Subscriber Discussion

Is There Anything Better Than Ubiquiti For Wireless To Parking Lot Poles?

Is there anything you would recommend over ubiquiti for doing wireless to parking lot poles? I feel like their equipment is flat out junk. Constantly needs reset.

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I find Ubiquiti is hit and miss. I have radios that work for less than a year and others that have been on for 3 solid. As much of a pain in the rear as it is, finding the right firmware for the radio's is the best advice I can give.

Mikrotik is one that I have had heard good things about. I am going to give them a shot pretty soon here, just to see how they perform vs Ubiquiti.

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Comnet works reasonably well.  I will not say flawless but we do have a lot deployed and the service level required has been minimal.

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Have a look at Cambium networks.  They actually made firmware that can run on UBNT hardware that makes the wireless more reliable.  

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Wow, will have to check that out.

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Pretty sure UBNT just sued them for doing that

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Pretty sure UBNT just sued them for doing that

Michael Miller mentioned that below, and sounds like they don't have much of a leg to stand on.

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 There are some settings in Ubiquiti that will reset the units automatically if there is a loss of signal in between radios. Can't remember exactly but we had this issue with some radios on solar panels. We thought the solar wasn't lasting long enough on battery power but it was the radios. When we made the change we haven't had much issue since. Are their better radios, indeed their are but for the money these are hard to beat. As UI3 stated comnet is really good. Four times the price but they also have lifetime warranty on their products as well and their tech support is topnotch and are made in USA.

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We have been using Ubiquiti for over 10 years, and with units in the field numbering in the high hundreds at least, found it reasonably reliable, with a few caveats:

Always use shielded cable to the radios, we had a lot of problems with resets,lockups, etc. when using unshielded cable.

The setting referred to by Shannon above is called Ping Watchdog, and can be useful in some instances.

In areas with a lot of electrical disturbances, the radios can sometimes reset to default. This can be prevented by turning off the "reset button" setting in the system tab. This is enabled by default to allow resetting through the PoE injector, but in some high electrical noise environments can cause a reset of the radio.

Having said all the above, we generally use Cambium equipment (ePMP 1000/2000 series currently, looking into deploying the PMP450 series) in more critical (citywide, prison, etc.) environments, and Ubiquiti in smaller deployments.

The exception we have made for using Ubiquiti in larger environments is the AirFiber24, it's been an absolutely rock solid choice for getting 700+Mbps over fairly long distances.

There are a number of WISP's that are using the Ubiquiti platform successfully for deployments in the tens of thousands of radios.

We have used Mikrotik in the past with variable results. Where Mikrotik really shines is in the ability to combine wireless, switching, and routing in one platform, but it does have a learning curve.

Ignitenet Metrolinq is another platform we have used for smaller range deployments, although alignment of 60GHz radios is much more of a challenge. (newer models have beamforming in the AP, which helps).

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What are your thoughts on the Cambium Elevate software which can be flashed to UBNT hardware and then you can manage everything in Elevate software? 

 

UBNT is currently suing Cambium, Wincom, and end-user BLIP networks because of this software which makes UBNT radios more stable. 

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We have tested the Elevate firmware, which seems to work well on the bench, but I haven't yet had a field deployment to test it in. I do have quite a few Cambium radios on the CnMaestro platform, which has been very useful.

One thing I haven't tried yet is that on a local install of CnMaestro, you can poll it for the SNMP data of all connected devices, rather than having to configure polling of each individual device.

The part about the lawsuit that makes it a little amusing is that Ubiquiti has been challenged repeatedly about their violations of GPL licensing terms, and have simply refused to respond.

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I worked for a company that did a lot of Ubiquiti and we had numerous issues running typical outdoor CAT5, cheap switches and no UPS. During the time I was starting to research these issues, I was relieved of my duties. I started my own company and we now use the Ubiquiti Tough Cable, their connectors, Tough Switches with Ping Watch Dog (The radios only ping each other wirelessly, the switch pings via the lan port so if either side stops communicating, it reboots), and we have had great success. We also inherited a client with 20+ properties running 10+ Ubiquiti wireless devices at each location. Very rarely do we have an issue.

