First SAF Freemile Deployment

We completed our own deployment of the SAF Tehnika FREEMILE-24-2 system today after selling several units to customers with good acceptance.  I have been certified on the SAF proeucts for a year or so and this was an opportunity for me to see it perform in the real world.

The quality of the workmanship is excellent.  Pieces are well machined and well finished.  The Arkivator dish antennas are also well made and have an extremely tight pattern and good front to back ratio.  At 24 GHz, the fresnel zone is small and the beam width of the antennas is very tight so proper alignment is a must.

The link was a bit over a mile, not too far and we were able to align it perfectly resulting in a -59 dBm receive strength, 32 QAM modulation and 100 mbps throughput both directions.  Latency was about 1 ms.  We used 2 ft dish antennas because we were concerned about rain fade and wanted sufficient link margin for 99.999% up-time.

The setup script was easy and only 4 steps long and I had a working link, very intuitive.  You don’t have to be SAF certified to understand the interface, again, very intuitive.  You have a choice of three channels and the ability to do a frequency scan.  Also, changes made to the config can be copied to the remote end with a single button click.

While there are other 24 GHz products out there like the Ubiquiti airFiber that may give more throughput, this one is simple, robust, has the ability to use different antennas.  I will definitely push this product to our customers.

Steve Discher

Steve Discher was born in Apple Valley, California and today makes his home in College Station, Texas with his wife and three children. He is a 1987 graduate of Texas A-M University and owns ISP Supplies, a wireless distribution company, and conducts MikroTik training classes. His hobbies include flying his Piper Cub and RV camping with his family.

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