Need information on Canopy Systems

What is the correct way to go about getting some ‘pre sale’ information on Motorola Canopy systems ? I have exhausted every option I can think of and have yet to get a single human to talk to me. We are a dial-up ISP looking at Wireless Solutions and while I understand the concept I do not know a lot about it.

I have used the Contact Us links on Motorola’s website in regards to both Canopy and MetroMesh (MetroMesh I am now told by others is just Vaporware. Is it ? I have no idea since no one anywere will tell me anything about it) . Each resulted in nothing more than an automated email. Two weeks now and thing else , no follow up email no calls, nothing.

I contacted several resellers and was told effectively the same thing each time . " You tells us the part number and how many you want and we sell it to you. If you don’t know what it is you need , you should call Motorola for pare-sales support". Some of them even gave me phone numbers for Motorola that turned out to be tech-support for vendors / resellers and people that already have Motorola equipment. The tech support naturally did not do pare-sales support and either sent me to links on the web that do nothing but send me an automated email or gave me email addresses to which I either get an automated email in response or nothing at all.

I assume that someone out there somewhere provides some kind of pare-sale information but for the life of me I seem completely unable to find them.

Normally I would refuse to do business with any company that is this hard to reach ‘pre-sale’. The logic being that if they don’t have the time to sell me something they will have even less time to support it after I buy it.
However I am new enough to the wireless world that I am still willing to admit that maybe I’m just calling / emailing the wrong places.

Several of the places I have encountered looking into other solutions actually help you plan your network but with the Motorola stuff so far I can’t find anyone that will even talk to me unless I have cash in one hand and a part number in the other.

Is there a way to contact Motorola for pre-sale info on Canopy ? Is there a distributor that provides pre-sale information ?

Seems like it should be a simple thing.

While it’s clear pre-sales is lacking with Moto, I can say that the tech support is outstanding - possibly one of the best, most well trained group I have dealt with for any product.

Ask your questions here, or send me an email with your questions. If you decide to proceed with Canopy, you can hire me or another consultant to provide design, consulting, and training for your deployment.


I have no real idea what the capabilities of the radios are so it makes knowing what questions to ask difficult.

Maybe someone here can give me an idea what questions I need to ask.

While my end goal is offer wireless broadband to our entire county, I want to start out small and cheap until I have a better understanding of the technology.

I will start very simple. If I purchased the :

Motorola Canopy 900MHz Demo Kit w/ Integrated Antenna

Motorola Canopy 900 MHz Integrated Demo Kit Includes:
2x 9000SM
1x 9000APF
1x 300SS
3x ACPSSW-02 International Power Supply
3x CBL-0562 Straight Through CAT5 Cable
1x UGTK-0002 Trial Kit Quick Start Guide
1x CPT002-CD02EN Technical Overview
1x CPT003-CD03EN Canopy User Guide

900 MHz Integrated Demo Kit - Filtered AP (Intl Power Supply)

Manufacturer #: TK10290B
Part Number: 013-90-0300-MO-10290

Price: $2,781.82

It has 1 APF ( I assume this is Access Point and something that starts with F ) so can I also assume this is omni ? Or is it just going cover one direction and I will need 3 - 5 more for 360 degree coverage ?

Also, I gather that the SM is the CPE (Customer Point of Entry or Customer primises Equipment ?) so what is the 300SS ?

If I got this demo kit and stuck the AP on the top of a Water Tower :
(1) What is the max distance I could expect to be able to sell service off that AP ? E.G. what is range on it ? NOTE: I understand that trees, terrain, RF all play a big part in this. I’m not expecting anyone to be able to guarantee anything, just best guess , average or whatever.

(2) If I stick the AP on top of the water tower, what else am I going to need. Assume that I have power on the ground only, and a T1 or fiber with a telco provided router also on the ground. Does the radio and antenna go on the top of the tower or can I put the radio on the ground and just the antenna on the top ? If one / both go on the top do I need any other equipment between the AP and the Telco router ?