 

 

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Full Disclosure, I am the KBC Networks rep in NY/NJ.  Take a look.  www.kbcnetworks.com

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Adam, why KBC? If you are going to promote your line at least try to make a coherent case of what ways they are superior to Ubiquiti.

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The team at KBC Networks is very responsive for both pre and post-sale support.  They offer Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint solutions with throughputs of up to 650Mbps+.  All units are industrially rated with extended operating temperatures and hardened casings.  KBC will assist in the design and for a small fee pre-configure and label all of the equipment to make installation as plug and play as possible.

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Oh come on. guys, [2] Unhelpful still? I think he was a lot more Informative this time.

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Have you looked at FluidMesh? We use it quite a bit for remote cameras. Works great. 

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If you need plenty of throughput and reliable I would go Siklu, it has been great for us.  

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Buddy, last I heard Siklu was around $3600...

https://ipvm.com/reports/siklu-wireless

Would you really use Siklu for a camera on a pole in a parking that on average is maybe a couple hundreds meters away at most...?

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Depends on the application, typically it is more than one camera, I like bandwidth and the stability of their links and don't like to re-visit sites and lose money.  Their narrow beam is solid from what we are seeing in the field.  I agree it is not the cheapest product on the market, but for us it works.  

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So, let's say I got 3 cameras on 3 poles in a parking lot. And let's say they're in a position I can get away with one base unit serving all three poles. I'm gonna install a base unit at US $1500 MSRP and 3 subscriber units at US $900 MSRP each.

That's US $4200. Or $500 for (4) Ubiquiti/EnGenius/Deliberant radios. I could replace all of them 3 times over 3 years and with labor will probably only cost $2000. And that's if all three failed every single time, and it wasn't due to surge or lightning.

What if just one link. That's $2400 for just one link. That's a tough sale on scale of economy.

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Some we are using on cameras with video monitoring, so what if it goes down and we miss something, what does that cost? Plus what about the down time? Unless you stock the product to get the issue resolved quickly.  Sometimes it is worth having products that we can trust in the field.  Just our approach and I get what you are saying.  

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Yes, I understand and appreciate it. I often tell our sales people when they complain about pricing "If you wanna play, you have to pay. Period." We don't deal in cheap products generally either. It's just seems there's some pretty large gaps in pricing with these products. Really cheap or really expensive.

My take is no wireless is nearly as reliable as a wired connection and customer expectations should always be managed as such. I was just trying to make sure I had a clear idea of the scale of economy and again appreciate your input!

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We have also had great luck with Siklu.  Great support and easy to set up.   5Ghz is getting more crowded every day which makes Siklu a great choice when you don't have any open 5Ghz to play with. 

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We have had great success with EnGenius.  Great phone support.  Not as cheap as Ubiquiti

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Which Engenius model do you use?

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For cameras we use the Enstation.  Works great and has a POE out.  If you have a bad dish you will notice right away since it will start dropping off the network or just not transmitting at all.

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We tried Engenius years ago (maybe 8) and they failed miserably. Poorly made and poor performance, before we went to Ubiquiti. Their tech support person basically said in so many words it wasn't very good. But that was a long time ago. Have you been using them that long, and did they undergo so major overhaul in their product line do you think?

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We started using them about two years ago.  Depending on customers budget we will use Ubiquiti.  Not sure about their product in the past, current Enstation antennas work great.  Current tech support is helpful.

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Depending on customers budget we will use Ubiquiti.

Mind me asking what the price difference typically? I did a quick look at UBNT ($89 for a NSM5) and EnGenius ($82.99 EnStation5), and they look like that same price to not make a difference.

