Air-Stream Lonsdale is Online!

Air-Stream Lonsdale
Continuing our partnership with Surf Life Saving Air-Stream has brought the second of three initial sites online, the first being Cement Hill.
Click through to Read More!

Starting at 8:30am, Paul (Pazza), Matthew (Machspeed), Sam (Tanuki), Shawn (DJ_HiP) and Tony (Tomeyer) met David (Wimp) on site at Lonsdale to begin the days work. With the site already having a confirmed signal from Cement Hill thanks to the stumble two weeks ago the build got started.

With everything arriving prefabricated for the days work, all that was required was the assembly of parts and running of cables.. sounds easy!
The day started with unpacking everything, masting, mounts, wires, thimbles, wire rope grips, turn buckles, d shackles and tools!
Once a count had been achieved and the number of items was confirmed a rope was thrown over the edge of the building and everything was hoisted up.
This was Tony's first Air-Stream build, so he was very excited to get involved and to see how it all goes together. Between Shawn, Sam and Matthew we were able to teach him about attaching guy wires, handling wire rope grips and what to look out for in the builds.

The weather outlook for Saturday was not faring well, with a forecasted 37°C the hope was to complete everything during the morning to ensure the heat was missed.

Now with everything on the roof everybody go to work drilling, screwing, mounting, running and attaching everything!


Thanks to Nathan for predrilling the Guy Wire Mounts, these were then secured to the C channel to ensure maximum strength.
Corrugated Iron Guy Wire Mounts
The day ran very smoothly with only two minor hiccups preventing a perfect installation.
First the D Shackles we had were too large to pass through the 'eye' of the turnbuckles, so we had to hook two together to attach them to the guy wire mounts on the roof. It's not a problem however it's one extra piece of equipment required :)
The mast then went up, with the base plate and first set of guy wires being secured, this ensured the mast could be used as stabilization against the ladder for further works.
Using a spirit level and 4 people, we were able to get the mast exactly level with all three guy wires having excellent tension. With this in place the next set of guy wires were attached and the mast raised to the 6 metre mark for measuring and cutting the second set of wires.
Our Second problem was when the very first wire of the second set was cut before the mast had been raised. Luckily we had purchased and extra 10 metres of wire as a safety net incase something like this happened, always good to plan ahead!
Once the second set was in place the same was done for the last set and the mast was raised, tightened and ready for equipment to be mounted.
The equipment installed at Lonsdale is the following:
  • Superpass 8dBi Omni with a Ubiquiti BulletM2 Radio
  • Ubiquiti NanobridgeM5-25 (For the backbone to Cement Hill Southern Sector)
  • RF Elements 120degree 5GHz Sector with Ubiquiti RocketM5 Radio (Northern Sector)
  • RF Elements 120degree 5GHz Sector with Ubiquiti RocketM5 Radio (Southern Sector)

All equipment was connected using Ubiquiti ToughCable with Shielded Connectors to ensure the ethernet runs are as safe as possible.

Once everything was attached to the mast, the mast was then raised and the ToughCable cable tied to the mast to ensure a clean, safe and good looking install. All Guy wires were then given their final tightening to get the mast vertical and sturdy.


Cabling was done under the ridge cap, as to not create any further penetrations in the roof, it was then run internally, cable tied to the steel, to a server box on the wall.

Inside the server box is a MikroTik RB750UP, handling all the core Routing and PoE.

Unlike normal installations, Lonsdale also has a complete x86 Ubuntu server, due to the fact Lonsdale is so far (network wise) from its nearest network services box we have decided to run a server primarily for the southern part of the network (DNS, File Mirroring and other services) to ensure if any links between Lonsdale and the northern part of the networks go down, members will still have services intact.

An RJ45 Socket was installed on the wall in the shed to give Surf Life Saving an easy point to connect into the Air-Stream network. Once West Beach is online SLS will be able to have network connectivity from West Beach through to Lonsdale with the click of a network cable!

As this is a Core Node which is entirely funded by Air-Stream here is the costing:

Part Cost Quantity Sub Total Notes
Ubiquiti NanoBridge M5-25 $120.00 1 $120.00 Cement Hill Backbone
RF Elements 120deg Sector $105.00 2 $210.00 North and South Sector
Ubiquiti Rocket M5 $120.00 2 $240.00 North and South Sector
SuperPass 8dBi Omni $50.00 1 $50.00 AP
Ubiquiti Bullet M2 $100.00 1 $100.00 AP
MikroTik RB750UP $70.00 1 $70.00 Core Router and PoE
Part Cost Quantity Sub Total Notes
12m Teloscopic Mast $170.00 1 $170.00 Mast
Ridgecap Roof Mount $20.00 1 $20.00 Mast Base
Galv 4mm FSWR (Wire Rope) $0.56 120m $67.32 Guy Wires
4mm Thimbles $0.33 20 $6.60  
D Shackles $1.05 30 $31.35  
Wire Rope Grips $0.45 40 $18.04  
Turn Buckles $2.26 10 $22.55  
Hills Mast Extension Ubolts $17.00 1 $17.00 Omni Mount
Steel for Guy Wire Mounts $35.00 1 $35.00  
    Total: $1177.86  


As this also, in a sense, completes our 'Go South!' goal of 2012, below is an image of just how large Air-Stream now is from its most northern connected node, to the most southern (Lonsdale), this is also the first site to be further south than the old O'Halloran Hill site!

This now brings our North to South Network Distance up again!


Thanks again to everybody that helped and to SLS for providing such a great site.