1500' range repeaters

I am at a new job. This is a remote site; we have no power so we run off of solar panels and a small generator.

The battery house is about 1500' from the main cabin, and not in line of sight. I can get there via line of sight with 2 repeaters or possibly just one if I can get enough range.

I am looking for suggestions. I've used Mikrotik before with their 27dbm standard on the 2.4Ghz band. Any thoughts if that will be enough to reach? What antennas should I be using?

Is there a better solution?

And I should add that this is a non-profit, so while they're OK spending money, they're not a deep pocket outfit.

At that distance you should, at least, use two Yagi antennas and I cannot promise they can do 1500' even if aimed with a laser pointer to each other.

That guaranteed range needs a parabolic antenna like this one and it will also need to be aimed with a laser from both of them, one at a time.

In addition you will need cable to the routers and couplings that convert the sizes and every inch of cable drops signal strength.

I guess the good news is the parabolic is rated to 4,000 meters so no repeaters needed if two are used.
You may find less expensive ones and, if perfectly aligned, yagis may work.

But signal loss per inch is significant. About 1dBm every couple inches, so the routers may need to be in a weatherproof enclosure, outside next to the antennas.

So at least one intermediate "relay" (that would also need electrical power)

In the real world that is ~500 metres (ask NASA why you should use metres).

Unless you know what you are doing, both with wireless communications and resilient outdoor electronics, you are squarely in the realm of "Commercial Radio Data Communications Specialists".

You have 2 basic options:

  1. Contract a local specialist comms company.
    Expensive but would come with a warranty and service contract.
  2. Do it yourself (DIY).
    All the dangers of not being successful and wasting money, eventually having to change to option 1.

Considering DIY
Do you have the confidence/knowledge to be successful?
You will get lots of help and advice on this forum (often contradictory of course, but there will be numerous possible solutions). But nothing is guaranteed.

As @LilRedDog says, a parabolic antenna would be best. A Yagi is very good at concentrating output power, but not so good at concentrating weak signals to make them useable.
If you think about it, there is a reason that radio telescopes are parabolic dishes.

BUT, you are only talking about 500 metres, split into two hops.

The "best" solution would require four outdoor grade access points, one at each end and two, back to back on a mast in between the two sites.

DIY would almost certainly require use of 2.4GHz (5GHz in most countries requires licencing)

You need to provide an intermediate mast or other line of site location, with electrical power. Run power to the mast or provide solar/wind/battery/inverter sized for the job.

What is in the line of site? Open ground, other buildings, trees? What is the range of weather? (rain, ice, wet trees, moving traffic, plus many other things can effect the link.)

Should you make your own weatherproof access points or purchase ready made?

As you can see there are many "gotchas" and the potential to spend a lot of money getting it wrong.
These days I would go with a third solution - Starlink, assuming it is available in your country....

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But the closest power is 750' so that leaves PoE and you will need to check power at the end to compensate for power lost to heat.. This solves 2 problems: An additional powerline and you won't have to worry about the phase change across two power sources and getting power to the, single, ethernet repeater.,.

Should be, at least 2' below the surface. Should be in meatal conduit but there is direct to burial rated cable.

A lifetime ago I installed these kinds of systems so I'm sure we will need to overcome a couple other things.

Thanks folks. I walked the property this morning. I have starlink in Building A, on one end.

The battery house is about 1500' (or 500 meters) away.

In between are:

Building B, about 50 meters from A. It has power and hardwire ethernet.
Building C, about 250 meters from A. It has power.
An earthen berm, about 10 meters high, and maybe 30 meters wide, about 60 meters from the battery house. I could go around this by putting a relay at the generator house, which has line of sight to both Building C and the battery house, but it would add a 60meter leg.
The battery house itself, which has power (of course).

Basically all I need to monitor is the battery status; low bandwidth stuff. I don't need gigabit connection there, just enough to read the instruments.

It jiust seems like a lot of repeaters and antennas, with associated points of failure.

Has anyone worked with 900 Mhz radios for this kind of connection?

If that is all one property the cheapest option would be to run a long fiber from start to finish


Agreed. A narrow trench with an armoured fibre cable would get what you need with far less bother. Switch with SFP at each end, done.

OP: If you do bury anything though, make sure it's on the site plans, well marked, and in a "no dig" zone.

if you are talking about LHG, that should be the best outdoor 2.4 ghz openwrt device.

IMO, the best option is indeed a direct burial fiber line. But if this is not practical, a proper point-to-point radio system is the next best option (assuming line of sight). I'm not familiar with licensing requirements for these devices and how that might vary regionally, but there are options from the "WISP" vendors. For example, Ubiquiti has the airMax line which is specifically designed for this type of application.

Regardless of your equipment/vendor choice, I'd recommend sticking with their stock firmware for the link itself. Specifically, some of them run over effectively standard 2.4G or 5G radios that can work with 802.11 based wifi standards, but instead they use specialized firmware that provides a reliable PTP link. This means that normal wifi client devices will not be able to connect to the PTP radio directly, but these devices provide what is an otherwise transparent link (a wireless wire, if you will). Then, put an AP on either side of that link and you're good to go.

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Well now, that's a different story!

Never mind expensive point-to-point or fibre.
Get a 500m drum of outdoor grade cat 5e-cca ethernet cable. 2x second hand 10/100 ethernet switches from ebay eg Netgear FS105.

I have done just this over longer distances to a remote office and it gave a reliable 100Mb/s.
Some parts were buried, some just lying in a gutter, some cable tied to private pots cables. Still going after ~10 years - seriously.


That and have utility companies come mark their underground infrastructure.

Sounds to me like IOT territory - the cheapest and quikest solution might be to use a cell router (lte 4g) if signal is available otherwise look into LoraWan or 802.11ah (hallow) solutions