Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Standard Installations
Q: Do I need a telephone line?
A: No – Castles Wireless Internet doesn’t require POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) like dialup or DSL. The Radio Unit (Antenna), considered the CPE (Customer Premise Equipment), on your roof or another elevated place on your property is connected to a power injector (power supply) typically inside your home or office. The power injector has two (2) Cat5 (Ethernet) ports. On port powers the Radio Unit and the port of for Internet access. Depending on our programming, you must connect a router to the power injector or can connect a computer directly to it and have an Internet connetion. No telephone line needed!
Q: Where do you install the Antenna (Radio)?
A: To receive and transmit a wireless signal you must have direct line-of-sight (LoS) between the broadcast tower or a local relay point. We must locate the Antenna where we have LoS. We attempt to install the unit in a location that achieves LoS, is reasonably close to where the cable will enter the house – and as out of sight as possible.
Some customers chose to install a pole in the ground and run a cable to their house. We recommend 1.5” EMT conduit. We can mount to almost any solid structure. However, the structure must be secure and not be able to rotate or sway in the wind.
Q: How long does your typical wireless installation take?
A: A typical installation takes between 2 and 3 hours.
Q: Do I own the equipment?
A: Castles has transitioned from retained ownership to customer owned equipment. This is dependent on the type of equipment and when your installation took place. Castles typically owns and maintains Motorola wireless equipment supplied at installation. Due to significant decreases in price and advancement in equipment types, customers now pay for and own the equipment.
Q: Can I get Castles Wireless at my location?
A: To request a free site survey, please complete the survey form.
Q: Can I do the installation myself?
A: No. First, for your safety we recommend the installation done by our trained contractor. The equipment must be properly (and solidly) installed. We must still send our contractor out to align the equipment properly to give you the best possible service and the cost is the same so you may as well have them install the equipment. You may contact us for unique situations - we're flexible.
Burstable and Sustained Rates Defined
**Burstable rates vary by plan. Burstable rates are a factor of all components working together. Your rate may vary depending on your distance from a tower or relay, Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), age, type and function of your router, whether you are hardwired to the router or connected via WIFI, environmental factors, age and condition of connections and cables, the age and function of the device you are connecting with and the available bandwidth of the network at any given time.
The wireless towers setting on the ridges are connected together either by hard-wired systems or wireless relays and connect to the Internet.
Castles provides a “shared” broadband Internet connection for its subscribers.
Because the connection is shared, certain shaping rules must be implemented to provide a stable experience for all. As a result, we have a “Burstable” rate, and a “Sustained” rate.
Initially, when a customer begins transferring data across the Internet, they are allowed a high Burstable rate up to 10 Megabits and higher for download and 5 Megabits for upload.** The customer may continue at that rate until a pre-determined amount of data transfer is reached. Picture an empty bucket of water. When you first turn on the hose, you can fill the bucket up at a fast rate – but eventually, the bucket will become full and you must decrease the flow to keep it from overflowing. The speed at which you are filling the empty bucket is called the Burstable rate. The download bucket size is 30 Megabytes of data – the upload bucket is 6 Megabytes.
Now imagine there is a hole in the bottom of the bucket. This allows water to leak out of the bucket at a consistent rate. When you reach the top of the bucket, the flow from the hose must be reduced to match the rate at which the water is leaking out through the hole – thus keeping the bucket at the full line and never overflowing. This rate is the Sustained rate. When a user is idle and data transfer stops, the bucket continues to empty at a consistent rate. When the user starts transferring data again, the Burstable rate is applied – until the bucket becomes full, then the Sustained rate is applied.
Committed Information Rate (CIR)
We also have a Committed Information Rate (CIR) for certain business customers that meet the necessary qualifications. The CIR has the same Burstable properties as the shared connection above, however, the Sustained rate is set higher (there is a bigger hole in the bucket)
For a chart of Burstable and Sustained Rate see the chart on the Pricing Page
Castles field technicians install a Subscriber Module at your location and point it toward the tower location with the best line-of-sight and signal. The technician connects to the Module with a laptop and makes adjustments to get the strongest signal possible. Once that's done they run an indoor/outdoor Cat5 (Ethernet) cable along the exterior of the house (similar to a cable installation) and in through an exterior wall. There they terminate the cable with a modular connector/power supply. The power supply is plugged into a 110v wall outlet to power the Subscriber Module.
