Jostin’s nbn non Standard Fixed Wireless Story Using PtP link

Pre-Planning Investigations for nbn Fixed Wireless
After reading about the experiences of others with Fixed Wireless NBN non-standard installations on BIRRR and the Whirlpool Forums, I began investigating our own non-standard installation. The main challenge being that a corner of the property was included in the fixed wireless coverage however the house was located approximately 6 kilometres away with no direct line of sight. Further to this, the location where I wanted to install the NBN FW receive station was outside of the NBN FW coverage map despite having direct line-of- sight to the NBN tower. I provided the RSP with the
following:
 The direct line-of- sight photograph Photo 1 (Large) - Copy
 A Ligowave link simulation report including all required parameters (including not being centred within the sector on a tower that did not have 360 degree coverage).
 A mock-up of the enclosure for the FW NTD

Photo 2 (Large) - Copy
 Some possible structures that it could be installed (old unused water tank, old cottage, etc) and the installation address.
The installation was accepted, and the real work commenced.
Installation – FW NBN Receive Station
A day before the scheduled installation, the installer phoned to confirm directions and I took the opportunity to ask what he knew about non-standard installations, “never heard of them” was the response. I briefly explained the situation and he agreed to come and check it out. I also printed out a heap of examples and information, mostly from the BIRRR website just in case some non-standard installation education was required (in the end it wasn’t).
I arrived on-site before the NBN installer and rolled out my Version 1 equipment/install.

Photo 3B (Large) - Copy

Photo 3A (Large) - Copy

  • 250W panel (second hand grid connect panel).
  • 12V lead acid battery – 100Ah AGM; mounted inside a cheap Bunnings toolbox mounted to the wall using some Bunnings L-brackets.
  • A weatherproof enclosure housing:
    • Victron 75/15 MPPT charge controller (for charging battery).
    • 12V to 240V inverter (Supercheap Auto – not visible in photo 1 as it is behind the
      panel and wired to the 240V GPO).
    • The router.
    • And of course, space for the NBN’s FW NTD.

The installer arrived and long story short:

  • Installer looked at the site and said it met all of the NBNCo’s requirements (power,
    weatherproof, to a structure). I know there is a lot of conjecture about exactly what these
    requirements actually are and I recognise his information may not be the NBN policy
    (whatever it is) but as he was the (sub) contracted representative his opinion was good
    enough for me. No need to give him the printed BIRRR examples.
  • Installer performed a signal test and he was somehow picking up two sectors.
  • Installer would not install the ODU onto my custom T-pole mount (see pictures) without first getting approval from Ericsson but said he could proceed with using the standard mount right away (the latter option was gladly taken!).
  • The NBN FW was completed and as it turns out; this was the easiest part getting our NBNFW!

PtP Relay Station (and UHF repeater)

An intermediate relay station would be placed centrally and elevated on the property with line of sight to both the NBN FW Receive Station and the House. It was also decided that this site would a house private UHF radio repeater.

Photo 10A (Large) - CopyPhoto 10B (Large) - Copy
The following items were sourced:

  • 15m lighting tower sourced from Gumtree. Photo 4 (Large) - CopyModifications were made to it including a base pivot point, 2x mounting points for the Ubiquiti radios at 8m elevation, and a UHF antenna mount at the 15m elevation.
Base Pivot Point

Base Pivot Point

 

 

 

Photo 6 (Large) - Copy

Mounting Points

  • A weatherproof enclosure (second hand) for housing the electrical and communications equipment.
  • A fabricated steel frame which would support the enclosure above, the solar panels and a toolbox (Masters liquidation special) to house the battery.

The tower foundation was installed using a 600mm auger with rock struck at 0.75m depth. Jackhammer was used to dig a further 0.75m; resulting in a total depth of 1.5m (of which 0.75m was into a 0.75m very strong, non-weathered rock). A rebar cage with anchor bolt template was placed into position and 0.5m 3 (1.2T) of 40MPa concrete was hand-mixed and placed. Because of the swing mechanism of the tower, the threaded rod anchors could not extend above the finished concrete level. The anchor bolt assembly and template was made up of 4x M24 Gr8.8 galvanised threaded rod terminated into M24 Hex Couplers with a ply spacer/template to set positions. Photo 7 (Large) - CopyThe equipment enclosure steel frame was also concreted into position.
A month later we returned to erect the tower. Equipment (details below) and cables were installed on the ground. Photo 8 (Large) - CopyConcrete screws (Ramset Ankascrew) were used to pin the base plate hinges to the foundation and the tower was then raised. Photo 9A (Large) - CopyPhoto 9B (Large) - Copy

