Tree installs

We end up turning down many of our potential customers on the basis that there are too many trees. How many people have attempted using trees as radio towers, and what has been the success rate with doing so? Any unforeseen problems with this?

I’ve attempted installs in trees. The problems I’ve come across are that it’s very hard to service (unless you have a trained monkey on hand) and the sway in the tree causes the signals to fluxuate alot more then usual.

tlsarles wrote:
We end up turning down many of our potential customers on the basis that there are too many trees. How many people have attempted using trees as radio towers, and what has been the success rate with doing so? Any unforeseen problems with this?


Unless you have really big trees that don't sway in the wind I can't imagine it working. Then again, I guess it could depend on what frequency you are using ( 900MHz, 2.4GHz or 5GHz ). I know that WaveRider makes mobile units (for automobiles) for their 900MHz and I believe I have seen mobile units for other bands by other makers... Logically it seems that an SM swaying in the breeze at the top of a tree would not be much different than an teenage girl parallel parking her SM on main st... then again I don't know if their mobile units are guaranteed to work while parallel parking :)
tlsarles wrote:
How many people have attempted using trees as radio towers, and what has been the success rate with doing so? Any unforeseen problems with this?


My sucess rate is 100%, but that only is a single install so is not statistically meaningful. I run a private pt-to-pt link (I'm not a WISP) and am using 900 Canopy gear due to my NLOS conditions from trees.

My 900AP (integrated) is mounted on a 20' mast which is bolted about 33' up a pine tree for about a 53' total height. The top of the mast sticks a few feet past the tip of the tree, but I had to bolt it lower both for the sake of a wider trunk for stability and because the trunk is not straight enough higher up to keep the mast reasonably vertical.

The single 900SM associated with this AP is about 1.34 miles away, and centered in the 60 degree beam width of the AP. That may help explain why the sway does not seem to affect me.

If I had to do it over, I'd have bought a connectorized version and used a Yagi both for a more directional signal and to reduce with effects of wind against the larger integrated antenna. At times I can see the mast swaying a couple of feet and I still don't lose my signal. OTOH, perhaps I handle the sway better using the larger beam of the integrated antenna and would have more problems with a directional Yagi.

I've gone over 30 days sometimes without even a single re-reg, although lately I've had more frequent re-regs. But my inclination is to suspect new interference instead of sway, since it previously ran for long periods without any reregs at all even when windy or during heavy storms.

I just haven't done a new spectrum analysis to look for sources or to see if I should change the frequency I use.

I have a lot customers with SMs/CPE’s in trees. I even have a 900AP in a tree which services 15 customers at the moment.

Our shortest link is 1.3 miles to a customer who has their integrated 140ft up a sugar pine pointing to an omni on a tower. Our longest link is 8.6 miles from an omni on a large pole off a guys house to a 17dbi M2 Yagi about 120ft up a pine tree. And just yesterday I put up a customer (4.2 miles away) who’s SM is 165ft up a large pine tree using a 900SMC with Pacwireless 900mhz 16dbi grid. I like the grids for trees over the Yagi’s cause they can be bolted down a lot more securely.

My rough opinion is that Integrated for 1-4 miles. 14dbi Yagi for 2-4 mile links. And 16dbi Grid for 3-15 mile links. It takes a bit of practice to know which unit to use.

All of our links have now been through a snow storm (6+ft of snow in some areas) and have not had one problem. The sway just doesnt matter much. I have done tests with a 900SM Integrated at 40MPH in a car and stayed linked up for close to 10 minutes before with only 1 rereg that whole time. The sway is just not a factor.

What is a factor is squirrels. They like to eat cables so you have to find a way to protect the cable. I have found drip tubing for irrigation systems is quite effective. Our hardware store carries it in 100ft, 200ft, and 500ft rolls.

