Glossary

Access Point

The term Access Point (AP) as used by LCWA denotes a location and a set of equipment that provides the member radios with access to the network.

Typically an access point consists of

  • a downlink radio, possibly with an external antenna
  • an access point radio with an omni-directional or sector antenna
  • a switch connecting the two radios and any other AP equipment
  • a power controller that provides remote capability to power the radios on/off,
  • an uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

Some access points also have additional backbone radios that provide backhaul services for other access points.

A-Radio

A radio that operates in the 5.4GHz band—used for backbone connections.

Access Point Manager

A volunteer who has undertaken to be responsible for the operation of an Access Point

B-Radio

A radio that operates in the 2.4 GHz band—used for access points and some lower traffic backbone connections.

Backbone

The collection of radios, switches and peripheral equipment that connects Access Points to the internet gateway at NCGR. See also NEXUS.

Bot

A computer that has been taken over by malware and is, as a result, part of a “botnet.” Refers to the fact that the computer can be remotely controlled.

Botnet

A network of compromised computers that can be remotely controlled. The members of the botnet may communicate with a central command computer, or be organized in a peer-to-peer network for command and control.

DHCP

DHCP refers to Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is used to automatically assign IP Addresses to devices.

DNS

DNS refers to Domain Name System.  DNS maps human readable domain names like www.google.com into computer readable IP addresses like 127.0.0.1. Think of it as the white-pages plus the reverse phone directory for the internet.

The LCWA backbone DNS servers are physically located at NEXUS and have IP addresses 10.181.0.31 and 10.181.0.30. In case of an outage, free public DNS servers  are available. A good general discussion of DNS can be found here. Member routers obtain their DNS addresses from the PPPoE servers.

Downlink

Refers to a radio that provides connectivity from the center of the network outward. In contrast to an Access Point radio, a Downlink radio generally connects on a point-to-point basis with a single Uplink radio.

Firewall

A firewall is a security system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet.

Horizontal Polarization

An excellent description of the meaning of horizontal polarization in the wireless context can be found here.

LMR

The radio frequency cable that connects a radio to it’s external antenna. LMR’s don’t like to be bent. RF signal loss per foot of LMR is 0.3 db.

NCGR

The LCWA gateway to the internet is currently housed in the National Center for Genome Research, the NCGR Building located at 2935 Rodeo Park Dr E Santa Fe, NM 87505. This is a 200Mbps connection provided by CenturyLink. A radio link to Vail Mountain is located on the roof of the building.

NEXUS

Nexus was formerly the central connection point for all LCWA radio links to the internet. The backbone radios at Nexus were connected to a switch, then to the Juniper router, then to a radio link to the NCGR Building. The various servers related to operation of the LCWA network were also located at Nexus.

NTOP

NTOP is a network traffic monitoring tool.

POE

Stands for Power Over Ethernet. This is a small power supply that utilizes some of the unused wires in a CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable to supply DC power to a device. The POE devices used by LCWA generally have an input labelled PC, and output labelled CPE (Customer Premise Equipment), and a power input. A small transformer plugs into 110V household power and supplies power to the POE.

PPPoE

Wikipedia provides a good description of Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet. LCWA uses PPPoE to assign unique IP addresses to member routers.

RadioMobile

The TRANZEO website has RadioMobile Resources and Use Instructions. Tranzeo has converted the radio patterns for many of its radios and antennas to Radio Mobile format. Unzip the RadioMobile.zip file into the antenna folder in your Radio Mobile install. This package is provided for your convenience on a unsupported basis. The current LCWA RadioMobile data (.rm) file can be obtained from the internal website. From a computer inside the LCWA network navigate to the internal webserver. On the “GPS Map” page there is a link in the upper right hand corner to the LCWA Radiomobile data file.

 Tranzeo

Tranzeo is the manufacturer of radios used by LCWA in the past. These radios have been replaced by Ubiquiti radios.

Ubiquiti

Ubiquiti supplies radios used LCWA for both the backbone and members.

Uplink

Refers to a radio that connects a member location to an access point. Also referred to as a Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) radio in some contexts.

Vertical Polarization

An excellent description of the meaning of vertical polarization in the wireless context can be found here.

WRAP

Wireless Router Application Platform. [PC Engines WRAP]