Helium - Outdoor Small Cell Install Guide - Part 2
This installation guide is specific for setting up the MosoLabs Outdoor Small Cell for the Helium network.
Step 1 – Preparation
Step 2 – Initial Connectivity Setup
Step 3 – Verify Connectivity Status
Step 4 – Outdoor Small Cell Installation
Step 5 – Small Cell Registration
STEP 4 - Outdoor Small Cell Installation
STEP 4.1 - Location Selection
To start, make sure you select a good place for the outdoor small cell. Obstructions will decrease coverage. CBRS signals have less range than LoRa. Similar to Wi-Fi they can be weakened or blocked by obstacles like walls, trees, and buildings. To capture the most data you can, you want your small cell to point towards a populated area, a place with a lot of people and phones, e.g. a park, a playground, an outdoor cafe/coffee shop.
For best coverage and earnings, outdoor small cells are best mounted as high as possible above ground level. This often means on a roof, or near the roof line of a building. Roof mounting examples for a home or small business:
Angled Roof: J-Bar mounted to the facia
Important: The outdoor small cell will require installation CPI approval before it can go on air and allow users to connect. The CPI process requires the following:
Installation parameters must be shared with FreedomFi to get CPI approval
- Height with 2 to 4 photos to document accuracy
- Azimuth (compass bearing) angle with 1 photo to document accuracy
- Elevation angle (tilt) with photo to document accuracy
Disclaimer: Installing an outdoor small cell may require working at heights of 20ft or more off the ground. If you are not comfortable with such work or are not able to perform this work safely, please consult a professional installer.
NOTE: How to get and submit this information along with sample photos will be covered in the small cell registration section below.
STEP 4.2 - Component Preparations
Once you have selected your mounting location, confirm you have the necessary components for mounting. Depending on your mounting location, you may need a J-Pole, Non-Penetrating Roof Mount Mast, or other components that will give you a sturdy 2” diameter pipe to mount your small cell. Prepare your chosen mounting equipment and installation hardware. At this time, you should disconnect your small cell from the PoE if you have not done so already.
STEP 4.3 - Mounting Bracket Assembly
Assemble the mounting bracket pivot bolt to connect the pipe clamp bracket to the main small cell mounting bracket.
Do not install the bracket on the small cell at this time
STEP 4.4 - Mounting Pole Installation
Once you have selected your mounting location and confirmed you have the necessary components for mounting, install your mounting pole.
Note: the pole is not provided in your MosoLabs kit.
STEP 4.5 - Install Bracket on Mounting Pole
Attach the assembled MosoLabs mounting bracket to the mounting pole. Make sure the locator holes are positioned at the bottom of the bracket and you have tightened the pipe clamp sufficiently, then locked it in place with the second set of nuts.
STEP 4.6 - Install Small Cell to the Mounting Bracket
Attach your MosoLabs small cell to the mounting bracket. Use the locator holes at the bottom of the bracket to help align and hold the small cell while you install the screws. Adjust the tilt to point your small cell toward your desired target.
STEP 4.7 - Connect the Grounding Cable
Now that your small cell is mounted on the bracket, you are ready to attach the cables. First, attach the provided grounding cable to the nearest ground source. If an appropriate ground is not available within the length of the supplied cable, you may need to make a longer cable.
STEP 4.8 - Connect the PoE+ Ethernet Cable
Lead your outdoor rated Ethernet cable from your PoE+ power supply (which needs to be mounted indoors) to your small cell and connect it to the PoE+ port on your small cell. Once connected, secure the waterproof connector over the Ethernet cable and secure all of your cable runs.
(Note, you do not need to connect any other ports at this time.)
It is recommended that you install a lightning protector inline with your Ethernet cable between the small cell and your PoE power supply.
STEP 5 - Small Cell Registration
To enable the outdoor small cell, you’ll need to complete the CPI flow and get approval. The process starts with registering the small cell location. To register the outdoor small cell, you’ll need the following information along with photos to prove it.
- Height (above ground)
- Azimuth Angle (compass heading)
- Elevation Angle (antenna tilt)
- Street Address of Installation
STEP 5.1 - Record the Height
You will be required to submit the height of the installation and a photo to verify it.
Here are some ideas on how to get the height:
- Ask a contractor or building manager about the height of your roof.
- Get the height of the home/building by looking at it in Google Earth Pro. Please follow the steps here.
- Use a tape measure and measure the height directly from the top of your roof
Take a photo that shows the small cell and the ground.
Here are some sample Verification photos:
STEP 5.2 - Record the Azimuth Angle
Azimuth is a fancy name for the compass direction in which the center of the antenna is pointing. NOAA has a free website that uses any phone accelerometer + compass to find azimuth. You can also use the built in Apple iPhone Compass app for this as well. (featured in the picture)
Steps to collect this photo:
- Navigate to the NOAA website linked above to open the NOAA Mobile Magnetic Declination Calculator
- Choose the “Compass” option in the lower-left corner
- Place the phone on top of the small cell, so the TOP of the phone (the part that goes to your ear on a phone call) is pointing in the same direction as the antenna.
- Take a picture of the compass direction.
The sample picture is showing azimuth angle of 193 degrees.
STEP 5.3 - Record the Elevation Angle
The elevation angle is a fancy name for “is it pointing up or down from level.” The reference point is the middle of the antenna. You can again use a free app on your phone to find this value:
- iOS: use the built-in “Measure” app, choose the “level” function at the bottom
- Android: use a free “Clinometer” app from the Play store
Steps to collect this photo:
- Open one of the two apps named above
- Place the phone on top of the small cell. All certified outdoor cells all have a flat portion of the top surface that is perpendicular to the front of the antenna and will hold a phone.
- Take a picture of the elevation angle.
The sample image is showing degrees of down-tilt elevation angle using iOS App Measure.
STEP 5.4 - Register Small Cell
Now that you have the small cell information and photos, you will need to submit them for CPI approval. Access
the Radio Dashboard by pointing your web browser to http://freedomfi-gateway.local from a device on the same network as the FreedomFi Gateway. NOTE: The outdoor small cell MUST be powered on and connected to the FreedomFi Gateway to appear on the Radio Dashboard.
- Click on Radio Dashboard
==> If you have more than one small cell connected, make sure the serial number matches the small cell you are trying to register.
- Click Register Radio in the bottom left corner
- Follow the wizard to fill out the form and add photos
- Submit the information
- Wait for Approval
You will receive an email confirming your submission and then be notified by email with the status of your registration within 72 hours.
STEP 5.5 - Verify Small Cell is Online
Once you get the CPI approval notification, your small cell should be ready to go.
To check, navigate to the Radio Dashboard and verify that the registration status is approved, and the statuses are all Green.
If the statuses are not green, here is what they mean. Please contact us if you are are seeing any of these non-green statuses after 24 hours of submitting the Registration form via the Gateway.
Trying = looking for satellites
Locked = synced
Trying = not connected due to GPS or SAS not yet green
Connected = connected
SPECTRUM ACCESS STATUS
Trying = waiting for GPS to lock
Success = GPS Locked, SAS is Reachable and registered
Authorized = Authorized to transmit
None = Issue
ON AIR STATUS
OFF = Radio is not transmitting
ON = Radio is transmitting