I work for an IT service provider. We have a number of clients who are outside the ADSL range and aren’t happy with their ISDN connections.
We have been looking at wireless for a while now, but only last night did i come across the Canopy setup. We are rather impressed with the equipment, and hope we can get the 16km or so that we need to reach some of our clients with a reflector on the customer SM’s.
But now… I’ve done a lot of research, but there is one thing I dont quite understand. What equipment is needed for the base station. Can we start with just one or two access points (if all our clients are in one direction initially) Do we need a cluster module?
If some one could shed some light on what equipment we need to get up and running to begin with, and what we should look at for a complete 360* service.
The Canopy integrated antennas cover about 60 degrees, but you can easily cover 90 degrees if you limit the distance on the SMs more than 30 degrees off-axis from the AP. The 900MHz Canopy is available in a “connectorized” version you can add your own antenna to, but it’s important to use only horizontally-polarized antennas to lessen interference. The 2.4, 5.2, and 5.7GHz APs are available with wide-sector and omni antennas from a third party manufacturer, the Cyclone models from Last Mile Gear, but you pay a premium for these units.
A CMM (Cluster Management Module) is needed if you want to co-locate more than one AP or Back Haul using the same frequency band (900MHz, 2.4, 5.2, 5.7GHz), like mounting six APs in a circle for 360-degree coverage. The CMM is needed to synchronize the transmitting cycles to avoid de-sensing the same-band receivers. Simply selecting different frequencies is not sufficient unless you also provide some separation (distance and/or materials) between co-located APs, like mounting them on opposite sides of a building. A CMM may also be needed if you need to synchronize multiple AP sites, or if other carriers are using Canopy in your area.
A more difficult decision you face is which frequency band to use. 900MHz is by far the most challenging because of interference. 2.4GHz can be nearly as bad if you have a competing wireless carrier in the area using 2.4. I’ve found 5.2GHz to be the least crowded band, even less than 5.7, but both 5GHz bands suffer from the need for an obstruction-free RF LOS (radio frequency line-of-sight). Also, reflectors aren’t permitted by the FCC on the 5.2GHz SMs; you’re limited to 2+ miles.
Once we decided that Canopy was the top of our short list , we purchased a 5.7 Ghz evaluation kit. This consists of 1 AP and 2 SM’s and is sufficent to get a small test network up and running. Initially we had the about the same parameters here all the proposed clients were in the same general area and required a single AP to service them. The most important consideration was choosing a location for the first AP with a view to the possibility of expansion. We eventually ran that first AP as the hub of the fledgling network and simple purchased additional SM’s as required. Eventually growth required additional AP’s be deployed and while it is possible to run a couple of AP’s without using a CMM, we chose not to as it is not something that Motorola supports directly and my day is busy enough without trying to support a kluged setup on my own. That inital setup BTW has grown to 3 AP’s now and we are considering a fourth at the moment and also an addition of a approximatlely 12 Km BH across water to an area on the other side of the harbour. This morning email brought an announcement of new BH kit from Motorola with speeds up to 300Mbps that has us doing some serious path profiling this morning
is the kit we purchased initally, it has everything you need to get started field testing the Canopy system. If memory serves we also purchased a couple of reflectors for the SM’s to try pushing the envelope as well :D.
Hope it helps a bit.
Another product to look at is the Cyclone by Last Mile Gear. I have 5 of these up and running and they are great. They are a modified Canopy AP and you can get them in different flavours. I use the 2.4 and the 5.7 bands with the 360 degree antenna. They work great.
They cost more per AP but now all you need is one AP instead of 6. For our WISP company that we run, having more than 200 customers off of one tower is highly unlikely. So spending all the money on 6 AP’s and a CMM and the cabling for that was not a great idea.
Thanks for all the input people, it’s great!
What sort of distances are your running? 2miles is too short for us, our closest clients woul dbe about 2 miles, and furtherest could be 10-15miles. Is this sort of distance ok with the reflectors on the SM’s?
We are in negotiations with the owner of a 100’ tower on the tallest hill in the area so LOS shouldn’t be a problem.
I’ve just had a look at the cyclone gear. That looks very promising… they claim 7mile with no reflector and 20miles with a reflector, does that seem right? If I understand correctly, we purchase a Cyclone AP, and use normal Canopy SM’s?
moose wrote: Another product to look at is the Cyclone by Last Mile Gear. I have 5 of these up and running and they are great. They are a modified Canopy AP and you can get them in different flavours. I use the 2.4 and the 5.7 bands with the 360 degree antenna. They work great.
They cost more per AP but now all you need is one AP instead of 6. For our WISP company that we run, having more than 200 customers off of one tower is highly unlikely. So spending all the money on 6 AP's and a CMM and the cabling for that was not a great idea.
hi, do you mean this AP can provide link to Canopy 5700SM? please let me know if i am correct.
How many miles? and, does it have also a Web Interface??
The unit is a Motorola Canopy. All they do is take it out of the plastic case, modify it with a choice of a few different antennas and that is it. You can get it in 2.4 or 5.7. They do it with the AP’s and the BH’s.
I’ve got links that work very well at just over 28 miles according to the SM, which is in the 2.4 band.
Here is the link where you can find this:
And yes you purchase the Cyclone AP and use regular Canopy SM’s with or without reflectors.
I know lastmilegear,
i have just received the 5.7Ghz AP that i bought from them, sent thru Fedex.
i wasn’t expecting this product to be available. but, this is so great.
really so great. damn i love it.
Moose, have you tried the 900MHz versions of the Cyclone at all?
Noticed any incompatibilities with Canopy SW releases?
their is no compatability issues IT IS A MOTOROLA CANOPY MODULE
…with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANTENNA…
which may have some minor issues that were missed in testing just like pretty much any other piece of electronics EVER put into production.
Better to know of inconsistencies that shouldn’t by rights be extant before I purchase a piece of hardware worth a couple thousand dollars, than after I have it a couple hundred feet in the air and am relying on it.
any other who have tried it?? can you post some more feedbacks?? please.
I have not tried a 900Mhz because I just order the connectorized version from Motorola.
Cool. Just curious.
Didn’t mean to burst your bubble. I sold a municipality a 2.4 AES unit to tie 4 buildings together. The first one that came in was wrong I dont know where the foul up was ours or theirs. It came with a 360 deg antenna with a 7 deg downtilt. Mounted on a tower at 160ft the furthest sm i had to install was 4.5 miles away. Never got a signal The radiation pattern of the antenna was going right into the ground at about 3.5 miles. I sent unit back and had them put a antenna with 0 deg downtilt problem solved. I guess my point is make sure you pick the right unit they have lots of options. They changed it out for a couple hundred bucks. I never intended it to have any downtilt but thats the way it came. Other than that it is a nice unit. The Motorola electronics are in an aluminum housing its a pretty sturdy unit but keep in mind it should only be used at sites that will not be heavily loaded with sm’s in that case your better off going with multiple ap’s
We are running the Cyclone on a mountain top at 5400 ft and so far the furthest distance we have sucessfully done with standard SM is 28.097 miles with great thru-put. We are now looking at trying a long haul shot using a much larger reflector at the sm end over a distance of 38 miles. Not sure if this will work but will post results.
For those of you who have used 900 mhz stuff, how is it over long distances??
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