12/15/2016
AF-11FX + GUI +Big Dish = 1.36Gbps at 8+ miles
Description

 

My fiber POP is very heavily loaded with backhauls going everywhere, and we are running out of 5 ghz spectrum to get the bits to the next tower. And of course, sectors to feed the masses.

 

Enter the AF-FX11. First step was to call a coordinator (I called Liz at Intelpath) to check on spectrum availability. I was a bit concerned by all the nay-sayers stating that there are almost no 80 mhz wide channels available. Well, turns out there were 80 mhz channels available for me. Woohoo!! Because I really wanted more than 500 meg capacity. This will replace an 8.2 mile AF5 link. It normally passes about 150-200 meg of traffic, but also serves as backup to another fiber POP. If there happened to be a fiber outage, this link would be maxed out.

 

I really wanted to get these in before weather turned for the worse in regards to climbing towers.  So I had a little cart before the horse problem. Do I order dishes before I get my coordination done, in case I didn’t get frequency I wanted. I jumped the gun a little when coordinator said it looks good, but not guaranteed yet. Considering that the AF5 mount is similar with the AF-11G35 we could've easily swapped that out, but we wanted to go with a bigger dish and opted for the Jirous/adapter solution. So I ordered 900mm Jirous dishes and then had a panic attack because Streakwave said the adapters for the FX11 were still 2 weeks out. I checked with Jirous and found their Master Distributer in the US (Brink Networks) I called them and they had adapters in stock from the first run. Apparently they changed the design a bit on the second batch, and that was what Streakwave was waiting for. I took a chance and ordered them from Brink Networks. They worked out swimmingly.

 

The FX11 is a bit more of a challenge to assemble now that we have duplexers involved compared to the other X products but easier with regards to having radios that are full duplex and smaller in size. They are however, no more complex than other 11 ghz options (I’ve had to re-assemble a radio on a tower that someone mis-assembled once…*cough* @mhoppes). The duplexers have to be attached to the correct rx and tx ports and the correct info comes from what your specific frequencies are. This is not a one size fits all and you need to pay close attention to what goes where and RTFM and confirm with your license coordinators frequencies on which Tx is located on which end.

 

By the time I got all the pieces, my coordination was done and now we just need to find a decent day to install the link. One end was a commercial tower at 150 feet and the other end on a grain silo at 100 ft. Time from 0 to live was 21 days.

 

 

IMG_20161212_144137323.jpg

 

 

The dish looks deceptively small, but that because the FX11 is quite large, The dish is 3 ft (900 mm).  Jirous could easily improve their shrouding on the radio side, but the rubber boots are a nice touch to keep water out.

 

IMG_20161212_144116915_HDR.jpg

 

Here goes the other end!

 

IMG_20161209_112332803.jpg

 

 

Super cold day but excited that the radio is up and looking out to the other side!

 

IMG_20161209_120107779_HDR.jpgIMG_20161209_115600037_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

 

IMG_20161208_141105465.jpgIMG_20161208_142400496.jpg

 

The first batch of Jirous adapters do not have slots for the FX11 to attach. I hope the final version will. The FX11 is attached to the adapter with screws. This would be inconvenient in the event that you would need to replace the radio. You also would need to deal with the duplexers.  I would probably detach the adapter from the dish and swap radio on the ground.  Jirous should definitely think about acquiring the Ubiquiti quickmount bracket to make it a lot easier to snap on to their dishes.  But definitely is great that Ubiquiti has given the flexibility to mount the radio any way possible!

 

 

IMG_20161208_143201505_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20161208_143455640.jpg

 

 

Here is a screenshot of the link. I opted to use the new beta firmware with the new GUI. I love the new look and there are a lot of improvements. I have not checked it out in detail, but not all changes require reboot anymore. We’ve been waiting long time for this.

 

Capture.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

AF-11FX + GUI +Big Dish = 1.36Gbps at 8+ miles

by on ‎12-15-2016 12:17 PM

 

My fiber POP is very heavily loaded with backhauls going everywhere, and we are running out of 5 ghz spectrum to get the bits to the next tower. And of course, sectors to feed the masses.

 

Enter the AF-FX11. First step was to call a coordinator (I called Liz at Intelpath) to check on spectrum availability. I was a bit concerned by all the nay-sayers stating that there are almost no 80 mhz wide channels available. Well, turns out there were 80 mhz channels available for me. Woohoo!! Because I really wanted more than 500 meg capacity. This will replace an 8.2 mile AF5 link. It normally passes about 150-200 meg of traffic, but also serves as backup to another fiber POP. If there happened to be a fiber outage, this link would be maxed out.