Once raised, a few taps of a sledge hammer positioned the base plate holes precisely over the embedded hex couplers female threads, and the M24 bolts were installed securing the upright tower.
The following equipment was fitted out on the tower and enclosures:

  • 2x Ubiquiti Powerbeam M5 400 radios (with ISO reflectors but these are probably
    unnecessary).
  • 1x Ubiquiti ToughSwitch POE. This is powered directly from the battery output and the
    Powerbeam/Toughswitch are not adversely affected by being powered directly from the 12V battery (which in practice fluctuates from 12.6V – 14.6V depending on the charge state).
  • 1x 12V lead acid battery – 300Ah AGM. As this battery weighs 76kg, a hand winch and swing arm were also installed to the enclosure mounting frame to make removal and replacement easier.
  • 2x 250W solar panels (grid-connect type). Ample power generation capacity with a
    philosophy that this would provide sufficient power to recharge the battery to 100% even on the cloudiest of days.
  • 1x Victron 100/30 MPPT Charge Controller – for charging battery.
  • 1x Raspberry Pi 2 with Victron’s Venus GX software installed to remotely monitor the Victron charge controller and provide live battery voltage status. This was powered by a USB Charger.
  • Cooling fan and LED strip lights were also installed within the enclosure.
  • As the site also includes a UHF repeater – the receive radio, transmit radio and UHF duplexer were also installed.
  • Ubiquiti Surge Protectors were installed for the Powerbeams.

 

Photo 11 (Large) - CopyPhoto 12 (Large) - Copy   Photo 13 (Large) - Copy
Upgrade of NBN FW Receive Station for PtPtP usage
An Ubiquiti Powerbeam M5 400 was installed and mounted to the T-pole mount I had fabricated. An additional 250W solar panel was added as I felt I may have undersized the 12V battery (only 100Ah). By adding this panel, I ensured that even on the cloudiest of days, the battery is still reaching 100% charge. The 12V-240V inverter was removed and replaced with a Victron 12/12 DC- DC Converter to power the NBN FW NTD providing a regulated constant 12V output even when the voltage from the battery fluctuates from 12V-15V (as the charge state varies).
A cheap Netgear WNDR2000v5 router (which is also powered by the Victron 12/12) has been added since the photos were taken. This was done to separate the routing hardware, make remote web- based management simpler and resulted in improved network performance.

Photo 14A (Large) - Copy

Completed installation  (T-pole mount with space for NBN FW ODU but did not end up
using it)

Photo 14B (Large) - CopyPhoto 15 (Large) - CopyPhoto 16 (Large) - Copy

Battery enclosure & Inside enclosure.
Tips & Lessons Learned
Some tips based on my experience (some are pretty obvious but caught me out):

  • When you have 2x Ubiquitis at the same location (even if they are pointing in completely different directions with ISO reflectors), ensure you manually assign the link channel so that no part of the frequency overlaps with that of the adjacent radio (e.g. a 5800Mhz with 40Mhz will spread from 5780-5820Mhz so the adjacent radio would need to be set at 5840Mhz). Using the AUTO channel setting will not achieve the required separation.
  • On the rare occasion, the Ubiquiti radios go non-responsive and require a power reset;
    which is an inconvenience for remote installations. Fortunately the software on the Ubiquiti radio (AirOS) and ToughSwitch (EdgeOS) include a Watchdog feature which allows the radio to send a ping to an IP address and if no reply is received after a certain period of time, the radio will reset itself. In the case of the ToughSwitch, the power will be removed from the POE port forcing a power cycle reset of the connected radio.
  • Remote monitoring and control feature has been installed to make fault finding very
    efficient (most of the time it can be done remotely). The Ubiquiti Network Management
    System (UNMS) has been installed which provides internet based monitoring (so the system can be seen from both the house side and the internet side.
Photo 17A - UNMS overview (Large) - Copy

UNMS
dashboard

Web-based remote management (with Dynamic DNS) has been enabled for the
Router and ToughSwitch (using port forwarding) allowing further web-based monitoring and control.

Photo 17B - Victron battery monitor (Large) - Copy

Victron Data

Victron data is uploaded to Victron’s VRM servers allowing live and historic data of the solar charge controller and battery voltage.

