Technical Details

The following pages document the technical details behind the DBIUA network.  The end goal is to allow everyone who wants to understand how things work.  Really it’s not rocket science.

Before we get into too much of the nitty gritty details, I suggest reading the Networking 101 page.  If you don’t understand IP addresses, subnets, and network routing none of the rest of this is going to make much sense.

The DBIUA network is mostly a wireless network.  We have standardized on Ubiquity Networks equipment, with a little bit of other hardware thrown in there that Ubiquity does not provide.  Most of the equipment has been procured from Streakwave Wireless.

At this point if you are not familiar with wireless neworking take a detour and read Wireless 101.

System Websites

There are 3 different website systems that contain information regarding the technical details of the DBIUA network. – This site developed by Smalldog Net Solutions (Chris Sutton), is where all the different network hosts are entered, and networks configured.  The site requires a username and password login, which you can get from Chris.  The site also contains all the DBIUA book keeping, inventory, member orders, financials, etc.  This system is hosted by Smalldog Net Solutions and is running at Amazon AWS in Oregon. (or from outside the DBIUA network) – This is the monitoring system, running Nagios, a common open source tool for checking that things are running.  This is running on a small server at the Doe Bay Water tank. (or from outside the DBIUA network) – This is the graphing system, running Cacti, another open source tool for graphing data over time.  In this case we graph various things for each host on the network to understand what is going on, and for troubleshooting purposes.  This is running on the same server as Nagios, at the Doe Bay Water tank.

Naming Conventions

The following naming convention is used for equipment:

(location)-(radiotype)-(wirelessfrequency)-(a,b,c,d, etc)

For example, sutton-ns-5-a means this radio is at sutton’s, it’s a nanostation (ns), it’s a 5.8 Ghz radio, and a means it’s the first one of these at this location.  We also have sutton-r-5-a, which is a rocket at suttons, and the first one.  Because we have 2 rockets at suttons, the second one is sutton-r-5-b.

Sometimes we do not use the wireless frequency or a,b terminology though.  For example a toughswitch might be sutton-ts, and an air-router might be sutton-ar.  These are always 2.4Ghz radio’s and generally there is only 1 at a location that we care about.

Naming convensions for wireless networks are dbiua-(location)-(a,b,c,etc).  If it’s an end point dbiua network without a password for general connections, there is no location, a,b,c.  Just “dbiua”.  An example wireless network name is dbiua-sutton-a.

Physical, and Digital Network Maps

The physical network is a bunch of equipment spread all over greater Doe Bay.  The Smalldog system will generate you a physical map with all the different hosts and how they are connected at this link:

A digital map of the network is generated by the Nagios system and can be found by going to this link:

Physical Network

The physical network starts at the top of the Doe Bay Water tank at the Startouch FCC Microwave radio.  From here an outdoor cat5 cable goes down the tank to a box, into a startouch provided cisco switch, and then from there into an edgemax 3 port router (wt-er).  From here we connect to an 8 port touchswitch pro (wt-ts).  Connected to this switch is the server running nagios and cacti, and air-router (wt-ar) giving a local “dbiua” wifi signal to the area.  There are also 3 other outdoor cat5 cables that leave the box and go back up to the top of the tank.

Before we leave this box it should be noted that this entire box is powered by an APC UPS that is under this box.  The UPS should provide about 6 hours of backup to all the equipment in the box and on the top of the tank.

Back on the top of the tank there are 3 radios.  A PowerbridgeM5 (wt-pb-5-a), a RocketM5 (wt-r-5-a) with a 120 degree sector antenna, and a RocketM900 (wt-r-900-a) with a 120 degree sector antenna.

The PowerbridgeM5 (wifi network dbiua-wt-a) points towards to Tillman’s field, as well as McGrath’s tree, the RocketM5 (wifi network dbiua-wt-b) goes to Sutton’s tree, and Trogdon’s house.  The RocketM900 (wifi network dbiua-wt-a) services Evans.

