Getting a reliable wifi connection can be a paid in the backside.
A solution is a Ubiquiti Nanostation M2, for the unenlightened that’s one of these – http://www.ubnt.com/airmax#nanostationm
Ubiquiti make stuff that works for outdoor wifi, expect to pay around 70-100£ for a Nanostation M2. This is a great piece of equipment highly recommended.
The access point we’re trying to reach from the 13th floor is the little square box
First to note that airMAX is a proprietary protocol used in Ubiquiti products, so best to turn it off if you aren’t sure if it’s a Ubiquiti device you’re talking to. In this case I’m sure that it’s not.
Log into your Nanostation and select the tab with the Ubiquiti logo, switch airMAX priority to “None”
I tried to set this up in bridging mode, no success, so best to use router mode, I used advanced mode also. My network I setup as 10.10.9.x network, but I think the default options work just as well. For privacy I recommend the “Technitium MAC Address Changer” http://www.technitium.com/tmac/index.html Use this to generate a MAC address and then you can use the “MAC Address Cloning” setting, MAC address enter as hex number like so “1a2b3c4d5e6f”. Recommended but optional.
In the wireless tab it’s worth noting that the equipment your talking to is probably using channel width 20MHZ, mine works with “Auto 20MHZ/40MHZ”, but if in doubt revert to 20MHZ. Wireless Mode is set to “Station”. I set country code to “US” because allows full power transmit.
This basic configuration should work. However I found at faster connection speeds to @TRUEWIFI access point the connection was unreliable. As the internet provided is up to say 15-20Mbps, I really don’t need 150Mbps connection to access point, especially if it’s unreliable. So “Max TX Rate, Mbps” is set to “MCS9 – 26 (60)”. This was a matter of trial and error getting fastest connection with best reliability, for this use the “MAIN tab –> Monitor –> AP Information”, this will tell you the MCS’s that the access point you’re trying to connect to is capable of. There wasn’t a great deal of easy-to-digest information when I searched for MCS, but basically it’s the protocol used for device to device talk over wifi and lower MCS numbers are older and slower, whilst higher numbers are faster and newer, the caveat here is that you may find the lower MCS numbers more reliable and for 15Mbps connection most of the low numbers work fine.
Obviously use the “Select” button to do a scan of the available wifi networks, and then lock to the one you want to connect to. If you have multiple access points available for truewifi, then some trial and error may be necessary in order to get a good signal. The position and orientation of the Nanostation also will make a difference, from my research having the Nanostation “pointing” at the access point is best. If you can’t see or don’t know where it is, then you’ll have to play around with this, can be time consuming, enjoy!
That’s the basic setup done, should now be able to connect. Add a LAN switch or router to your network port of Nanostation and you now have a network that all your machines can connect to internet over the connection.
For good measure I’ve added a “ping watchdog”, this means the Nanostation will reboot itself automatically if it can’t ping the ip addess specified (I’ve used Google DNS 184.108.40.206). This doesn’t cover all the possible scenarios, but does cover you for a dead connection between your Nanostation and the truewifi access point.
I setup the Nanonstation’s internal web server as https (because it’s more secure), have added an SSH server (so I can log in and geek on it if I want) and the NNTP time server. The https and NNTP are a good idea for most people, the SSH don’t enable unless you need it.
That’s it, you should be up and running.
Next thing I wondered about was how log into TrueWifi automatically, more on that later … enjoy