2 - Install & Maintenance Guides

Guides, Instructions and Tutorials

MikroTik Netinstall Recovery

How to resurrect a bootlooping OmniTIK with netinstall

Symptoms

OmniTIK boots up but continually reboots. The LEDs repeat the pattern: device boots up, power eventually turns blue, then 1-5 turn orange and reboots. Rinse and repeat.

Solution

Use netinstall to flash a fresh firmware on the router. This guide assumes Linux, though both Linux and Windows are supported. This should work for any RouterBOARD based device.

❱ netinstall -p ~/Downloads/routeros-mipsbe-6.47.8.npk -i enp0s13f0u2u4u5
Using server IP: 192.168.88.2
Starting PXE server
Waiting for RouterBOARD...
PXE client: CC:2D:E0:17:55:CB
Sending image: mips
Discovered RouterBOARD...
Formatting...
Sending package routeros-mipsbe-6.47.8.npk ...
Ready for reboot...
Sent reboot command

After all this, you should hear a few beeps indicating success. You can now try to connect via ether2 to configure it at 192.168.88.1 as normal.

Chromebook Developer Mode (Getting a terminal)

Chromebooks are good for installs as they are cheap and all you need is a browser and a terminal anyway.

To get a standard terminal you have to put the Chromebook in developer mode: 

This will erase your login info and any local data!

The Chromebook should restart and you can sign is as guest or enter your gmail etc to set up the laptop.

The next time you start your Chromebook-

Crimping

Here are some helpful videos on crimping. Like nearly everyone we use the T-568B standard

Video 1

Video 2

DIY Install Overview

For a DIY ("do it yourself") install we recommend joining our Slack group where you can chat with us.

There is a channel in Slack- #diy-install-support where you can ask questions. We can guide you on what hardware to buy, and what is likely the best connection to a nearby antenna.

For DIY, you must still fill in our join form. This will give you an Install Number (or request number) which you will need when you are ready for an install to request a Network Number (or NN) in order to be able to configure your devices for your install. It will also get you in our system so we can give you advice and look for line-of-sight connections, as well as put you on the map. (We are working at automating the process so you can use the Install Request number and the system will automatically allocate a Network Number for you. For now you need to request it via #diy-install-support or via the email your received with your Request Install Number)

For a quick check of line-of-sight you can use our line-of-sight tool. Put in your address and it will show you which hubs you might be able to connect to.

Here is a list of equipment we typically use. Remember to use outdoor ethernet cable, and securely mount your antennas on j-pipes or secured masts. Masts should be strong metal as plastic PVC pipes will bend.

Our general install advice is here in the docs

When you are ready, here's how to configure your devices.

We ask you, if you can, to support NYC Mesh with a monthly subscription. Donating helps maintain, operate, and expand NYC Mesh so, just like you, others can benefit from the network.

Equipment

To connect to NYC Mesh, you will need to install wireless networking equipment on a rooftop or outside a window. This page lists a range of equipment and tools that are commonly used for typical installations. Before assembling any equipment, first carry out a site survey and make an install plan to narrow down the equipment you really need. For detailed information about specific routers, visit the hardware docs.

You can download a handy checklist of the equipment listed on this page here.

For DIY installers: To get help figuring out which essential equipment you need for your installation, first familiarize yourself with the equipment below and then reach out to the NYC Mesh community on slack on the #diy-install-support channel.

For volunteer installers: Prior to any install, make sure you have access to the equipment listed below. If you are missing any equipment needed for an install, reach out to install leaders on slack on the #install-team channel to ask to borrow them. Shared tools are available and we can purchase, order and ship networking equipment (routers, cable, connectors, etc.) to your address.

Networking Equipment

Product Name Product Photo What it's used for Where you can get it Cost              
Laptop (charged) alt text Configuring outdoor and indoor routers, reading docs and install plan Bring your own
Outdoor router(s) (pre-configured) alt text Connecting to a node Order online or collect from mesh room stock (refer to specific product page in hardware docs)
Power Over Ethernet (POE) adapter and power cable alt text Providing power to the outdoor router and passing data to and from indoor router Comes packaged with the outdoor router
Indoor router alt text Connection point for user's devices Order online or collect from mesh room stock $20+
CAT5e cable (outdoor-rated, grounded and shielded) alt text Passing power and data between outdoor router, indoor router and power outlet Available from online retailers in different spool lengths - recommended product $130-150/1000ft
$90-110/500ft
$20-30/100 ft
RJ45 pass through connectors (metal, with grounding loop) alt text Gets crimped onto the ends of the CAT5e cable to provide power and data interface Available from online retailers - recommended product $0.34/connector
Two Ethernet patch cables alt text Connecting routers to POE injector, battery pack, laptop Available from online retailers - recommended product $1.5-2 per <=3ft cable
Portable battery pack with three-prong power outlet (charged) alt text Providing power to outdoor router while surveying for signal Available from online retailers - recommended product (less expensive) / recommended product (better features) $50 for 11,600 mAh
$150 for 46,400 mAh
Gigabit USB/Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter alt text Connecting laptop without an ethernet port to outdoor router (not needed if connecting wirelessly) Available from online retailers $15

Tools

Product Name Product Photo What it's used for Where you can get it Cost
Ethernet cable crimper (pass through) alt text Attaching RJ-45 connectors to CAT5e cable Online retailers - recommended product $44
CAT5e cable stripper alt text Stripping CAT5e cable Online retailers (included in crimping all-in-one kit) - recommended product $25 for crimping all-in-one kit
Ethernet cable tester alt text Testing that Ethernet cable has been correctly crimped Online retailers - recommended product $10
Spare 9v battery alt text Replacement in case tester is left on Online retailers - recommended product $10
Scissors alt text Cutting CAT5e cable and cable ties Hardware store tools aisle
Needlenose pliers alt text Clamping CAT5e cable ground wire, pulling cable through holes Hardware store tools aisle - recommended product $12
Cordless hammer drill alt text Drilling holes, inserting screws, securing pipe clamps Hardware store tools aisle
Hex socket drill bits (3/8" for hose clamps and 1/4" for masonry screws) alt text Tightening hose clamps, inserting concrete screws Hardware store drill bits aisle
Carbide-tip masonry drill bit (5/32") alt text Drilling holes in concrete or masonry for inserting masonry screws Hardware store drill bits aisle
Cobalt / titanium drill bit (1/4") alt text Drilling hole for CAT5e cable to pass through steel window frame Hardware store drill bits aisle
Hammer alt text Driving in concrete nails Hardware store tools aisle
Concrete nail alt text Starting a hole in concrete or masonry (makes drilling easier) Hardware store nails aisle
Phillips Precision Screwdriver (No. 1) alt text Assembling Litebeam Router Included in crimping all-in-one kit, Hardware store tools aisle
Adjustable crescent wrench (6") alt text Assembling J-pipe mount Hardware store tools aisle
Vise grips alt text Removing stuck drill bits Hardware store tools aisle

Mounting Equipment

Product Name Product Photo Field Photo What it's used for Where you can get it Cost
Small diameter (28) hose clamp alt text alt text Securing the router to a thin mast or pipe Comes with outdoor router, hardware store plumbing aisle
Large diameter (88) hose clamp alt text alt text Securing the router or mast to a large pipe or window guard Hardware store plumbing aisle
J pipe antenna mast alt text alt text Mounting to a wall or parapet Online retailers - recommended product / 10-pack
L pipe antenna mast alt text alt text Orienting an SXT router up and down Online retailers - recommended product
Concrete screws (3/16" hex head CSH316134) alt text alt text Securing mast mounts to concrete or masonry Hardware store screws and anchors aisle
Washers (1/4" hole diameter) alt text alt text Securing mast mounts to concrete or masonry Hardware store fasteners aisle
Zip ties alt text alt text Securing ethernet cable Hardware store electrical aisle
Cable staples alt text alt text Securing ethernet cable to an indoor wall Hardware store electrical aisle
Cable fastener clips alt text alt text Securing ethernet cable to an outdoor vertical surface Hardware store electrical aisle or online retailers - recommended product

Miscellanious supplies

Product Name Product Photo What it's used for Where you can get it
Electrical tape alt text Pulling cable through holes Hardware store adhesives aisle
Weather stripping (9/16" thick or greater) alt text Sealing the bottom of a window when the CAT5e cable is run over the window frame Hardware store insulation aisle
Rubberized waterproof sealant alt text Sealing gaps and holes to prevent water infiltration Hardware store adhesives aisle
WD-40 or other oil alt text Drilling through thicker metals Hardware store
Small brush and dustpan alt text Sweeping up cable ends and metal shavings from drilling through window frame Online retailers
Biodegradable wet wipes alt text Cleaning dirty hands Online retailers - recommended product
Small garbage bag alt text Disposing of garbage Reuse a shopping bag
Hand truck alt text Transporting cable reel box and equipment bag in and out of subway stations - stair-climbing model is ideal! Online retailers, larger hardware stores
Backpack alt text Transporting equipment safely up ladders - slim backpacks are the safest! Many places

Safety gear

Product Name Product Photo What it's used for Where you can get it
Safety Glasses alt text Eye protection while drilling Hardware store apparel aisle
Thick-soled shoes or work boots alt text Protection against sharp objects on rooftops Work wear store
Sunblock and hat (in summer) alt text Preventing sunburn Pharmacy
Cold weather apparel (in winter) alt text Preventing frostbite Clothing store
Water and a snack alt text Staying hydrated and preventing fatigue Grocery store
First aid kit alt text Treating minor injuries Pharmacy
Fully-charged cell phone alt text Communication in case of lockout, team communication, providing mobile hotspot Charge at home

Etiquette

for volunteer installers

As a volunteer installer, you are the public face of NYCMesh! Courtesy, respect, friendliness and professionalism will give new members a great first impression of our organization and will encourage them to become active contributors to our community.

Before the Install

Check the weather forecast the day before the install. If you have to cancel due to weather conditions, inform the install team on slack, email the installee member and send them a link to reschedule their appointment.

Before leaving for the install, hydrate and eat something. Bring bottled water and a snack with you.

Turn on push notifications on the slack app to communicate efficiently with your fellow installers.

Check MTA delays and allow sufficient time to get to the install. If you can’t help being late, call or text the installee member and update your co-installers on slack.

When You Arrive at the Node Site

When meeting the installee member, introduce yourself by name and explain how you plan to carry out the install. Ask them if they have any questions and confirm that they will be able to host you for the expected duration of the install. Be polite and friendly!

Be sensitive to cultural and social differences, such as:

For rooftop installs, ask your installee member to lead you to their roof. If they are unable to do so, ask them to explain how to access the roof and request that they point out any hazards.

Ask your installee member to show you around their apartment. Ask where the bathroom is in case you need to use it. Remember to respect the member’s privacy.

Discuss options for cabling into the apartment with your installee member during your initial tour of their apartment. Ask for permission before carrying out any drilling.

Consider taking your boots off inside the apartment. Some apartments insist on this, and also your boots are probably dirty. Molten tar on roofs is a big problem in summer and will stick to everything. Snow in winter will melt.

During the Install

The install leader will assign tasks as per volunteers abilities. Minimal time should be wasted.

Maintain a tidy workspace. Clean up as you go. Keep an eye on wire casings you've stripped off.

Carry out the install quickly and efficiently but do not rush or compromise safety. Do not goof off or waste time.

If you need to move anything, ask permission or ask them to help you if they are able.

If you run into installation issues and feel frustrated, try to maintain a positive attitude when communicating with the member and with your fellow installers. Resolve issues efficiently and post questions to the #install-team slack channel.

If the install is taking longer than planned, tell the installee member. Confirm they will be able to host you for the extended install duration.

If for any reason you need to halt the install (eg. weather, unsafe conditions, night falling), respectfully explain the situation to the installee member.

At the End of the Install

Take photos of the install setup, the install team and the installee member (make sure to ask permission first). Photos are used to evaluate the install for problems, and the best photos are tweeted.

After finishing the install, have a friendly conversation with your member about the mission of NYCMesh and encourage them to get involved as a volunteer. Invite them to our next meetup. Avoid excessive casual conversation during install as this can increase install time by hours.

Politely remind your member to pay the labor fee and the installation fee.

Pat yourself on the back! You just helped NYCMesh grow by another node!

Link NYC Kiosk (Kiosk Node)

There are currently ongoing discussions with LinkNYC with the goal of having a deeper and more persistent connection to their network. Information on this page may become out of date in the near future. For updates see #linknyc on the slack

We do not install LinkNYC Kiosk repeaters as they are not as reliable as a mesh connection. We still support DIY kiosk repeaters through our Slack group.

If you are too far away from an access point to get a good connection, you can use a directional router to connect to Link NYC. We recommend using a Mikrotik SXTsq G-5acD international version. The LinkNYC kiosks use DFS channels which, although legal and FCC approved, aren't supported in some USA versions of hardware.

To use the SXTsq 5 ac you need to get the international version and configure it according to our detailed instructions.

With all these gateways we get lots of questions about security. As always, https (used by most web sites) is a secure way to transmit information across wifi.

Juniper Quick Start Guide (Mikrotik vs Juniper)

This guide is intended to be a quick start guide to working with Juniper routers. It is intended that NYC Mesh volunteers who know their way around RouterOS can use this guide to complete the same common actions on a Juniper router.

To Do:

Login and Access Terminal:

MikroTik: Navigate to the router's IP. Enter username and password.

image.png

Juniper: SSH to the router's IP. Username is root. Type cli and hit enter.

ssh root@10.69.19.34
Password:
Last login: Tue Jan 16 22:17:47 2024 from 10.97.227.158
--- JUNOS 21.4R1.12 built 2021-12-17 14:37:27 UTC
root@nycmesh-1934-core:RE:0% cli
{master:0}
root@nycmesh-1934-core>

List Interfaces:

MikroTik: Click Interfaces to see interface list and status.

image.png

Click a specific interface to see individual status, including port status.

image.png

Juniper:

Juniper represents configuration separately from the current status. For configuration and layout of the network:

root@nycmesh-1934-core> show configuration interfaces
xe-0/0/0 {
    description "Grand St OLT1 Port 1";
    ether-options {
        802.3ad ae0;
    }
}
xe-0/0/1 {
    description "Grand St OLT1 Port 2";
    ether-options {
        802.3ad ae0;
    }
}
xe-0/0/2 {
    description "Grand St OLT2 Port 1";
    ether-options {
        802.3ad ae1;
    }
}
xe-0/0/3 {
    description "Grand St OLT2 Port 2";
    ether-options {
        802.3ad ae1;
    }
}
xe-0/0/4 {
    unit 0 {
        family ethernet-switching {
            interface-mode access;
            vlan {
                members mesh;
            }
        }
    }
}
xe-0/0/5 {
    unit 0 {
        family ethernet-switching {
            interface-mode access;
            vlan {
                members mesh;
            }
        }
    }
---(more)---

For statistics and live info:

root@nycmesh-1934-core> show interfaces
Physical interface: gr-0/0/0, Enabled, Physical link is Up
  Interface index: 650, SNMP ifIndex: 502
  Type: GRE, Link-level type: GRE, MTU: Unlimited, Speed: 800mbps
  Device flags   : Present Running
  Interface flags: Point-To-Point SNMP-Traps
  Input rate     : 0 bps (0 pps)
  Output rate    : 0 bps (0 pps)

Physical interface: ip-0/0/0, Enabled, Physical link is Up
  Interface index: 649, SNMP ifIndex: 515
  Type: IPIP, Link-level type: IP-over-IP, MTU: Unlimited,
  Speed: 800mbps
  Device flags   : Present Running
  Interface flags: SNMP-Traps
  Input rate     : 0 bps (0 pps)
  Output rate    : 0 bps (0 pps)

Physical interface: pfe-0/0/0, Enabled, Physical link is Up
  Interface index: 654, SNMP ifIndex: 509
  Speed: 800mbps
  Device flags   : Present Running
  Link flags     : None
  Last flapped   : Never
    Input packets : 0
    Output packets: 0

  Logical interface pfe-0/0/0.16383 (Index 565) (SNMP ifIndex 510)
    Flags: Up SNMP-Traps Encapsulation: ENET2
    Bandwidth: 0
    Input packets : 0
    Output packets: 0
    Protocol inet, MTU: Unlimited
    Max nh cache: 0, New hold nh limit: 0, Curr nh cnt: 0,
    Curr new hold cnt: 0, NH drop cnt: 0
      Flags: User-MTU
    Protocol inet6, MTU: Unlimited
    Max nh cache: 0, New hold nh limit: 0, Curr nh cnt: 0,
    Curr new hold cnt: 0, NH drop cnt: 0
      Flags: Is-Primary, User-MTU

Physical interface: pfh-0/0/0, Enabled, Physical link is Up
  Interface index: 653, SNMP ifIndex: 508
  Speed: 800mbps
---(more)---

List DHCP leases:

MikroTik: Click IP > DHCP Server, then click the Leases tab

image.png

Juniper:

