How I plan to bring Internet service to Studio D

Qapla’!

On Tuesday, we were able to successfully broadcast a live show from Studio D via LTE Cellular Internet service! Episode 367 went out in 240p, which is gross, but it worked.

Please visit http://cat5.tv/c to contribute.

Why are we using LTE? Simple: there are no consumer-style (eg., Cable) Internet services in reach of Studio D. We are located in an industrial area where you either settle for DSL, or pay for Fibre.

Through our MiFi 2 we were able to get 8 Mb/sec up and about 25 Mb/sec down using LTE Cellular Internet service. It’s fast, but it’s expensive.

My ISP offers the ability to see your bandwidth usage and price, and so I already know the cost to broadcast that one episode live, in extremely low quality (240p), with no Roku feed and no audio feed, is $25. That’s a little more than $100 per month just to be able to send a crummy quality feed.

It’s good enough for the moment, but we can’t keep that up, nor do I want to sacrifice quality or the ability to watch on Roku or listen via the MP3 feed.

Fibre Internet is available at our location for $740 per month plus installation. That is obviously out of the question.

Wireless Internet is available at our location for $780 per month. Wow… we’d go with Fibre if we had that kind of money to toss around.

So I feel that the best option right now is to look at extending our home Internet (around $150 per month with unlimited bandwidth) to the studio, and we can do that using Ubiquiti Wireless Devices

First of all, in order to extend the Internet service wirelessly using Ubiquiti devices, we need to know if we have line of sight.

There is a really cool tool online for finding out if you have line-of-sight between two or more locations. You can see the tool [here]. According to its output, we’re looking pretty good. We may have to put a small tower on the roof of the studio (represented on the right side of this topography diagram), but all in all, it looks possible.

Using LTE, our cost would break down as follows:
YouTube Feed in 480p: $50 per episode, $200 per month
Roku Feed in 480p: $50 per episode, $200 per month
MP3 Feed in 96kbps: Negligible
Cost per month: $400
Cost per year: $4,800 for 8 Mb/sec up, 25 Mb/sec down

Using Ubiquiti Wireless Devices our up front cost would be:
2x Ubiquiti Rocket AC Lite Transmitter/Receiver Units: $300
2x Ubiquiti Rocket Dish Antennas: $400 (Remember, I’m paying CAD)
2x Mounting Kit, Needed Wires: $200
Total Up Front: $900 + tax ($1,017)

Then, our service fees would be:
Internet Connection, Unlimited Bandwidth: $150 per month, $1,800 per year for 450 Mb/sec direct wireless connection to our home Internet, which is 20 Mb/sec up, 200 Mb/sec down.

Total for first year: $2,817
Total for subsequent years: $1,800

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/donation-thermometer/.$1,017$400Thank you for your support39%As you can see, sharing our home Internet just makes more sense. It is much faster, and much cheaper, even with the initial expense of hardware. This also carries additional benefits, such as being able to backup to our home server via a wireless LAN connection.

So the inevitable question is to our community. Can you help with this expense?

Initially, we just have to get the hardware. I will install it myself (and show you the process step-by-step).

I know we also need a camera, and we’re still a ways off from that, but at the moment, this is pressing, as you can see from the numbers above.

If you can support this project, please donate at http://cat5.tv/c or send a cheque made out to me (Robbie Ferguson) with the memo “Studio D Internet” to PO Box 29009, Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4N 7W7.

THANK YOU for your support! Here’s to establishing a great, solid Internet connection at Studio D.

-Robbie

10
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
RevenantOniPhil Van RiperRobbie FergusonDavid Cropper Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
RevenantOni
Guest
RevenantOni

Took a peek at the Ubiquiti products.  They look nice, but I just can’t say whether or not I’d go for them.  Personally, I’d try to build some homemade antennas instead.  Though, I’ll admit, I’m a diehard DIY type; which probably comes from primarily working in industrial construction.

I found this site from an Ubiquiti reseller that might be a better bet than Amazon.  http://www.netwifiworks.com/  Though, I really dislike the brackets.  If you’re going to go that route, try and find a local fabrication shop.  I know up in Canada you have a LOT of snow.  Wind blowing against the bracket may be a concern, and I’d prefer (imo) to see a larger area for the base and a cotter-pin for the adjustable neck.  I’ve watched windstorms rip dishes off of houses because the bases were too small, causing too much force in too small an area.  Saw one actually rip out a chunk of the roof’s plywood!

And for your cable…check with your local electrical supply store.  You want to make sure that whatever you use, the jacket is equivalent to XHHW insulation.  It gets cold up there, and that’s the stuff we use for cold areas such as a plasma warehouse (let’s just say that even with a thick jacket, we’re not allowed in some of these spaces for more than 15 minutes when they’re active).  It’s a bit pricey, but it will last for YEARS!  Get just what you need for what will be outside, and make a joint/splice/whatever at a box right before wherever it exits the building.

