To connect to NYC Mesh, you will need to install wireless networking equipment on a rooftop or outside a window. This page lists a range of equipment and tools that are commonly used for typical installations. Before assembling any equipment, first carry out a site survey and make an install plan to narrow down the equipment you really need. For detailed information about specific routers, visit the hardware docs.

You can download a handy checklist of the equipment listed on this page here.

For DIY installers: To get help figuring out which essential equipment you need for your installation, first familiarize yourself with the equipment below and then reach out to the NYC Mesh community on slack on the #install channel.

For volunteer installers: Prior to any install, make sure you have access to the equipment listed below. If you are missing any equipment needed for an install, reach out to install leaders on slack on the #install-team channel to ask to borrow them. Shared tools are available and we can purchase, order and ship networking equipment (routers, cable, connectors, etc.) to your address.

Networking Equipment

Product Name Product Photo What it’s used for Where you can get it Cost              
Laptop (charged) alt text Configuring outdoor and indoor routers, reading docs and install plan Bring your own
Outdoor router(s) (pre-configured) alt text Connecting to a node Order online (refer to specific product page in hardware docs)
Power Over Ethernet (POE) adapter and power cable alt text Providing power to the outdoor router and passing data to and from indoor router Comes packaged with the outdoor router
Indoor router alt text Connection point for user’s devices Order online (see TP Link page for an inexpensive and commonly-used model) or use existing indoor router $20+
CAT5e cable (outdoor-rated, grounded and shielded) alt text Passing power and data between outdoor router, indoor router and power outlet Available from online retailers in different spool lengths - recommended product $130-150/1000ft
$90-110/500ft
$20-30/100 ft
RJ45 Tough Connectors (metal, with grounding loop) alt text Gets crimped onto the ends of the CAT5e cable to provide power and data interface Available from online retailers - recommended product $0.6/connector
Two Ethernet patch cables alt text Connecting routers to POE injector, battery pack, laptop Available from online retailers - recommended product $1.5-2 per <=3ft cable
Portable battery pack with three-prong power outlet (charged) alt text Providing power to outdoor router while surveying for signal Available from online retailers - recommended product (less expensive) / recommended product (better features) $50 for 11,600 mAh
$150 for 46,400 mAh
Gigabit USB/Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter alt text Connecting laptop without an ethernet port to outdoor router (not needed if connecting wirelessly) Available from online retailers $15

Tools

Product Name Product Photo What it’s used for Where you can get it Cost
Ethernet cable crimper alt text Attaching RJ-45 connectors to CAT5e cable Online retailers (included in crimping all-in-one kit) - recommended product $25 for crimping all-in-one kit
CAT5e cable stripper alt text Stripping CAT5e cable Online retailers (included in crimping all-in-one kit) - recommended product $25 for crimping all-in-one kit
Ethernet cable tester alt text Testing that Ethernet cable has been correctly crimped Online retailers (included in crimping all-in-one kit) - recommended product $25 for crimping all-in-one kit
Scissors alt text Cutting CAT5e cable and cable ties Hardware store tools aisle
Needlenose pliers alt text Clamping CAT5e cable ground wire, pulling cable through holes Hardware store tools aisle
Cordless hammer drill alt text Drilling holes, inserting screws, securing pipe clamps Hardware store tools aisle
Hex socket drill bits (3/8” for hose clamps and ¼” for masonry screws) alt text Tightening hose clamps, inserting concrete screws Hardware store drill bits aisle
Carbide-tip masonry drill bit (5/32”) alt text Drilling holes in concrete or masonry for inserting masonry screws Hardware store drill bits aisle
Cobalt / titanium drill bit (¼”) alt text Drilling hole for CAT5e cable to pass through steel window frame Hardware store drill bits aisle
Hammer alt text Driving in concrete nails Hardware store tools aisle
Concrete nail alt text Starting a hole in concrete or masonry (makes drilling easier) Hardware store nails aisle
Phillips Precision Screwdriver (No. 1) alt text Assembling Litebeam Router Included in crimping all-in-one kit, Hardware store tools aisle
Adjustable crescent wrench (6”) alt text Assembling J-pipe mount Hardware store tools aisle
Vise grips alt text Removing stuck drill bits Hardware store tools aisle

Mounting Equipment

Product Name Product Photo Field Photo What it’s used for Where you can get it Cost
Small diameter (28) hose clamp alt text alt text Securing the router to a thin mast or pipe Comes with outdoor router, hardware store plumbing aisle
Large diameter (88) hose clamp alt text alt text Securing the router or mast to a large pipe or window guard Hardware store plumbing aisle
J pipe antenna mast alt text alt text Mounting to a wall or parapet Online retailers - recommended product / 10-pack
L pipe antenna mast alt text alt text Orienting an SXT router up and down Online retailers - recommended product
Concrete screws (3/16” hex head CSH316134) alt text alt text Securing mast mounts to concrete or masonry Hardware store screws and anchors aisle
Washers (¼” hole diameter) alt text alt text Securing mast mounts to concrete or masonry Hardware store fasteners aisle
Zip ties alt text alt text Securing ethernet cable Hardware store electrical aisle
Cable staples alt text alt text Securing ethernet cable to an indoor wall Hardware store electrical aisle
Cable fastener clips alt text alt text Securing ethernet cable to an outdoor vertical surface Hardware store electrical aisle or online retailers - recommended product

Miscellanious supplies

Product Name Product Photo What it’s used for Where you can get it
Electrical tape alt text Pulling cable through holes Hardware store adhesives aisle
Weather stripping (9/16” thick or greater) alt text Sealing the bottom of a window when the CAT5e cable is run over the window frame Hardware store insulation aisle
Rubberized waterproof sealant alt text Sealing gaps and holes to prevent water infiltration Hardware store adhesives aisle
WD-40 or other oil alt text Drilling through thicker metals Hardware store
Small brush and dustpan alt text Sweeping up cable ends and metal shavings from drilling through window frame Online retailers
Small garbage bag alt text Disposing of garbage Reuse a shopping bag
Hand truck alt text Transporting cable reel box and equipment bag in and out of subway stations - stair-climbing model is ideal! Online retailers, larger hardware stores
Backpack alt text Transporting equipment safely up ladders - slim backpacks are the safest! Many places

Safety gear

Product Name Product Photo What it’s used for Where you can get it
Safety Glasses alt text Eye protection while drilling Hardware store apparel aisle
Thick-soled shoes or work boots alt text Protection against sharp objects on rooftops Work wear store
Sunblock and hat (in summer) alt text Preventing sunburn Pharmacy
Cold weather apparel (in winter) alt text Preventing frostbite Clothing store
Water and a snack alt text Staying hydrated and preventing fatigue Grocery store
First aid kit alt text Treating minor injuries Pharmacy
Fully-charged cell phone alt text Communication in case of lockout, team communication, providing mobile hotspot Charge at home