Mb/s $4500 a month just for services...it is another $4000 to buy the equipment to support this.  We are contemplating putting up a tower at each location because we don't have line of site and putting up the ubiquiti antenna's because it will save us a ton of money in the long run.  The issue is that the towers are not cheap while the antenna's are.  1 time cost for equipment, no leasing, no monthly charge. Even at $100 a month, how long would it take to pay yourself back to get 1.2Gb/s?...10months for the antennas.

I didn't realize we were talking 100km. The NanoStations, for example, can cover 15km and give decent throughput. obviously more than the 4Mbps they're getting now. That's not even close to the range of the Airfiber or the throughput, but IS less expensive. That's all I was trying to say. I could list every option available, but...

Also, relative to buying off-the-shelf equipment, it's a lot more expensive to get Airfiber. Just putting that into perspective.

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jebus197    22

What kind of routers and extenders might you guys recommend for our situation? Remember we will be in the hot humid jungle for perhaps months at a time and they will be unattended. (I assume we will be relying on solar power and batteries.) Also when the rainy season comes, it can be an unending torrent for perhaps weeks at a time, although I suspect the hardware must be fairly well protected from the elements. I believe they are on 130v, just like the majority of the Americas.

 

 

Edit: We aren't talking about 100 km, we are talking about 2.6 km. The first span is 1.6 km from source to the first hilltop, then a ~1km span to the location in question.

 

Here's schematic of the current set up:

 

 

 

post-210755-0-37047200-1424687107.jpg

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jebus197    22

I think I should remind you guys too that this is for an exceptionally good cause. We have classrooms there, where we offer free education to the local school kids, who are the children of poor farmers in the region. We also host students from across the Americas and across the world and teach them about the value of conservation.. I sat on my ass for years and bitched and complained about how the politicians and the rich people in the world were treating the planet. This is kind of my opportunity (and yours too if you can help) to do something about it. If you can't give your time, or your practical assistance, then maybe if you are employed, you could at least give a little money to the project? https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/6395/iracambi/

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sc302    1,792

In your drawing,

Internet looks to be 512Kb/s, and your fastest link between sites is 2Mb/s between Casa de Barro and Joao.  Any transmission coming from Casa de Barro to Centro will be limited to the 2Mb/s transmission speed...While it may be great that you are receiving 4Mb/s from Joao to Centro, you will only get that 4Mb/s service if there was any service being hosted at Joao...if everything is coming from Casa de Barro, you will be limited to 2Mb/s, and anything from the internet will be 512Kb/s.  I don't know what kind of microwave antenna arrays are in use, or who is providing them.  You could easily get better arrays that support higher bandwidth for low cost but it all depends who owns what.  Does the ISP own the current microwaves and is leasing you x bandwidth?  Does the ISP own the towers and you are leasing space?  Does the private entity own everything?  If they own everything, what are the limits of the devices (this is where make and model will come into play, we can easily determine possible issues once we have that as we can determine what the speeds are from the make and model by looking at the instruction manuals online as well as spec sheets).

 

 

 

Off topic...While it is a good cause, I currently have my plate full with my local community.   I didn't have to go looking for a place to help out, I found one by listening to my community.  Local clinics need help, small private schools need help, community centers also need help....the places close to us where "politicians and rich people" don't care about unless it is to motivate their own cause.

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+John Teacake    455

So what are you looking for donations of hardware,time,money etc?

 

PM me and we can chat.

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jebus197    22

So what are you looking for donations of hardware,time,money etc?

 

PM me and we can chat.

All of the above. Sure I'll PM you. Are you located in the UK?

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jebus197    22

In your drawing,

Internet looks to be 512Kb/s, and your fastest link between sites is 2Mb/s between Casa de Barro and Joao.  Any transmission coming from Casa de Barro to Centro will be limited to the 2Mb/s transmission speed...While it may be great that you are receiving 4Mb/s from Joao to Centro, you will only get that 4Mb/s service if there was any service being hosted at Joao...if everything is coming from Casa de Barro, you will be limited to 2Mb/s, and anything from the internet will be 512Kb/s.  I don't know what kind of microwave antenna arrays are in use, or who is providing them.  You could easily get better arrays that support higher bandwidth for low cost but it all depends who owns what.  Does the ISP own the current microwaves and is leasing you x bandwidth?  Does the ISP own the towers and you are leasing space?  Does the private entity own everything?  If they own everything, what are the limits of the devices (this is where make and model will come into play, we can easily determine possible issues once we have that as we can determine what the speeds are from the make and model by looking at the instruction manuals online as well as spec sheets).

