Ubiquiti hardware is gaining a large amount of support and interest from the ham community for setting up MESH networks. Their M2 Bullets have received great reviews and the BBHN firmware dropped last week. The HP (high power) models are currently the only models that will work with the BBHN firmware due to having 32MB of RAM and a 400MHz CPU, as compared to the standard models with only 16MB of RAM and 180MHz CPU. I’ve picked up a couple of these units and have flashed them with the new firmware, all seems fine so far. I haven’t deployed any yet, but plan to very soon.
For the Ubiquiti units, a single antenna is needed, and a POE (power-over-ethernet) injector unit is needed. The Ubiquiti units are made to run on POE, which is easier to work with for outdoor mounting applications.
For the Linksys Nodes, you will need the following items:
- An enclosure for mounting outside
- Coax jumpers for RP-TNC to Type-N connectors. – My antennas are Type-N female, so I purchased the jumpers with Type-N male on one end. But make sure you purchase the correct connector for whichever antenna you have.
- POE Connectors. – You can run a power cord to the Linksys and use an ourdoot extension cable, or you can do POE. Depending on your application and the size of your enclosure, either one will work. However, my understanding is that the Linksys routers weren’t really made to work on POE, so you might have issues or need other modifications here.
- Antennas. – My suggestion is for 1-Omni-Directional antenna and 1-Directional antenna, such as a Yagi or Parabolic Dish. TP-Link makes a great product. I bought their 24DBi parabolic dish and also their 15DBi omni for use on my Linksys node.
Put it all together, grab a mast from Lowes or Home Depot and throw it up on your roof. Or maybe mount it to an existing tower you have. I am still in process of piecing mine together, but once I have it all done, I’ll post here about it with pictures.