Even if the EnGenius was a better radio at twice the cost, say $160, I find it hard to believe that would have anywhere near enough impact to a project to be that price sensitive, unless you really deal on the far low end where the customer's budget is in their change jar.

 

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We have had good success with Wavesight and Fluidmesh.

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If you don't mind me asking. why the two different brands? Do certain ones usually work better for certain situations than others? And is so, which?

Last I looked at Fluidmesh, it thought it was something I think around $700 a radio or such, and that was before paying an additional fee to uncap it from the fraction of it's potential speed it was capable of. It's been awhile, but does that sound right and do they still do that?

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One of the brands was the customer's preference.  Both have been running for some time with no issues.

 

Fluidmesh radios are around $300~; and yes there is a substantial additional fee if you would like to uncap it to 100 Mbps.

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The only way I know of to get Ubiquiti tech support is if you buy from Scansource. We had a PM go through the Ubiquiti training. The trainer came to Kansas City but charged around $3,500 or so. They wouldn't even give us a discount if more students showed up and the training was on their old software and devices. Scansource gave Ubiquiti a significant PO for their product so they could become a training house for their products otherwise they didn't want to allow them to be a certified tech support. This didn't make any sense as the only way to get support directly from Ubiquiti is either email or chat. 

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For name brands, I heard of EnGenius being a great solution because of support and function. 

Mikrotik, I would keep your distance.  I know some people swear by them, but I believe they are cheap for a reason.  I know a provider in CA that uses them and they have tons of problems traces down issues they are having.  We have had many VPN/IPSEC related issues over their hardware, for example.

We (Dijkstra Solutions, which I own) also OEMs another brand that is a cloud based controller.  Prices are pretty good and I don't have issues with them.  Indoor and outdoor models available.

 

-Walt

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We use Avalan Wireless and have not had any issues with the units dropping off. The team at Avalan is great to work with.

Avalan AW58300HTS 5.8 MHZ Wireless Point to Point Subscriber Unit.
Avalan AW58300HTA 5.8 MHZ Wireless Point to Point Access Point Unit.
 
We have also had good results with Speco AP324 Wireless Point to Point units for short distance with 1 to 2 cameras.
 
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How much do the units cost around?

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The Speco units are under $200.00 Each.

The Avalan units are under $900.00 Each

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The Stellar line from Alcatel Lucent Enterprise has an unmanaged mode that makes it extremely easy to install, even in large environments.  They have outside AP's that are designed to do what you need with the meshing to exterior poles. You can set up a group of 16 without the need for a controller or cloud management.  There is a big cost savings and minimal technical knowledge needed in the unmanaged mode.  We started selling this recently over the major brands like Ruckus, etc. and the feedback has been great when used in high bandwidth applications like IP cameras.

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How much do the units usually cost?

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Samantha Burston stepping in with Aaron Starr.  The Stellar line we carry does vary in price depending on what you need.  We have an entire line that I could discuss with you.  In addition, we have an easy site survey that you could use for the Stellar portion and for the CCTV portion.  If you are not quite sure what you need, complete the surveys and let us put together a BOM for you.  That way you have someone working with you on the project instead of you trying to guess what to use.  

http://www.northamericancable.com/contact/

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I took a look at the line and I didn't see any that looked like they would be used for PTP or PTmP sectored applications like the original poster asked about, which I would say is usually 90% of outdoor wireless connected camera applications. They all look like omni-directional models intended for general outdoor wireless connectivity for clients such as mobile devices and laptops/tablets.

AL-Enterprise WLAN

Aaron, if you don't mind me asking, in relation to what this post was originally about, being a camera on a pole in a parking lot, what model Stellar would you use if you were asked to wirelessly connect a camera on a pole in a parking lot back to the building, and in this case let's say it's just 100 meters away at the most, line of site for example.

Thanks.

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Without question:   Ruckus Wireless.