 

 

 

Off topic...While it is a good cause, I currently have my plate full with my local community.   I didn't have to go looking for a place to help out, I found one by listening to my community.  Local clinics need help, small private schools need help, community centers also need help....the places close to us where "politicians and rich people" don't care about unless it is to motivate their own cause.

I did write you a long reply, but accidentally clicked on the wrong button and trashed it, sigh ... The bottom line is anyway I do plenty for my community I work for a local charity that provides food aid for the poor and I also volunteer for a charity for the blind teaching them how to use computers and accessibility software. But this is a little something extra that maybe I can do not just for my community, but the world too. The Amazon is one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth. It's worth keeping. You can read about what the project aims to achieve on the project web site (Iracambi). It's a pretty noble thing they are trying to do there and the qualifications of the staff there are impeccable. There is certainly room there for more people than just me who wish to make a difference. We can use scientists, engineers, technicians anyone who has the skills and experience and who has sufficient passion to want to make a difference. We have a model of development that at it's core tries to ensure that the goal of conservation and working in harmony with the natural resources of the forest region always remains at the core of what we do. While some might think this is not a worthwhile cause, I very much do. I don't just want to make a small impact on my community (although this is important too), I want to make something of a worthwhile impact on the world too if I can. I hope that clarifies my motives in any case. If anyone can help feel free to PM me as I have said. Your help would be very much appreciated.

 

I have already asked the guy running the project to compile a report that will answer most of the questions you asked. He says he thinks it will take about a week. I think (if I'm right at 5 Ghz) he may already be employing microwave transmitters? I don't think he currently knows very much about this himself. Also of note this is all 2009 technology, which I assume is bound to be slower in any case? I think whatever way you slice it, 4Mbs, or 512Kbs, none of it is very appealing for what he hopes to achieve. So the immediate question is how to secure him more bandwidth.

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sc302    1,792

5GHz is microwave...believe it or not so is 2.4GHz which is why microwave ovens can effect transmission if close by.

 

How to secure him more bandwidth from where.  The isp is going to be the limitation on the internet side of things.  I don't know what is going to be the limitation between the sites (isp, equipment, other environment issues).  If you can google earth and do a jpg of the environment maybe we can see what is going on...or you can do it yourself to see if there is anything going on around the antennas that could be an obstruction.   Like I said in a previous post, if the antennas move or if they are no longer aligned properly you can have a drop in signal strength which would give a drop in bandwidth.  From looking at your drawings you are dealing with multiple speed issues on each leg of the network....it isn't all the same.  You can't have 4Gb/s out of a 2Gb/s pipe and you can't get 4Gb/s out of a 512Kb/s pipe, you want 4Gb/s out of each, you will need to have 4Gb/s or better at every leg of the network, not less to more.  You want the same or more bandwidth than what you want out of it.  08-09 tech supported this, but it may have been very expensive...Now with ubiquiti it is very affordable...bridgewave is another provider which I used at another location, theirs was right around 10k per antenna for 1.5Gb/s.

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jebus197    22

Yeah I already told him he had to speak to his ISP. I don't know in the 6 years since this equipment was installed what maintenance work, if any has been conducted at this time, or what state the transmitters on the two towers we have are in. I will attempt to establish this over the coming few weeks.

 

To be fair I have probably overplayed the danger element of this task a little. People live and work there every day and don't seem to come to much harm, so don't let this put you off.

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jebus197    22

I should probably say I have already asked him for a topological map of the set up there using Earth Point: http://www.earthpoint.us/TopoMap.aspx and Google Earth. This should also be available in his report. It even matters what material the towers are made of. If they are made of wood, then clearly these will be subject to warping and weathering over time. I don't think we could make a jump to $10k transmitters, our budget isn't that big. Around the previously suggested $1k per transmitter/receiver set-up would be about right I think. 

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jebus197    22

What about any cabled solution between those 1km and 1.6 km spans? This would obviously be much longer than this at ground level, as it wouldn't be line of sight. I also don't know what sort of things might be crawling, or chewing in the undergrowth. I imagine there must be quite a few. Presumably this would deal with localised bottlenecks, but would still leave him at the mercy of his ISP for additional bandwidth.

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sc302    1,792

Would have to be fiber and would break your budget. trench or poles would have to be dug or erected

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