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Author: Benjamin Luck – Synworks Development Group Synworks DG Website http://www.synworks.info/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1.0 Introduction 2.0 The Equipment 2.1 The Indoor Unit 2.2 The Out Door Remec Units and Coupler 3.0 Setting up the Units for Deployment and Testing 3.1 Getting Connected to the Unit 3.2 Configuring the NMS and Payload Interfaces 3.3 Configuring the Wireless Link 4.0 The Bandwidth and Latency Tests 5.0 Product Support 6.0 The Conclusion 7.0 Product Review Rating
1.0 Introduction Over the past few days, I have been playing with a pair of Longreach IR+ wireless bridges. These units are quiet a networking device with various component options and frequency selection (Radios and Remecs). The IR+ is a carrier grade, point to point communications bridge, with various interfaces available, including 16xE1, 32xE1, E3, Ethernet (100/1000), optical fibre(SFP) and STM-1.
Units can have speeds of up too 600Mbps, depending on the ODU (Remecs), interfaces connections, firmware and is spectrum and data rate scalable. For more information on the technical specifications, click here to get the IR+ datasheet from the Longreach Wireless website. 2.0 The Equipment The unit comes with a few different parts. Having 4 ODU Remec units, two IDUs, two couplers, power supplies and various cables. The coupler attaches onto the large dish. 2.1 The Indoor Unit The IDU has dual radios, redundant power supplies and multiple interfaces. Making this one of the most reliable and redundant radio bridges I have yet seen. The IDU is rack mountable with 48VDC power connectors. For our IDU, I ordered the optional GigE interface for our data payload.
2.2 The Out Door Remec Units and Coupler The two ODUs and coupler provide a great way to have ODU link redundancy. The unit is a bit more heavier and complicated to install on a tower then other bridges, especially with the large dish units that this unit can work with.
Special antennas are need to be used with the unit, as the transceiver signal from the ODUs work via waveguide type feeds into the antenna. 3.0 Setting up the Units for Deployment and Testing 3.1 Getting Connected to the Unit Access to the LongReach IR+ bridge interface can either be done by the web interface or via telnet (Console). To get the unit ready for configuration, I hooked it up to our laptop, with the IP address set to 192.168.1.10, with a netmask of 255.255.255.0. Then powered up the unit and after a few seconds, a link on the ethernet status appeared.
Configuration is easiest done by using your web browser to connect to the unit's default IP address of 192.168.0.1.Then using the default username and password to connect to the web interface. 3.2 Configuring the NMS and Payload Interfaces First, by selecting the Administration section of the menu, then the Network Configuration part of the sub menu. This will display the a Ethernet NMS option to select. In this section, I set the duplex and speed manually on port 1 and leave the STP Status disabled. Then clicked the update button and our laptop link to the NMS port still seems fine.
Next, I click on the Ethernet Payload option in the side menu. I am using the GigE interface card for the IR+ IDU, which allows us to take full advantage of the 155Mbps, without having to mess around. I set the port 1 manually to 1000Mbps, with full duplex and no flow control. The Master-Slave setting will be kept at Auto and the STP Status will be disabled. Then just hit the update button.
Now I need to set-up the IP NMS part of the unit . Under the General option, there is just a few values to fill out. I disabled the DHCP client and manually set the IP address and netmask information. Now hit update and you will have to reconnect. Now I am ready to get the wireless link going.
3.3 Configuring the Wireless Link First, by selecting the Link Configuration section of the menu, then the Radio Link part of the sub menu. This will display the a Link Configuration option to select. I are setting up for two separate frequencies with redundant ODU, which is call Protected NonDiversity. After making the selection, I just hit next to continue.
Now I select the IDU Operational Mode for the type of interface I are using in our network. Using the GigE interface card and a 1000Mbps ethernet interface as our test, I needed to set the the unit to 155Eth to get the full data rate. Then I clicked the next button for the next configuration screen.
Now to I need to set-up the ODU Configuration. Selecting the Type selector with the correct end of the two units ODU. Each IR+ has its own frequency, either the high channel or low channel ODU (TX/RX frequency of the link). The type of ODU defines the frequency and you need at least two different unit, but are of matching types.
Then I set the Start TX Power to something reasonable for the link length. Then I clicked next button for the last link configuration page. The last part involves simply selecting the ODU center frequency for the relevant end. This really pretty much defined by the ODU unit on either ends. Just have to make sure you have the right center frequency and have a license in your country to use this spectrum. Then I hit the next button to continue.
Now to the last review screen. This is page reviews your chosen set-up before implementing the changes. Just double check the configuration and then hit the Update All button.
After several second, the configuration will update and re-initialise. You may have to do this at both IDU for the initial configuration. After that, this can all be done on the one IDU and the other side will automatically follow.
4.0 The Bandwidth and Latency Tests For the test, I have a protected 8Ghz wireless link with a expected raw data throughput of 155Mbps. The distance between the pair of radios is 30km, with good line of sight. For our test, I used an FTP server located at one end of the wireless bridge and a FTP client on a laptop at the other end. The programs used for the client side test are GNU WPUT and WGET. For the server side, I am using the open source FTP server, Proftpd. The data being transferred is a large compressed file.
The Test Results Average Latency Throughput (Mbps) 0.766 138.30 Antenna Type 38dBi Dish
5.0 Product Support LongReach Group's support and sales for the IR+ product is done by their various regional headquarters. Their technical and sales staff are helpful and quick to resolve any issues and handle any requirement requests. There is a lack of public forums and blogs on the product, but that is not to say that makes good product support.
6.0 The Conclusion The unit is a bit more complex to install than your average wireless bridge, requiring a complex ODU part and a heavy load on the antenna tower. But once the ODUs and coupler are up, the redundancy is very comforting. The IDU is easy to set-up and has many feature that are available in the web interface. The error reporting and logging features are excellent, with easy access to historical data. The IR+ is really fast and has very low latency. With it's speed, redundancy and multiply interfaces for different media services, this radio is truly a carrier grade piece of equipment. Pros • Damn Fast with very good latency. • Fully Redundant. • Good QOS feature. Cons • A bit technical to get going. (Need to have some good wireless knowledge) • Large ODU. (Requires a pole that can hold it's load weight)
7.0 Product Review Rating This is a rating from my in-house and field testing. With a rating out of 5 stars. Reliability:
Ease of Setup:
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