When the olympics came to London, they  covered the city with Ruckus.....and they used in alot of locations street lamp poles.....

The secret sauce with ruckus is the directional antenna.   Provides the best wireless client connection.

Ruckus also does mesh very well.  The first hop is 100% bandwidth, the second hop is 75% bandwidth.....the third is I think 50%.....

But with the self healing system functionality of the zone director.......Ruckus provides rock solid wifi.  Commercial integrators can sign up direct......and get good pricing and direct support.

To get a good guess for client pricing.....  visit ruckussecurity.com.   That is pricing you can use for bid proposals....

 

Mike

 

   

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Michael, thanks for the information, but this scenario is for enterprise wide wireless. I'm not familiar with Ruckus and their website doesn't make it exactly easy, so what model Ruckus would you use for one camera on a pole in a parking lot 200 meters away?

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No sure how far one can go outdoor point to point with the outdoor antennas.   That would be question for technical sales of ruckus.   Ruckus has an extensive online training system.....super in depth.

All of the outdoor antennas can do point to point.....

Mike   

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Mike, I am very familiar with Ruckus as we are partners and have several large projects completed. 

Ruckus has only one radio designed for PTP/PTMP setups.  This is the radio Ruckus recommends for backhaul even when using Ruckus APs for WIFI. This radio is not managed via Zone Directors, Smartzones or Cloud as you have to manage these from the devices GUI. 

If you need a backhaul solution without WIFI I wouldn't recommend Ruckus unless you're going to use the P300 radios.  

Even if you are using Ruckus for WIFI I would think long are hard about using the mesh feature for the camera backhauls.   I know if several customers/projects where they have issues with cameras running this way. 

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So I see those averaging around US $1100. So that would be around $2200 for just one link.

In the 3 camera scenario I gave above, that would be around US $4400 in just the wireless equipment.

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FYI I stopped spending my customer's money awhile ago and business exploded. I care a lot more about support, product availability and system reliability then cost. Those customers that want $100 radios are the same customers that will tell everyone how bad you are when you tell them it will take 6+ weeks to a replacement radio or they have to purchase a new one.  Then what happens when UBNT doesn't have stock on that product?  

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UBNT, not have stock? you kid?

 

LOL That is a very good point, and we do keep extra inventory but so far, we do not see many failures, and when we do, it is usually everything, switch, UPS, cameras etc indicating some type of electrical/lightning issue.

 

 

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UI#5 I have hundreds of UBNT links deployed that have been working for years.  We also have several failed radios which UBNT will not warranty because the warranty date starts from the manufactured date. 

UBNT has major stock issues which are well documented on other forms.  They are also suing an end user which is making waves in the UBNT community.  There are so many wireless options on the market besides UBNT you just need to look around. 

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That's what I have been saying!

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Michael, I [Disagreed] with your statement about customer's haggling about radio prices. At least we don't really get that because we mostly do all in one pricing. I did [Agree] on your next statement after that, mostly about looking for alternatives to UBNT.

The problem as I see it are most SI's are faced with a choice of a Ford Focus (US$100 radios) or a Ford F350 Dually (US$1000 radios). They are looking for the F150 ($300) in between and there's not much choices in the middle.

[Edited later for clarity]

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Sure there is you just need to look around.  There are numerous wireless venders that fit your F150 needs. 

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Thanks Mike!......I have zero experience in outdoor long range extension of wifi....I am residential and mdu systems integrator....where i can most of the time specify a cleerline fiber connection ahead of time.....do love ruckus though.....never an issue.

Mike

 

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Perspective: Consider the quality control of the wireless trunk slammer installation versus the system designer installation. Setting cost comparison aside, the products both being deployed in like environments I am sure both fans of Ruckus vs. Ubiquiti/Unifi will have tons of arguments.

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Its not really trunk slamming when you have a client that needs 5+ links meaning 10+ radios. A NanoBeam Gen2 AC is around $100. That means $1000 in radios versus $9,000 + depending on the manufacturer. 

