02/07/2018
Ubiquiti in the Industrial Field
Reason for Installation
Connecting loaders for BOL printing. Loaders are not in a fixed position and require network access in several spots around the facility floor. 100ft tower with 2 Ubiquiti AP-5AC-90-HD antennas 6 Rocket 5AC Prism Gen2 radios (All on Tower) 10 Rocket 5AC Prism Gen2 radios (1 on each loader) 3 UniFi USG3 Firewalls (2 active) 1 EdgePoint S16 1 EdgePower ToughCable Carrier ETH-SP Surge protectors
Used Products
×16
Location
San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Description

Rocket Prism AC Gen 2 in the Industrial field.

 

I work for a company that has put a lot of trust behind the Ubiquiti brand. My superior was somewhat reluctant to accept the hardware until I was able to prove substantial success with our previous implementations.

 

In 2013, we initially began with the NanoStation and PicoStation line to do a simple campus wide Wi-Fi project. They were the only products that allowed us to come in under budget, yet give the reliability and coverage we required as the client count was minimal.

 

Fast Forward to the Second Week of January 2018 we started working in Mexico implementing the Rocket Prism 5AC GEN 2 radios with two of the Ubiquiti airPRISM 3x30 Sector antennas positioned about 100' high on a tower at the facility. The two antennas are positioned to give access to loaders that load/unload several types of liquid products that require BOL's to be printed upon every transfer. The entire project began with cellular modems in the loaders, since the loaders would move and required high service availability, due to the fact that time equals money. The idea of reliable cellular in Mexico had proved to be inaccurate and we had problems during the entire duration of the cellular modems while in the field from June of 2017 until January of 2018.

 

Tower: The tower came out well, I wanted to run Coax up the tower with the Rocket Prism GEN 2 radios at the base of the tower, as I typically do for our tower installations, for simple maintenance, but getting proper coax cabling in Mexico in a timely fashion was troublesome. Due to this issue, we utilized Ubiquiti TOUGHCable Carrier down from the Rocket Prism radios with the ETH-SP surge protectors (in photo still not tightened down) at the top of the tower and at the bottom of the tower, connected to the Ubiquiti EdgePoint 16-Port switch to power the radios.

IMG_3008.jpegTower with AP-5AC-90 Antennas Near the top.

 

IMG_3054.jpgETH-SP not tightened down yet.

Loaders:

The loaders in the field required Omni-directional antennas, though we strongly suggested against it, we had no choice as we were told that the operators were not allowed to turn the antennas if we installed a directional antenna when the loaders were moved. Due to this, we utilized the 5GHz 13 dBi Omni-directional antenna with additional Rocket Prism AC Gen 2 radios in each of the loaders. Utilizing 10Mhz channel widths we could get clear signal for each of the loaders, though the airwaves were highly congested with 5Ghz frequencies, the Prisms were able to handle the additional frequencies quite well.

 

Inside two of the ten units, we utilized the UniFi USG3 Firewall as a dual WAN router. The Wi-Fi connection was the primary connection and the cellular was for backup only. This solution has been solid so far, but due to the issues we endured with cellular, we are removing our Sierra wireless radios to lower the device count that could fail while in the field. In the weeks to come we will only be utilizing the wireless point to multi-point connections, and will be creating a new tower with an AirFiber backhaul to the same equipment types. The plan is to use a second SSID and setting the Rockets up with the secondary SSID for failover. We want our primary tower to handle all connections, but in the event of a failure, or lack of service, it could transfer to the additional tower.

 

IMG_3048.jpgNEMA enclosure - not finished - with UniFi.

 

IMG_3024.jpgRadio for NEMA enclosure without UniFi.

 

Performance:

As expected, with an Omni-direction antenna, the signal is not as strong on both chains as I would want, but we do have stability and low latency. Again, I am aware that a directional antenna would be best, but the situation would not allow me to do so. Once moving from the cellular to the point to multi-point connections, the BOL’s are quick to send and the operators were pleased afterwards. It was a definite victory within the company.