 

Good luck with it, and take a peek at making your own antennae.  If we’re talking less than 10 miles (please forgive my American Ignorance of the Metric System), and the ability to establish line-of-sight, it really is a good option.  An antennae really shouldn’t take more than a few hours to rig up, and it’s really not that complicated.  As for throughput, I’m waiting to score some old dishes so I can test it for myself (I’m kinda looking at doing the same thing so I can avoid digging a ditch around our moronically shallow waterlines to get my WiFi to reach my shed).  http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/   shows one method of building one.

Phil Van Riper
Guest
Phil Van Riper

> http://www.heywhatsthat.com/profiler.html

What is that showing? Is the vertical axis marked in 2 foot increments like a topographic map? Two foot increments? Is it a comparison between elevations at GROUND LEVEL? Or is it measuring at ten feet above ground level?

You could wind up needing a sixty foot high tower for one…or both…Ubiquity antennas. Or you could end up with one antenna tucked under the eaves at your house and the other one hanging in in one of the windows in the studio. (out of the weather) At least one of the studio windows faces towards your house, right?

Aiming the antennas may be a fun project. What seems to be a tiny adjustment could grossly change the actual aim of the antenna. If you’re a couple hundred yards between house and studio, things may not be too difficult. But if your house is W-A-A-A-A-Y over on the other side of Barrie, have fun!!

Oh, also, too bad you aren’t a volunteer tester for Samsung (60GHz) or Google (58GHZ). That news story about super high-speed wifi mentioned commercial products late next year! There must already be some testing hardware around for, well, testing! Right? Besides, who better to do some ringing endorsements of the newest of the new stuff coming out RSN? You can do that on video. You could interview yourself and produce the testimonial. Samsung or Google won’t have to actually do anything except bask in the glow of a review from an influential internet broadcaster! 😎

Phil Van Riper / ABQTKY

Phil Van Riper
Guest
Phil Van Riper

RF> We have not stood on the roof with laptops, hehe.

If you can get a tall person up on the roof of the house and, umm, YOU, on the roof of the Studio with plain vanilla laptops you _COULD_ try a test. (One flickering bar is all you want to see.) IF that line-of-site diagram was showing ground level to ground level, you MIGHT be golden just by being on the roof of the house. IF that’s the case, everything else is simplified. Maybe no tall masts, maybe no guy wires. If you use the Ubiquiti parabolic reflectors, they’re rather large and you probably will need very stable mounting. Hmmm. maybe you could install the reflector (or old sat tv dish with the Ubiquiti wifi gizmo in your attic!!??!! Shouldn’t be much wind up there INSIDE the house! 😎

RF> The nice thing about the Ubiquiti devices I’ve settled on are that they are very directional. You point the dish at the studio and BAM, Internet. No matter what the weather. And it’s fast (~450Mb/sec) to our LAN.

“BAM” sounds like an assumption to me. 8-|
“No matter what the weather,” sounds like another one. 8-| The weather could include 50MPH wind…or even stronger at times. It could include driving rain along with those winds. And some freeze-thaw cycles, too!

“450Mbps,” is yet another assumption. That’s one of those ‘maximum theoretical’ things done at a testing lab. I suspect there’s an international standard for wifi characteristics and testing. CCITT? I think they morphed into ITU. Maybe IEEE? Maybe ISO? Those tests are likely conducted, in a lab, at a distance between two wifi antennas…measured in inches. Well, nowadays it’s probably centimeters.

RF> We may be able to get away with a simple tripod and a couple cinder blocks… we’ll see. But it remains, I think within the price, this is the best option. Fibre would be better, but there’s no way we could afford that.

No, no – no beautiful Manfrotto tripods up on the roof! Even THEY probably aren’t stiff enough to handle much wind. Between Robert, Paulo and Anthony I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody could find some short pieces of electrical conduit, a piece or two of 3/4 plywood (and bit of spot welding) that could be magically transformed into a custom-built mount for point-to-point wifi antennas. They’ll let you do the honors with the blocks or sandbags…or both! 😎

RF> I don’t want to try makeshifting only to find the solution we create (which takes a lot of time) doesn’t work well. Ubiquiti has tried-and-true hardware built specifically for this purpose. It’s a chunk of change up front, but when you factor in the savings over a year or more, it’s actually very, very reasonable.

I agree, the Ubiquiti stuff is great! I’m just trying to suggest that there are lots of other variables lurking out there just waiting to jump up and stop progress in its tracks. Like what sort of cable to use outdoors. “Outdoor Shielded UV Resistant Gel Filled” Ethernet cable?! Will you have to buy a thousand foot box of it? 8-( If you use normal cable how often will you have to replace it (like during the frigid Ontario winter)?

