Burning Man IT provides an Internet backbone for Black Rock City participants. While we try our best to provide great service, we cannot guarantee a specific level of service in terms of bandwidth, latency or uptime, nor can we offer any support. Participants themselves organize "Doctors Hours" most days of the event for mutual help.
As you can imagine, getting Internet service in such a remote area is very challenging. It is a limited resource and we need to conserve it as much as possible so please be kind and use it sparingly.
To participate, you need to have a specific kind of microwave radio, mount it in your camp, aim it and keep it powered. This radio acts as a router and DHCP server and has a wired ethernet port. To get WiFi, you'll need one or more WiFi access points. To keep our backbone working well, it's best to configure access points to use 2.4 GHz only (and disable 5 GHz). In the spirit of Radical Inclusion, we encourage you to share the Internet not just with your campmates, but with everyone..
The radio we recommend is the Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC Gen2 NBE-5AC-Gen2-US. It is small and somewhat resistant to the high winds. It's available for about $100 from Ubiquiti, Amazon, or other resellers. In light of the current supply chain shortages, you can also use:
NanoBeam AC Gen2 (NBE-5AC-US)
NanoLoco AC (Loco5AC-US)
NanoStation AC (NS-5AC-US)
LiteBeam AC Gen2 (LBE-5AC-US)
PowerBeam AC (PBE-5AC-US)
The older M or M5 series radios are no longer recommended, but will work at a slower speed.
Reset your NanoBeam to factory defaults. The easiest way to do so is to power up the radio, wait one minute to ensure it is fully booted, then hold down the reset button on the device.
Plug your laptop into the LAN port of the PoE injector. Give the laptop the static IP address 192.168.1.21, netmask 255.255.255.0. Open a web browser and go to http://192.168.1.20/ . If it's a device with old firmware, login as user ubnt, password ubnt. Devices with newer firmware will prompt you to create a username and password. Do so. You'll need to remember both for about 10 minutes. Go to the System tab. The first two letters of the Firmware Version field show the board version. Click on Upload Firmware and upload the firmware version recommended below. Do not disrupt power or cables during firmware upgrades; otherwise your device could be bricked.
After the login page refreshes, login again, click on System, scroll to the bottom and click on Upload Configuration. Upload one of the configuration files below, depending on your location.
Aim the radio visually toward the tallest tower in Center Camp, near the Cafe. The sector antennas are mounted at about 40 ft (2/3 up the 60 ft tower). For finer aiming, connect to https://172.16.0.1 , user name “installer”, password “installer”. Click on the Tool logo in the upper right and select Alignment. Numbers closer to 0 are better.
Connect switches and access points to the ethernet port of the radio. The radio acts as a router and gives out DHCP leases out of a pool.
Below info has not been updated since 2019, For NanoBeams 8.7.x is probably better: The most stable version of firmware for the radios are as follows:
For AirMax AC radios, use 8.5.12. Links below to specific versions for the radios listed.
For older M-series AirMax radios, use 6.3.6. You can find links to your radio here.
Join the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org for updates.