Selecting and Ordering a Radio

The first step in selecting a radio is to determine which access points potentially serve the site, and which of the access points will provide the best service. The primary factor governing this is the existence of a clean line of sight to the candidate access point. Secondary considerations include the type of equipment located at the access point, the distance to the access point, and the number of members already using the access point. Some access points use directional sector antennas, and it is important that the new site be located withing the footprint served by the access point. In the case where there are a much larger number of members on one potential access point than another, consideration should be given to using the access point with fewer members.

Once a set of candidate access points is found, a RadioMobile simulation should be used to determine the relative potential quality of the alternatives. This requires precise geolocation of the members site. Generally, the higher the member radio is located the better. This may require a post or tower located on the member’s property to best receive the access point signal.

Once the proper access point has been determined, the table below can be used as a guide to selecting the appropriate radio based on the clean line of sight distance from the member radio location to the access point.

Here is a list of four Ubiquiti models each with a different antenna gains and the Streakwave URL where they can be purchased. There are other vendors, who sometimes have radios in stock when they are backordered from Streakwave. ([Baltic Networks])

LCWA Recommended Ubiquiti Radios
Radio Antenna Distance Streakwave Link
1. NanoStation Loco M2 8 dB antenna 1/2 mile [LocoM2]
2. NanoStation M2 11 dB antenna 1 1/2 miles [NSM2]
3. NanoBridge M2-18 18 dB antenna 3 miles [NB-2G18]
4. Rocket M2 24 dB RocketDish Over 3 miles [RocketM2] [RocketDish]

The table above shows the maximum distance from the AP that each radio would be suitable. This is just a rough estimate and performance may vary depending on how clean the line of site is and interference.