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OK, you've got your uplink, elevation, and power problems solved, and you've got a connection to the Internet...  Now, what are you going to do with it?  The obvious thing is to set up a little local WiFi hotspot, to share Internet access with your campmates and other Burners.

The default configuration that we use on the NanoBridges runs them in "Station" and "Bridge" mode, with a large block of private (RFC1918, i.e., 10.x.x.x) address space assigned to you and made available to your devices via DHCP.  We do NAT for all of these addresses at the edge of the backbone, where it connects to the Internet.  This means that if you simply plug a computer into the Ethernet jack on the NanoBridge (assuming the NanoBridge is successfully connecting to the gear on the NOC tower), and configure your computer to obtain its address and such via DHCP, you should be able to surf the Internet.  (We have a very limited amount of publicly-routable (non-RFC1918) address space that we assign to sites that make a compelling case for it.  Contact us for more information.)

If you want to connect multiple computers, you need to connect the NanoBridge instead to an Ethernet switch, and then plug the multiple computers into that.

If you want to create your own WiFi hotspot, then you need a Wireless Access Point (WAP).  I'm fond of using Ubiquiti Bullet M2-HP units for this; they run the same software as the Ubiquiti NanoBridges, and are powered the same way via PoE.  The only downside of the Bullet units is that they don't have a built-in antenna; you have to buy a separate antenna to connect them to.  I use a small "omnidirectional" antenna like this one (, because it's cheap ($20), good enough for this use, and comes with the hardware needed to mount the antenna and Bullet on the same pole/tower as my NanoBridge.

Other folks are fond of using Ubiquiti PicoStation units for their access points, which also run the same software as the NanoBridges and are powered the same way via PoE.  Unlike the Bullet units, the PicoStation units do have a built-in antenna.  For interior installations (i.e., protected from the sun, wind, and rain), some folks use the Ubiquiti AirGateway units.

Nothing says that your AP has to be a Ubiqiuti unit (unlike your uplink device, which does have to be a Ubiquiti unit). Many camps use standard home or SOHO APs, such as those made by Linksys, Belkin, and others.  The problem with many of these units, however, is that they are designed for indoor use, and don't hold up well in the harsh Playa environment; you have to figure out a way to protect them from the sun, wind, Playa dust, and rain.

Whatever device you use for your WAP, you should run it in "bridge" mode (and "AP" mode, if it's a Ubiquiti unit), and configure it not to do NAT, DHCP, and so forth for your local wired or wireless network (as stated above, we'll do NAT and DHCP for you from the backbone).

You will need to choose an "SSID" (wireless network name) for your WAP.  Choose a unique SSID; DO NOT choose "noc3", "noc6", or "noc9" (which are the SSIDs that we use on the backbone network), or any SSID that anybody else is already using.  I suggest choosing an SSID that says who you are; you might as well get credit for providing public Internet access!  I tend to use something like "Public Internet @ ESD Camp 9", which indicates to folks that they're welcome to use it, and where the signal is coming from if they need to move closer for a better signal.

For better results, install your access point *LOWER*, not higher!

A word about WiFi hotspots, range, etc...  You do NOT want to mount the WAP for your local WiFi hotspot as high as possible, and crank the power all the way up to 11, to give it the biggest range possible.  Everything will work better if you mount it lower and turn down the power, ideally limiting the range to an area just big enough to cover your camp's common area, Internet cafe, or whatever.

The reason has to do with how WiFi works...  To work well, every device on a given WiFi network needs to be able to hear every other device (not just the Access Point that they're all connecting to), so that the devices all know when the channel is free and it's OK to send a packet.  If you mount the WAP high up and give it lots of power, then lots of stations will be able to hear it, but they won't be able to hear each other, and they'll end up transmitting simultaneously, which causes the WAP to simply hear garbage.

This problem, by the way, is why we require Ubiquiti M-class stations (such as the NanoBridge M5) for the backbone network: we use a proprietary Ubiquiti feature called "AirMAX", which lets the central AP force the devices to take turns by telling each device when it's that device's turn to transmit, even if that device can't hear some of the other devices.

If you mount your AP lower down and turn down the power, as recommended, only stations close to it will be able to hear it, which increases the odds that they can also hear each other, which makes the WiFi work much better.  Lots of small, short-range WiFi networks works better than a small number of big, long-range WiFi networks (unless the big, long-range WiFi networks are using something like AirMAX, as we are for the backbone).