I guess, what I want to know is what hidden extras are there to put this on top of something high, and how far can I expect to have service ?

I really do appreciate any help / info anyone is willing to provide.

Those are all the right questions :slight_smile:

The 9000APF is an integrated radio/60deg panel antenna. You would need 6 for 360 degrees of coverage - pricey.

Most folks in your situation opt for the more economical solution which is to use the 9000APC connectorized AP with an external 900MHz Horizontally Polarized Omnidirectional Antenna. The antenna would need to be mounted at the top of the water tower at least 8’ up (higher is better).

Here is a link to the distributor I use but you should find one local to you. Developing a relationship with a Canopy provider within 100 miles driving is a good idea, when you are in a pinch, they will be more willing to help you out. The links below are web prices. Your ISP pricing will be less once you start buying regularly from a vendor.


300SS is a surge supressor for the AP. If you are in an area with alot of electrical storm activity, then you should get 300ss’s for the SM’s as well.

Power Supply:

Range depends on terrain, and the antenna used on the SM. We use 9000SMC with either 9dB or 13dB yagi antennas.

Yagi Antenna:

With clear Line of Sight (LOS), your customer at ground level and your tower at say 200’ you can expect 15+ miles. As you increase foliage, the distances start to drop. I am 6 miles out firing through a stand of trees using a 13dB yagi and I have excellent signal. I have customers at 15 miles with clear LOS and it works fine. 900MHz is best for penetrating and non-LOS conditions but it’s not 100% effective - nothing is.

foliage soaks up signal fast. If you are 3 miles out using a 13dB yagi you should be able to penetrate a fair amount of foliage. You will get a feel for what can and can’t get away with after your first 20 or so installs.

Bandwidth --> Router --> 300SS --> AP --> Antenna
Antenna and radio go on the tower. You don’t want a long cable between the Radio and the Antenna.

One of the guys installed on a water tower can help you with bracket fabrication and any installation particulars.

Ordering the starter kit is probably not the best way to start out as you are limited to the performance of the internal 12dB antenna. you want the flexibility of being able to use alternate antennas based on distance and foliage.

You can get all of the documentation you can stand off the Canopy website.

All Canopy modules with integrated antenna’s will cover a 60 deg window so for 360 deg coverage you would need 6. You can get the 900 in an intigrated or connectorized version. Each AP will handle 200 SM’s or subscriber units in software scheduling mode or 100 in hardware mode. The 300ss is a surge suppressor. The modules are self contained except for the power supply whitch feeds power to the unit threw the Ethernet cable. You could start out with 1 900AP connectorized and put an omni antenna on it and grow from their. The power supply is simply a wall transformer with a pigtail on the end that will plug into a switch or router and for the most part runs in bridge mode so it is transparent to the network. The system gets its sync from either generating it or from GPS. If it is a single site with no other canopy around you would be ok generating sync. If their are more pop’s around or you plan to put in more GPS is a requirement to sync all sites together. The GPS unit is in the CMM or cluster management module. As far as range that is dependant upon what you said. In a clean environment i have numerous links at 20 miles that give 3.2Mbps download and 800k up set to 75% downlink. Hope this helps i will let someone else take a turn now.

Thanks ! Great info and I actually went looking for what the SS was after I posted. Seems like such a simple task but when looking at literally dozens of systems with dozens of parts each, it becomes very difficult to Google all the parts for each system.

The thing that stands out the most right now is the price of the SM. I have been subscribing to the ISP-WISP list for some time now and had the impression that CPE (SM in Motorola speak) was in the $150 - $250 range. The prices I am seeing , now that I have a little bit of an idea what I am looking for, are more than twice that .

Even in quantities of 100 the cheapest I have seen the 900mhz at is around $290 +/-. I was also under the impression that 900mhz equipment was twice the cost of the other options (but it is NLOS) but so far everywhere I look the prices of the 2.4 (just for example) is actually more than the 900mhz. And the 2.4 Motorola Advantage SM’s are just crazy IHMO.