Most of the variables have to be dealt with one way or another. The idea is to deal with MAJOR variables (the ones that require lots of money or lots of time) directly so they stay SOLVED. (that’s why the Ubiquiti stuff is a great choice) To deal with minor variables without major expenditure of money or time or aggravation. And to deal with all the other variables as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.

ABQTKY / Variables Iz Us

(Did we forget grounding on the roof of the house AND the roof of the studio? Did we forget surge/spike protectors for the Ethernet cables that come down from the roof into all your computer equipment? Robbie, I’ve already annoyed myself even before touching my keyboard to ‘share’ this stuff with you.)

Phil Van Riper
Guest
Phil Van Riper

ONE Mb upload? Great. That’s what it is pretty much anywhere in North America for residential service. I have 15Mb down, but less than ONE up. That’s why I asked if they were quoting a BUSINESS line or a residential line. A business DSL line might…maybe…possibly…be faster. Maybe even symmetric.
Actually I don’t have ‘DSL.’ I have ‘VDSL2.’ (I put that in because I love acronyms!) But everybody gets the same SLOW uploads.

A fifteen foot mast is likely to require a couple guy wires. Which means holes in the roof. And climbing around up there. But if the two locations are close enough…maybe, just maybe…you won’t need special antennas and parabolic reflectors and such nonsense. An old sat dish you may have or find in the neighborhood…free…would probably increase the signal strength to and from Studio D by 1000%!! So you might not have to worry about rain or snow messing up the signal.

Just wondering – have you tried having somebody up on your roof and somebody in Studio D…with short stepladder near a window…hopefully on the side of the Studio facing your neighborhood…both with laptops…like with the one at the house broadcasting the SSID? Just to see if anything interesting happens?? Just to see if you get a flicker of a single green bar that you can identify as your own wifi. And of course both people burning up cellphone ‘minutes’ while attempting to ‘catch’ the CAT5 wifi signal??

The Van Riper methodology, for most everything, is to do things the most complicated and convoluted way possible. After that fails, try again the second most complicated and convoluted way. After the third time, okay, okay, after the fourth time I throw out all the junk I’ve been trying to use and try the simple, plain vanilla method that couldn’t possibly work. Doesn’t _always_ work out, but it usually does. 😎

ABWTKY / The Albuquerque Turque

Phil Van Riper
Guest
Phil Van Riper

Greetings Cat5 fans and thrill seekers everywhere! We need to help Robbie get connected…without using that cellphone hotspot gizmo. It does work reasonably well, but just wait till the cellphone bill shows up!! 8-(
Robbie already has VERY good high speed internet service at his home. Might it be possible to, umm, extend that just a bit. I have no idea how far his home is from Studio D. But in theory at least it could be possible to wirelessly connect the two locations.
I always say, ‘I have no problems. I only have opportunities!’ I also say, ‘Oy, have I got opportunities!’ Robbie has lots of potential opportunities. Since there’s no DSL or Cable anywhere near Studio D, that’s out. What we have left is wireless of some kind. Wait, did he just write that he could get DSL at Studio D? What would a ‘business account’ cost? A business grade DSL connection would probably be symmetric. What sort of speed could the phone company provide?? That could end up being a lot cheaper and far simpler to deal with.

We need to find out the distance from Robbie’s home to Studio D. Then we have to determine if there’s line-of-sight. The diagram doesn’t indicate the scale. If an antenna can be mounted near the top of his roof will there be line of sight? If it has to be much higher than roof of the house it could get very expensive very quickly. If the antenna at the studio were mounted on the roof would that give line of sight? Will there still be obstructions between the two antennas? Obviously if he would need to have a 100foot tower, that would be ridiculous.
Will rain and snow cause connection problems? Sat TV users know that heavy rain can disrupt reception. Fortunately, we can presume that Robbie’s house is less than 22,000miles or so from the studio. If the signal is strong enough rain or snow may not be a major concern. Anybody familiar with the ‘Pringles Can’ antenna or the concept of the ‘WOKtenna?’ 😎
We know that 2.4GHz is used for WiFi B, A , G and sometimes N. It’s also used for microwave ovens, cordless phones, cell phones and yes, the infamous garage door opener.
We know that 5GHz is used much less frequently…at present. We also know that…as they say….all things being equal it’s range is less than that of 2.4GHz. But since when are all things equal?
Please chime in, we need ideas! (I’ve confused myself sufficiently for today.)

Phil Van Riper / ABQTKY / The Albuquerque Turque

David Cropper
Guest
David Cropper

Robbie;  HughesNet uses Xplonet in your area.  Upload speeds being critical, you are right, they are not an option.  I wish you luck on this.  I live in almost total poverty or else I would shoot you some money.  BTW it was wonderful to see the looks of pure joy on all your faces during Tuesday`s show in the new studio.   Keep up the good work.  David

David Cropper
Guest
David Cropper

What about satellite internet service, such as Hughes?   Or is this not an option?  At any rate, good luck Robbie.