At Tillman’s field is a pole with another PowerbridgeM5 (tillman-pb-5-a) at the bottom going into a box that has a 5 port tough switch (tillman-ts).  This is powered by a battery system, which is powered through a trenched cable to the power pole next to the cabin.  From the tough switch we go to a RocketM5 (tillman-r-5-a) with an Omni on top of the pole.  This Omni services people in the area including the Doe Bay Firehall (wifi signal dbiua-tillman-a).

The Sutton tree has a NanostationM5 (sutton-ns-5-a) which receives the signal from the DBW Tank.  From here a cat5 cable goes down the tree to a 5 port toughswitch (sutton-ts).  We have the same typical battery setup, which is powered via cat5 POE which goes into the Sutton house, and provides them internet.  From the toughswitch we go back up the tree again to a RocketM5 (sutton-r-5-a) and 120 sector that points towards Shipstads (wifi dbiua-sutton-a).  There is another RocketM5 (sutton-r-5-b) with a 120 sector that points the other way towards Nelson’s point (wifi dbiua-sutton-b).  On the side of Sutton’s house is a NanostationM2 (sutton-ns-2-a) which services other people in the area (dbiua-sutton-a).

Looking at Nelson’s point there is a tree at the point that has a NanostationM5 (nelson-ns-5-a) which gets the signal from Sutton’s tree.  Because there is only 1 other radio here, a RocketM5 (nelson-r-5-a) with a 120 sector, we do not need a toughswitch, instead the RocketM5 is plugged directly into the NanostationM5.  The NanostationM5 is also plugged into the battery system as the base of the tree.  From here there is an outdoor cat5 cable that goes back through the woods to a box on the side of Nelson’s house where we get power.  In this box is also a air-router (nelson-ar) that provides a “dbiua” signal locally.  The RocketM5 on the tree sends a signal towards people at the base of Pioneer Hill, and also towards Patton’s tree (wifi dbiua-nelson-a).

At Patton’s tree is a NanoBridgeM5 (patton-nb-5-a) receiving the signal from Nelson.  A cable goes down the tree to the battery system and toughswitch (patton-ts) at the base of the tree.  One outdoor cable goes towards Patton’s house, under the deck where we plug into power.  Another outdoor cable goes the other way across the lawn to another tree where there is a RocketM5 (patton-r-5-a) with a 120 degree sector that services people on Peapod Lane (wifi dbiua-patton-a).

Switching back to the Sutton tree, we look down on Shorewood and Shipstad’s tree.  Here we have a NanoStationM5 (shipstad-ns-5-a) which gets the signal from Sutton’s tree, cable goes down the tree to our battery box and toughswitch (shipstad-ts), then across the yard, and around the outside of Shipstad’s house and into their garage where we get power, and also provide a connection to Shipstad’s house.  Back at the battery box on the tree, we have 2 other outdoor cables that go to a RocketM5 (shipstad-r-5-a) with a 120 sector that provide connections towards Doe Bay Resort and services a number of people (wifi dbiua-shipstad-a).  The other cable goes to a RocketM900 (shipstad-r-900-a) with a sector that provides a signal in the same direction as the RocketM5 for those who are blocked by tree’s, some as far away as on Cow Hill (wifi dbiua-shipstad-a).

Just down the road from Shipstad’s is Hickey’s house on the water, which also has a NanoStationM5 (hickey-ns-5-a) receiving it’s signal from Sutton’s tree.  There is no battery box here, but the NanostationM5 is connected via an outdoor cable to a NanobridgeM5 (hickey-nb-5-a) up in a tree in his parking area.  This sends a signal towards Schaaf over on the Pioneer Hill waterfront, threading the needle past Doe Island (wifi dbiua-hickey-a).  The NanostationM5 also provides a connection into Hickey’s house.

In Shorewood there is also a NanoStationM5 (trogdon-ns-5-a) on the roof of Trogdon’s which gets it’s signal directly from the DBW tank.  This NanoStationM5 is connected directly to a RocketM5 (trogdon-r-5-a) with an Omni which provides a signal to those around Trogdon’s (dbiua-trogdon-a).  There is no battery backup here, but there is a cable that runs down the house and inside for power, and also to provide a connection to Trogdon’s.

