Amateur Mesh Radios

Years ago we standardized on Ubiquiti radios for our mesh work. That was a good decision. I prefer 5G vs 2G as it is in our experience far less congested. We picked channel 157. They are lovely, and the older models (use the HP = High Power ones, the really really old ones do not) are happy to take OpenWRT software.

We started with the M5 HP bullets- which have N connectors. This seems sensible to Hams- we know about N connectors. And you only need one antenna. But the antenna has to support the mount.

Our local ARES group decided on dual polarity- so in the Ubiquity family that is the Rocket. These are of the same vintage as the bullet. They need two antennas- we found a supply of the little rp-sma paddle antennas on eBay. Goodwill can supply external dual band WiFi routers which can be harvested. Fancier antennas are of course available. The rocket decision was timely- the supply of used “Bullet” radios dried up on eBay. We found 30 rocket units. These are good for portable IP cameras.

They run happily on 13V commonly found on say tower trailers. The little 3$ passive power injectors are fine. The old radios do not like 48V “standard” POE

If you break the retaining tabs inside the RJ45 on a Rocket, you can gently heat-gun the label inside and take out the two screws. And if you protect the area around the surface mount jack with foil you can use a pointy heat gun and pop out the connector. The Ubiquiti rocket RJ45 jack repair part is a harting 09455511100 which you can find from Newark.

73’s NY9D

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