Routerstation in a Stationbox
May 23, 2011
Initial components arrived :) This phase is really just getting the WiFI repeater working, before moving on to the servo control and aiming mechanism.
Received everything from Baltic Wireless on Friday, all very nicely packaged and shipped. Everything is smaller than I expected, which is good, for some reason I was seeing the StationBox as about the size of an A4/Letter paper sheet, but really it's much smaller than that. I'm surprised that the panel antenna is 14dbi at its size, but that's all to the good.
A few notes on mounting the RouterStation in the Stationbox, since there aren't any examples online. One uses the longer spacers and mounts the board 'upside down' so that the ethernet ports are 'hanging' and the LEDs point down. This leaves the side with the single miniPCI slot facing up, so I put the two cards on the bottom-side. The antenna cable routing is a little tricky, trying to ensure it isn't touching anything that might get hot! The RouterStation only matches up with one set of spacer locations (AFAICS) which is a bit of a shame, since I was hoping to mount it to one side for possible servo room. Nevermind, it is good for now and I'll be re-mounting it for access to the GPIO slots.
Probably most useful thing I learned is that the 'self-tapping' screws are pretty hard to force in by hand (especially when one has the board in place and doesn't want to slip). So I eventually figured out that using a power screwdriver/drill to drive the screws into and out of the holes makes it easy to do tightening manually. Now, if only I'd learned that before giving myself a blister :)
The antenna mounts on one side of the plastic insertion board. There are a number of holes that it potentially lines up with and no markings, the trick is to choose the two that make the top line up with the top of the plastic insertion piece (ie the antenna extends under the access section, not into the top of the StationBox. Sorry, in text that makes little sense but if you had the thing in front of you it would :)
The little 3dbi antenna I have for the local network would fit in the 'punch out' holes at the top of the box, but also fits coming out the bottom (where the faceplate should be) and inside the access panel, which is nice. Again, not entirely sure where the servo is going to go. On the topic of faceplaces the StationBox site says that that a face place can be made up for the RouterStation, but the ethernet ports extend into the space where the faceplate should be, so I'm not entirely sure how that would work. None of the four that come with the StationBox really fit at all (ie not just badly aligned but can't slide the down past the slightly protruding ethernet ports. If the RouterStation could mount one row back this wouldn't be a problem, but I couldn't make it fit.
Eventually had the box together, it's really very nice and light. I can really see being able to spin this whole thing around a pole with one little servo and a chain.