The goal is for my computers1) to connect to other AREDN nodes. Currently, I achieve this via two different paths:
I installed a Mikrotik LDF-5 (the
n model, not the
ac model) on a used TELUS satellite TV dish.
These two tests show that it is possible to establish a connection between Nanaimo and the Sunshine Coast. The 120° sector antenna might be pushing it a little bit, but a 60° sector antenna would be enough to cover Gibsons through Halfmoon Bay and would offer an additional 4dB of gain over the 120° sector antenna.
Today, I managed to install my AREDN dish up the tree, run the CAT5 to the house, and connect it to the hAP. I started working at 7:45 this morning and finished around 5pm (after climbing up and down three times).
I aimed the dish roughly towards Mount Benson (222°), but unfortunately, I didn't manage to make a connection to the node there.
Yesterday, the folks on the Island went back to Mount Benson and adjusted the tilt on their antennas. After the adjustment, I started getting an intermittent signal. So today, I went back up the tree and used that signal to fine-tune the adjustment of my dish and managed to squeeze an extra 5-10 dB! Here's a graph of the signal before, during, and after the adjustment:
Unfortunately, it looks like I can hear the Mount Benson node 6-7 dB more strongly than it can hear me. I'm transmitting at 25 dBm. The equipment on mount Benson can transmit at 27 dBm.2)
Here's the status report pages for both nodes. It looks like I might be able to reach 1.6 Mbps, which is pretty impressive compared to VHF packet, but still pretty slow compared to the other stations.