I used lead acid AGM batteries and these can provide a reasonably long service life providing you do only discharge to about 20% depth of discharge. When these reach the end of their life, I will likely replace with LiFePO4 type 12V battery. These allow you to discharge much more deeply therefore you can use a smaller, lighter and less total capacity battery while achieving the equivalent usable capacity. Although they have a higher upfront cost, I suspect the lifetime cost will be less (but if you do this don’t forget to edit the charge controller settings to suit the battery type). When the time comes for replacement I will do some more precise power usage measurements with a shunt and size accordingly. Based on the data collected from the charger/voltage monitoring I’m using about 30Ah overnight at the Relay Station. I would estimate that the NBN FW station uses about 20Ah overnight. The 500W of solar at each site would have no have no trouble returning these to 100% every day.
Conclusion
This turned out to be a much bigger job than originally anticipated. Everything was that little more difficult because the hill relay site was very steep only accessible by ATV and large tractor/bulldozer.
The overall cost was approximately $8,000 for equipment and materials; and this figure does not include labour or plant (which fortunately for us was no cost). The end result is a low latency connection getting 43 Mbps down & 17 Mbps up.

Photo 18 (Large) - Copy

Unfortunately there is some congestion impacting us at either the RSP or NBN level, which depending on the time of day will range between 20-38 Mbps. Nevertheless, it is a drastic improvement over the previously connected IPstar satellite system and hopefully it proves to be a reliable network connection well into the future.

Disclaimer: This document is meant as an informative document based on my own research and experience. Any views, opinions, information etc. provided is not necessarily the same as that provided by NBN Co, BIRRR, or any other organisation referred to here.  Prepared for BIRRR by Jostin Meekels.

 

 

 

 

 

How to choose an nbn provider

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 12.03.43 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-29 at 12.04.03 PM

Click HERE to access the PDF version of the BIRRR How To Chose an NBN Provider document.

Check your address on the nbn rollout map here.

For nbn Fixed Line and nbn Fixed Wireless technologies Whistle Out have information on plan comparisons and how to pick a provider.

For nbn Sky Muster Satellite plan comparisons, see the BIRRR comparison chart.

Further information on nbn Technology Types can be found here.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your eligibility and best plans available. Updated 29/08/18

Upload videos to Youtube during off peak hours

This is a Google Chrome Extension – you must be using the Google Chrome web browser, which is a free download from chrome.google.com
This allows you to schedule the uploading of videos to YouTube to occur during off peak hours.
This is completely different to the YouTube video scheduling feature, which does NOT schedule the uploading, only the publication time.
For details on installation and use, click https://chrome.google.com/…/ocpgggmabipnhemenjflgnflbcieplc…

Go to the page above.
Choose the green “Add to Chrome” button.
Double check it is enabled:
In a Chrome window, choose the 3 dots at right of URL box.
Choose More Tools.
Choose Extensions.
Should be ticked with the word Enabled. Close.

How to use:
Open Chrome tab to your YouTube upload page.
It will look slightly different to normal.
Where it normally has a fairly large grey arrow with “Select files to upload” (this will still show momentarily), in its place now is new text (see image):

To schedule:
Change the date/time in the box manually to your planned off-peak time.
Press Choose files. I would suggest that you have all the files you want to upload in a dedicated directory, go there, select all (mac: command A), press open.
Then press the schedule button.

***It says you must leave the browser and tab open. This means if you wish to keep using the browser you need to open this as a separate window that is kept open.

(This agrees with my recollection that when I have been uploading manually in the past, if I opened another tab to do other work, it cancelled the upload. This also suggests that you may not want the computer to go to sleep or the screen saver to come up, but I’m not sure of that.)

If you upload multiple files the first is uploading and the others say Upload Pending, then as one finishes the next starts to upload.

Remember: Once uploaded they are NOT published. You can come back at your leisure, go there and edit the description, title etc. And publish when ready. (and YouTube does have a publishing scheduler).

The above instructions were contributed by BIRRR member Deb Maxwell. While all efforts are taken to ensure BIRRR documents are correct at time of publishing, BIRRR cannot guarantee that the linked software is free of any fault or malicious software.

QANTAS and SkyMuster

Qantas to sign trial satellite product with NBN for Wi-Fi
http://blog.jxeeno.com/qantas-sign-trial-satellite-product-nbn-wi-fi/
The company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, nbn, has released its test agreement with Qantas allowing them to test a “Proof-of-Concept Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service” on a Qantas test aircraft. The proof-of-concept test is expected to help guide the development of nbn’s Satellite Mobility Product expected to launch in the third quarter of 2017.

As part of the trial, the network speed will be limited to 20 megabits per second for each aircraft on at most two aircrafts concurrently. The connection will also be limited to agreed flight corridors.

