Microwave Link Equipment Update

I’ve been asked if I would share what equipment is being used for the Microwave links.


At the airport for this week and because of it’s low cost we have a LiteBeam 5AC-23G2. I have two of these radios here now sitting next to me.

For this week we’ll also attempt the same equipment at MSP Riverview but will be replacing with one of the ISO models at a later date. For example PBE-5AC-400-ISO

I do have a 620-ISO radio on the way here. It is the largest of the radios. It’s not been assigned to any link just yet; I simply wanted the unit to show and tell and discuss the issues of size and wind loading for the worst case.

If we build a link to Minnetonka, the antenna is rather large at 620mm. I don’t think we’ll have a problem downtown with its size, but I’m not sure Don’s tower is up to this wind load. It’s 24.6 inches in diameter.  PBE-5AC-620-ISO.

Each of the downtown locations should use an ISO version of the radios. They have better isolation or shielding from interference sources and a radome can be added to keep snow and ice from building in the face of the reflector.

It all depends on the distance and budget for oversizing to ensure there’s no amount of rain, snow or signal that would overpower the link.

Each link will have lightening protection, mounting hardware, “double shield, double sheath, UV protected cat6 tape (flat wire)” and special modular crimp ends.

Then each site will some day have a router/linux host that manages the “mesh” which is actually not a mesh but rather a network with redundant paths. There’s also a VPN network used so that we have usable/managed IP space regardless of who the Internet access provider is.

There are a couple locations where I’d like to place sector antennas for portable links for public service agency uses… Events basically. Riverview looking over the stadium/downtown is one example. The sectors are also perfect for cases where we can find a volunteer to uplink an Internet connection to the network. I think it’s likely someone knows someone downtown in a condo who can spare a tiny bit of Internet.

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