Point-to-Point Network 3.5 Mile Shot

In July of 2020 KNS Tech services was contracted to create an internal network, from the business to the home of one of our Managed IT Service Clients. This project required climbing towers, installing radio dishes, running cable, and upgrading network equipment. The project had two main goals;

  • Create an internal network so the business owner can be more effective when working from home.
  • Increase poor internet speeds that were being provided by the current ISP at the home.

When creating a Point-to-Point network, we need to first make sure that we have good line of sight to ensure that the dishes can make a proper connection. To do this we use a tool provided by one of our vendors called Airlink https://link.ui.com/# Using this tool we can survey the terrain for line of sight.

Point-to-Point topography map.
Screenshot of the topography of the Point-to-Point network. Shows the topography the beam path and the radio wave path.

This project was complicated because line of sight had to be estimated from the mapping tool because one of the towers was not built when quoted. Towers were estimated based on proper line of site however trees were blocking the radio signal. As result addition sections were added to the two towers.

Ubiquiti airMAX PowerBeam Point-to-Point Radio Dish

We installed new network equipment at the office, which included a wall mounted data cabinet, an Ubiquiti USG Pro 4 Router/Firewall, a 24 Port POE+ Switch, a Unifi AP Pro, 24v POE Adapter, and a Power Surge Protector. The Dish used was airMAX PowerBeam AC, 5 Ghz, Bridge.

Once line of sight was achieved, we were able to hang and align the dishes at the office and the home. Alignment at more than 3 miles is tricky. Using the Airlink tool you can find landmarks as well as get the heading and tilt needed. After adjusting the dishes physical placement and the configuration settings we were able to create a successful link with maintained speeds of 100 mb/s upload and 100 mb/s download.

Map of Point-to-Point Project

At the house we used another set of dishes to go from the tower to the house completing the link. Overall, this was a successful project. We were able to deliver all the customers’ needs, creating a faster more reliable connection then their ISP and allowing secure internal access to their network.