Vilo Farm Update #2

Over the recent long weekend Vilo CTO, Man Zheng, was able to make more progress in bringing Wi-Fi to her new family farm. Check out the recent work they did, as told by Man.

The farm has a very long driveway, the ISP’s cable goes as far as the very end of the driveway that connects to the street. For the last mile, unfortunately, it is our problem to solve…

The tiny house on the farm is about 1500 ft from the end of the driveway where the ISP cable ends. Having the ISP cable brought to the house was far out of the budget, so we had to get creative. It helps that I work for a mesh Wi-Fi company 🙂

The idea was to put the main Vilo at the end of the driveway, and spread-out multiple sub-Vilos down the driveway so the signal is relayed all the way to the house. We were not confident this theory would work so proof of concept became imminent to for us.

To test out this crazy idea, we decided to prototype the idea with the current low-speed internet provider we are using. Compared to the challenge of how to power the Vilo devices out in the wild the hours of manual labor to hammer the wood posts into the ground seemed like a much easier job.

First, We spaced each Vilo 300 ft apart from each other, the last one does have poor signal because there are lots of trees to push through however, adding another Vilo improved the signal strength. Then we used 100W, 48v power adapters to inject power to standard cat5e cable. The cat5e cable is 1000 feet long. The cable is only used to power the device. Not for data transmission.

Luckily, we successfully proved that the theory works. Yay! It was a big boost to our confidence, but this is only the beginning!

Check out the images below to see the setup and stay tuned for the next update!

Welcome to The Vilo Farm Project

Vilo co-founder and CTO, Man Zheng, recently purchased a 23-acre farm in King County. While the purpose of buying the farm had absolutely nothing to do with Vilo, rather the desire to have a farm and more land for the kids to play on, as an engineer and IoT enthusiast she realized she had one urgent problem, the need for internet coverage at the farm. And so began the Vilo Farm Project, Man’s need for internet became a way for us to test the capabiltites of Vilo, and we thought we’d bring you along for the ride! In this series Man will be updating us on the status of bringing internet to her farm and how Vilos will play a part in the process.

Part 1 – The Problem

The most urgent problem I need to solve is having internet coverage on the farm. I have been self-hosting with 6 Vilo routers at home and am quite satisfied with the performance and Wi-Fi signals across my house. So the first thing that crossed my mind is to spread out Vilo routers across the farm.

The first obstacle to work around is how to protect the Vilo devices from getting soaked in rain or other elements, seeing as the farm is located in the North West, you have to take the weather into consideration all the time. I purchased a few plastic containers and my plan is to drill a hole for all the wires and fix the containers to the posts that I will hammer into the ground later.

The next problem I will need to solve is how to power the Vilos on the open farm where power outlets are out of the question. Stay tuned for the next steps in the Vilo Farm Project – Man Zheng