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DQ

Completion And Test Of The Backhaul

by DQ on November 24, 2010

With the Great Hill Fire Tower installation complete, we move on to finish the installation  at the 212 year old Tamworth Congregational Church.  We’ve placed the Nanobridge, (a small white dish ) on the back of the church, to communicate with Great Hill,  and send a signal carrying broadband up there. This will be our primary link, or “back-haul” from the greater internet to the Tamworth Wireless network. The dish on the back of the building must be connected to the DSL/telephone lines that enter the front of the building, so the cable travels over the top of the ceiling, through the 212 year old attic, under with wooden access stairs that lead up into the iconic steeple.  It’s a privilege for us to be working at these landmark Tamworth sites, and crucial to our planned town-wide network that this link function as we ‘ve planned.

Oh, and it does. Gunnar Berg’s design and the equipment he’s chosen all did their job, even better than the specs said they would. Once we established that the link between the Church and the Fire Tower, we connected some 900 Mhz customer premises radios.  These are the flat panel receivers that houses without direct line of sight will use to connect. Even while inside the church, we were able to receive a strong signal. This was kind of a key moment for us, because it established that the back-haul would deliver the kind of  “throughput” we’d need to support the network. All the planning and theorizing and months of meetings finally were borne out – it worked! Here’s the video of the moment of connection:

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Completing The Great Hill Access Point

by DQ on September 24, 2010

To finish the Great Hill access point, we needed to install a NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) rated steel enclosure containing:  a voltage regulator, 2 charge controllers, a MicroTik 493AH router with Ubiquity XR9 radio card installed, and 4 circuit breakers. The router is programmed to be the central hub of the network, receiving the signal from the Tamworth Congregational Church, and handing it off to the 900 Mhz antenna, as well as Bunker Hill, Page Hill and future access points. We also needed to ground the whole array to an eight-foot copper grounding rod, embedded completely in the ground.  Once it was all connected and the batteries stored enough juice, Great Hill was ready for a signal.

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Great Hill Fire Tower Poem

by DQ on September 24, 2010

This poem is inside the cabin of the Great Hill Fire Tower.
It was there before we hung our solar panels…

(if you know the poet, let us know!)

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Video: Installing the Omni On Great Hill

by DQ on September 23, 2010

The installation of the 19-foot 900 Mhz Omni antenna on the Great Hill Fire Tower.

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Video: Battery Hoist #1

September 23, 2010

The first of six 74-pound gell cell batteries is hoisted up to the platform with a length of stout hemp rope.

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Video: Custom Irishman

September 23, 2010

A brief tour of the route the gel cell batteries traveled, the platform and solar panels.

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Video: Great Hill Fire Tower Panorama

September 23, 2010

A 360-degree view of the Tamworth Wireless coverage area, from Great Hill Fire Tower.

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The first day of dishes

September 4, 2010

This was a comparatively easy day, we met at the Tamworth Congregational Church, to hang the Nanobridge dish on the back, and plan our installation of the Network Operating Center (NOC). A new phone line will need to be installed, it will be accessed from the choir loft. Shielded network cable will need to be […]

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Great Hill – Omni Installation

August 31, 2010

Key facts: 100 amp gell cell batteries are 74 pounds heavy. A baseball bat 19 feet long is hard to swing. all connections that will be out in the weather need to be well sealed Today in the August heat we transported 6 batteries, attendant cables and interconnects and the 900 Mhz Omni antenna up […]

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Great Hill Solar Panel Installation

August 27, 2010

Our second trip to the Great Hill Fire Tower is to install solar panels. The platform built earlier supplies a place to stand. Another beautiful day, but we probably wouldn’t have gone up there in the rain….

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