Building to building wireless link

LeRoy_Blanchard

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I have an detached garage at my apartment complex that I pay extra for. For the past few years I've always ran a space heater in mine during the winter because a soft top jeep (1997 model) + winter = very cold ride to work. Granted the jeep would warm up about halfway during my commute, but I hate the cold with passion. So I solved that problem by just keeping my garage warm during the winter. So when I get in the jeep, its already warm.

So I thought why not run some computers in my garage during the winter to keep the unit warm, but also do some cool scientific research.

So this year I bought a pair of long range directional antennas: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P4JKQGK/?tag=thefpsreview-20
(I got the 2.4Ghz version instead of the 5Ghz version)

I have direct line of sight to my garage which is 283 feet away (according to the google maps distant measurement).

Since I can't exactly place something on the outside of the garage I have to keep the garage antenna inside. I am on the 2nd floor of my complex so I have a good height advantage already. I zipped tied the other one to my balcony railing and did the best I could to make sure they are both pointed at each other.

First and foremost, it's impossible to get anything over 100Mbps over these because the RJ45 link is only 100Mbps.
I'm still relatively new to PoE and thought my new PoE switch would power the one on the balcony, but apparently it's passive PoE and my switch is active PoE. So it didn't power it. Not a big deal, it came with passive PoE injectors which I am using on both ends. So I don't know if it's the injector that connects at 100Mbps or the actual unit itself that connects at 100Mbps.

I set the one up on my balcony in bridge mode, setup the wireless AP settings (ssid, password, etc..). Zip tied it to the rail and walked over to the garage.
The one in the garage I setup as client mode, entered the information to connect to the one on the balcony and waited a few mins for it to do its thing.

Connection! Heck yes. So I immediately went to speedtest.net and seen what I was getting. I'm on a 400/10 Mbps cable connection on a 1/1 Gbps local network. Speedtest showed download throughput at 4Mbps and upload at 2Mbps, but latency was a decent 25ms.

Ive tried making changes to the channel, channel width, and other changes to get as much throughput as I can, but nothing I changed changed the speed neither up nor down. Averaged 4Mbps and 2Mbps every time.

This should be plenty fast enough for BOINC/Distributed Computing projects.

I already have a really, really old (Core 2 Duo) laptop in there right now running 3 BOINC projects just to ensure the connectivity doesn't drop and that it can at least communicate with the projects all day long. Of those three projects 1 will report it's results very 30 minutes, another will report its results every hour and the last one will report its results about every 4 hours.

I also already ordered an AMD EPYC 7H12 CPU w/ 128GB RAM, 500GB NVME drive, Noctura heatsink/fan as well as a UPS for battery backup. I got a barely used DA1650W PSU I will be using on it already that I swapped out of another EPYC build for an EVGA 1600W PSU (It had more PCIE cables) and since I wont be running GPUs on this setup I don't need any PCIE cables. Granted 1650W is extreme over kill for a single AMD 7H12 setup.

If this works out I will most likely order another EPYC setup with a dual socket for either two more 7H12 or 7V12 CPUs and 256GB of RAM. Will probably use the DA1650 on this one and just buy another 1000W PSU for the single setup when that time comes.

For the record. The space heater is still in the garage and works fine. In case anyone was wondering.
 
I’ve done a couple of these over the past few years - one for utility grade protection, and for a long time my ISP was a radio link. As long as you have reasonable expectations they work pretty well, impressively well with regard to reliability actually - but high speed is not one of those reasonable expectations to have.
 
It wasn't unreasonable cost using Unifi equipment - at least as long as you are under the FCC license range. The cheap Chinese knockoffs are considerably cheaper (if you trust them). I've heard of people getting a handful of miles out of them under perfect conditions, but I've never gone out past about 1/4 mile myself. Direct line of site is the big thing.
 
The one thing I've noticed with 2.4Ghz networks, is that they perform horribly if there is the slightest inkling of interference (other 2.4Ghz bands, etc.)

As long as your connection is solid and the bandwidth fits your use-case, congratulations!! I've got multiple building to building links setup with UniFi GigaBeam units. I love getting 800Mbit up and down speeds on a wireless connection. :)
 
Very short... We're talking ~200Ft. for one beam, and ~150Ft. for another. Signal strength for both hover around the -52 to -56db range. I could aim them better, but they are both performing rock solid..

Do NOT try to do a beam connection through a surface (glass, wall, etc.) These units need LoS to run optimally.
 
Well that's my issue. I can't have LoS as the end point has to be inside the garage. The start point is on my balcony so it's just one wall that needs to be penetrated. It's also nearly 300ft.

This weekend I will be putting my first EPYC 7H12 out there running BOINC 24/7. I'm hoping the speed and stability is good enough to keep the tasks flowing without interrupting.
 
Well that's my issue. I can't have LoS as the end point has to be inside the garage. The start point is on my balcony so it's just one wall that needs to be penetrated. It's also nearly 300ft.

This weekend I will be putting my first EPYC 7H12 out there running BOINC 24/7. I'm hoping the speed and stability is good enough to keep the tasks flowing without interrupting.
Usually there's an LOS path somewhere close, and you hardwire it from there... Like rooftop to rooftop, or balcony to roof the the garage and fish the cable down from the roof into the room itself -- something like that.

It's not like you have wireless links from one router directly to your end point - there can still be other switches and wires in the path to make it complete. I've even seen wireless link between two buildings -> Cable run through a building -> second wireless link out the other side of the building to the next one. You just treat the wireless link like a regular wire really - it doesn't really provide any other function.
 
Usually there's an LOS path somewhere close, and you hardwire it from there... Like rooftop to rooftop, or balcony to roof the the garage and fish the cable down from the roof into the room itself -- something like that.

It's not like you have wireless links from one router directly to your end point - there can still be other switches and wires in the path to make it complete. I've even seen wireless link between two buildings -> Cable run through a building -> second wireless link out the other side of the building to the next one. You just treat the wireless link like a regular wire really - it doesn't really provide any other function.

I live in an apartment complex. My balcony has LoS to the garage I also rent. I am not allowed to mount anything on the roof or outside of the garage. It has to be inside.

My setup is modem > router > 24 port PoE switch > netgear wireless transmitter antenna [ ~~wireless signal~~ ] netgear wireless receiver antenna > 8 port switch > hosts
 
I live in an apartment complex. My balcony has LoS to the garage I also rent. I am not allowed to mount anything on the roof or outside of the garage. It has to be inside.
Is there a window you could snake the cable, or poke it out through the wall and wall mount it if you can't mount on the roof?
 
No windows and I can't mount anything to the building. I'm not even supposed to have the device on my balcony, but it's white and blends in with the railing posts I have it attached to on my balcony. So you can't really see it.

Trust me, if there were a way for me to mount the receiving antenna outside somewhere I would have.

Inside the garage I do have the antenna mounted up near the ceiling so any tall vehicles that park next to me won't block the signal.
 
You could always ask the complex if you can mount an antenna/receiver, just say its for OTA updates for your car... NOT so you can run a power hungry server on their power dime. ;)
 
Actually if you buy a Tesla from Hertz, you could have it be a wifi hot spot for your servers in the garage and technically power them off of the Tesla. I mean... if you wanted to go BONKERS. ;)
 
The Tesla would still need to be charged. Something that I wouldn't be able to do at home. The garage just has a single 20A 110v power outlet.

I got some much more powerful antennas. I just haven't had time to hook them up and since the connection has been stable enough it really hasn't forced me to make it a priority yet.

In the meantime, it's definitely nice going to the garage in the cold mornings and it be relatively warm instead of antarctic cold.
 
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