Getting Stated

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Getting Started



1. Plot location on
2. Download KML
3. Calculate possible line of sight
4. Connect on IRC ( and discuss your scenario
5. Take pcitures from roof to look for highsite or organise signal test
6. Buy equipment (
7. Install equipment and connect to the SSID
8. Connect on IRC and request IPs
9. Enjoy the wug


RBWUG's main form of communication is IRC - so if you have ANY questions or want to discuss something regarding the network please connect on IRC - #rbwug

  1. Register on - this is the main site for all the WUGs in ZA (DBN, CT, JHB, RBay, etc.) and is used to keep record of all the nodes, highsites, links, coverage.
  2. Please ensure that you choose your wug to be RBWUG.
  3. Activate your account and log in to
  4. Using Google Earth ( 14MB) to get the coordinates for your location (please use the decimal degrees-only format eg. -25.5764, 28.4634 ... To set google earth to display it this way click Tools -> Options and set the coordinate format to Decimal Degrees
  5. If you can not use Google Earth (blocked by firewall or policies etc.) you can use to find your coordinates. Browse to your house, put the cross in the middle of the screen on
  6. your house then look at the URL for the page.
  7. The URL wil look something like this : in the URL you will find the coordinates after the lat and lon keywords -
  8. in this case it will be : -25.724021, 28.223405
  9. Click CONNECT HERE and enter your locations details (the height input is the height above the ground that you will be able to mount an antenna, at least 5m). Please give your node an descriptive name, prefrably your nickname. Please don't name your node House or My Place or something like that - nodes with undescriptive names are useless on the KML.
  10. When your location is added you can download the google earth KMZ file to see all the other nodes on the network and see which highsites are near you. Open the KMZ file with Google Earth. Please note that the locations on the KML is randomised by 50m to 100m for privacy reasons, so your plotted location won’t be on your house. Using the KMZ look for Operational Access Points or Operational Transit nodes.
  11. Also look at the beams eminating from the highsites - you have to fall within or outside the rounded side of the beam eg. if the beam points North and you are to the South, the antenna providing coverage doesn't face you.
  12. Have a look at - on the right there is a legend for the icons on the google earth KML. Yellow = 2.4ghz, Red = 5.8ghz.
  13. To check if you have theoretical line of sight to a highsite you can draw a LOS diagram by clicking Line of Sight (LOS) and then select your location and one of the Highsites (or any other location) from the list. Highsites are where users connect to, if you dont have line of sight to a highsite - you might be able to connect through another use - but that user will have to put up more equipment for you to connect to. If the red line runs from the one node to the other without running through the black profile - your have theoretical LOS, if there are no buildings or trees in the way. You need to check weather an antenna points to you from the highsite - the KML shows where antennas point as red beams eminating from the site.
  14. Having a good LOS diagram does not gaurentee that you will be able to connect - LOS needs to be confirmed by physically looking from one site to another.

Clear LOS


2. LOS picture and signal tests

  1. If you are not sure that you have line of sight to a highsite - get on your roof and take HIGH RESOLUTION pictures in every direction, then upload the pictures on's under your node's (location's) settings.
  2. Then connect on IRC and post the link to your node's pictures - the guys on IRC can help you check if you will be able to see the highsite. If you can physically see the highsite you are sorted.
  3. There is mobile LOS test equipment available to do signal tests at persons wanting to connect but have not bought kit yet, and you can organise on IRC with one of the current members to come to your location and check if they can establish a connection with the highsite using the dedicated test equipment.
  4. To organise a signal test please send a mail with your details to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - it will be forwarded to the tester for the area you are in, he will contact you to set a time and date for the test. Signal tests are free of charge, wuggers take turns to keep the test kits and test signal at interested persons. Please include your address, cell number, node name on and the highsites that you have theoretical line of sight to, in the email.
  5. Please note that a signal test will not be done if you have not taken pictures from your roof and uploaded them to the gallery. The reason for this is that some people have CLEAR line of sight to highsites, can see the antennas with their bare eyes, to do a test is a waste of time as a connection will be easily possible.
  6. Please connect and stay on IRC for quick feedback and response from the signal testers after you have made direct contact with them on email.

Description: Doing LOS test at Silverton Highsite
Doing signal tests at Silverton Highsite