 

That simply puts the project out of the budget for many clients.

 

It would be great if I could get all of my clients to run fiber, bore under streets, and skip the wireless completely. But it's our job to find a solution that works, and Ubiquiti seems to fit the bill well.

 

Just curious, is there a way to tell if we are losing data? 

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SolarWinds and Ipswitch have trial software worth bench testing, perhaps an existing customer can let you try it out.

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Ubiquiti will be at the top for a while as long as you know what you are doing, they can be a great value and are well built.

 That being said, I found ligowave to be much better in the SMB market. They have premade kits P2P or P2MP that are basically plug and play (they say wire replacement). 

Price point is probably 15% higher apples to apples, but I saw a head to head throughout shootout and ligowave was much higher than Ubiquiti and Openmesh. 

They have training coarses around US right now. I think there is one being set up in NYC soon. I’m going to attend one in Dallas on Wednesday. They have some nice backhaul units and emergency band licensed product. 

Their cloud works relatively well. Needs some integration. They are a pure wireless company, no switches, media converters, or other hardware. Factory in GA where they do assembly and firmware/cloud development. 

As a PoE switch manufacturing company, Ive been brought in to several jobs by them, and them by us. 

 

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I second this! We also found the Ligowave products to be very competative when matched against Ubiquiti.

They have a broad line of products covering most scenarios. The DLB ECHO 5 in particular is a popular choice for small p-t-p setups amongst our clients.

 

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For short hops across parking lots there is absolutely no reason to use anything more expensive than Ubiquiti. We have deployed hundreds of links in similar scenarios with absolutely minimal issues.

You just need to follow some basic principles to make the links as robust as possible:

* Use minimum channel size for the throughput required - for 1-2 cameras 10MHz is plenty

* Restrict the maximum modulation on the radios, e.g. down to 26 or 39 Mbps. 

* Set the output power so that receive signals are between -40 and -55 dBm

* Choose a clear channel for operation

* Ensure adequate RF isolation between colocated radios (physical separation plus a minimum of one channel of frequency separation)

* Use up to date firmware but never deploy the first version of any new feature release, for example use 8.4.3 rather than 8.5.0

* Use good quality outdoor grade Ethernet cabling

* For multipoint always use sector antennas

* If power is in any way suspect, disable the reset button (but keep a permanent record of the IP address and login credentials)

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I have radios in service since 2012 (NSM Loco M) that are flawless. Is it possible you are asking too much? Is there abundant interface nearby? Give us more info to assist.  

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Sounds like time for a sub-$200 wireless radio shootout. UBNT, EnGenius, Ligowave, etc.

Set them up and run them for a week with a network monitor that logs drops, high latency periods, and all while generating high, constant throughput usage where you can note extreme dips in bandwidth availability.

After a week running maybe do one last test where you zap them with a cattle prod and see which ones survive! That'd be fun, right?!

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I agree, it would be nice to see how these radios compare

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I second the Cambium recommendation.  Rock solid product compared to the UBNT gear.

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Disclaimer - I work as Director of Business Development at Siklu

You may want to look at using millimeter Wave (mmWave) wireless which operates in the license free 60GHz frequencies.  The most important benefits of this technology are:

1. Interference free because it operates outside of the Wi-Fi spectrum (Ubiquiti is based on 5.xGHz frequencies same as Wi-Fi.  If there is a lot of interference in the area it can be unreliable as a result)

2. Much higher bandwith due to the greater amount of spectrum available.  Up to around 1.8Gbps bandwidth is available.  You might not need that for only a few cameras granted but if it is a largedeployment with high bandwidth cameras you may soon get up to 100Mbps where 5.xGHz wireless like Ubiquiti struggles

Downside of mmWave wireless is that it is significantly more expensive than Ubiquiti to purchase, although the prices have been coming down over the past few years (about half that what was quoted previously) and now it is on a par with many other Wi-Fi based wireless products (although still higher than Ubiquiti).  BUT - if you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (having to go back to site repeatedly to get the wireless up and running let alone unhappy customer) it could be less costly.  Also bear in mind with mmWave wireless you do need clear line of site (it will not shoot through trees).