A pre-programmed router is set up and the Cat5 cable is connected to to the Inbound port on the back of the router. A power supply cord is connected to the router and it's then plugged into a 110v wall outlet. The technician connects to the router and goes through a series of steps to authenticate the connection and validate connection speed and throughput. At that point Internet access is confirmed and the physical installation is almost complete.
The technician connects a shorter Cat5 cable to one of the ports on the back of the router (there are 4 total) and the other end to the network card installed in your computer or laptop. The computer is set up for access to the Internet by the technician and that completes the installation.
Additional connections and wireless access
The router supplied is wireless and allows up to 4 computers to connect directly to the router with Cat5 (Ethernet) cables. These cables can be purchased at many retail outlets. The router supplied is also a wireless router and the wireless feature is enabled when requested by the customer. A WEP security code is created and the customer is provided that code for wireless access to the system.
The customer is responsible for the purchase/installation of any wireless device and also for configuring additional computers for Internet access. Castles technicians will not install internal devices but will, at an additional cost, configure other computers for Internet access. The field technicians are not allowed to go further than configuring the computer for Internet access. Support for email is provided by the Castles Support Team toll free at 877-205-5246.
Standard installation includes the exterior equipment and Castles retains ownership of that equipment. The wireless router is provided and the warranty is directly with the manufacturer. Standard installation includes up to 100 feet of cable from the Subscriber Module to the router. Field technicians do not do attic or under floor crawls to complete the installation. Standard installations penetrate the exterior wall and the cable is run through the wall to the interior. If the homeowner wishes to have the cable in the attic or under the floor, the homeowner can install a conduit with a pull cord.
In some rural locations line-of-sight is blocked at the home by trees, hills or other structures. If you have line-of-sight from another point on the property and within 300 cable feet of the modem, we can complete and installation. A technician will mark the spot for the homeowner - who would then install a 4x4 wood post in concrete at that location. The homeowner would also provide a trench and conduit back to the home for the cable
The Motorola Wireless Canopy System
The Castles Wireless Internet Platform is a broadband wireless communication system that supports high speed Internet access. It’s simply the best solution for providing high-speed wireless Internet to our customers.
The wireless system is built
on two basic building blocks
Access Point (AP)
- Access Point (AP)
- Subscriber Module (SM)
The Access Point (AP) is a base station that incorporates between one and twelve transceivers. Each transceiver operates with a 60-degree directional antenna to provide coverage to one sector. Each AP transceiver delivers up to 6.5 Mbps of data through-put with connectivity to 200 subscribers. The system uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver with interconnect board; this receiver is used to synchronize the transmissions of all APs to minimize interference between APs. The AP operates with a Radio Frequency (RF) bit rate of 10 Mbps and has a range of approximately ten miles. (2)
Subscriber Module (SM)
The Subscriber Module (SM) is the subscriber termination unit. It consists of a single transceiver that operates with a 60-degree antenna. A reflector assembly extends the range to 10 miles. SM synchronization and control is accomplished via the received AP signal. Once the SM is initialized, it scans the RF channels and automatically registers and authenticates with the appropriate AP. Each SM requires a Category 5 cable with DC power supplied to the SM through that same cable. The SM kit requires a separate 110 or 220V power supply (ACPS110 or ACPS220) and associated RJ45 connector to power the SM.
A wireless broadband router is required as part of the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). Routers are provided by the individual customer and can be purchased locally at many retail establishments online. Due to the continuous change of routers and their capabilities, please contact use regarding the proper type of router to purchase. Standard wireless routers typically start around $45 and go up in cost depending on what type of router and the broadcast range you want.
The router accommodates a wireless network. Wireless network cards are not provided as part of the standard installation.
(2) Wireless system engineers proactively monitor the wireless system. A complex network management system is employed to maximize Internet connections for all users.