October 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm #8247
What about WIMAX?
I don’t think WIMAX is going to be much help. First off, WIMAX…or 802.16…is just a standard like WIFI…802.11. It does have some protocol differences that benefit long-range transmission. It is also much more configurable (channel spectrum width, modulation) than WIFI and can operate at much higher powers.
The big problem is that because of the higher power it uses licensed spectrum ranges, so you cannot build WIMAX links willy-nilly wherever you want. Since one end of the seastead link will need to be in an existing nation’s borders you will need to 1) get permission to license the spectrum you will be using, and 2) pay high fees to own the spectrum..both initial costs and recurring costs. These costs can get VERY expensive. Plus the equipment is much more expensive than that of WIFI.
Finally, you are still limited in transmission distance. Even if you are just outside the EEZ you are looking at 375km distance (200nm of EEZ plus 2nm buffer). All the long-distance links I have found so far use WIFI. Of course it is a highly modified 802.11 standard…but the 802.11 standard is open-source so you can modify it which you cannot do with WIMAX.October 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm #8248
Okay, I found more info that you folks might be interested in.
I have been researching the 304km link made by the CISAR group in Italy…which turns out is a radioHAM association. They claim to have made the 304km link between two mountains, one at 1734m ASL (above sea level) and the other at 1300m ASL). It crossed 100km of land and 200km of ocean. All the equipment was off-the-shelf or home-built….they even built their own dish and feed!
The signal on both ends was -58dBm to -62dBm with a bitrate between 12 and 48Mbps. On the TCP band at 5.7GHz they get 5Mbps with a latency between 8ms and 20ms
There was NO power amplification…in fact the cards they were using were only 600mW which they eventually powered down to only 10mW. The dish was aimed and controlled by hand, and the total cost of equipment was 300€ (I assume this is for one side of the link).
They had to totally hack the software to prevent the ACK timeout issues many people see in these long links. Which is another reason to use multiple hops each less than 60km to avoid this issue.
It seems the new record for longest wireless link was set by a researcher at the Networking School of Latin America who got 3Mbps over 382km using a mix of off-the-shelf equipment and special software hacks from Intel. It also looks like he did it on-the-cheap. That 382km link will get you from a seastead just outside the 200nm boundary to a land-based receiving station if you can get your stuff high enough. The equipment seems small enough to hang from a mid-sized aerostat like the SkySentry. I don’t know if 3Mbps would be enough for a large seastead, but it’s a start.
I’m getting a list of links together…I’ll post them soon.October 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm #8257
Venezuelans set new WiFi distance record: 237 miles
Intel modifies Wi-Fi to add mileage
Closing the digital divide with solar Wi-Fi (not really long-distance, but PVs will be important)
World Record 304km Wi-Fi connection
World WiFi distance record -310 km – acknowledged by Guinness (this is the Swedish group)
New Wi-Fi distance record: 382 kilometers
304km with RouterOS + XR5 + handmade antenna (this is the Italian group)
http://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16548October 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm #8259
Are we bound by frequency licensing laws out on the ocean? Can we not use frequencies other than the one tiny band that our governments so generously provide for us to use free of charge? The military holds masses and masses of spectrum that would be able to deliver very fat pipe, instead of restricting ourselves to the ridiculousness of putting all our signals onto the one frequency.
Unfortunately i’m not sure about the political ramifications of such an act. I guess if UN recognition is something you hope for, that’s not the way to go about it.October 15, 2009 at 1:41 am #8264
Are we bound by frequency licensing laws out on the ocean?
No, as I said before:
Since one end of the seastead link will need to be in an existing nation’s borders
Out on the ocean it’s no problem. But the “last mile” of our link will need to be in the territory of an existing nation. It is there we will have to abide by frequency allocation laws.October 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm #8314
How about running fiber to 201nm, then setting up wireless relays? The fiber part should be easily doable since submarine data cables already criscoss the oceans many times over, though the terminal at sea would be difficult. Anchoring the terminal, using dynamic stationkeeping, or putting a tower to the seafloor would all be difficult and expensive, as would dealing with storms.
BTW, IMO Seasteading is a non-starter without Internet access. Internet has enabled much of the productivity and technology growth of the past couple decades.
