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L4RRY

Using Ubiquiti to get 200/15 Fibre to my Farm (with pics)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

After seeing Linus mention Ubiquiti on the latest WAN show, and their discussion about people getting fast connections to remote places, I thought I would share a project log with you guys to show you how I got a fibre optic connection from the nearest village to my farm 500m away.

 

When I moved to my farm back in June, I called the ISP and was told I could get "up to" 1mbit broadband. Having moved from a town house which had been blessed with 150mbit for a few years, this was something I could not settle for. I discovered that the nearest village was served by Virgin Media's fibre optic and figured there must be a way to get this service to my farm. Obviously the first thing I did was contact Virgin Media to get a quote to put in a line. After some negotiation, the cheapest they could offer me was £7,000; and that was if I dug the trench myself.

 

Then I came across Ubiquiti. After a good discussion on another forum, I put together a plan and 5 weeks later I went from having 1mbit broadband to what is effectively a 200/15 FTTH connection.

 

The plan basically consisted of me gaining permission from my nearest neighbour to mount a Ubiquiti NanoBeam 5AC along with a external cabinet, on his wall and then "beaming" the connection over to my farm.

 

I hope you find my project interesting and maybe even inspiring and if there is anything you want to ask me, I'll be happy to answer.

 

~Larry

 

So this is where it all begins. Packed inside a compact, weatherproof box is all the equipment need to give me a connection. Here we can see a dual socket power point, powering the fibre modem itself as well as a power over ethernet (POE) converter used for powering the Ubiquiti NanoBeam 5ac. Its a tight fit but I wanted to get the smallest possible box to reduce the visual impact on the neighbours wall. The coax connection comes through the bottom of the box into the modem, from the modem a cat5e runs into the POE converter and finally another ethernet runs from the POE up to the Ubiquiti wireless transmitting hub.
 
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This is a view of the whole setup on the neighbours house. As you can see, the coax comes out of the ground after running along the property boundary from the road. They actually ran a new cable from the cab for me, it doesn't split off the existing connection. The upper cable coming from the Sky dish is the power cable which connects in the neighbours loft through a fused box. The cable running up the middle is the ethernet running to the white Ubiquiti transmitting hub.
 
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This is a view from the neighbours house to the receiving hub. The dish is mounted on the telegraph pole which can be seen in the middle of the photo, just to the left of the woodland. The total distance between the two hubs is around 450m.
 
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A picture from the halfway point between the two hubs showing both hubs.
 
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And here is a picture from the receiving pole, back to the neighbours house.
 
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This picture shows the connection between the receiving hub to the house itself. The total length of cat5e used was about 73m. The distance to the house from the pole is about 60m with a further 13m running around the house to the rear office. The cable is supported by a length of steel cable which is taught between the pole and the house. I then simply cable tied the ethernet to the steel cable. There is about 1m of excess at the pole end in case I need to make repairs.
 
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Here you can see the cable running around the outside of the house and finally through the wall and into the office.
 
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And finally the office where the connection is received.
 
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As mentioned before, the superhub is in modem mode with the two Ubiquiti wireless hubs set into bridge; so they are essentially (and as far as any receiving equipment are concerned) a really long cable. After passing though another POE converter, the connection is received by a Asus RT-N66U router. The main desktop is connected via ethernet, with other devices making use of the wireless.
 
Here is a couple of printscreens of the Ubiquiti hub interface. There is a bit of tweaking to do hear and there but ultimately it is working as it should. Not bad considering I only lined up the dishes by eye. The channel width 40mhz. The extremely low noise levels in the rural area are probably helping things. I am not all too clued up on a lot of this sort of stuff so any tweaks will be carried out with the help of a mate who is a network engineer. 
 
As you can see there is a <1ms ping between the two devices with a total throughput of ~300mbit.
 
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The connection has been live for several months now and I've not had a single blip. I am a happy man :)
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WOW!

 

Holy crap, that is awesome.

Sorry i am not a country boy but to have a farm transition into a room with tech is just too much for me to handle.

@LinusTech , please come see this.

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awesome post!! 200mbit is great especially for a farm. I have a friend who lives a few km out of town as he can only get a weak 3G signal with a roof top antenna and even then only 8GB a month. Might look into this gear see if I can share my connection to his house. 


The Cake is a Lie...

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Cheers guys.

 

It's nice when something like this materialises.

 

Total cost was somewhere in the region of £350. Not bad for interwebs in the middle of a field.
 
Ubiquity devices £150
Cable £70
Asus Router £70
Equipment for modem at neighbours house, cables, box etc ~£40
 

awesome post!! 200mbit is great especially for a farm. I have a friend who lives a few km out of town as he can only get a weak 3G signal with a roof top antenna and even then only 8GB a month. Might look into this gear see if I can share my connection to his house. 

 

As long as you have line of site, anything is possible. Since putting up my connection, I've noticed a few more around the place. There is a restaurant/motel on the outskirts of the city which has a Ubiquiti device pointing at tower block of flats which can be no less than 1 mile away.