Approximately 2 weeks after implementation, I approached my superior and asked how the loaders connectivity was functioning. He stated, “The Wi-Fi, its perfect, they haven’t had a single problem with it” … This was when I knew Ubiquiti won over more of our end users. To make sure that we would continue to operate efficiently, we purchased several extra devices that the operators could swap out while in the field. For individuals wondering how we mounted the Rockets, we utilized the mounts off the Omni antennas and mounted them on the NEMA’s backing plate.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.00.59 AM.pngSignal with Omni-Direction antenna in the field - Not the best signal, but stable.

 

The implementation did not come without its problems, the cabling that was ran down the tower by the contractors was not all terminated correctly and a few radios would not come online. The initial tower work took several hours but the additional troubleshooting took an additional 5-6 hours, not too fun when working on a tower up until 1:00AM in the morning, due to not having the time to fall back to the previous setup utilizing cellular connectivity in the field.

 

To implement the solution it had taken about 4 days. Everyone was very happy once it was done and it will save nearly 750 dollars per month, for the cellular connectivity we were paying for on all of the loaders, so the implementation will eventually save money after about 3 years... very exciting.

 

Update: We did run into one problem last week, but it wasn't anything with the wireless equipment. The SFP Ubiquiti module in the Ubiquiti EdgePoint S16 switch on the tower, failed on Thursday last week and a new SFP brough the tower back online. Nearly 24 hours later, 22 to be exact, the other SFP module failed. Has anyone had this situation before? I have two of the same switches running in Texas with the same SFP's and currently (*knocks on wood*) have been stable for several months now.

 

We were told we would have more facilities coming online in the future with the same setup, so this is our testing grounds currently and any bugs can be ironed out here. I was proud to work on a project such as this... nothing has been more fun for me than working with Ubiquiti gear and making a success story in the process.

Ubiquiti in the Industrial Field

by ‎02-07-2018 08:40 AM - edited ‎04-02-2018 06:30 AM

Rocket Prism AC Gen 2 in the Industrial field.

 

I work for a company that has put a lot of trust behind the Ubiquiti brand. My superior was somewhat reluctant to accept the hardware until I was able to prove substantial success with our previous implementations.

 

In 2013, we initially began with the NanoStation and PicoStation line to do a simple campus wide Wi-Fi project. They were the only products that allowed us to come in under budget, yet give the reliability and coverage we required as the client count was minimal.

 

Fast Forward to the Second Week of January 2018 we started working in Mexico implementing the Rocket Prism 5AC GEN 2 radios with two of the Ubiquiti airPRISM 3x30 Sector antennas positioned about 100' high on a tower at the facility. The two antennas are positioned to give access to loaders that load/unload several types of liquid products that require BOL's to be printed upon every transfer. The entire project began with cellular modems in the loaders, since the loaders would move and required high service availability, due to the fact that time equals money. The idea of reliable cellular in Mexico had proved to be inaccurate and we had problems during the entire duration of the cellular modems while in the field from June of 2017 until January of 2018.

 

Tower: The tower came out well, I wanted to run Coax up the tower with the Rocket Prism GEN 2 radios at the base of the tower, as I typically do for our tower installations, for simple maintenance, but getting proper coax cabling in Mexico in a timely fashion was troublesome. Due to this issue, we utilized Ubiquiti TOUGHCable Carrier down from the Rocket Prism radios with the ETH-SP surge protectors (in photo still not tightened down) at the top of the tower and at the bottom of the tower, connected to the Ubiquiti EdgePoint 16-Port switch to power the radios.

IMG_3008.jpegTower with AP-5AC-90 Antennas Near the top.

 

IMG_3054.jpgETH-SP not tightened down yet.

Loaders:

The loaders in the field required Omni-directional antennas, though we strongly suggested against it, we had no choice as we were told that the operators were not allowed to turn the antennas if we installed a directional antenna when the loaders were moved. Due to this, we utilized the 5GHz 13 dBi Omni-directional antenna with additional Rocket Prism AC Gen 2 radios in each of the loaders. Utilizing 10Mhz channel widths we could get clear signal for each of the loaders, though the airwaves were highly congested with 5Ghz frequencies, the Prisms were able to handle the additional frequencies quite well.

