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reply to Grappler

Re: Wireless Internet Pole Mounted

Problem is the signal is in a specific place and we aren't sure if it will work if the pole is mounted where our house is. They will be coming out again to test on the roof, but as of right now they just want the pole in our yard.I did clarify with them and they said the pole just needs to be 15 feet long out of the ground, so I need exactly about a 18 foot one for 3 feet to be in the ground.

Heave Steve, for the good of the country

4 edits

1 recommendation

Do you know anyone with a cherry-picker truck who can lift you up to different heights to test whether the height they are telling you is adequate? WiFi signals run into what are known as Fresnel Zone problems due to obstructions even slightly below the clear line of sight. So your pole may have to be taller than they say.

If you have some scaffold frames available, you could construct a scaffold that will get you that high for testing no problem - just brace it (or guy wires) as much as you can.

Here's what I suggest for a pole:
1) get a local steel supplier to take a 3-4" square or round thickwall pipe and weld a cap on the top

2) Weld a large flat 1" thick plate to the bottom of the pipe. Drill a 1"+ diameter hole in the plate to allow wires to be fished through. Also have four 3/4" holes drilled near the corners of the plate for mounting bolts.

3) Find a grommet/sleeve of say 3/4" diameter and drill a hole near the top of the pipe for the wires to run through. Install the grommet/sleeve. These 1st 3 steps should be done at the fabrication shop. Get the shop to give you a cardboard template of the base plate - including the location of the mounting bold holes.

Or if using a square pole, the shop can cut a larger round/rectangular hole on one side at the top, and on another side at the bottom of the pole for access. You'd have to find some way of capping these openings to keep critters/weather out.

4) Pour a concrete base using the sonotube idea. Run a conduit up through the centre of the concrete and have the conduit bend so you can run the wires through conduit to the house 12" underground. The hole for the pier MUST extend to below the frost line in your area - typically 4-5' deep.

5) When you are pouring the concrete, set four 8" long mounting bolts in the concrete so they stick out of the top of the pour by about 3". Use bolts with heads embedded in the concrete. Make sure that the bolts align with the holes in the bottom plate welded to the pipe. Make sure the bolts are perfectly plumb as the concrete sets.

6) Get the pole delivered. They should bring it with a crane truck. Make sure you have a sturdy wire-pulling string run through the pole before you mount it - the string should be 4x the height of the pole, with 1/3 of the string hanging out of the upper grommeted hole, and 1/3 hanging out the bottom of the pole. This will allow you to tape your wires to the string and forward/back feed them (leave the string in the pipe when you're done- and accessible at the top - in case you ever need to feed new wires).

7) You have two choices how to mount it to the concrete pier - adjustable or non-adjustable.
Non-adjustable is just sliding the mounting plate/pole asembly over the cast-in-place bolts and using nuts & washers to tighten it down.

Adjustable mounting is where you first install a large nut and large washer on each of the bolts, then lower the pole onto the bolts, finally placing another washer & bolt on the upper side of the mounting plate. Then you can adjust the upper/lower nuts to bring the pole perfectly plumb.

If you are feeding 120v AC to the top of the pole, then that must be fed in separate conduit from ethernet cables. If that's the case, you might want to run it on the outside of the pole inside EMT pipe to protect it from critters, or run it inside the pole also in EMT to prevent cross-talk between the AC line and the ethernet cable. If you run it inside the pole, then you have to remember to run a 2nd conduit through the concrete pier and to meet electrical code for burial distance and other things.


Thank you that's some really detailed and good advice. I'll have to see what something like that will cost as it's for only a 10mbps connection I'm not really looking to spend a whole bunch of money for this. However If it's reasonable then I will do it. Some of the ideas and such i've looked up seem pretty reasonable, I might end up doing a wooden post instead depending on the cost of the pole.

MNSi Internet

Windsor, ON
reply to MaynardKrebs
said by MaynardKrebs:

Here's what I suggest for a pole:

You could also find out from your local electrical supply house how much a light pole (the kind used in a parking lot) would cost sans light (they're sold separately). They're pre-painted, can have a rust preventative sprayed on the inside, and have the flange plate, j-bolt diagrams for the base, etc. included.
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

Heave Steve, for the good of the country
but it might be better to specify a pole used for pathway lighting (ie. like around a park or hotel) which may not be as heavy duty as a parking lot pole.