Which cables to use

The quality of the cables is determined by the material they're made of, the shielding of the cable, the category of the cable and the wire diameter of the cable (expressed by the AWG number).

Your cables should be:

  • Pure Copper (CU) and not Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA)1

  • Shielded Foil Twisted Pair (S/FTP) to eliminate cross talk2

  • CAT6 (or better)3

  • AWG24/1 or AWG 24/7 (or better)4

It is of great importance that the connectors on the cables are properly fixed and tested with a cable tester.

Which switches to use

An anchor uses ± 5 W (watt), therefor your switches should:

  • Have PoE+ (802.3at)

  • Deliver at least (5 W x max number of anchors connected on 1 port) per port.
    E.g. If you want to go up to 4 anchors on a chain you'll need a switch that delivers at least 5 W x 4 = 20 W per port.

  • Deliver at least (5 W x total number of anchors connected to the switch) in total.
    E.g. If you want to have 16 anchors connected to the switch you'll need a switch that delivers at least 5 W x 16 = 80 W in total.

For smaller setups we can recommend the Ubiquiti UniFi Switch 8-150W (https://www.ui.com/unifi-switching/unifi-switch-8-150w/) as an affordable and good price-quality switch.

Mounting the anchors

For more details regarding the physical anchor installation with different brackets we refer to our more detailed instruction videos.

Connecting the anchors

The anchors each have two ethernet (RJ45) ports labeled port 1 and port 2.

These ports can be used to link up anchors in sequence which reduces the total amount of wiring required, we call this daisy chaining of anchors. With this method power only has to be provided to port 1 of the first anchor in the chain. The next anchor can be powered by connecting a cable from port 2 of the powered anchor to port 1 of the next anchor and so on. The first anchor can be powered in two ways, either using the DC power jack, or by Power over Ethernet. For Power over Ethernet, PoE+ (802.3at) is required.

Using DC jacks to power the first anchor in each chain

Using a PoE+ switch to power each chain

PoE IN and OUT-going cables should be installed in a crossed way when using the IP67 header

The maximum number of anchors in one chain depends on how they are powered, and the quality of the cables. Using cables and switches which comply with our specs below you'll be able to have a maximum of 4 anchors on a chain, with a maximum of 100 m between each anchor. The total cable length of the daisy chain is limited to 210 m. More anchors on a single chain will cause issues.

Validating the anchors

Each anchor has a LED light on it which will give you feedback about the current state of the anchor. This LED light can be very useful during installation to detect problems on the spot, and will allow you to take immediate action on common issues like cabling issues. But the LED will only give you useful feedback when the anchor gets connected to the gateway, which means it's best to already have the gateway and switches in place before the installation of the anchors.

When you plug in the Ethernet cable in the anchor, and it gets power, the anchor will start up in bootloader mode in which the LED will be blue. After approximately 7 seconds the anchor will then go to the firmware and follow this flow:

LED state

Meaning

No LED

The anchor is powered off

LED blinking red

The anchor has a general malfunction

LED solid blue

The anchor is in support / maintenance mode

LED solid red

The anchor has no link (= it is powered but not linked to the network)

LED blinking orange

The anchor is linked but did not receive an IP address

LED solid orange

The anchor has received an IP address

LED blinking green

The anchor received a heartbeat / is starting up tasks

LED solid green

The anchor is in normal operation mode


1 https://www.showmecables.com/blog/post/copper-clad-aluminum-vs-pure-copper-cables

2 https://www.cablesandkits.com/faq/what-is-the-difference-between-utp-stp-ftp-sftp

3 https://www.blackbox.be/en-be/page/43672/Resources/Technical-Resources/Black-Box-Explains/copper-cable/Category-5e-and-6

4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge