Install & Maintenance Guides

Concrete Drilling



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-


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.


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
$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


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


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!

Fiber install guidelines

In order to avoid problems with fiber install quality, the following guidelines should be followed:

Fiber Safety

1. Intro

1.1 Description

Although fiber is a relatively safe material to work with, there are some hazards to be aware of. These hazards can be particularly troublesome since bare fiber is microscopic and transparent; it is nearly impossible to detect if you lose track of your scraps.

They come in two forms:

  1. fiber scrap
  2. fiber shard

1.2 Details

There are some details to keep in mind while reading this page:

  1. The fiber cable refers to the glass fiber, cladded and wrapped by both inner and outer jackets.
  2. Bare fiber refers to the glass core that is left after stipping the outer and inner jackets as well as the cladding.
  3. The cable is spooled in the package; the curvature is a hazard as the cable will bend back quickly when straightened out.
  4. Bare fiber is extremely fragile.
  5. Positioning the fiber on the cleaver or splicer is a delicate operation. The fiber is likely to poke a hard surface and bend, leading to breakage. If not careful when unclamping the cable, it will jump out of the tool and back into shape as mentioned in (3).
  6. Once fiber gets in your body, it may never leave as it neither decays or get broken down by the immune system.
  7. Using a microscope to locate fiber is only possible on skin and is extremely challenging due to the scale, the elasticity of skin, and uneven surface of the skin.
  8. The hazards can also affect others who are currently in the space or will be in the future.

2. Fiber Scrap

2.1 Description:

A piece of fiber scrap is a segment of bare fiber which gets created while cleaving or accidentally breaking bare fiber. Scraps can break down into smaller segments or into shards. They are the easier pieces to keep track of due to their length. If a scrap disapears, shining a flash light at different angles on a surface will produce a segment shaped glimmer if it hits a scrap.

As shown in the pictures bellow, the amount of light and angle at which it hits the scrap affects the visibility. Note that these are two different pieces of scrap, which were found by closely inspecting the surfaces using a flashlight.

scrap across table scrap on table scrap on chair

2.2 Hazards:

There are two ways in which scraps are hazardous; pricking and snapping.

2.3 Potential consequences

3. Fiber Shards

3.1 Description:

Fiber shards are microscopic glass shrads; similar to fiberglass dust. They are nearly impossible to track due to their size; the smallest shards can be measured in micrometers (1 micrometer is 1/1000th of a millimeter).

3.2 Hazards:

2.3 Potential consequences





Hazard origins

-> scrap
-> shards

Cutting cable
-> shards

Snapping scrap
-> scrap
-> shards

Stripping jacket/cladding
-> shards


-> pricking
-> ingestion

-> inhalation
-> ingestion
-> skin, eye contact

Potential Health Consequences

Ingestion -> inflamation, internal hemorage

Inhalation -> airway inflamation

Pricking -> infection

Skin, eye contact -> inflamation


Although risks are low for a few installs, over the long run, some installers may want to take more precautions. An extremely safe setup for the most risk averse of installers would be a DIY fume extractor. This setup is compact and mitigates all of the hazards mentioned in the previous sections.

The plexiglass walls contain any dust in a small area, the gloves protect the installer's skin and clothes, and the negative presure fan ensures proper ventilation. In addition, hooks and magnets can be used to keep some tools organized and permanently inside the container (e.g. stripping tool, tzeezers, alcohol pads...). In order to perform a splice near the ceiling, some mechanism needs to be used to strap the container atop a ladder (unless the installer considers a baker scaffolding affordable and convenient)

Equipment list:

  1. 6 18*24 acrylic sheets + acrylic cement + small hinges OR large, clear plastic box (plastic box may not be as practical as custom acrylic box)
  2. 4 inch hole saw
  3. 4 inch pvc pipe
  4. plastic epoxy
  5. 2 worm clamps (for the gloves on the extractor)
  6. gooseneck arms with aligator clips
  7. nonslip pads
  8. arm-length gloves
  1. vaccum/fan with ~40ft 4 inch vent hose
  2. 4 worm clamps (2 for window adaptor to fan, 2 for fan to extractor)
  3. portable ac window adapter

6. Resources

Fiber Splicing Tutorial

1. Intro

These instructions assume only the required tools are used, and minimal precautions taken; no assumptions about safety equipment or convenient tools.

There are 7 procedures to perform in the splicing process; roughly in the following order:

  1. setup
  2. strip cable to bare fiber
  3. cleave bare fiber
  4. fuse
  5. test
  6. apply heat to shrink sleeve and tube
  7. clean up

Procedures 2 and 3 will be performed twice; once for each of the two cables. However, one side will need to have more outer jacket stripped off to make room for the shrink sleeve; to move it out of the splicer. The side on which the sleeve will be is refered to as Side With Sleeve (SWS), and the other as Side WithOut Sleeve (SWOS). Note that the sequence will be strip SWS, cleave SWS, position SWS in splicer, AND THEN strip SWOS, cleave SWOS and position SWOS in splicer. That sequence minimizes the risks of mishandling each cable, which could result in one or both of 1) a fiber splinter and 2) breaking the bare fiber; either of which could require starting the process over for that cable since even if the bare fiber did not break, if it has been cleaved, poking any surface could ruin the cut.

During procedure 4, the fibers may need to be repositioned multiple times to align the fiber correctly. This is because, as noted in the fiber safety page (detail 3 to consider), the cable is curved; making this part challenging since the cable needs to be positioned straight and precisely.

Procedure 5 is performed before 6 since it would be a waste of time and resources to shrink the shrink sleeve and the shrink tube if the splice needs to be redone.

2. Steps with pictures

Bellow are pictures taken through out the splicing process. (the ordering numbers come from the detailed list in the next section)

  1. Stripping the outer jacket of SWS:

  1. Stripping the inner jacket of SWS:

  1. Positioning the stripped SWS in the cleaver:

  1. Positioning the cleaved SWS in the splicer:

16-17) Stripping the outer and inner jackets of SWOS:

  1. Positioning the cleaved SWOS in the splicer:

  1. Read splicer screen to view the quality of the splice and an estimate of signal loss:

  1. Test splice:

  1. Place shrink sleeve over the fused, bare fiber and move the whole to the splicer's heating compartment to shrink the sleeve:

  1. Verify that the sleeve has in fact shrunk (may need to heat 1-3 times):

The result:

3. Detailed list of steps

3.1 Prep

  1. prepare all the equipment required; includes tools and any PPE.

  2. cut shrink tube (20cm).

  3. prepare shrink sleeve.

  4. mark location to cut on cable from each side.

  5. slide shrink tube down either cable.

3.2 Begin Process

  1. Take a cable from either side; this cable will be the side with the shrink sleeve (SWS), the other will be the side with out the sleeve (SWOS).

  2. Strip outer jacket of SWS (12cm) and cut kevlar.

  3. Slide shrink sleeve over inner jacket of SWS.

  4. Strip inner jacket of SWS (2cm) into sharps container.

  5. Strip cladding of SWS into sharps container and apply alcohol pad.

  6. Cleave SWS.

  7. Use tweezers to pick up fiber fragment and drop into sharps container; verify that the segment was indeed in the tweezers all the way to the sharps container, and that it fell in the container before putting the tweezers down.

  8. Position SWS in fusion splicer.

  9. Use tape to clean any potential glass pieces around and between cleaver and sharps container (if they are not moved before cleaving the other side, this can be done after the second cable is cleaved).

  10. Take SWOS.

  11. Strip outer jacket of SWOS (5cm) and cut kevlar.

  12. Strip inner jacket of SWOS (2cm).

  13. Strip cladding of SWOS and apply alcohol pad.

  14. Cleave SWOS.

  15. Use tweezers to pick up fiber fragment and drop into sharps container; verify that the segment was indeed in the tweezer all the way to the sharps container, and that it fell in the container before putting the tweezers down.

  16. Clamp SWOS and position it in fusion splicer (clamp to reduce movement when removing the splicer clamp; due to cable curve).

  17. Use tape to clean any potential glass pieces around and between cleaver and sharps container.

  18. Fuse cables.

  19. Connect cable ends to testing devices and test signal loss.

  20. Carefully release each cable from splicer clamps.

  21. Slide shrink sleeve over exposed fiber and place in splicer's heating compartment; sleeve should cover each side roughly 3cm from joint.

  22. Heat 2-3 times.

  23. Slide shrink tube over shrunk sleeve; the shrink tube must leave no inner jacket exposed.

  24. Shrink shrink tube with lighter while adjusting grip to ensure the shrink tube cools straight; may consider using solder clamps for this step.

3.3 Clean and pack up

  1. Use tape to clean each piece of equipment and put them back in toolbox

  2. Fold tape in half, sticky side in, to trap any potential glass pieces.

  3. Dispose of tape and pack up the rest of equipment.

4. Template

In order to strip jackets quickly and precisely the installer should make a template, such as the one shown bellow.

stripping template

Note that the template in the picture is crowded to illustrate the instructions in section 3; a color coded stick may be easier to work with.

Stick template example (1 dash = 1cm):

< - - - -0- - - - >< -1- >< -2- - >< - - -3- - - - >< - - - -4- - - - >

0: no color -> 8cm; Space for palm of hand.

1: green -> 2cm; Strip inner jacket of both SWS and SWOS.

2: white -> 3cm; green + white = 5cm to strip SWOS outer jacket.

3: yellow -> 7cm; green + white + yellow = 12cm to strip SWS outer jacket.

4: black -> 8cm; green + white + yellow + black = 20cm to cut shrink tubing.

The following pictures show the measurements used to determine the lengths. Note that template lengths are longer to leave ample room for errors.

The pictures show that:

cleaver pads under ruler

shrinksleeve on ruler

splicer measurement

Fiber to the Apartment

The first step is to screw the ONT into the wall in a convenient place using drywall achors. The ONT we are currently using is the Ubiquiti UF-WiFi6-US

Only use white fiber inside apartments, never yellow or any other color. This is to better blend in with the wall. We have custom made 3mm white fiber with termination at one end.

Once the ONT is screwed into the wall, plug in the terminated end of the white fiber. Now you are ready to run the fiber to the exit point (usually above the front door). You first run the fiber down to the top of the baseboard and then along to the nearest corner, attaching it to the wall with silicone or staples. You run the cable up the corner to the ceiling and follow along the corner of the ceiling to the exit point using silicone or staples along the way.

Ufiber ONT

As always with fiber, don't do any hard bends! Let the fiber curve around corners.

There is no loose fiber in the apartment, just a service loop above the door. All the fiber is locked down with silicone or staples the whole way. Any loose fiber will result in service calls. Excess fiber is pulled back into the apartment and left as a service loop above the door. Trim the yellow raceway fiber down before splicing so it one foot from the entry point. Use excess white fiber to enable the splice.

At the exit point you drill a small hole (6mm?) and feed the unterminated end of the fiber through to the raceway. The fiber will be spliced outside of the apartment either with a fusion splicer or with a mechanical splice. The hole must be sealed after you're finished!

The new ONT has a built in router so install it near a power outlet and you are done. You will need to log into the OLT to configure the router

The older model ONT is powered by connecting it to a POE injector, and connecting the data port to a TP-Link/Archer home router.


[to be expanded!]

Fiber support is fairly straightforward. First do the usual test of the wifi router to eliminate that as the problem. Next test the signal going into the ONT by unplugging the connector and connecting it to your meter.

Test db of signal using an OTDR or optical power meter (OPM). The signal should be between -22db to -10db. Less than -24db and the signal is too weak. -8db is the highest limit that will work.