 

The hardest part was negotiating with the service provider to set up a connection in my name with my billing address at a property which already has a connection. If I'm honest, I'm still not so sure the ISP understands exactly what it is I have going on. I suppose another hurdle could be negotiations with the neighbour but fortunately for me, he was tech savvy and found the whole thing very interesting. I managed to organise a £5/month discount on his account as we are both on the same ISP and as far as the ISP is concerned, if it were not for him, they would not have me as a customer.... share the wealth and all that :P

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Awesome! I love to see projects like this.


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I am in serious awe right now. Tell me though; did you settle for the NanoBeam purely because of it's AC WiFi standard and did you at all consider any of the other Ubiquity products such as the NanoStation M5, AirFiber (5 or 24) or the PowerBeam? @L4RRY

Not judging your thought process. I'm just curious as to your thought process :D

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I am in serious awe right now. Tell me though; did you settle for the NanoBeam purely because of it's AC WiFi standard and did you at all consider any of the other Ubiquity products such as the NanoStation M5, AirFiber (5 or 24) or the PowerBeam? @L4RRY

Not judging your thought process. I'm just curious as to your thought process :D

 

Tbh, the Nanobeam was suggested to me by Ubiquiti's online calculator. I then went through all the other Ubiquiti products to find out WHY the NB5ac was the one I needed and then went with it. From what I can tell, no other Ubiquiti product ticked all the boxes at a price I was happy with, without offering more features than I needed. The NanoBeam 5(non ac) does not give sufficient bandwidth at a distance of 500m.

 

I did absolutely no research into other companies offering similar solutions though(other than perhaps a quick "Ubiquiti vs 'x'"). I couldn't see myself saving a significant amount of money going to another company, as the NB5AC was so cheap,  and with Ubiquiti's rep, reviews and general persona, I was sold.

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This is pretty fucking cool, dear sir. thumb.gif


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Awesome job. How did you explain it to Virgin exactly? Also, did you have to get permission from the council to put the receiving dish on the telephone pole; or did you just do it anyway?

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That's badass!

 

i called BT not long ago asking how much it'd cost to run fibre the 10m to my house and i got stonewalled :(

 

i need gigabit


 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Awesome job. How did you explain it to Virgin exactly?

I explained the exact situation to virgin media, it's just I don't think they ever quite grasped what I was doing. The biggest problem was the fact that their customer service is foreign and if you enquire about anything beyond the norm, it confuses them; nothing personal, its mostly a language barrier. But I have never the less checked with management (to secure the discount) and they assured me that what I was doing is completely fine and did not breach ToS.

To add, the engineers that came to fit the modem externally were quite impressed with the setup, if not (like most people) a bit sceptical about my predictions of <1ms ping and zero packet loss :P

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To add, the engineers that came to fit the modem externally were quite impressed with the setup, if not (like most people) a bit sceptical about my predictions of <1ms ping and zero packet loss :P

I think most people who've never really looked into beam antennas probably underestimate how awesome they can actually be. School buddy told me about a setup he did at a LAN party a few years ago with the good ol' "consumer router with external antenna + tin can for beam shaping" trick, and said he got 300 meters out of it (he didn't just put a tin can on the antenna though if I understood him right, he actually welded a few cans together to make something similar to a parabolic dish I think). They were having the LAN party at the school's gym and he forwarded the internet connection from his home to there because the gym didn't have internet. He said he was very astonished at how well it worked.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I think most people who've never really looked into beam antennas probably underestimate how awesome they can actually be.

 

Myself included prior to this project. With the poor performance most people experience from nearly every consumer wireless router out there, peoples misconceptions are understandable. When you tell someone you are going to wirelessly transmit something 500m, their immediate thought is "lol, good luck, I can't even get good wifi in my kitchen".  :lol:

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Definitely awesome! We've got some property with a house and a barn/shop approx. 400m away from it with line of sight. Thinking about doing something similar to get internet out there :)


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Definitely awesome! We've got some property with a house and a barn/shop approx. 400m away from it with line of sight. Thinking about doing something similar to get internet out there :)

 

Great, of course if you have any questions, give me a shout!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just to give an update. We've have had very strong winds, up to 80mph, sleet, snow, hail and ice. Not once through all this did the Ubiquiti devices batter an eye lid. Still haven't had to interfere with them since installation. For anyone considering something like this, I couldn't recommend then more.

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6 hours ago, L4RRY said:

Just to give an update. We've have had very strong winds, up to 80mph, sleet, snow, hail and ice. Not once through all this did the Ubiquiti devices batter an eye lid. Still haven't had to interfere with them since installation. For anyone considering something like this, I couldn't recommend then more.

What does your ISP charge for that connection?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, MG2R said:

What does your ISP charge for that connection?

Not exactly sure, I think its about £42/month, could be £37 though... somewhere around 40 quid :P

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 19/12/2015 at 2:36 PM, Patrickkd said:

awesome post!! 200mbit is great especially for a farm. I have a friend who lives a few km out of town as he can only get a weak 3G signal with a roof top antenna and even then only 8GB a month. Might look into this gear see if I can share my connection to his house. 

Just curious, did you ever find a solution for your mate? No idea why, but your post came into my mind this morning. Weird, considering I cant even remember what I had for dinner last night.

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