root@nycmesh-1934-core> show dhcp server binding
IP address        Session Id  Hardware address   Expires     State      Interface
10.70.188.20      2536927     00:18:dd:0a:19:a7  510         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.19      3215990     00:d2:b1:58:87:46  263         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.64      282708      02:27:22:da:a6:7c  521         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.26      2533153     0c:62:a6:ad:ab:c5  337         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.192     334522      18:e8:29:26:ef:25  518         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.217     2778822     18:e8:29:59:f5:ab  586         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.241     2536920     18:fd:74:58:20:2e  321         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.202     2536918     18:fd:74:cb:d0:2d  311         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.21      3207138     18:fd:74:ef:6d:8a  506         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.132     3217186     1c:91:80:c8:51:d3  10          BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.47      50490       28:29:86:5a:f4:15  533         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.197     2536785     28:29:86:6a:51:82  487         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.24      2536919     28:76:10:1e:35:8e  386         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.183     3213552     3a:e0:38:60:bb:91  198         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.172     2416730     3c:9b:d6:75:c8:f8  571         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.107     3216907     56:9d:3f:a6:d7:0f  57          BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.193     2604196     5c:e9:31:7c:56:ff  537         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.130     3217152     5e:48:5d:5b:79:90  415         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.129     3217128     5e:8f:1b:e9:16:8a  2           BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.44      1931696     60:22:32:4f:2b:fe  380         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.136     3217238     62:45:45:e2:0a:39  500         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.240     2857437     68:d7:9a:76:d4:f7  316         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.203     331465      68:d7:9a:a2:07:10  453         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.188     3213574     6a:5c:64:e1:8c:d4  439         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.184.90      3026881     70:a7:41:3e:aa:91  522         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.184.65      2953063     70:a7:41:3e:ab:d5  331         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.187.244     2730465     70:a7:41:3e:ab:f9  336         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.187.178     2476746     70:a7:41:3e:ac:51  589         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.184.93      3027863     70:a7:41:3e:ac:71  318         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.188.93      170763      70:a7:41:42:76:31  300         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.45      781270      74:83:c2:9c:92:fc  394         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.215     1945827     74:83:c2:c0:bb:90  582         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.36      2825439     74:83:c2:c3:d1:75  354         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.134     3147069     74:83:c2:c3:d1:83  533         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.86      25849       74:ac:b9:0c:9a:1d  360         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.161     71710       74:ac:b9:72:3f:33  454         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.75      2857433     74:ac:b9:b9:92:cc  559         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.53      2857440     74:ac:b9:bc:a7:2a  500         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.188.49      2857438     74:ac:b9:bc:ab:83  346         BOUND      irb.12
10.70.187.109     2182001     78:45:58:06:3c:9b  516         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.187.27      573697      78:45:58:06:3c:a5  549         BOUND      irb.11
10.70.187.31      573715      78:45:58:06:41:94  510         BOUND      irb.11
---(more)---

Show Device Address:

MikroTik: Click IP > Addresses.

image.png

Juniper:

Every Layer 3 (IP) network is attached to an irb which in turn is attached to a VLAN, unlike RouterOS where the IPs are attached to the interfaces directly, irrespective of Layer 2 interface type.

root@nycmesh-1934-core> show configuration interfaces irb
unit 0 {
    family inet {
        dhcp {
            vendor-id Juniper-qfx5100-48s-6q;
        }
    }
}
unit 10 {
    description "mesh bridge";
    family inet {
        address 10.69.19.34/16;
        address 10.70.189.1/24;
    }
}
unit 11 {
    description "Grand St OLTS";
    family inet {
        address 10.70.184.1/22;
    }
}
unit 12 {
    description "Grand St OOB";
    family inet {
        address 10.70.188.1/24;
    }
}
unit 51 {
    description nycmesh-1932-af24-227;
    family inet {
        address 10.70.251.18/30;
    }
}
unit 115 {
    description nycmesh-1933-mlq1-407;
    family inet {
        address 10.70.251.69/30;
    }
}
unit 202 {
    description nycmesh-1933-af60lr-7512;
    family inet {
        address 10.70.251.9/30;
    }
---(more)---

Each irb would then be attached to a VLAN, which in turn gets attached to interfaces.

root@nycmesh-1934-core> show configuration vlans
default {
    vlan-id 1;
    l3-interface irb.0;
}
grandstolts {
    vlan-id 11;
    l3-interface irb.11;
}
grandstoob {
    vlan-id 12;
    l3-interface irb.12;
}
mesh {
    vlan-id 10;
    l3-interface irb.10;
    isolated-vlan sectors;
}
nycmesh-1932-af24-227 {
    vlan-id 51;
    l3-interface irb.51;
}
nycmesh-1932-lhg60-2463 {
    vlan-id 500;
    l3-interface irb.500;
}
nycmesh-1933-af60lr-7512 {
    vlan-id 202;
    l3-interface irb.202;
}
nycmesh-1933-eh8010-5916 {
    vlan-id 302;
    l3-interface irb.302;
}
nycmesh-1933-mlq1-407 {
    vlan-id 115;
    l3-interface irb.115;
}
sectors {
    vlan-id 15;
    private-vlan isolated;
}

...which then get attached to interfaces (see above).

Post Install (New Member Form)

This is a template form to print and leave with members with their WiFi information, install/node number and other details. It also provides links to our support channels if they have any issues.

Our Mesh Guide also includes a page to write down this information. Otherwise writing the WiFi information on a piece of paper is also acceptable.