 

I really wanted to get these in before weather turned for the worse in regards to climbing towers.  So I had a little cart before the horse problem. Do I order dishes before I get my coordination done, in case I didn’t get frequency I wanted. I jumped the gun a little when coordinator said it looks good, but not guaranteed yet. Considering that the AF5 mount is similar with the AF-11G35 we could've easily swapped that out, but we wanted to go with a bigger dish and opted for the Jirous/adapter solution. So I ordered 900mm Jirous dishes and then had a panic attack because Streakwave said the adapters for the FX11 were still 2 weeks out. I checked with Jirous and found their Master Distributer in the US (Brink Networks) I called them and they had adapters in stock from the first run. Apparently they changed the design a bit on the second batch, and that was what Streakwave was waiting for. I took a chance and ordered them from Brink Networks. They worked out swimmingly.

 

The FX11 is a bit more of a challenge to assemble now that we have duplexers involved compared to the other X products but easier with regards to having radios that are full duplex and smaller in size. They are however, no more complex than other 11 ghz options (I’ve had to re-assemble a radio on a tower that someone mis-assembled once…*cough* @mhoppes). The duplexers have to be attached to the correct rx and tx ports and the correct info comes from what your specific frequencies are. This is not a one size fits all and you need to pay close attention to what goes where and RTFM and confirm with your license coordinators frequencies on which Tx is located on which end.

 

By the time I got all the pieces, my coordination was done and now we just need to find a decent day to install the link. One end was a commercial tower at 150 feet and the other end on a grain silo at 100 ft. Time from 0 to live was 21 days.

 

 

IMG_20161212_144137323.jpg

 

 

The dish looks deceptively small, but that because the FX11 is quite large, The dish is 3 ft (900 mm).  Jirous could easily improve their shrouding on the radio side, but the rubber boots are a nice touch to keep water out.

 

IMG_20161212_144116915_HDR.jpg

 

Here goes the other end!

 

IMG_20161209_112332803.jpg

 

 

Super cold day but excited that the radio is up and looking out to the other side!

 

IMG_20161209_120107779_HDR.jpgIMG_20161209_115600037_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

 

IMG_20161208_141105465.jpgIMG_20161208_142400496.jpg

 

The first batch of Jirous adapters do not have slots for the FX11 to attach. I hope the final version will. The FX11 is attached to the adapter with screws. This would be inconvenient in the event that you would need to replace the radio. You also would need to deal with the duplexers.  I would probably detach the adapter from the dish and swap radio on the ground.  Jirous should definitely think about acquiring the Ubiquiti quickmount bracket to make it a lot easier to snap on to their dishes.  But definitely is great that Ubiquiti has given the flexibility to mount the radio any way possible!

 

 

IMG_20161208_143201505_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20161208_143455640.jpg

 

 

Here is a screenshot of the link. I opted to use the new beta firmware with the new GUI. I love the new look and there are a lot of improvements. I have not checked it out in detail, but not all changes require reboot anymore. We’ve been waiting long time for this.

 

Capture.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
by
on ‎12-15-2016 12:25 PM

Great Story, Sam! Man Happy

by
on ‎12-15-2016 12:31 PM

Woo Hoo! Looks great Sam!

by
on ‎12-15-2016 12:56 PM

Welcome to the 11GHz AF club.    We should all get jackets... Hurray
Jim

by
on ‎12-15-2016 01:07 PM

First Rule of AF Club is Everyone writes Stories about AF Club...

by
on ‎12-15-2016 01:12 PM

Have you been drinking already @flipper ?

by
on ‎12-15-2016 01:23 PM

Awesome Story Sam !!!  Thanks for sharing. 

by
on ‎12-15-2016 02:21 PM

You guyz are so g... damm lucky.....

 

Please UBNT, we still need 10 GHz version for Europe.......

by
on ‎12-15-2016 02:35 PM

Sam the easiest way to flip the radio using the screw in Jirous adapter is to use a 6mm allen wrench and undo four larger screws which removes the entire radio along with waveguide.  Then either send the assembly down for someone to change the radio, or try and do it on your lap.  Much easier than fighting the little mount screws.  And agree, the slide in mound would be a huge improvement. 

 

Looks awesome !

by
on ‎12-15-2016 03:06 PM

*cough* @mhoppes  "

Hahahahahahahahahahahaa epic.

by
on ‎12-16-2016 05:55 AM

Thank you! Excellent pictures & post.