I also have a 2.4 802.11 Deliberant AP on 15dbi omni attached to a 20’ aluminum pole which is 40’ up an oak tree, 5 feet of pole attached to the tree. This links 1.3 miles to a CPE with 24dbi Grid which is mounted about 50ft up an oak tree shooting through power lines. This connection has been stable for almost 1 year now providing nearly 2meg service to the end user.

As long as the tree doesnt twist and it only sways its not too difficult to get the link up and running. For a link to be acceptable in a tree it has to pass a 2x mode link test at 100% then I turn it down to 1x mode. I have 2 customers using 2x mode with their units in trees. One of them is 5.1 miles away with an integrated in the tree getting 71dbm and has 1 re-reg every few days.

I will have to take some pictures of some of these and post them sometime.

mattmann72 wrote:
I have a lot customers with SMs/CPE's in trees. I even have a 900AP in a tree which services 15 customers at the moment.


I will have to take some pictures of some of these and post them sometime.



Please ! I would love to have some pictures of this ! After seeing huge jitter issues just from having trees saying in the wind 20ft in front of the SM I would never have dreamed of actually mounting an SM or an !! AP !! in a tree !

My bosses are still very skeptical that this system will work over a large enough area here ( it's all forest and river bottoms). I would love to be able to show them pics of SM's working from !! Trees !! .

we have ONE installer that put ONE unit on a tree. its a 900 canopy unit & its the only way he could get a signal since he lives in a trailer.

I do have a photo of the installation if you are interested in seeing it i could scan it & e-mail or figure a way to post the pic on the forum…

let me know if your interested, we did not make this a standard procedure & left all responsibility on the customer & installer so us as the ISP is not liable for the service maintenance. although we haven’t had any calls from this customer in over 6 months of being installed.

good luck,

drdrew

We have multiple installs in tress, We have had one unit explode due to lightning near the unit other than that out of the 20 or so we have had no problems.

The following are statistics of some installs where the 900SM is at least 120ft up a pine tree or higher linking to a Pac Wireless Omni antenna. All links are 100% link test at 2x mode when installed. All have been through at least one heavy snow storm and lots of rain. Most links are still NLOS at the point where they are mounted in the tree.

900 Int | 4.34 Miles | 63dbm | 2 Jitter | 2x Mode | 1/1/0 | Up 35 days

M2 17dbi Yagi | 8.69 Miles | 73dbm | 3 Jitter | 1x Mode | 4/3/6 | Up 62 Days

900 Int | 1.48 Miles | 54dbm | 3 Jitter | 1x Mode | 1/1/0 | 54 Days

This link still has 1/4 mile thick pine in front of it and hits the top of a mountain (according to Radio Mobile) near the Access Point.
900 Int | 2.39 Miles | 78dbm | 4 Jitter | 1x Mode | 1/1/2 | about 40 days

drdrew I would love to have a picture of that. I sent you a PM , I think, with my email addy !

drdrew wrote:
we have ONE installer that put ONE unit on a tree. its a 900 canopy unit & its the only way he could get a signal since he lives in a trailer.

I do have a photo of the installation if you are interested in seeing it i could scan it & e-mail or figure a way to post the pic on the forum…

let me know if your interested, we did not make this a standard procedure & left all responsibility on the customer & installer so us as the ISP is not liable for the service maintenance. although we haven’t had any calls from this customer in over 6 months of being installed.

good luck,

drdrew

ya we use trees alot but we have a bucket truck too so that make it really easy to service for us i also use hangers like the telephone company for stretching my cat5 and so far “fingers are crossed” no breaks in lines.

You can see pics of a few installs at:
http://www.smarterbroadband.com/treepics/

If you want to browse them easier you can download the zip file. It has all the pics in it.

:!: WOW those are awesome

we have a BH mounted at the top of a palm tree :stuck_out_tongue:

its been there for about 2 years with out any problems.

Just the other day we mounted a dish in a pine tree. If you can get low enough the base of a tree hardly moves.

Thanks for the pics Matt!
you should post them at
http://www.wispforums.com/