Description: LOS
Line of sight from Constantia Park

3. Get equipment

  1. Get onto IRC and discuss your scenario - how high the house, poles, brackets, how far from highsite etc. - DO NOT BUY ANYTHING BEFORE YOU HAVE DISCUSSED YOUR SCENARIO AND SETUP ON IRC
  2. The the wug reserves the right to refuse a connection to anyone deemed undesirable.
  3. Please note - Trees to influence signal, especially on 5.8ghz, so if you do not have CLEAR line of sight to a highsite from the point you want to mount your antenna, rather do a signal test before buying equipment. Clear line of sight means that you have to be able to physically see the highsite with your eyes (or binoculars).
  4. Once we are sure you will be able to connect and exactly what equipment you will need, you can buy from Miro - (they are in Durban, RBWUG has a dealer account at Miro) or any other supplier you wish to buy from.
  5. RBWUG has an agreement with and gets lower prices than normal dealer prices. We also get a 10 percent rebate on eveything that is bought on the accounts - that money goes toward putting up new highsites and improving current ones.
  6. To order equipment from Miro, mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to order on the RBWUG account, EFT the money and pick up / Arrange Pickup.
  8. On the donations section of the site there will be a list of equipment currently needed to maintain and upgrade the highsites. As highsites aren't free, and everyone uses them - they are the backbone of the network - each member is asked to make a donation of hardware towards the highsites . These donations will be recorded and displayed on the website. This donation is necessary to maintain all highsites and not only the highsite you will be connecting to.
  9. RBWUG mostly uses 5.8ghz equipment, but there are some highsites that will need to broadcasts on 2.4ghz - they have yellow beams on the google earth KML.

3.1 Standard RBWUG wifi kit

This is the recommended equipment to get, except if you are VERY far or VERY close to a highsite, in that case please connect on IRC and ask first. +- R1900

We recommend the Routerboard 433 as this will enable you to link to more than one highsite (using another radio and grid), thus improving your speed as well as providing redundancy on the network. It will also give you the possibility of providing coverage to other wuggers.
By buying the 433  you will be able to help the wug expand and grow, chances are that you will connect to a highsite that has grown from a single client to connect to linking to more than one highsite ans providing coverage to new users like you.

Description: Miro kit




Mikrotik Routerboard 433


R52 Radio (not the R52H)


27dbi 5.8ghz Grid Antenna


N-Type to UFL Pigtail


IP66-LITE (with pole mount bracket)


Power over Ethernet Module


24V power supply


1 meter of LMR with a male Ntype connector at each end


PCB Stud + Mounting Tape & Screw (4 per pack)

Description: Grid

5.8ghz Grid

Description: Enclosure


Description: R52 Radio

Mini PCI radio


Routerboard 433


PoE unit







You will need these items regardless if you buy equipment from

A 38mm antenna pole and bracket to mount everything on (Miro, Builders, Chamberlain, Mica)

U-bolts to clamp the pole to the bracket (Miro, Builders, Chamberlain, Mica)

Rawl bolts (Builders, Chamberlain, Mica)

2x Straight LAN cables to run from your routerboard to POE to PC (from your local pc store)

Recommended tools:

  • Drill
  • A masonry bit to drill holes for bracket rawlbolts
  • 16mm bit to drill hole in enclosure for pigtail
  • Flat and philips screwdrivers
  • Insulation tape to tape connectors
  • Number 10 spanner to assemble grid
  • Number 13 spanner for grid bracket
  • Number 17 and 19 spanners to tighten pigtail

4. Hardware Installation

  • If you have any trouble in these steps, come on IRC, there will be someone to help you.
  • The Routerboard 433's manual can be found here.
  • As each member's scenario differs (at his house/flat) the following are the generic steps of installing your equipment
  • If you don't have current antenna pole in the right location - drill holes and mount a standard TV antenna pole
  • Connect the antenna to the pole and point it in the direction of the highsite (all antennas use 10mm nuts)
  • Mount your routerboard/router/routerPC in enclosure and mount it on the pole
  • Run network cable down to your PC/hub in the house, as well as power for the router through the power over ethernet adapter. The Power side on the POE adapter goes to the routerboard, the LAN side into your PC/switch.

Detail on installing the routerboard, radio and grid: First do all these steps while you have the routerboard and radio on the ground, to make sure everything works, then mount it on the roof.

  • Slot the mini-PCI Radio into any of the three slots on your routerboard. Do this by pressing the radio in horizontally (it can only go in one way) and then pressing it down so the two 'arms' on the sides click into place.


  • Drill two holes into your enclosure, in line with the PoE port on the routerboard, so the LAN cable can go directly in - this is a issue on 433 boards - to fit the antenna mounting (N-Type to UFL Pigtail) and the gland for your lan cable.
  • The pigtail needs a 16mm hole in the enclosure, drill it and fit the pigtail from the inside so the bevel catches it on the inside, then fasten it with the nuts on the outside, fasten the pigtail as tight as you can to prevent it from turning when you attach the LMR cable.


  • Mount the routerboard inside the enclosure using the studkit and plug in your lan cable and the antenna pigtail. Do not use washers and screws to attach the RB to the studkit, only use the screws, the washers may cause a short.
  • The pigtail should be plugged into the main port on the mini-PCI radio (There are two ports MAIN and AUX). Be careful when plugging in the pigtail. The pigtail wil 'pop' onto the UFL connector


  • Plug the other end of your LAN cable into your POE injector in the port that says 'DATA + Power' or 'PoE' and run another lan cable from the other port (that says LAN) to your PC / Laptop.
  • Please use 'straight' LAN cables for the connection from PC to POE adapter and from POE adapter to the routerboard.