BTW2, Low earth orbit satellites could be useful for Internet if their prices drop, which seems possible given SpaceX, etc.October 15, 2009 at 10:35 pm #8315
How about, in the long term (‘cos it would be a huge project and pricey), we plug floating transmitters into submarine cables (the ones already there, initially), and just sail ourselves within one of these “hotspots” whenever we need to?
- NickOctober 15, 2009 at 10:38 pm #8316
The floating part would be hard, in terms of dealing with storms, getting hit by ships, etc. Most of the undersea cable outages probably have been from ships dragging anchors and breaking the cables. Also the coverage would be spotty. There are a lot of cables, but they’re not everywhere.
The eventual solution is almost certainly low earth orbit (LEO) satellites as the cost of space launch comes down. BTW space launch is something seasteads could/should eventually do. Boeing already does space launch at sea:October 15, 2009 at 11:37 pm #8319
I’m not too worried about it. Like I said, I reckon satellites will easily cover our needs by the time we’re out there.
- NickOctober 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm #8425
You don’t need the best money can buy, you need adequate. Adequate depends on your application needs.
Sure, you can get satellite coverage over most of the earth, and more is covered all the time. But your questions cannot be answered without more specificity. Define where you want to locate, and then you’ll know if there is satellite coverage available. Define what you want to do and then you’ll know if adequate bandwidth is available at an economically feasible cost.
I posted some maps of satellite coverage somewhere on here a while back, and I found them by googling. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can find it.May 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm #10157
- satellite coverage in certain areas of the world can be quite expensive, it’s not like Dish network back in the states. We pay tens of thousands of dollars per month for fractional T1 access at various sites in Iraq. The satellite footprint for internet just may not be there, depending on where you set up shop- the empty ocean has not been a huge target market for satellite content providers so far.
It all depends on where you put the seastead. In the meditteranean (which would be a likely place, considering the good amount of trade possible with european / north african countries) I think you would probably get coverage in most places due again to the surrounding well developed countries.October 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm #11708
Due to a stupid legal situation, I ended up providing internet in my condo with a wireless backhaul. But the system I have built is actually surprisingly suitable for a seastead:
The provider’s antenna is some 10 km away (the equipment’s range is actually multiples of that), the bandwidth is very reliably over 100Mbit/s in each direction. The equipment on my side is a NEC Pasolink NEO.
The frequency is around 38GHz. Distribution is done via ethernet cabling (100BaseT for now) and WiFi. Charging and billing is fully automated and integrated into the router’s firmware. NAT’ed local IP addresses are cheap, externally visible IP addresses come at a premium (so far, nobody has bought that). The number of happy customers is growing steadily.
I got actually so enthusiastic about this little business of mine and its applicability on a seastead that I submitted the business plan to Sink or Swim. I’ll post some photos soon.October 28, 2010 at 6:10 am #11715
What is the maximum range on this? Also, have you looked into the problem of reflection of waves off of the water. This has been a problem with 802.11a and b, though 802.11n leverages multi-path signal bounce to increase range. The newly opening unlicensed white space spectrum between TV channels may be a good place to locate for longer range. 200 miles to international waters is too far, but wireless seems viable to the 25 mile location specified in the Sink or Swim contest.October 29, 2010 at 1:32 am #11729
IIRC, there are 2-way short-wave set-ups, in the Hawaiian islands. Could be microwave…
Never be afraid to try something new…
Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.October 29, 2010 at 7:04 pm #11736
What is the maximum range on this?
50km by specification.
Also, have you looked into the problem of reflection of waves off of the water.
Yes, it combats such problems with MIMO antenna diversity.
This has been a problem with 802.11a and b, though 802.11n leverages multi-path signal bounce to increase range. The newly opening unlicensed white space spectrum between TV channels may be a good place to locate for longer range. 200 miles to international waters is too far, but wireless seems viable to the 25 mile location specified in the Sink or Swim contest.
The problem is that if you move to custom equipment, prices skyrocket. Mass-produced stuff is always cheaper. Of course, whatever frequency can be claimed by tweaking the firmware or the driver is fair game on a seastead.
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