Client Hardware

HamWAN is slowly converting older sites to MIMO, so a MIMO modem is recommended. MIMO radios have 2 active chains and must be paired with a dual polarity antenna. The HamWAN standard is to hook chain 0 to the horizontal polarity and chain 1 to the vertical polarity. Here is a comparison of a few modem options.

Considerations when choosing hardware

Client Hardware Comparison

Description Model Antenna Gain Transmit Power Effective Radiated Power (ERP) MIMO Wind Load Survivability Price
This is our current preference for 2-ft dish antennas. This is all first-party Mikrotik hardware. FlexGuide jumpers are included with this dish and do not need to be ordered separately. Mikrotik mANT30 (MTAD-5G-30D3-PA) 2ft 30dBi dish with precision alignment mount
MikroTik RouterBOARD RB912UAG-5HPnD-OUT MIMO modem
Optional Mikrotik Sleeve30 shielding and radome
A radome only is also available.
30 dBi +30 dBm +60 dBm Yes 400 lbs @ 125 mph 125 mph $116
Total: $279 with free shipping
An alternative to the 2-ft Mikrotik dish above, this is essentially the kit we use for PtP links on mountain-top HamWAN sites. It is very robust, but is also the most expensive option listed here. It does not have the precision alignment mount we have come to prefer on the Mikrotik above. It is only necessary when icing is expected or optimal performance is required. ARC ARC-DA5830SD1 2ft 30dBi dish
MikroTik RouterBOARD RB912UAG-5HPnD-OUT MIMO modem
MikroTik FlexGuide jumpers
RPSMA to N adapters
Optional RF Armor UDR235 radiation shield
30 dBi +30 dBm +60 dBm Yes ? 125 mph $118
Total: $340 + shipping
This is the original HamWAN recommended client kit. It is still one of the strongest antenna and modem combinations available, but it does not support MIMO. If you are connecting to an older HamWAN site without MIMO, this solution is optimal. For newer sites, you'll get better speeds with MIMO hardware. Additionally, it looks like the antenna is not manufactured anymore. Poynting 5.9 GHz 30 dBi grid antenna
and Mikrotik RouterBOARD Metal 5SHPn modem
30 dBi +31 dBm +61 dBm No ? 100 mph $81
Total: $167 + shipping
Integrated dish antenna and modem
Only the newer version with QCA9892 wireless chip supports the 5/10Mhz channels required for use with HamWAN (pg 4).
MikroTik RBDynaDishG-5HacD 25 dBi +31 dBm +56 dBm Yes ? ? $130
Integrated panel antenna and modem MikroTik RB911G-5HPnD-QRT 23 dBi +30 dBm +53 dBm Yes ? ? $149
Integrated dish antenna and modem. This device comes in a US and International/World version. Be sure to buy the world version! The US version cannot tune to HamWAN 5.9 GHz channels. You will need to provide a copy of your license to purchase. MikroTik RB LHG-5nD 24.5 dBi +23 dBm +47.5 dBm Yes ? ? $55
Integrated panel antenna and modem Mikrotik RB SXT 5HPnD r2 16 dBi +30 dBm +46 dBm Yes ? ? $77
Integrated panel antenna and modem Mikrotik RB SXT 5nD r2 16 dBi +27 dBm +43 dBm Yes ? ? $51
Integrated panel antenna and modem Mikrotik RB SXTsq Lite5 international 16 dBi +25 dBm +41 dBm Yes ? ? $41

Avoid Mikrotik's 802.11ac modems. These are incapable of tuning the 5 and 10 MHz channels used by HamWAN and are therefore incompatible.

Sourcing International Versions

Due to pressure from the FCC, Mikrotik has started region-locking their modems to Part 15 frequencies. This makes them unusable with HamWAN, since HamWAN takes advantage of the quiet ham-only spectrum at 5.9 GHz. Many Mikrotik models are now offered in two versions. The US version will be designated by the -US suffix while the international or "rest of world" version will have no suffix. Retailers often do not specify which version they have, so it can be tricky to purchase the international version.


Streakwave has proved to be a reliable source for international version modems, although they don't regularly ship them to the US so you have to take some extra steps to make sure they understand you want the international version.

  1. First, make sure to select the model without the -US suffix when ordering.
  2. During checkout, use the detailed description field to specify that you intentionally ordered the international version.
  3. Call them to confirm you intentionally ordered the international version.
  4. At this point they should ask for a copy of your license. Be prepared to send them a copy of your license.
  5. They should ask you to sign and return a letter of understanding regarding the relevant FCC considerations. They will ask you to resend this letter with every order.

Once these requirements are met, they are happy to ship you hardware that will tune up into the 5.9 GHz ham band. If you create a login on their site first before placing your order, you will get a slight discount on the pricing.

Still not sure what you need?

Drop by the mailing list or IRC channel and give us some details about your project. We'll try to find a good match.


Filename Size Modified
antenas_mantbox.pdf 3.9MiB 2016-08-06 14:46:40