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Antenna Alignment

Here's a tip that we (KK6FVP, AD6X and KK6DF) found during our antenna testing that other may find useful for finding BBHN signals and aligning/aiming antennas for best performance.

On the main router web page (http://localnode:8080), there are fields for Signal/Noise/Ratio display and an "Auto" button. 

From the documentation, and our testing, the SNR display is a reading of WiFi signal strength, noise floor and the S/N ratio in dBm.  It is available only when a node is getting a signal from a mesh node or mesh client. 

This makes a useful tool for seeing if you are acquiring a signal from another node.  Also, since there is a Ratio display (difference between Signal and Noise in dBm), if you are getting a signal, you can move your antenna until you see highest average ratio value.   This will only work if you have one local node and you're aiming at one remote node, so you'll need to make sure that you have other local nodes turned off.    

The documentation also mentions that  regular mesh performance (i.e. packet traffic) will suffer while you have node in SNR or WiFi scan auto mode, but this shouldn't be an issue unless you leave the node in this state while trying to pass traffic.  Normally, you won't be doing this. 

From BBHN Website:

The Signal/Noise/Ratio is a reading of the WiFi signal strength in dBm, and it is available only when the node is in a Mesh or Client configuration. TheAuto button will take you to an automatically refreshing display of the current signal strength and an average of the last 20 readings. This is provided as an aid to assist in antenna aiming. It is of no use until another node is visible, so it is best used a a fine-tuning tool. Also, this reading is of little use if your node can directly see more than one other node. In this case you should temporarily change the wireless SSID of the two nodes you are aiming antennas for so that the other visible nodes will be excluded from this reading. Just remember to change the SSID back when you are finished. Note that the use of the Auto feature will negatively impact the mesh performance of the node it is running on so it is best used for short periods of time while aiming an antenna. For the best results it should be accessed from the LAN side of your local node. Running this page on a remote node will be less responsive due to the mesh performance degradation.

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