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 Subject :How did you get your nodes in the air?.. 2015-05-20- 13:25:46 
Joined: 2015-04-08- 12:09:35
Posts: 30
Location: Saginaw, MI USA

Hi all,

I was wondering what other people did to get their nodes in the air. I found a post on a portable setup and that got me thinking about what others have done. I have practically no line of site at my house and on top of that, the area is lower then most of the surrounding area. I am a new ham so I don't have a tower or mast and won't have one for quite some time, if at all.

So, what have you done and what kind of range did you get?

Here is the post I mentioned and the link.
The pics can bee seen from the original post.

[K6AH 2013-05-30- 08:55:57]:

I've had success in potting 5' long, 1" dia galvanized pipe mast in a bucket partially filled with cement. For added stability I've screwed a tee fitting to the mast bottom to ensure it doesn't come out. You can also add a pipe union just above the level of the cement so the mast can be unscrewed from the bucket. Then I mount the MESH node, solar panel, battery, and charge controller, all to the mast. BTW, the solar panel mount is comprised of another 1” tee fitting screwed to the top of the mast with two more short pieces of the similar pipe forming a mounting cross-member. This allows you to rotate and tilt the panel for optimal sun exposure. All in all I have about $20 in it. Andre, K6AH

[K6AH 2013-06-02- 04:24:53]:

Attached is a drawing of the node stand with all the parts identified.  You'll also find a few photos. 

I built this originally as a portability proof-of-concept for the San Diego HSMM-MESH Working Group initiative.  I've transported and deployed it 7-8 times at various ARC meetings around San Diego county drumming up interest in the project.  I wouldn't change it much.

If you decide to build one, I do have some other pointers:

  • About half a bag of Quickrete should be enough.  You can always add more if you find stability issues with wind and the amount of equipment you mount on the mast.  Adding too much concrete just makes it harder to transport.
  • The mast length should be limiited to what you can transport.  You can add a connector (1" galvanized female-female union) mid-way so it'll break-down to a small package.
  • Most antenna mounting hardware assumes 2" masts.  I have found that these mounts work good enough on 1" pipe and 2" pipe is overkill for these devices... only adding weight and inconvenience to deployment. 


Andre, K6AH

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4 nodes. One GL, one Bullet, one AirGrid and one Raspberry Pi node. RasPBX and web server setup on another Raspberry Pi.

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