 

Inside two of the ten units, we utilized the UniFi USG3 Firewall as a dual WAN router. The Wi-Fi connection was the primary connection and the cellular was for backup only. This solution has been solid so far, but due to the issues we endured with cellular, we are removing our Sierra wireless radios to lower the device count that could fail while in the field. In the weeks to come we will only be utilizing the wireless point to multi-point connections, and will be creating a new tower with an AirFiber backhaul to the same equipment types. The plan is to use a second SSID and setting the Rockets up with the secondary SSID for failover. We want our primary tower to handle all connections, but in the event of a failure, or lack of service, it could transfer to the additional tower.

 

IMG_3048.jpgNEMA enclosure - not finished - with UniFi.

 

IMG_3024.jpgRadio for NEMA enclosure without UniFi.

 

Performance:

As expected, with an Omni-direction antenna, the signal is not as strong on both chains as I would want, but we do have stability and low latency. Again, I am aware that a directional antenna would be best, but the situation would not allow me to do so. Once moving from the cellular to the point to multi-point connections, the BOL’s are quick to send and the operators were pleased afterwards. It was a definite victory within the company.

Approximately 2 weeks after implementation, I approached my superior and asked how the loaders connectivity was functioning. He stated, “The Wi-Fi, its perfect, they haven’t had a single problem with it” … This was when I knew Ubiquiti won over more of our end users. To make sure that we would continue to operate efficiently, we purchased several extra devices that the operators could swap out while in the field. For individuals wondering how we mounted the Rockets, we utilized the mounts off the Omni antennas and mounted them on the NEMA’s backing plate.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.00.59 AM.pngSignal with Omni-Direction antenna in the field - Not the best signal, but stable.

 

The implementation did not come without its problems, the cabling that was ran down the tower by the contractors was not all terminated correctly and a few radios would not come online. The initial tower work took several hours but the additional troubleshooting took an additional 5-6 hours, not too fun when working on a tower up until 1:00AM in the morning, due to not having the time to fall back to the previous setup utilizing cellular connectivity in the field.

 

To implement the solution it had taken about 4 days. Everyone was very happy once it was done and it will save nearly 750 dollars per month, for the cellular connectivity we were paying for on all of the loaders, so the implementation will eventually save money after about 3 years... very exciting.

 

Update: We did run into one problem last week, but it wasn't anything with the wireless equipment. The SFP Ubiquiti module in the Ubiquiti EdgePoint S16 switch on the tower, failed on Thursday last week and a new SFP brough the tower back online. Nearly 24 hours later, 22 to be exact, the other SFP module failed. Has anyone had this situation before? I have two of the same switches running in Texas with the same SFP's and currently (*knocks on wood*) have been stable for several months now.

 

We were told we would have more facilities coming online in the future with the same setup, so this is our testing grounds currently and any bugs can be ironed out here. I was proud to work on a project such as this... nothing has been more fun for me than working with Ubiquiti gear and making a success story in the process.

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Comments
by
on ‎02-10-2018 04:31 AM

My god, an actual story in the airMAX Stories forum that was detailed and interesting to read. Makes a nice change from the usual nonsense posted...haha.

by
on ‎02-10-2018 05:18 PM

Thank you for the comment. I was just happy enough to be the "wireless guy" within our company. It is fun to get a call from your boss asking if you are busy and if I could join him for a meeting. Upon walking into his office I was in the middle of a phone call that was questioning my suggested items for deployment for purchase, I know my boss trusts me, he just wanted a second opinion since the project was so important to the company. After about a half an hour of suggestions (and why apparently Cambium Networks was better than Ubiquiti - gotta love sales pitches in the middle of a converstation - *roll eyes*) the engineer on the line finally listened to what I was suggesting with Ubiquiti Networks equipment and he had stated that "yes, it should work", and that was more than enough for my boss, and the purchase for equipment was on.