A number of mmWave wireless manufacturers (including Siklu) are now offering point to multipoint mmWave radios which are ideal for parking lots, since they are lower cost, very easy to install, short range (up to around 1000ft or 300m), compact form factor and can be configured point to multipoint as opposed to point to point (so you need less radios). 

Having radios which will also provide PoE output (pass through) to the cameras is also very nice as it means you don't need an additional switch on the camera pole or additional PoE injectors - just connect the cameras directly to the radio.  Makes for a very clean installation with minimal boxes.

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BUT - if you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (having to go back to site repeatedly to get the wireless up and running let alone unhappy customer)

Alex, can you clarify on this point? What would make the Siklu better in this respect? What do you believe it is about Ubiquiti and similar products that cause integrators to "repeatedly" have to go back to get the wireless up and running, and why Siklu would not have this problem? Thanks.

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Using 60GHz frequencies which are outside of the Wi-Fi spectrum you will not suffer from interference or congestion issues, which means that the wireless will operate for many many years with no need to go back to site to change channels due to interference from another wireless sources.  In other words almost zero truck rolls.

The reason you will not suffer from interference or congestion even in the 60GHz spectrum is because mmWave beam angles are very narrow and are only short range (up to around 0.7 miles/1km P2P or 1000ft/300m P2MP).  Plus they operate outside of the Wi-Fi spectrum so are immune to those frequencies (2.4GHz, 5.xGHz).

With Ubiquiti and other Wi-Fi based wireless systems which suffer from interference and congestion you MAY have to go to site multiple times to change the channels or even frequencies being used due to interference and congestion from other Wi-Fi devices (could be indoor, outdoor or even mobile such as vehicles with Wi-Fi enabled).  This is of course much worse in built up areas as opposed to rural areas.  But it is a problem getting worse.  2.4GHz is pretty much saturated and 5.xGHz is getting as bad in many urban areas.

Does that answer your question? 

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Yes, thank you. I was however thinking it wasn't going to do so much with signal congestion and more to do with radios simply locking up and or not pairing correctly and needing a reboot. We run into those far more often than signal congestion.

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What APs are you using that lock up?  We have APs out for 4+ years without a reboot.  I would look at other product if your having lock up issues.

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"2.4GHz is pretty much saturated and 5.xGHz is getting as bad in many urban areas."

I accept what you say about 2.4GHz. However - certainly in the UK - an outdoor spectrum scan at 5GHz near ground level (as opposed to rooftop level) will rarely show intensive spectrum usage. I am struggling to think of any example for us where properly planned links have been degraded by conventional WiFi deployments. It is true of course that you can be affected by other outdoor wireless (point to point / point to multipoint) deployments, but even then the need for a truck roll is rare:

* In any system bar the absolute smallest we will have remote access into the network via VPN

* The latest wireless hardware from Ubiquiti and others has  RF diagnostic tools  such as spectrum analysers built in, allowing us remotely to identify and move to a suitably clear alternative operating frequency

* Some products have a capability to automatically monitor link quality and seamlessly change to a better channel without any manual intervention. These should be considered for more critical links.

Result: hundreds of links deployed and close to zero truck rolls.

I would emphasise that I am not against 60GHz in principle and I expect its use to be pushed further to the network edge as the solutions mature and prices decline - look for example at a product such as  https://mikrotik.com/product/wireless_wire_dish

However in the vast majority of parking lot type deployments, 5GHz still today offers the best price/performance combination.

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You can do remote reboot with Siklu radios if ever required as long as you can access one side of the link so no need to go to the actual radio itself to do a hard reboot.

