This closeup shows the Netgate 8dBi omni, 8 guage grounding wire and also some of the many apartments that will be able to use this new node.
SoCalFreeNet volunteer Tom is putting the finishing the touches on the installation (taping the N connectors to avoid moisture entry). Up high is the Metrix box with a Soekris 4526 and 802.11a and 802.11b radios. At the bottom is a Superpass SPPJ28 802.11a antenna used to backhaul the internet gateway connection.
Two little antennas we use in Golden Hill (the hose clamp gives some sense of scale). Can you identify what type they are? (They're both using unlicensed spectrum).
Rain plan: The site survey will proceed, though we won't be climbing on any rooftops if the rain doesn't stop!
We have a couple of activities going on this weekend. All are welcome to join in!
- 9-11am is our regular "Help the Residents" day for Golden Hill. Drop by Influx (1948 Broadway) to help out, or geek out, drink coffee, eat muffins etc.
- At 11:30, we'll be doing a site survey for a brand new location! Please join us at 9505 Gold Coast Drive, right by Miramar college/I-15. This is a 5 acre, 140 unit (10 buildings, 2 story) area housing military and college families. The owner read our newspaper article and would like to do the same thing for his community as Golden Hill is doing. This is an exciting opportunity to start our second large area.
The latest solar node (more info), seems to be dying from lack of juice. It has a 32W panel charging 2 x 12v 18 amp hour gel cells.
We're not sure yet, but Ben's testing at the site shows that the 802.11b signal was intermittent during the afternoon and the backhaul doesn't appear to work at all - though the La Cresta radio end of it seems fine.
Climbing up there is a pain, especially in the rain, so we'll wait until the sun comes out and see if it magically starts working again. Mooted solution is to add another battery, but Ben is still running the numbers...
A smaller version of our original solar node. This has a 32W panel charging 2 12v 18 amp hour gel cells. The radio is a Metrix.net kit with 160mW 802.11b card hooked up to a 9dBi 10 degree downtilt omni from Superpass and a Atheros a/b/g card connected to a 14 dBi 5.8GHz parabolic for the 'a' backhaul.
Coverage in the "Courtyard" building across from La Cresta (between 24th and 25th St and Broadway) has always been less than ideal. The building construction appears to deaden the signal substantially so the far back apartments had poor coverage except right by their windows.
This is now all fixed. Coverage should be strong throughout all the apartments, though until we get resident reports
The green X marks the spot where we installed a mini-repeater to improve performance at the Courtyard.
Seen on a rooftop in Golden Hill - one of the SocalFreenet kits temporarily located for optimal surfing. Some people will do anything to get onto our free network! Click on the image to see the details.
These kits are great, but they're not waterproof - and it really does rain sometimes in San Diego!
Ironically, something like this is an idea we've kicked around to allow buildings with marginal access to provide internet access for tenants. Mount a waterproof version of the kit on the roof (about $180) and then