indoor/outdoor GhostBridge Wireless Ethernet Bridge
from B&B Electronics Mfg. offers a line-of-sight range of up to 15km and 5
GHz performance. Used for cable replacements or extensions, it can create a
transparent, secure, high-speed (up to 150 Mbps) point-to-point link between
two remote devices or networks, eliminating up to 15 km of expensive and
"We have a variety of customers that need to do cable
replacements or extensions for Ethernet to link together remote sites, support
mobile devices, overcome physical obstacles or address cabling reliability
problems," says Mike Fahrion, director of engineering for B&B.
"Historically, our only solution for these applications has been based on
proprietary RF communications which can provide up to a 1 MBaud link but tends
to be expensive and relies on low-volume, niche market radios."
With the advent of the 802.11n version, backed by hundreds
of millions of dollars of R&D invested in developing these chipsets, the
performance of the system compared to 900 MHz solutions is considerable, along
with increases in reliability and range by jumping to standards-based
"With this new product we wanted to leverage the latest
technology and focus on ease of use," Fahrion says. "We factory pre-configure
the units into a secure bridge mode instead of having the user wade through
dozens of access point/router network configuration fields required by most
Fahrion says that most customers either don't have the
expertise or don't want to spend the time configuring, so the goal was to take
the chipsets and pre-configure the system to create an out-of-the-box,
point-and-play experience with no configuration required. "There is no disk,
driver or Web server setup required. You take the unit out of the box, plug it
in and you've got a link," he says.
Another place where users can get into trouble with wireless
is on the antenna side. Even if a user takes an access point and goes through
all of the settings to turn it into a bridge, the next problem is how to make
the antennas work. With GhostBridge, the antenna is fully integrated and
functions as a sector antenna since the unit isn't designed to be an access
point. With the goal of providing a solution for cable replacement or extensions,
the integrated sector antenna makes the unit user-friendly in terms of mounting
and pointing. It can be easily attached to a pole and pointed at the other end
until signal strength lights show a link. In less than 20 seconds, the units
will automatically pair up and there is a working Ethernet link.
The 80-degree, 15dBi sector antenna is
integrated into the housing of the unit. A 5 GHz radio built from the 802.11n
2x2 MIMO technology provides the long-range (up to 15km) connectivity between
remote stations and a central office. Or users can bridge two networks or
hard-to-reach nodes together. The operating frequency is 5,470 - 5,825 GHz, and
the unit consumes 8W maximum power.
The package, available for $599,
contains two GhostBridge wireless Ethernet bridges (a base station and a node),
two ac PoE adapters with power cords, two dc PoE adapters with barrel plug
adapters and four cable ties to secure the units.