Mesh/4G LTE hotspot build
- 4G LTE modem: Sierra wireless airprime EM7565 at $173 - https://ltefix.com/shop/modems/sierra-wireless-airprime-cards/sierra-wireless-em7565-cat-12-m-2-modem/
- M.2 to USB adapter with case and pigtails at $30 https://ltefix.com/shop/pcie-m-2/usb-to-ngff-m-2-key-b-adapter-enclosure/
- Could be done cheaper, e.g. $10 from china but quality would be lower and no case
- WiFi Router: Either WD MyNet N600/N750 or TP-Link N750 at $20-35 - ebay or our own stock
- Two 4G LTE wideband high-gain directional antennas - $70 to $140
- Either two of these: https://ltefix.com/shop/antennas/4g-lte-antennas/yagi/698-2700mhz-yagi-radome-9dbi-11dbi-4g-lte-directional-antenna/
- Or two of these: https://ltefix.com/shop/antennas/4g-lte-antennas/directional-panel/700-2700mhz-15dbi-4g-lte-directional-antenna/
- Or one of these: https://ltefix.com/shop/antennas/4g-lte-antennas/mimo-directional/adm-1dp727x8-nf-lte-8dbi-mimo-antenna/
- Outdoor enclosure at ~$70 to $100 - https://ltefix.com/shop/routers/r-accessories/wifix-medium-router-pcb-enclosure/
- We may need a bigger enclosure than this. This is just an example.
- Battery 10 Ah 12 V AGM deep cycle at ~$35 - many sources
- Could go with something more expensive if the lead-acid is too heavy/large.
- Li-ion is more expensive than lead-acid but much smaller and lighter but sacrifices safety.
- LiFePO4 is in between Li-Ion and lead-acid in weight but the most expensive.
- Solar MPPT charge controller at ~$30 - china
- Solar panel 50 W at ~$66 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Renogy-50-Watt-Solar-Panel-50W-12V-Off-Grid-PV-Power-Marine-Motorhome-RV/282959861893
- Solar panel side-of-pole mounting bracket at ~$62: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Renogy-Single-Side-Pole-Mount-Aluminum-Mounting-Support-for-50W-100W-Solar-Panel/
- Or this for $85 https://www.ebay.com/itm/WindyNation-Side-of-Pole-Solar-Panel-Mount-Rack-for-30W-to-120W-Solar-Panel/262762998137
- We could use a cheaper system without the support underneath and save ~$45 but I don't want to risk it: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Renogy-Pole-Wall-Mount-Aluminum-Tilt-Mounting-Bracket-For-30W-50W-Solar-Panel/302949846943
- WiFi antennas, either three dual-band (for TP-Link) or two 2.4 GHz and two 5.8 Ghz antennas - $0 to $150
- If we want coverage relatively close to the WiFi router then the TP-Link built-in antennas are a good choice at $0 extra cost
- Another option is three of something like this at ~$50 each: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Panel-WiFi-Antenna-2-4GHz-5GHz-5-8GHz-Range-13dBi-Dual-Band-Multi-Outdoor/163675625610
- Yet another option is to simply use a Nanostation M5 or M2 (or both) in combination with the My Net / TP-Link which would cost $80 per unit
- You can find dual-band 2x2 mimo panel antennas but they are meant for point-to-point and will have one antenna horizontally polarized which normal clients won't see. The 3x3 panel antennas are a bit better. We could
Total price without sim card: ~$500 to ~$800 (actual numbers from above are $486 to $821)
Sim card price:
- Via Calyx it's $500 first year and then $400 proceeding year
- We can cut down the first-year price by selling the $100 included modem or maybe talking to Calyx and convincing them not to include it
- Via mobilecitizen it's probably closer to $200 per year
Total price per node (excluding mounting fees):
- Mobilecitizen with cheap hardware: $700 first year then $200 each year after
- Mobilecitizen with expensive hardware: $1000 first year then $200 each year after
- Calyx with cheap hardware: $1000 first year then $400 each year after
We don't yet know what they are but we know the FCC is requiring them to be at most $180 per pole per year. This cap will likely end in September and it's possible that cities haven't changed their pricing schemes since some consider this unlawful, the new FCC rules were only implemented in January and everyone (including the FCC) seems to think the rules will be cut down mostly or completely in September. I have heard that most places don't charge more than $50 to $100 per pole per year though (but haven't been able to verify) and that the higher prices are because some cities (mostly richer cities) are trying to prevent telcoms from mounting this gear because they thing it's ugly or have health concerns or both.
Assuming the node-mounting fees in Oakland/Berkeley aren't higher than the FCC cap we have a maximum yearly fee of $580 per node and if it's a more reasonable pole mounting fee like $100 and we get mobilecitizen then it could be down to $300 per year per node.