  • Assemble your grid making sure that the arrow on the antenna-feed points downwards or upwards, in line with the ribs on the antenna. Generally there are four long bolts and two short bolts in the antenna packet, us the short ones on the ends of the antenna and the long ones in the middle.
  • When assembling the antenna the feed (pointy bit) goes in front, then the grid itself and then the bracket at the back. Two of the middle bolts will go through all three pieces.
  • The way the antenna is on the picture below is Vertical Polarization.


  • Connect the LMR cable to the antenna and your pigtail in the enclosure. Do not force the Ntype connector, you need to line up the female connector on the pigtail side straight with the male connector on the LMR side.
  • Make sure to tape your connections to prevent it from getting wet in the weather. Wet connectors has caused many problems for wuggers who skip this step.


  • Fasten your grid and enclosure to the pole, tighten the enclosure nuts. Aim the antenna towards the highsite and tighten the bolts so the grid stays in a level position.
  • Continue to section 5 for aligment guide.

Description: Typical install

A typical install (BazDaddy's)


Bokwortel's install

5. Software Configuration and connecting

Make sure you have a static IP configured on your computer's network card.
Make sure the light on the routerboard is on, and it has beeped twice.

Download winbox from

Run the winbox.exe program.

Click on the browse button next to connect.


Then select the only entry that should be in there (your routerboard's MAC address).
Click Connect.


Once connected to your router, you need to change the following basic settings:

  • Click Interfaces. Select wlan1. Then click on enable (The blue tick button)
  • Double-click  wlan1.
  • You need to click the Advanded Mode button on the wlan1 screen first to see the country settings and radio name settings.
  • Change the country setting to South Africa (If your country is not set to South Africa, you won't pick up any RBWUG signals)
  • Change the Band to 5Ghz
  • Change Radio Name to your nickname that you will use on the wug


Once you are done:
Click on Scan and turn the antenna slowly looking for a SSID that starts with Mikrotik automatically scans all the frequencies in the 5ghz range, so it does not matter on what the frequency is set.
Easiest way to scan is to sit on the roof with your laptop while turning the antenna. Align your antenna until your signal is the best you can get it (closer to 0 is better, eg. -60 is better than -80).
Please note that a grid antenna is very sensitive, a mm either way makes a huge difference in signal, thus the antenna needs to be mounted on a stable pole before scanning.

-90 = really bad (can not connect)
-80 = bad
-70 = average
-60 = good
-50 = awesome!

Once you have found a SSID click on the SSID and click connect, then make sure the scan is stopped, you wont be able to connect while a scan is running. Click close. You must be connected to a RBWUG ssid before u ask for IPs. You are connected if winbox says "connected to ess" (see picture above as example), then come on IRC to get IPs. Remember that you as a user have to connect to a SSID that has "Sector", "Omni" or "Panel" in the last part of the SSID, users are not allowed to connect to backbone grids.

You can also use the Align feature in winbox to use the sound the routerboard makes to align perfectly (like a metaldetector). Click
here for a tutorial. Please not that your band needs to be set to 5ghz and not to 2ghz as shown in the tutorial.


  • Switch on and log into the routerboard/router

5.1. Request IP addresses

  • Scan and connect to the highsite - for this step come on IRC - #rbwug
  • Use the following command on IRC in #rbwug : “Philip help my” > your_nickname eg. (“Philip help” > Pietie) to request an IP.
  • Once you have an IP address and your PC is configured, please use to access the internal wiki.

5.2. Common mistakes when trying to connect

  • PROBLEM: I don't pick up any SSIDs. SOLUTION: Make sure your radio's country is set to South Africa and not "no_country_set".
  • PROBLEM: I don't pick up anything when I scan. SOLUTION: 1. Make sure your Band is set to 5ghz in winbox. SOLUTION: 2. Make sure that you have assembled you grid antenna correctly, as per the picture above. SOLUTION: 3. Check that you have connected you pigtail to the MAIN connector on your radio and that the Antenna Mode in winbox is set to 'antenna a'.
  • PROBLEM: When I click connect in the scan window it does not want to connect - displays 'Searching for network' in the wireless tab. SOLUTION: Some sector antennas (especially in Centurion) run Mikrotik nstreme protocol - enable nstreme on your radio, click Advanced and then enable nstreme in the nstreme tab.
  • PROBLEM: My routerboard keeps disconnecting me from winbox. SOLUTION: 1. Set any static IP on your network card and then try again. SOLUTION: 2. Use the Mikrotik Neighbourhood Viewer to connect to your routerboard.

6. Routerboard and PC IP Setup

  • Please use the Routerboard Setup Guide page to set up you IP's -

7. Participate/Learn/Help/Expand

  • RBWUG works on the principle that all members are equal, there is no boss or ranks or hierarchy, thus all members can contribute their expertise and time, such as web development, maintaining highsites, helping new members, doing LOS tests
  • IRC is where the community speaks, plans, learns, helps, etc. - It is thus imperative that you speak to the other wuggers on IRC, and be connected as much as possible - Idle.
  • Use and expand network services
  • Learn to operate your hardware, set up routing etc.
  • Help by providing labour or expertise to maintain highsites or raise new ones, everyone is welcome to help.


Last Updated (Monday, 24 January 2011 07:36)