I have seen many posts were people using Canopy claim comparable CPE (SM) costs but from what I see they more than twice the cost of many other solutions. That even exceeds the perceived cost of satellite. Even though very little of the county has DSL I have only ever heard of two people that left dial-up to install satellite. The reason everyone suffers dial-up speeds is they believe the cost of installing satellite to be around $400.00 (it is actually more than that but everyone seems to believe $400.00 is the magic number). If people won’t spend $400.00 to go from dial-up to satellite how do you get them to spend $500.00 for Wireless ? Especially when , at least in this area and maybe that is what I am missing, almost 90% of all the DSL service sold is the slowest cheapest package possible (256k in this area at $29.95 a month). The phone company has very few 1.5mb or 3.0mb subscribers (49.95 and 39.95). The businesses in the area almost without exception use the $90.00 a month business DSL (1.5mb).

I don’t have an issue with paying several thousand dollars for an AP that can serve 200’ish subscribers but $500.00 for a single subscriber ? Am I missing something ? Do they really cost that much ?

Thanks again. I’m sure the information provided so far seems basic and simple but it has cleared more than a little bit of confusion on my part. What I posted above is actually a question not a statement. I have to sell my board of directors on going wireless. A year ago they refused to even look into wireless because they believed the cost of the CPE to be $250. I really need to get wireless going, there is no way we can survive if we remain dial-up, but there is no way I can sell them on $500.00 CPE’s. I have got to be missing some piece of information somewhere. Or maybe I just hope I am missing something…

The price on the 1.5 and 3.0mb DSL should have been $49.95 and $59.95 not 49 and 39. Not that it matters really but I noticed I screwed that up.

attitude0330 is that 20 mile link looking back at an AP with an Omni or Sectors / Panel antenna ?

2.4SM’s are 220ea with qty 6
900SM Connectorized are 277ea qty 6
900MHz 9dB Yagi antennas are 39ea qty 6.

As you buy more the cost goes down.

You need to look at your cost per subscriber to deploy, and decide how long you want to wait for your ROI.

We decided that we would not focus on residential customers, but rather go for business customers. They will pay a 299 install fee and 99/mo for 2mb and 249/mo for monitored 3mb circuits.

T1 customers not in a contract are excellent prospects.

Look for potential customers that cannot get DSL or Cable internet.

you can be profitable much more quicky focusing on business customers. you can also sell add on services such as network support and management, VOIP, CCTV cameras with remote viewing, Hot Spots, etc.

I have several at that range. That site is using 2 intigrated 900AP’s I dont need 360 deg their, and the SM’s are connectorized 900’s with 10db gain yagi antenna’s.

As far as price we buy directly from Motorola in large quantity to get a cheaper price per unit. We don’t charge the customer the full price for the equipment if we did most people wouldn’t sign up, that would put it right up their with sat. We retain ownership of the equipment, charge a $199.00 install fee with a 2yr contract to insure we get our money back. The contract also has a $200.00 penalty for canceling service early just like the cell company’s.

A good place to get your foot in the door is with those those business customers just ask jerry. Sell them the same speed for $75.00 a month or something like that. Customer service is another place to outshine the telco co. Their so large alot of people slip threw the cracks.

As far as comparing Canopy to other equipment. The good stuff normally is the more expensive. If you dot your I’s and cross your T’s as far as the network it’s pretty rock solid. Those 900AP’s i talked about earlier are on a mountaint top at 10,000ft along with 3 60Mbps BH’s and 3 20Mbps BH’s. For 2 yrs now in extreme conditions I have lost only one of the 20Mbps BH links from a reflector dish not getting tightened properly. The extreme winds up their just ripped it apart once it got loose. Week long snow storm’s no problem.

Talk to jerry he has a good business plan. If you target the resident consumer you WON’T be able to compete with $15.00 mo DSL service.

2.4SM's are 220ea with qty 6

WHAT? From where?!?


“As you buy more the cost goes down” is this an actual “repeat customer” policy some places have ? Or are you referring to buying 100 packs or something ? The closest I have seen the prices you quote are in 500 packs.

Thanks again.