Trial of a Proof-of-Concept Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service
http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/sfaa-test-description-POC-aeronautical_20170116.pdf.pdf
The purpose of the PoC Trial is to enable NBN Co and Test Participant to assess the functionality and performance of a proof-of-concept aeronautical mobile satellite service (the Mobility PoC Test Product) on Test Aircraft operated by Qantas Airways Limited (ABN 16 009 661 901)

Detailed analysis: How will Qantas’ on-board Wi-Fi impact NBN satellites?
http://blog.jxeeno.com/detailed-analysis-will-qantas-board-wi-fi-impact-nbn-satellites/
With under 350 flights spread out geographically and over a 24 hour period, I doubt the planes would have a material effect on congestion. Currently, the worst case scenario seems to be up 6-7 planes flying under a single beam at any given time. However, in the case of the 7-plane statistic, it happens only once in a 24 hour period. The speed at which planes travel also mean that they will typically fly in and out of narrow beams within 10-15 minutes, meaning any impact should be distributed across multiple beams as the plane flies through the airspace.

Diagram showing NBN Co satellite beams and risk of congestion as determined in the Fixed Wireless/Satellite Strategic Review (FWSat SR).

Diagram showing NBN Co satellite beams and risk of congestion as determined in the Fixed Wireless/Satellite Strategic Review (FWSat SR).

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, 25/11/2016, Estimates. COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS PORTFOLIO. NBN Co Limited
Senator URQUHART: I know that there have been some discussions around the use of the Sky Muster satellite data on Qantas aircraft. What percentage of the overall data will be allocated under that agreement that you have got with Qantas?

Mr Morrow : It is not an allocation of data that we would offer for aviation-based services. It is only the use of idle capacity when it is sitting there not being used at all. Our intent is that the priority services are for the ground-based homes and businesses that are targeted with satellite. If they are using all the capacity and a plane flies through that beam, the plane does not get any sort of internet connectivity. If, however, there is available and idle capacity, the plane can download or upload, depending.

qantas-trial

National Broadband Network Select Committee 15/03/2016 
Mr Morrow : We did change the second satellite to give it a considerable amount more of capacity than it had had before –  almost double the capacity. So we have repurposed the second satellite for additional capacity.
http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2Fac4de09f-67a1-48f3-9459-755617e08c24%2F0003%22

The death of in-flight entertainment? American Airlines scraps screens and tells fliers to bring their own.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/is-this-the-death-of-the-seat-back-entertainment-screen/
The world’s largest carrier said it decided to ditch seat-back monitors on its new Boeing 737 Max aircraft – intended for domestic routes in the US – because most passengers travel with mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Instead of investing in screens it will upgrade in-flight internet speed, to ensure passengers can browse the web and stream movies quickly.

Qantas’ In-Flight Wi-Fi Seems To Be Up To The Challenge
https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/02/qantas-in-flight-wi-fi-seems-to-be-up-to-the-challenge/
The service uses NBN’s Sky Muster satellites, and the carrier says it’ll be around 10 times faster than inflight Wi-Fi already in place on other domestic airlines around the globe like Delta in the US. The full fleet of 80 Qantas 737s and A330s will get in-flight Wi-Fi some time throughout 2018.

Qantas expects around 50 per cent of passengers to be using its inflight Wi-Fi and internet service during regular flights.

Every Major Airline’s Wifi Service, Explained and Ranked (in the USA)
http://gizmodo.com/every-major-airlines-wifi-service-explained-and-ranked-1701017977
Here are details from the 9 major US airlines that offer wifi. (This list is specific to domestic flights; if you’re flying internationally, the check-the-website rule applies even more fiercely because international fleets carry different gear than domestic fleets. If an airline has good in-flight wifi on domestic routes, though, they’re probably good for international routes as well.) Three things were taken into account when making this list: the likelihood that your plane would actually have wifi; the type of equipment powering the wifi; and its relative dependability, speed, and value.

LIST OF AIRLINES OFFERING INFLIGHT WIFI
http://www.edreams.com/blog/in-flight-wifi/

 

 

 

BIRRR Submission to the Telecommunications Reform Package

Department of Communications and the Arts: Telecommunications Reform Package

Submission by Better Internet for Rural, Regional & Remote Australia (BIRRR)

3rd February, 2017

Prepared by: Kristy Sparrow and Julie Stott

Contributions from John Kitchener and Amanda Salisbury

 

* This submission was prepared in good faith by a voluntary team. Please address any queries to birrraus@gmail.com

BIRRR Response to Productivity Telecommunications USO Draft Report

 

BIRRR Submission to the Productivity Commission DRAFT Telecommunications

Universal Service Obligation (TUSO) Report (January, 2017)

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-11-04-52-am

Prepared by: Kristy Sparrow and Rebecca Gowen

Contributions from John Kitchener, Rod Hoare, Julie Stott, Matt Wilkinson, Malcolm Moore Amanda Salisbury & Rachel Hay.

* This submission was prepared in good faith by a voluntary team. Please address any queries to birrraus@gmail.com

This full submission contains material supplied in confidence and as such an edited version has been placed on this website.