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I have had several deployments/installations using almost all of the vendors mentioned above (UBNT, Fluid Mesh, EnGenius, Ericsson BelAir, ALU, Aruba, etc..) and can tell you for fact that there is no clear cut product for every project.  Each product has it's pros and cons and there are alot of factors to consider:

GUI/Ease of use - some vendors consider that the average tech has minimum experience with wireless (EnGenius, Fluid Mesh) whereas others require more experience (BelAir and Aruba).  Some vendors even have entire communities created around deploying their hardware (UBNT). 

PoE - almost every vendor uses 24VDC PoE.  This can be especially challenging considering that most outdoor PoE injectors are 48VDC.  Do your homework.

Distance and terrain - 900 MHz for long distances, multiple obstacles, and low bandwidth, 2.4 GHz for longer distances or narrower bandwidth, 5.8 GHz for shorter paths or higher bandwidth, 4.2 GHz for Public Safety Band with narrow bandwidth, and mmBands for VERY short distances with huge bandwidth.

Full duplex vs Half Duplex - this is a hidden gem that often gets overlooked in the wireless world and will greatly effect the camera recordings.

Network Configuration - PtP, Mesh, etc... - in the wireless world, this is HUGE and may effect frequency choice, antenna size, and peripheral hardware.  

Size - Yes, it matters!  It's hard enough to have a camera on a pole with a backhaul antenna, but then throw in the additional weight of the radio.  Then EPA of the pole comes into play and you may have to reduce your hardware footprint. Etc...

Personally, my favorites are: 
PtP and PtmP has been the Ubiquiti BM2-Ti or BM5-Ti on the pole to Rocket M at the building.  

Mesh - enGenius has a great GUI. Aruba is a solid platform.

All in One - BelAir radios can be both backhaul and access point radios.  Certain models also have built in antennas.  But you definitely have to know what you're doing to deploy these.

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John King, those are great insights, thanks! If you don't mind elaborating, what is it about the UBNT bullet and Rocket M combo you like better than others, say like the Nanostations or Nanobeams..?

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The Nanos are great but we needed to be able to mount directly to the pole (no straps) and I needed an antenna that had a narrower beam. Being able to use OEM antennas gave us more options.  

The UBNT Titaniums are relatively small and use 48V PoE. The PoE injectors and switches that we regularly used in the field are 48V only so that immediately narrows the product selection.

 

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Interesting when I was at UBNT wireless training they told us to never use the BM2-Ti or BM5-Ti as they are one 1x1.  I guess if your using them for all the stations it would not be an issue but if you use them with a Nanostation your whole network would be limited to the BM2-Ti or BM5-Ti speeds. 

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I'm afraid I don't agree with much of this advice. I would highlight the following points:

* A combination of BM5 with Rocket M5 makes no sense. Rockets are 2x2 devices and Bullets are 1x1, so with such a solution you are throwing away 50% of your potential throughput plus your polarisation diversity

* Always deploy integrated antennas where you can. Every RF connector adds loss and creates an extra opportunity for moisture ingress - the number one reason for field failure of wireless equipment 

* Ubiquiti now offers outdoor rated adaptors for around $20 that convert standard 802.3af 48V PoE to 24V passive PoE

* Half duplex does not affect recording; it does marginally increase latency. This could potentially impact on PTZ control if you have a long chain of multiple radios.

* The (US) public safety band is 4.8GHz not 4.2GHz

* 60GHz millimetric band (V band) may be highly constrained in distance due to oxygen absorption. However millimetric 70/80GHz links (E band) can reliably transmit several miles. Actual practical distance depends upon antenna size, local rain characteristics and capacity requirements

* BelAir Networks was acquired by Ericsson 5 years ago - there is no longer a separate BelAir product line.

