Planning The Repeater

In my last post I talked about the middle point of my link having to be a repeater. It also doesn't have any power to this location so I calculated out my power requirments and tower requirments and have gotten to work. I priced some pre-made truss towers and found them to be very expensive.
I looked into doing a 50mm pole with guy-wires but the base would have needed to be 6 meters square.
I decided to make my own truss tower. I ordered some 50mm heavy walled black pipe, and sourced some pre made 12mm solid pre bent webbing.

My TODO list: 
Going to need a tower, anything under 8 meters in my area doesn't require a permit. Actually putting in something around 8 meters is going to be a bit of a struggle without a crane, so need to think a little smaller. 50mm black pipe comes in 6.5 metre lengths.
6.5 - minimum depth to support X length tower.
This calculates out to putting at least 1 metre into solid concrete.
I will design the tower to be 5.3 meters in height, allowing 1.2 meters in the ground.

Concrete requirements will be a minimum of 900x900x1200mm which is around 0.972 of a cubic meter. I will flared out the bottom of the hole so I'll work to making up 1.1-1.2 cubic meters of concrete.
Can't get a cement mixer up the hill it's too steep, so this will have to be a manual job. sigh

Tower requirments:
1 x PTP (point-to-point) antenna.
2 x 120 degree MIMO antenna's (with the option for a 3rd to cover full 360 if needed).
Solar panel(s), batteries, mppt charge controller, small switch to connect the radio gear, something that supports IEEE802.1Q (vlan), would like to go a small managed switch with minimal power requirments.
Circuit breakers to ensure everything plays nice.
Shielded CAT6 cabling, lighting protection and earthing equipment.
The tower is after all sitting up on the ridge line of a hill.

Steel frames to hold the solar panel(s) and a box to put the batteries and gear in.

Antenna choice:
I like the Ubiquiti equipment and have heard good things about the equipment.
For connectivity from the base station to the repeater tower link I have chosen the "Ubiquiti NanoBeam M5-19 NBE-M5-19" to go at each end. On the repeater tower I have chosen to use 2 x "Ubiquiti airMAX 5GHz 19dBi AM-5G19-120" antenna using the "Ubiquiti Rocket M5 802.11a/n 500mW" radio's.

Frequency 5GHz
Throughput 150+ Mbps
Range 15+km
Frequency 5 GHz
Gain 19 dBi
Frequency 5 GHz
Throughput 150+ Mbps
Ports (1) 10/100 Ethernet

Powering the devices:
After much reserach I picked out an MPPT controller from ebay. I had heard of several people being burn't buying an mppt controller from ebay only to find it's a cheap pwm knock off. Once I sourced the one I wanted I requested some images of the circuit boards and ensured I was getting the right controller. I ended up going with an i-Panda (yeah I know a chinese one) it's a 12/24/48V 30A charge controller. 
For the solar panels I sourced some 2 x JA Solar (JAP6-60-260/3BB) 260W Solar panels. The batteries I have chosen are 125AH 12V AGM Deep Cycle. I have gone with 2 of them to either run the system at 24V or go with 12V I will test once it's up and running which way I will configure it. 

 So the above covers the power generation  and power storage. The MPPT controller will output 12V (for my initial testing) but can be switched to 24V if I need too.

"The Last Kilometre" or in my case the last 6 or so.

Getting "The Internet" to my place.
Due to the aging copper in the ground and distances from local exchanges I'm not able to obtain an ADSL connection. (quite a funny statement in todays age.)
There was some hope with the NBN (but lets not go there now).

So this left me with planning out a way to get reliable/fast internet connectivity to my house. I pondered the idea of running my own fibre, this would end up being a very expensive install. I looked into satellite but found that it is not very fast. I am currently using mobile connectivity which is usable, not overly fast, costs a fortune once you start actually wanting to use the data. Having a little bit of knowledge about "the internet" I decided to roll my own wifi link. I initially looked at trying to connect back to the exchange that my phone line currently terminates too. Upon learning that it is only ADSL1 capable I ruled that out as an option.

This had me looking in the other direction to the next nearest exchange, as luck would have it the exchange in the opposite direction supports ADSL2+. Spending sometime on google earth mapping out links from A to B, getting rather disheartened to learn I'm up for more then just an A to B (going to need a C) I finally mapped out a path to bring an internet connection to my home/office. Thanks to the wonderful people in my local community I approached my neighbours and they were more then happy to allow me to place the equipment I need on there shed/paddock/etc to setup my wifi link. So below is the proposed path.

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I marked out the path and checked my elevations for the 2 paths. Path 1 will be around 4km's from the base station to the repeater. Path 1 rising around 123meters.

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Path 2 will be around 2.7km's from the repeater to my house. Path 2 rising around 124meters.

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With my binoculars in hand I went for a walk to all 3 locations and made sure I had a clear line of sight to all spots.  Now I need to plan what I will need to put at the middle location, as it has no power and will end up on the small ridge of a hill. 

Stay tuned I'll update my initial plans as I get time to write it all down.