We deploy phone systems to colonies here in Canada and the US and need to connect buildings so that phones in those buildings can operate together. Antennas are arranged into a hub and spoke model. Just like a wheel, there is a single hub antenna and multiple spoke antennas that are connected to the hub. All antennas can connect to any other antenna and any equipment on any antenna can connect to any other equipment.
Restrictions can be put into place to limit the internet and other services but thats beyond what we'll look at here.
The first step is to setup the hub antenna. For this we use a Rocket M5 antenna with an Omni antenna. The Omni antenna gives 360 degree coverage and should be mounted in a central location and high enough to be visiable and line of sight from every building. The Omni antenna has a 7 degree vertical pattern which means that each of the spokes should be no more than 7 degrees from the horizon from the hub. In simple terms, don't put your hub too high up.
We recommend ToughCable Cat5e cable for all antennas. The Ubiquiti antennas when placed outside build up static electrical charge. Charge is built up when dust, air and moisture blows by then antenna. The ToughCable has an extra conductor that is designed to drain this static charge through the earth ground of the PoE injector. This protects the antenna and other network equipment from damage. Standard Cat5e cable doesn't have this extra conductor and so the charge travels down the data conductors and can damage equipment.
Connecting the Hub Antenna
Configuring the Hub Antenna
With the Rocket connected to the Omni antenna, it must be configured. The first thing that must be determined is the network address that you will use. We recommend using network addresses with a subnet of 255.255.252.0 (or /22) which gives a space of 1022 addresses. The standard 255.255.255.0 subnet allows for 253 devices which is not enough in the long term for all the devices which will become part of the network.
A frequency must be choosen for the network. The best practice is to use the Rocket to scan the frequencies in use in the area and then select one that is not currently in use. In most cases the frequency to be concerned with is the frequency used by the internet provider.
Connecting the Spoke Antennas
One spoke antenna is used for each building. The devices within the building are connected with network switches; preferably Netgear PoE Smart switches.
Configuring the Spoke Antennas
We recommend that each spoke antenna is named with the name of the building. The name cannot have spaces so dashes or underscores can be used instead.
Once the antenna has been configured, it can be mounted and aligned. Connecting a laptop to the NanoBeam spoke antenna allows the alignment tools to be accessed even when the signal to the nanobeam is poor or non-existant. From here the NanoBeam can be adjusted until the signal strength is optimal and then the position make permanent by tightening the ring on the back of the nanobeam.
To learn more about the Ubiquiti Hub and Spoke, Rocket M5 with Omni antennas and NanoBeam antennas, visit our online store at: https://www.buyphonesonline.ca/collections/network-bridges
Antenna towers are also important. See:
We also recommend 3CX Phone System for all installations that required distributed IP networks like this. Find out more at: http://www.Office-Phone-Systems.ca