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Zepler node consists of two separate nodes, each with their own network connection and antenna.

This was done so that one node can be removed to be rebuilt without affecting the other.

Location Roof of Zepler Building
Lat/Long 50°56'14.3736"N;1°23'51.7884"W
The type of this property is invalid
Hardware Unknown
Latest Update Temporary deployment 8/4/2008
DNS address zepler.sown.org.uk
IPv4 address
IPv6 address 2001:630:d0:f700::3
MAC address 00:00:24:ca:d6:88



Zepler Node, located atop of Zepler building, is one of SOWN's Campus Nodes. When complete it will provide 802.11b for onsite access to the SOWN network and the University Network, and 802.11a connectivity for backhaul links to remote nodes. Currently there is no realistic coverage from this node for 2 reasons. Firstly, the signal strength for Atheros cards is restricted by their HAL, so the current deployment of our signal is capped at 63dB, which is far too weak for any sort of long distance connections. Secondly, the old board for ZeplerB is Broken. This is currently in the process of being replaced. Currently we are attempting to acquire a less restrictive Wireless driver for ZeplerA, as SOWN possesses a lisence for transmission upto 1W in the 5GHz band. Alternative sollutions are the possibility of using OpenHAL, part of the BSD project, and/or the use of an active amplifier

Deployment Report 29/1/2008

As the pole and aerial from the last deployment of 802.11b node was already on the roof only the 802.11a aerial and pole needed to be erected. This task was completed first. Next the Ethernet cable was threaded down and connected in the level 4 server room. Power for both nodes was connected using POEs.

Testing of the 802.11b was successful on the roof but the signal strength on the ground was too weak for a stable connection. Therefore the aerial and pole were taken down so that the aerial could be tested. It was determined that the power output of the Meraki Mini was too small (63mW) and it was decided that we should purchase a wireless card that could better power the aerial, an Engenius NMP-8602+ 400mW a/b/g miniPCI Card. Once this card has arrived we will attempt to redeploy the 802.11b node.

Testing of the 802.11a was carried out at approximate distance of 200 metres where it was possible to get a data rate of 36Mb/s. Testing at greater distance will be carried out over the next couple of weeks.

Deployment Report 8/4/2008

The pole and aerial for the 802.11b node was erected successfully. The PCMCIA card was installed into the Wrap PC Engines WRAP board and configuration was attempted. However, this proved not to work, which we discovered was due to bent pins in the PCMCIA connection.

A solution was found which allowed us to deploy 802.11b, although this has not yet been tested.

We were later able to solve the bent pins using some specialist tools and expertise from helpdesk. We believe that the problem with the PCMCIA card is now a software issue, which we need to investigate further.

Further testing 18/4/2008

As stated above, the problems in deployment were thought to be software. Knowing that the PCMCIA cards work and are currently deployed on SUSU node, we flashed Zepler node with a copy of that image (Voyage Linux).

Unfortunately after some playing, it was decided that there is a hardware failure in the PCMCIA bus of that board, as on boot with one of the cards installed none of the network devices came up.The system log indicated that the system had failed to access the primary firmware on the wireless card. The other card simply caused the board to continuously recycle at the same point on boot up.

On investigation, the net4511 board is still available from Soekris Engineering However, a more permanent solution is required (working around the 63mw Atheros software limit issue). (Note: some of the Soekris hardware uses undocumented non-standard specifications that have caused SOWN significant difficulties)

Things to bring for deployment

  • Drill - need a new hole in the box
  • Glands for the box
  • Long Lengths of cable
  • Crimping tool
  • RJ45 Plugs
  • RJ45 Boots
  • Mast and attached A-Antenna and cable R7
  • Jubilee Clips
  • Assortment of screw-drivers
  • Plastic cable-ties
  • 2xPOE Injectors
  • 2xPower Supplies
  • 1x D-Link power injector + cables
  • Zepler B Node (Meraki:259)
  • Zapler Node Wrap
  • Penknife
  • New Power supply for ZEPLERB

Previous Deployments

October 2002 - December 2006

Node Info

Node Name Zepler Node
Location Roof of Zepler Building, Highfield Campus
Lat/Long 50.937415, -1.39775
Hardware [Soekris net4511] Wiki page
 one Mini-PCI Atheros CM9 for 802.11a, 
 one Cardbus Prism for 802.11b

The node was taken down in December of 2007 due to a failed network card. The board is currently in SOWN SUSU.

Location Roof of Zepler Building, Highfield Campus
Lat/Long 50.937415, -1.39775
Hardware Wrap PC Engines WRAP with an 802.11a only XR5
Facts about "ZeplerNode"
Sowndnszepler.sown.org.uk +
Sownipv410.13.0.3 +
Sownipv62001:630:d0:f700::3 +
Sownmac00:00:24:ca:d6:88 +