La Cañada Wireless Association

New Member Install

RadioMobile Simulation

Radio Mobile is a tool which allows simulation of the signal quality between an AP and a member radio based on the Latitude and Longitude of the members location.

To find Lat/Long of a new member using Google Maps:

  • Go to Google maps (This assumes you have a Google account, which you do)
  • Click on My Maps
  • Click on Browse Directory
  • Find the GPS Location applet
  • Add the GPS Location applet by clicking on Add it to Maps Now
  • Under Created by Others, will be an entry for GPS Locations To use it, click on it.
  • When open, any where you click on the map will bring up a dialog box with the Lat/Long of the point.
  • To close it, click on My Maps

Google Earth is a little easier to use, but requires installation.

Stumble the Site

Ensure that there is at least one access point clearly visible from the location where the new member’s radio will be installed. Trees, shrubs, buildings, power-poles, and hills have all be known to cause poor connection performance.

Membership Agreement

Before turning on a new member radio, the AP Manager/Installer should ensure that the member has completed the membership agreement and the terms of use statement.

IP Address Assignment

Router IP address assignment now comes automatically from the PPPOE servers.
Radio IP addresses are assigned by the LCWA Treasurer, Jerry Zollars. Contact Jerry to obtain the IP address to be assigned to a new radio.

AP MAC Address Configuration

Before traveling to the new member’s location, the AP Manager needs to add the MAC address of the new radio to all of the candidate AP’s for the new member. Once on-site at the member’s location it is then easier to determine which of the candidate AP’s actually supports the best connection. The new radio’s MAC address can then be removed from the AP’s that are not usable, or left in those that might serve as a backup.

Configuring the Radio

This step is best done while the radio is still on the ground. This avoids having to get back up on the roof to deal with a DOA radio. Generally speaking it is bad practice to operate radios which require external antennas without the antenna connected – a rubber-ducky with an N adapter is a handy way to deal with this issue.

Member Responsibilities

Site Preparation. The member is responsible for providing any masts or poles for mounting the radio(s) and/or antennas. The member is responsible for providing routing for the CAT-5 cables from the mounting site to the interior of the building, drilling any required holes, and filling/weatherproofing holes after the cable is installed.

Installer Activities
  • Cable Installation Use External grade CAT-5 Cable
  • Installing the connectors.
  • Mounting the Radio.
  • Grounding
  • Installing the POE
  • Configuring the Router.  UserID and Password for PPPOE should be obtained from the LCWA Treasurer. Router DNS Entries should be set come from DHCP.
  • Assist menber in configuring the member computer(s). Most routers provide DHCP for the LAN and Wireless LAN. If you are setting up fixed IP addresses on the LAN or WLAN, set the Computer Network Adapter DNS Settings point to the router, which will then point to the LCWA DNS servers. See also the discussion of DNS under Using the Network here.
Best Practices

Hints on making LMR’s

The most widely used cable is LMR400 from Times Microwave. 

LMR cable does not like to be bent or crimped. Most LMR’s in use in the LCWA network have a 1 foot bending radius.
Moisture sealing connections

Clean both ends of connection with 90% Isopropyl Alcohol and blow dry with canned air. This absorbs any residual moisture in the connectors. After securely joining connectors, completely wrap with self-sealing tape. Ensure that cable is installed with a “drip-loop” so that water runs away from the connection/connector.

Ensure that all radio and PoE ground points are tied to the same good earth ground (single-point ground). Code requires that there be a ground rod tied to the A/C power main circuit breaker box on residential structures. There is often also a ground rod at the telephone equipment access point. These are good places to make a solid ground connection.

Alternatively, the PoE ground lead may be tied to the center screw on the electrical outlet used for the PoE power supply.