COVID-19 lockdown

Industry leaders for Minicams, On-board, and Underwater cameras, Extreme Facilities are perhaps more at home when supplying specialist camera equipment for film and tv programming. Known for their innovation, Extreme has worked in some of the most inhospitable environments on the planet in pursuit of the perfect shot, and have an impressive track record of working on the BBC’s Top Gear for over ten years, Car Pool Karaoke and many more.

The team have adapted quickly to their new, if not slightly less extreme surroundings as they work from home, where internet has never been a big concern in the past. However this week, after being told to lock down, in a home full of family either working or on social media, it has become a frustrating problem no doubt shared by many.

Owing to their considerable experience with solar and wind power solutions for worldwide expeditions and even solar powered diary cameras for “Hermits” yes those little hairy guys! means Extreme Facilities can even provide a reliable internet connection in extremely remote locations, without mains power.

Extreme Facilities Director, Andrew Schaale explains: “Home is just 22 miles from London. With only a 2Mbps connection at best and with a house full of internet users it falls to 0.14Mbps, becoming virtually unusable. Andrew explains: When the shutdown was announced immediately drove to Extreme’s Battersea office and workshops collected all of our internet boosting kit normally used for productions, a mast last used as a 360º camera platform on the O2 Dome, some disused Peli cases from a project in Afghanistan and set to work overnight building a system.”

The resulting test setup (pictured) soon to be on top of the hill as a permanent installation, comprises of a 4G/5G Poynting direction antenna, mounted on the re-purposed camera mast, although a tree or building could be used to achieve additional height and better line of sight to your nearest 4G network mast. During testing, with this poor test only mast location, speeds were already up to 5.30 Mbps download and 2.58 Mbps upload, many times better than the BT feed.

This test set-up will be repositioned (up on the hill!) to get better alignment with the nearest 4G Vodaphone mast, 2 miles away through the valley at which point speeds are expected to be 20-30Mbps the ceiling for this system would be 150Mbps in ideal conditions.

Andrew continues: “I am using Vodafone, after testing the local signal and checking on Mastdata.com Vodafone provided the best service and closest mast in the area. I chose an unlimited data sim with the highest speed. There is a 14 day cooling off period so if you find the service is under 10Mbps you can return the card and pay for a lower data speed saving some money or cancel and change to a better network supplier.

Components of this solution include:

Teltonika RUT955 Router @ £200 available from NetXL and Amazon
4G unlocked 150Mbps router which supplies 4G mobile network into both Wi-Fi and 4x ethernet ports, has dual sim so can work across multiple network
Poynting XPOL-2-5G V3 Directional Cross Polarised LTE MIMO Antenna UK 4G and future 5G @ £140. available from NetXL and Amazon
(Poynting also manufacture military antennas so they are well designed, rugged and perform extremely well – this even getting a signal sitting inside, when my mobile cannot even sense a signal outside.
Data SIM card – check the best potential service for your site on https://www.mastdata.com/”

Extreme Facilities can offer a turnkey internet solution. For more information, please supply your location via a Google Earth Drop Pin. This information can be used to establish the best potential service provider and components required to deliver an effective solution.

http://extremefacilities.com