Remember to write down the administrator (management) password for WiFi router. This is important if the member needs to change their WiFi password later. (Most installers have a standard password that they use, but it's helpful to have a record so we don't need to reset the router if we don't know it)

NYC Mesh Post Install Form

Omnitik Power Problems

Alignment and wind

We've had many antennas lose alignment in the wind. There's a few simple things you can do to prevent this-

  1. Use a socket and drill to tighten hose clamps fast. It's hard to get the hose clamp tight with a screw driver. A socket and drill will get it really tight. You'll need a socket set that has both american and metric sockets.

  2. Put one layer of electrical tape under the hose clamp. This can help stop slipping, especially on smooth j-pipes like the Ubiquiti ones.

  3. Make sure pipe mounts can't twist by putting a bolt through them. You'll need a set of metal drill bits (such as titanium) and some 2 1/2" long 1/4" bolts.

If you can move the LiteBeam with your hands, it will also move in the wind. The LiteBeam LR needs even more care to stop it from moving.

Bad crimps

Ethernet testers aren't perfect so you need to check your crimps visually-

  1. Wires are in correct order!
  2. All wires are pushed all the way to the end
  3. All pins are pushed down after crimping (important!)
  4. The cable jacket is just inside the RJ-45

If the first three things are correct the cable will work! The jacket being inside the rj-45 gives it a bit more strength.

It is possible that the cable tester will wrongly say it is fine even if the wires aren't at the end and the pins aren't all down.

The crimping tool's job is to push the pins into the wires. Look at the pins before and after crimping and you should see that they are all pushed down by the same amount. Some crimping tools are incompatible with the toughcable jacket and are unable to push the pins down evenly. We recommend this crimper

Not enough cable

To save carrying a full box of cable many installers take a roll of cable (and occasionally not enough)

Here’s a short guide to help:

  1. Tough cable is marked every meter. Each box is 305m so if the end says 255m you have 50m left
  2. 50 meters of cable is enough to do an average install
  3. Each floor adds about 3 meters to the length
  4. Member’s floor info is now on the schedule to help with calculation
  5. Each extra apartment adds about 20m + floor calculation
  6. 100m is the max length for Cat5 cable. (data loss and voltage loss is too much)
  7. If you have a roll, you can measure one loop and multiply by the number of loops

1 meter = 3 feet

OmniTik power problems

The biggest confusion with OmniTiks is that one model has POE out (OmniTik POE) and one doesn't. They both look the same. There is obscure print near the ethernet ports that will tell you if it is ethernet out. OmniTik POE has a much larger power injector and this must be used to power it. If you accidentally power it with a smaller adapter it will work but the LiteBeam will occasionally reboot.

Sometimes the OmniTik won't automatically power the LiteBeam. You can force on the power by going to Webfig>Interfaces>ether5 and select "PoE Out: forced on". Also check that you are using the correct power injector for the Omni as this can also cause this problem. If the "PoE Out" option is missing you have the wrong kind of OmniTik!

Use electrical tape to tape the small DC power cable to the white injector after plugging it in. This often comes undone causing all sorts of problems. The DC power cable is the same as the tp-link DC cable, and will break the tp-link if you plug it into that instead.

The OmniTik should plug directly into a wall, not a power strip

Query

This page works best in incognito/private window mode!

This is for installers to query our install spreadsheet. This is password protected.

If you have trouble running this script, try using an incognito (private) window in your browser

This uses simple matching for addresses. Type the number and street name, e.g. "123 Smith St". Don't enter a complete address! For NN, install number and email it uses exact matches.







Safety

Growing the mesh is important, but so is staying safe to install more nodes. These are general safety guidelines intended to address more common hazards on an install, but keep an eye out for risks even if they are not covered here.

What to Bring to Site

In addition to standard installation equipment, bring the following gear to ensure safety on site:

Traveling to and from Site

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you feel unsafe traveling to a particular location, consider meeting up with co-installers beforehand and traveling together.

Site Survey

alt text

Ask your member to tell you about any hazards on site.

During your site survey, note potential hazards and tell your fellow installers. These may include:

Working with Others

Take responsibility for your own safety first but make sure to watch out for your co-installers.

If you are an install team leader, understand the capabilities of your fellow installers and assign tasks they are comfortable doing.

Inform your fellow installers of any medical conditions that could impact the install.

If you are asked to do something you find unsafe, respectfully decline the task and propose an alternate method.

Weather

Read the weather forecast the day of the survey. If there is a high likelihood of poor conditions, cancel the install.

In case of heavy rain, thunder or lightning, leave the roof immediately and cancel the install.

During hot weather, stay hydrated and protect your skin with sunblock. Take breaks indoors or in the shade. Recognize the signs of heat exposure, such as dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion, and rapid, shallow breathing.

During winter, tread carefully to avoid slips and falls on ice. Stay away from icy patches when possible.

