2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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some seeing eye
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2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:38 am

The organizers in my observation let the event morph and evolve, only stepping in to make rules and changes when the culture goes off track or the event and its participants are endangered.

Many people believe the immediacy of the event, a smile, eye contact and full on in-the-playa moment are incompatible with the always on connectivity we embrace in the default world. The argument is the Instagram, Snapchat, and other always on always responding social media is a distraction from being in the moment on the playa at the event.

All those moments can easily be posted to the socials after the event. Or post a once a day update.

And if you ask before making an image, it is a beautiful opportunity for an interaction. In fact, the ask for permission should come at the end of a beautiful interaction.

That being said, the organizers have a strong program to support connected art projects through the Artery. That could apply especially this year with the robot theme. If you need connectivity for art contact the Artery. How to do so is easily searchable.

If you really, really, really need to be connected, satellite systems are the most reliable way. You can rent an satphone that texts and does data for a month. Some people subscribe to satellite Internet for the year and move and aim their dishes on playa.

That being said connectivity this year will be about the same as last year without the glitches early in the week. Last year one of the two providers who back each other up made a configuration error that affected both. That error is understood, and that error will not be repeated. But all non-satellite connectivity could fail for any number of reasons at any time.

The connections into the Playa for all purposes in total are less than what you can get for a single house from any city ISP. It is prioritized for critical things like emergency services, all the will call ticket system, volunteer coordination and reading x-rays. No, there is not a radiologist on playa 24x7. Yes, x-rays on playa are read remotely by a radiologist.

And any mobile service in a city is designed for about 300 subscribers per antenna sector, not 80,000. The layout of BRC allows for 1-2 sectors. So any mobile service that may reach the playa is likely to be heavily overloaded. If you must bring a mobile device as a camera, put it in airplane mode. G*Pros have WiFi on as a default. That can create interference on playa, so learn how to turn off the WiFi on that device.

As with all wireless YMMV...
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Token
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Token » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:41 am

So you’re saying shantytown remains shantytown and the endless fools will spend time and effort looking for the Internetz playa chicken uploading selfies of their cool-kids moments.

Far out post-apocalyptic poetry.

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some seeing eye
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:31 am

Thanks for the poetry.

The BORG is working with camps to limit sessions to an hour. The challenge also includes the robot fools inside mobile phones and things like GoPros to automaticly and promiscuously connect to any open WiFi they detect in the background to upload photos and download software updates. There is a technical effort to minimize that.
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Token
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Token » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:57 pm

If someone really needs reliable comms for their project out there in the dust, there are way better frequencies available than the WiFi spectrum.

900Mhz is a solid choice and UHF propagates well.

3.65Ghz is also in limbo right now with rule changes and new spectrum auctions so old NN based gear is dirt cheap.

Trying to manage the masses and their devices is a losing proposition.

Zubeneschamali
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Zubeneschamali » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:14 pm

The Bureau of Disinformation provided plenty of free wifi last year. All you needed to do was wrap aluminum foil around your head and climb a 14 foot ladder in order to catch the signal.

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Ratty
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Ratty » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:39 pm

Zuben You're right. It was great even though the tin foil was uncomfortably hot. I climbed and spoke briefly to my Mom. And she's been dead for 49 years.
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some seeing eye
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:53 pm

Thanks Mr Token on 3.65GHZ band changes!

The BORG is requesting if you are using the 900MHz ISM band that you notify them. There were also intermittent bursts of noise in the 5GHz band which disrupted operations intermittently. So it is requested 5GHz be limited to the assigned participant & art project Ubiquiti network backhaul and the upper channel 165 which is 5.815-5.835GHz.
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Token
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Token » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Just to clarify, 5GHz and 5.8Ghz are different bands.

WiFi runs on 5GHz and 2.4Ghz.

ISM has license free spectrum at 5.8Ghz as well and some vendors use that for narrow-beam backhauls as is the case on the UBNT gear used on playa.

3.65 IS licensed, but there is a changeover going on and all existing license holders, though still valid, are not protected and will lose their licenses late this year/early next year when it gets redone.

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Drizzt321
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Drizzt321 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:56 am

@some seeing eye
Thanks, wasn't aware of the extra connectivity for Art projects and such.
some seeing eye wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:53 pm
The BORG is requesting if you are using the 900MHz ISM band that you notify them.
Wait, they have stuff running on the 900MHz ISM? That's not WiFi though. What are they running?

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Token
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Token » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:25 am

Drizzt321 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:56 am
@some seeing eye
Thanks, wasn't aware of the extra connectivity for Art projects and such.
some seeing eye wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:53 pm
The BORG is requesting if you are using the 900MHz ISM band that you notify them.
Wait, they have stuff running on the 900MHz ISM? That's not WiFi though. What are they running?
Correct, it is not WiFi. Some telecom companies run a modified TDM protocol over those unlicensed bands for backhaul networks that are less-than line-of-site. 900Mhz is a bit bendy with earth curvature so travels further. It is a narrow band so data rates and throughput are limited by today’s standards. Not very broadband but useful for light communication over distance.

UBNT has a line of super cheap gear that uses this spectrum and has been used on the Playa for decades.

Tho mainly relegated to legacy, as they upgraded to bigger/better gear, it ends up getting used because it’s availabe, works well, and they got a big box of old gear.

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Drizzt321
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Re: 2018 Internet Connectivity Update

Post by Drizzt321 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:07 pm

Oh, didn't realize they were still using some UBNT 900MHz gear. I actually have a thought to use a 900MHz LoRa radio (omni) for some 2-way low data transmission. Not going to be for this year, but it is a goal. I guess I'll have to be more careful on that band and check in with the Radio folks about my intention and get their thoughts so I don't interfere much, if at all, with anyone else.

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