* There are pretty well zero use cases I can think of where an outdoor network supporting just CCTV should be based on a mesh topology. Mesh is inherently lower capacity and more prone to interference than a well designed point to point or point to multipoint network. This is because it uses either omnidirectional or wide beamwidth sector antennas and (unless deployed with very expensive tri-radio) it requires all the nodes within a single mesh region to communicate with each other on the same channel.

 

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Andrew, thank you for your response but you failed to look at the true issue:  finding a product that has a small enough footprint that can be mounted on a pole that already has a camera hanging off of it.  The key consideration is that all light poles have EPA (wind and load) ratings that limit the weight and wind load of any device that you can install on the pole.

1.  By using a smaller radio with a small directional high gain antenna at the pole, but keeping a throughput of 45 Mbps or more (1x1), the traffic is not effected and nothing is "wasted".  Since most camera traffic is in the 10-20 Mbps range, this is more than sufficient.

2.  Integrated antennas are good for most deployments but you have to consider that they often have high beamwidths (40-90 degrees, 45 in the case of the UBNT Nanos) thus decreasing the RSS at the base station and saturating the adjacent areas.   By using a smaller narrow beam antenna, thus increasing the gain and offset any coupling loss, the RSS was maintained and limited saturation of the band in that area. 

3.  UBNT has offered the PoE converters for a long time.  I have had very little long term success using them.  Plus, if the camera is already 48V PoE, why should I have to convert the radio PoE to 24V?  It just adds another point of failure.

4.  Yes, the Public Safety band is 4.9 GHz and the bandwidth is still small. 

5.  millimetric 70/80GHz links (E band) CAN reliably transmit several miles.  However, due to EPA ratings of most poles, mounting the radio and antenna would not be possible.  Even if I mounted the radio at the base and ran coax up to the antenna, I would have incurred the additional loss that you previously mentioned thus shortening the shot.  As well, there is no financial reason to believe that the backhaul for a single camera should cost that much (~$9k per hop).

6.  True, BelAir radios are a bit dated but I have done the same with Meraki, which is very current.

7.  In places where PtP is not possible, mesh and hybrid topology systems are deployed.  By using radios that have dual band capabilities as well as internal routing features, I was able to create redundant paths to poles that do not have LOS back to the base station. This was also a tactic used where seasonal obstructions (tree leaves and snow) occurred. And yes, they were all CCTV deployments.  

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Andrew, thank you for your response but you failed to look at the true issue: finding a product that has a small enough footprint that can be mounted on a pole that already has a camera hanging off of it. The key consideration is that all light poles have EPA (wind and load) ratings that limit the weight and wind load of any device that you can install on the pole.

What antennas are you using that are smaller than the NBE-M5-16 or Loco5AC? 

 

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Exactly. An NBE-M5-16 has a beamwidth of less than 30 degrees, a weight of 11 ounces and a diameter of 5 inches. 

I can't see this being a loading issue on a column or an external antenna option being preferable.

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We have used KBC in a small amount of locations (6) with good success. We have done point to point and point to multi both; with a  max of 2 cameras to one receiver/host.

Their tech support is great; they are small but helpful; and we have seen uptimes in excess of 400 days on the clients and hosts. Cameras, not so much. Can configure to your hearts content, mac-lock, etc. We have one location with 6 cameras in a small area (40yds x 100yds) and no issue with conflicts etc.

KBC units also have built in POE for cameras if that's what you are doing.

Cost has been about $300-500 per client, and about $400-800 for hosts. Can get at Anixter, probably at ADI too.

We are small, and they have been a good fit for our applications. Build quality has been good also, we get the rated boxes and have been happy.

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Don't get me wrong... I like the UBNT product line.

As for the antenna question, there are several 5.8 GHz antennas that have comparable size and gain out there.  I usually compare L-Com to other sites, but the small footprint, high gain antennas do exist.

Is there another option for an enterprise level client radio that can be connected to an existing wireless network and not require the proprietary base station?  Basically just a wifi client.

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