During cold conditions, protect your skin with appropriate outerwear and take breaks indoors to warm up. Recognize the signs of cold stress, such as uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsy movements, fatigue and confused behavior.

During windy conditions, keep lightweight equipment inside a bag so that it does not blow off the roof.

References and further reading:

Avoiding Falls

alt text

Rooftops present various falling hazards. Exercise caution while working on rooftops at all times.

Ask your member about any hazards in advance of entering the rooftop.

Move carefully and watch where you are walking at all times. Try to avoid stepping backwards.

Keep yourself and your equipment away from the edge of the roof whenever possible.

Step carefully over or around loose cables, debris and other tripping hazards.

Don’t grasp or put any weight onto unstable parapet walls or fences.

Do not step on, lean against or put any weight on skylights. Do not place any equipment on skylights.

When working near the edge of the roof, maintain visual awareness of the edge at all times. Do not work facing away from the edge.

Keep off steeply pitched surfaces.

References and further reading:

Access Hazards and Confined Spaces

alt text

Understand egress (exit) routes from the rooftop space. If there is a door or a hatch, make sure that it does not lock behind you. Prop open if necessary.

Avoid entering confined or narrow spaces.

References and further reading:

Fixed Ladders to the Rooftop

Inspect the ladder prior to using it. Make sure it is secured to the wall and that rungs are stable and not slippery.

Only one person on the ladder at a time.

When climbing through a narrow passage, make sure to take off any loose-fitting clothing. If carrying a backpack, ensure you have enough clearance behind you.

Always maintain 3-point contact (i.e. only let go and move one hand or one foot at a time). Do not carry anything that compromises your ability to grip the ladder or could cause you to become imbalanced.

Work together with your co-installer to pass equipment up to the top or bottom of the ladder. Inform your co-installer of the weight of anything you are passing to them. Make sure they securely grip the equipment before letting go.

Face the ladder when climbing.

References and further reading:

Temporary Ladders

Inspect the ladder prior to using it. Use the ladder only on a stable and level surface..

Always maintain 3-point contact. Do not carry anything that compromises your ability to grip the ladder or could cause you to become imbalanced.

Never stand on the top step, the paint tray, or thin support struts on the back which are not meant to be stepped on.

The proper angle for setting up a straight ladder (not the self-supporting A-frame type) is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall.

Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases.

If using an extension ladder, make sure the locks are engaged on both sides.

References and further reading:

Electrical and Cable Safety**

alt text

The equipment used in a typical install is classified as low-voltage beyond the electrical outlet adapter. Low-voltage electrical circuits still present a shock hazard.

While the shock from a low-voltage cable may not cause serious injury by itself, it could cause you to jump or lose balance, which could result in a fall.

Learn to identify high-voltage electrical equipment and stay away from it.

Be careful to not cut or drill through concealed piping or wires. Make a small inspection before starting to cut or drill.

Keep cables away from power wires, lightning rods, transformers, hot pipes and mechanical rooftop equipment such as air conditioning units. These things can get hot and melt the coating off our cables.

Never install wiring during electrical storms.

Use tools with non-conducting handles.

Make sure to secure cable to rooftop and wall surfaces, and keep it out of the way as much as possible. Do not create a tripping hazard for your member or other building users.

Make sure to clean up cable sheathing after stripping. A pet or child might eat them if left on the floor.

References and further reading:

Drill Usage

Inspect the drilling area before starting to identify any objects that might get in the way, such as electrical cables, nails or staples.

Get a secure footing when operating the drill. Do not overreach.

Select the correct bit. (See installation slide deck)

Make sure you are using the right bit for the material you are drilling into and ensure the drill bit is in good condition.

Tighten the chuck securely.

Use eye protection, especially when drilling through metal. Metal will shred, and shards could fly into your eye.

Keep the drill away from water. Move the drill to a dry location if it starts to rain.

Clean the drill bit after operation.

Report any damage or defects to the tool owner if you are borrowing it.

References and further reading:

Moving furniture

Coordinate the moving of any heavy furniture with the member.

Before moving anything, plan the move and communicate the plan it to your member or fellow installer. Consider where you will pick it up, where you will move it and identify any tripping hazards.

Make sure nothing will fall off the furniture you are moving or that moving the furniture will not cause something else to fall.

Get as close to the load as possible. While lifting upwards, keep your back straight and your knees bent, and do not twist your body.

Do not lift anything that is too heavy for you to pick up in a smooth motion.

If moving any outdoor items (for example air conditioner supports), pick up cautiously as there may be insects underneath.

References and further reading:

Asbestos

Buildings in New York City may contain asbestos. Learn how to identify materials that may contain friable asbestos and avoid exposure (see link below).