If the signal is outside of the range of -22 to -10 you need to look for where signal loss is occurring. This is typically the splice in the raceway or damaged fiber that has been bent.

Light fiber with red test signal using the OPM or OTDR. This is done from the hallway access box.

Look for loss along the way, especially in the raceway splice. Redo splice if signal loss is there. If the cable is damaged elsewhere, splice around the damage.


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.

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

Network Number

This page works best in incognito/private window mode!

Enter the Install Number* below to get the NN that can be used to configure the rooftop antennas/routers. This can also be used with existing multiple apartment installs to figure out the network number (NN) for the roof/building you are connected to.

*The Install Number is the number you received in an email right after you registered. If you can't find the email with your Install Number please contact us.

If you have the password you can assign a NN for an install number

Install Number:

We have changed the way "Node Numbers" work and we're now using the term NN or "Network Number".

Previously each registration would receive a Node Number. This number would be used to configure the devices. For example used in the litebeam naming and in the OmniTik configuration. The Node Number was used to generate the IP address range used by the OmniTik device. Many registrations do not end up being installed and thus a lot of addresses are being “blocked” as reserved for those Node Numbers, Nodes associated with persons. We gave ourselves a limit of 8192 “nodes”. This in order to “save” the IP range above, for further usage.

We need now to start using the unused or unassigned IPs in the lower range.

From now on, when a person registers, they receive an Install Number (or install request number). A person can register for several addresses and receive several Install Numbers. An Install Number can be seen a bit like a work-order. When devices are being configured and installed, they will receive a Network Number or NN, different from the Install Number. The IPs for an OmniTik device will be generated out of the Network Number (NN). A member thus will have an Install number and a NN. It is possible that for some installations the Network Number and the Install Number are the same number. The second member connected to the same node (Network Number) will have a different Install number.

The Install Number is associated with a member. When installed it is linked to a Network Number. The Network Number is associated with a building number (street address / BIN ). A building can have several Network Numbers in the event that it has for technical reasons 2 or more “nodes”. When a member moves, the Network Number stays with the building (especially when there are other members connected to this Network Number (Node). The moving member will register with their new street address and will receive a new Install Number.


John D. Install Number 2000, is connected to node with Network Number 5000
Elis W. Insall Number 3000, is also connected to node with Network Number 5000
Node with Network Number 5000 is on the building at address 55 Main Street.

John D. has also Install Number 4000, is connected to node with Network Number 6000
Node with Network Number 6000 is on the building at address 102 Down Street.

Nyc Mesh Fiber Background And Splicing Guide

NYC Mesh Fiber Background and Splicing Guide

​ These are notes collected by @JohnB from the fiber splicing class taught by Zach Giles at the NYC Mesh room on July 19, 2022. I took notes on my phone, so some of the information might be missing/inaccurate. ​


Fiber Splicing Guide


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

Taking Panorama Photos

A direct line of sight to a Supernode or hub node is required to connect to NYC Mesh. To help the install team determine whether a line of sight is possible, we ask new members to provide a panoramic photo of the view from their rooftop. We use these photos to identify an existing hub/node to which your building can connect.

Where to find the panorama photo function on your phone

Most cell phone cameras have panoramic photo capability in camera mode.


On iPhones, this feature will be a scrollable option on the bottom of the camera screen.

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On Android phones, this feature may be listed under “more” or “...”.

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Taking a good panorama image

Rooftop panorama images should show as much of the surrounding skyline and other buildings as possible. We are looking to see if any of our existing hubs or supernodes are visible from your rooftop. For this reason please take your panorama photos from the highest point on the roof if possible (and safe!).

If you are also willing and able, please feel free to annotate cardinal directions (North, South, East, West) and other nearby landmarks (nearby streets, lower Manhattan, midtown, prospect park, etc) This helps our volunteers get their bearings and figure out which direction your photos are looking.

Best practices for roof panoramas

Best practices for DIY window panoramas

Examples of good panorama photos

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