My first 900 AP Cluster

I have been lurking on these forums and reading all that I can on the subject of 900 Canopy deployments. I was wondering if there were any pointers any of you wise sages could impart to me in regards to AP configuration or anything else. I will be using Terrawave 120 degree HPOL sectors (Tessco was out of the Til-Tek sector antennas), shielded cable, Canopy surge supressors and a SyncPipe Basic and a SyncInjector. I am mainly concerned with configuration settings in the AP itself.

Any pointers you could provide would be appreciated. BTW I am coming from Mikrotik and XR9 AP’s.

make sure to have all AP’s set too same configuration. AS in control slots and DL%. GPS sync is definitely a needed if setting up more than one cluster with 10-15mi. of each other. especially if one ap can see another at a different tower. cheapest way to go about it is a syncinjector from packetflux

Wow. Been where you are about 2 year ago now. Its been fun. I lurked for years too.

If I had to do it over, I’d go with 4 90s instead of 3 120s. It gives a little more freedom on adjusting your freqs (if competitors find out how good Canopy is, they’ll switch).

yep - everything set the same on each AP, except the freq and your color code.

Good luck,


What do you guys recommend for a 90 degree HPOL sector?

slipstream1 wrote:
What do you guys recommend for a 90 degree HPOL sector?

Til Tek. They make a 90 Dual Pole Sector that you set it for V or Hpol. works great.

Been super impressed with the MTI 90* we put up last summer.

make sure you buy a quality router…we started with a cheap one and it caused us problems after about twenty customers

Routers - we went with a Mikrotik router box. Nice thing is you can use a standard PC. Ours is a Celeron 633 (I know, I know - yuck) with 4 network cards, running about 100 Canopy users through it. No worries, runs great.

My .05cents.


we run a rb333 with the 333mhz processor with about 180 customers running at approx. 50-60% cpu usage. now they have the rb433ah to replace it and it has 680mhz processor and those would definitely be capable of running 300+ customers with ease. plus the rb433ah is only $149 and the rb433 with 300mhz is $99

I am coming over from Mikrotik. All of my backhauls are staying Mikrotik. Combination of 5.7 and 3.65 backhauls. So the router will not be an issue.

Another question. What would be optimum spacing between Canopy 900 sites. I am thinking 7 to 8 miles. I know that it mostly depends on terrain and foliage, but estimating flat terrain and North East Texas pine trees, what would you recommend. I am starting with 2 sites about 25 miles apart. One has a SyncInjector and the other has a Last Mile Gear CTM-Express8, so I am using GPS sync. I am planning to use GPS on the other 2 sites as well. They will cut the 25 mile distance to about 12 miles between sites.

Thank you guys for your input.

We’re getting 13 miles easy with our setup: 180ft tower with 3 120 antennas using CMM for GPS sync. Mostly flat farm land. There are some areas with heavy trees that we cannot service unless we get way above the roof line.

to nucoles:

how do you use that gear? I haven’t hear that. Sorry for my ignorance, but it was my first time to hear such a gear.

please enlighten me how it works, how it is installed to a PC.

MikroTik is a customized Linux OS that runs on various “Routerboards” and PC’s and can support a few to 1000’s of users and 100’s of Megs of data.

The OS can be configured to be a router, firewall, bandwidth shaper, wireless access point, wireless client, wireless medium capacity PTP link, PPPoE server, vpn server/client, wireless hotspot controller, etc. Configuration is done via CL or they have a pretty decent GUI called WinBox. The Wiki is pretty good and will get you started. There is a sharp learning curve. There is no real factory support, it’s all through the Forums, or through independent consultants and distributors.

The easiest way to get started is to order a $100.00 router board and power supply and start playing around with it while looking at the WiKi.

as Jerry stated it runs on pretty cheap boards for what it does and is a pretty good learning curve. basically that’s what i did was take one home and just play with. after about a year or so i decided to take a basic class on them in san antonio and im glad i did because not only did i learn a lot of the basics of it. they showed off some pretty advanced stuff as well. we use a couple of these for short bh’s on 5.4ghz and they work great. a little difficult to get going the first time you configure but you get the hang of it after a while.

What has been said about the Mikrotik RouterOS is true. The OS runs on inexpensive boards and is very powerful and flexible. I am running my network with a RB600. I have a couple of hundred users and a 15 meg fiber. It runs about 25% processor at full load. You can put it on a cheap, old computer and a a very powerful router for life. The online courses that are being offered are very good and very inexpensive.

I appreciate the assistance from you guys on my first Canopy deployment. I will be changing 4 more 900 MHz towers to 900 Canopy in the near future. If I can offer Mikrotik assistance to anyone, I would be more than willing.

Thanks again.