Asbestos is considered to be not dangerous unless damaged or disturbed, which can release fibers into the air.

A general rule of thumb is to assume asbestos may be present in homes built before 1980.

Materials that commonly contain asbestos include:

Learn how to visually identify asbestos. Here is one resource: https://web.archive.org/web/20220821044546/https://merryhill.co.uk/what-does-asbestos-look-like/

References and further reading:

Liability

The property owner may face liability for any injury. Maintaining safe work practices helps protect your member as well as yourself and your fellow installers!

Read more about homeowner liability here: https://realestate.findlaw.com/owning-a-home/homeowner-liability-safety.html

Further Reading

Typical Install Diagram (Omni & Litebeam)

The purpose of this diagram is to give a technical overview of the typical LiteBeam + Omnitik5ac install described in the Typical Installations page - scenario 2

NOTES

Typical Install Diagram (Omni-only)

The purpose of this diagram is to give a technical overview of an Omnitik5ac-only install. This type of install should only be done if it is impractical to also install a LightBeamAC (e.g. no line-of-sight to a hub). Both types of installations (with and without LiteBeamAC) are depicted in the Typical Installations page - scenario 2 

NOTES

Typical Installs

Please read our FAQ if you haven't already.

The intention of this page is not to be technical but rather give to the non-technical person an understanding of a typical installation.

NYC Mesh is an "over the air" network. The aim is to connect rooftop to rooftop using different types of equipment based on geography and topology. And in doing so, to expand NYC Mesh network coverage to the next block and so on*. The idea of NYC Mesh is to share the connectivity with neighbors, share resources, share equipment, share the network. Create a community of communities connecting to each other.

NYC Mesh typically uses two categories of equipment.

*Note: In some cases, such as large buildings we may use fiber to connect but would setup a rooftop "hub" to expand the network to surrounding neighbors.





1.- Connect to a hub or supernode (one apartment - no roof-to-roof expansion). Such installation does not allow expansion of the Mesh network, nor allow sharing with neighbor community

A typical installation has a LiteBeam antenna on the roof. From that antenna an ethernet cable is run to the apartment. (note: the antenna is sometimes referred to as the outdoor router).

photo       photo

Depending on the roof it can be mounted on an old TV antenna pole, on an added pole, a wall, a chimney, or any existing infrastructure.

photo photo photo photo

In the apartment any type of WiFi router can be installed. We install a TP-Link router.




2.- Connect to a hub or supernode (one or several apartments - with roof-to-roof expansion). Allow Mesh network expansion and sharing with the neighbor community

To allow others to connect to your rooftop LiteBeam router we need to add an ethernet router and an access point. For this we usually use an OmniTik mounted on the same pole or it can be mounted somewhere else on the roof. The OmniTik will give you wifi on your roof and also allow 4 other apartments to connect with ethernet.

photo      

The OmniTik is an Omnidirectional (360°) antenna. It has about 2-3 block radius. We connect the Litebeam to the OmniTik and apartments to the OmniTik via ethernet.

photo photo photo

OmniTik not located next to the Litebeam
photo

Other rooftops can connect to the OmniTik by using another Omnitik if they are close enough or we use, in some cases, an SXT.

This setup as a major benefit. It allows the devices to mesh with each other. If an other Omnitik is installed in a 2-3 blocks radius they will connect to each other and create a mesh, thus improving reliability and allowing a) the Mesh network to expand, and b) the neighbor community to use it to access internet.




3.- A good rooftop can be "beefed up" to allow for more connectivity.

If the rooftop is interesting (at a good location, it's high enough, etc) we may install "sectors" or other type of equipement. Sectors are antennas that communicate via Ubiquiti's AirMax protocol and have a longer range than an OmniTik. Additionally, we may connect to two hubs, etc....

Here are four examples.

photo photo photo photo




4.- A building can connect to another building with an OmniTik using a different antenna

A building can connect to another building with an OmniTik using a SXT antenna. It can then serve one or several apartments.

photo photo




Those are typical installations. Other setups are possible and in use throughout NYC Mesh.

For the most up-to-date overview of the entire install process, check out the Install Training Presentation.

Siklu Alignment

Alignment Process

Under Construction

Video: How to use Link Budget Calculator

Video: Siklu Etherhaul Antenna Alignment

Coarse Alignment

Coarse alignment should be done after mounting the antenna.

Video: Coarse Alignment

Fine Alignment

The Siklu radiation pattern has multiple "lobes," a bit like two concentric donuts (side lobes) around the center target (main lobe).  These are effectively "lumps" in signal strength emitted by the antenna.  Like a mountain top there are many local peaks, but only one true highest point.