Moving over to McGrath’s tree, we have a PowerBridgeM5 (mcgrath-pb-5-a) receiving the signal from the DBW Tank.  From here we come down the tree to another battery box and toughswitch (mcgrath-ts).  From here we get power and give a connection to McGrath’s.  From the toughswitch we go back up the tree to a RocketM5 (mcgrath-r-5-a) with a 120 sector pointing towards SeaAcres (dbiua-mcgrath-a).  There is also a NanoStationM900 (mcgrath-ns-900-a) which sends a signal towards a relay point at Reifert that did not work out (dbiua-mcgrath-a).  But this same radio is able to send a signal down into SeaAcres to hook up Staley temporarily.

Near future plans are to put a NanoStationM5 up in a tree at Alexander’s to receive the signal from McGrath’s.  From here we will go to a battery box and toughswitch, give a connection to Alexander, then connect either a RocketM5 with a Omni or maybe a RocketM365 with an Omni to then send the signal to SeaAcres people.

So, with that we have described the DBIUA backbone network.  There are a couple places were we do not have a battery backup, but these locations right now only have 1 person connected to them, and a local APC UPS is probably an easier option to keep the radios running than an outdoor battery box.

Digital Network

To make reference between the physical and digital network our names are really helpful to make sense of the networks and where different network hosts are located.

Our first network starts right behind the Startouch Cisco Switch at (wt-er).  This is our main gateway out to the internet.  The outside eth2 port has an IP address assigned to us by Startouch.  The inside port eth1 is our first network wt-er inside address is  Other hosts on this network are wt-pb-5-a:, wt-r-5-a:, wt-r-900-a:, wt-ts:, wt-ar:, server:  This is a wired network, and basically lives just a the water tank in the wires running in the box an up/down the tank.  wt-er is handing out DHCP addresses to the network.

The next network we will look at is the wireless network from wt-pb-5-a.  All of the radio’s have 2 network interfaces.  A wired interface and a wireless interface.

We have already defined the wt-pb-5-a wired IP address as  The wireless IP address is  The subnet on the wireless network is  This subnet means that there are only 32 possible hosts on this network, not 255.  So the address range here is 10.3.0.[0-31].  wt-pb-5-a is handing out DHCP addresses on this network, but just using and to are for static assigned addresses.

On this network we have 2 other hosts.  tillman-pb-5-a: and mcgrath-pb-5-a:  So this wireless network extends from the water tank over to tillmans field and mcgraths tree.  And potentially any other location that can receive the signal from the water tank.

Switching to look at tillman-pb-5-a.  Again, this radio has 2 interfaces.  We have already defined the wireless interface,  The wired interface address is, and it also has a subnet mask of, so there is just 32 possible hosts on this network.  All networks in DBIUA except the main water tank network, and end member networks are like this, with just 32 hosts in them.

The rest of the tillman wired network in the middle of the field consists of tillman-ts:, tillman-r-5-a:  tillman-nb-5-a is handing out DHCP addresses from to  See a pattern here 🙂

Now, moving the next step to tillman-r-5-a which has a wired address of, it’s wireless interface has an address of  Where did that 11 come from?  Well, I just decided to try and keep a similar convention in these network address names, and needed to start over again.  Some of this will become clear when we talk about routing.

Anyway, tillman-r-5-a wireless side is, and it again is a subnet, 32 hosts, it hands out DHCP addresses from to  On the wireless network we have the following hosts: firehall-ns-5-a:, tillman-nb-5-a:, stidham-nb-5-a:, landsman-nb-5-a:, trainer-nb-5-a:, dbwua-nb-5-a:

So that is the basic digital network layout.  All of this is probably easier to see and understand on the Smalldog system, where you can drill into different networks and see how they are setup.  You can login to the web-based management interfaces to all of these pieces of equipment from any of the network interfaces.