MLinkPlanner 2.0

Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint Microwave Link Planning Software

User Manual

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Map Layers

In the Map Layers menu, the user can control the layers that are displayed on the map - enable/disable the display of layers and change their style. The base map is always below the other layers, next one is the Coverage layer. The order of other layers can be changed.

Figure 37. Map Layers

- Add a new custom layer from KML or CSV file.


- Move the selected layer up.


- Move the selected layer down.


- Change the style of the selected layer (or double click on the selected layer).


- Delete custom layer.


- Show the first point of the selected user layer in the center of the screen.

By default, the following layers are always present: sites, PtP links, PtMP base stations, subscriber stations. The user can change their order, turn on / off, and change the style of the layers, but it is impossible to delete them.

Custom Layers (KML, CSV)

The user can load and display as a layer on the map any point or linear vector objects in KML format. This may be, for example, power lines, pipelines, and other infrastructure objects.


Point objects can also be downloaded from a CSV file (text format, where the separator is a semicolon).


This is a universal format in which you can save a spreadsheet from any spreadsheet editor (Excel, LibreOffice Calc, and others), as well as databases.


The required fields for each point object are Parameter, Latitude, and Longitude. Format coordinates - HEMISPHERE degrees minutes seconds (N35 23.8 36) or HEMISPHERE decimal degrees (N12.34567). As a parameter, there can be any text that appears at the point with the specified coordinates. This may be, for example, the measurement result or the name of the object.

Figure 38. Sample CSV file with measurement results

Editing Layer Styles

Site Layer Style

Figure 39. Site Layer Style

Show

Show / hide

Site Markers

Select a marker for sites from the standard set.

Site Name Labels

Choose font type, style, and color for site names.

Hide Sites used for Base Stations, Subscriber Stations, or Links

Hide sites that are already used to host Base Stations, Subscriber Stations, or Links. Only empty sites will be shown on the base map.

PtP Link Layer Style

Figure 40. PtP Link Layer Style

Show only Active Links

Show only active links.

Show all Links

Show all links.

Site Markers

Show / hide, as well as select a marker for the ends of the link from the standard set.

Site Name Labels

Show / hide the name of the ends of the link, as well as choose the font style and color.

Link Lines

Show / hide the link, as well as select the color and line thickness.

PtMP Base Stations Layer Style

Figure 41. PtMP Base Stations Layer Style

Show only Base Stations with Active Sectors

Show all Base Stations

Show / Hide Site Markers

Show / Hide Site Name Labels

Show / Hide Sector Lines

Show / Hide Sector Azimuth Labels

Show only base stations with active sectors.

Show all base stations.

Show / Hide and also select the marker for the base station from the standard set.

Show / Hide base station label, as well as select font style and color.

Show / Hide base station sector designation, as well as select color and line thickness.

Show / Hide sector labels, as well as select font styles and colors for them.

Subscriber Station Layer Style

Figure 42. Subscriber Station Layer Style

Show only Subscriber Stations for Active Sectors

Show all Subscriber Stations

Show / Hide Site Markers

Show / Hide Site Name Labels

Show / Hide Point-to-Multipoint Link Lines

Show only Subscriber stations for active sectors.

Show all subscriber stations.

Show / Hide and also select the marker for the subscriber station from the standard set.

Show / Hide subscriber station label, as well as select font style and color.

Show / Hide the point-to-multipoint link lines, as well as select their colors and line thickness.

Custom Layer Style

Figure 43. Custom Layer Style

Point Markers

Point Labels

Polylines

Show / Hide and also select the marker of point features from the standard set.

Show / Hide the point features label and also select the font style and color.

Show / Hide polylines, as well as select the colors and thickness of polylines.

Coverage Style

Show Layer

Transparency

Show / Hide coverage layer

Set layer opacity in the range of 0 (fully transparent) to 10 (not transparent).

Base Map Style

Show Layer

Show in Grayscale

Grayscale Level

Show / Hide the base map layer

Show base map in grayscale

Brightness from the range 0 (darker) - 3 (lighter)

Settings

Figure 44. Settings

Coordinate Format

Geographic coordinate format:

  • Decimal Degrees (N44.345678 W134.567893)

  • Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (N44 34’ 23.7’’ W134 29’ 23,4’’)

  • Degrees, Decimal Minutes (N44 34.2356’ W134 29.2354’)

Coordinate System

Coordinate System:

  • WGS-84

  • СК-42 (Russia)

  • ГСК-2011 (Russia)

Step of Terrain and Obstacle Points along the Profile, m

The step of terrain and obstacle points along the profile for automatic creation of the path profile.

For SRTM-1, the minimum step for creation of the path profile is 30 m. A lower value makes no sense since it will not increase the accuracy.

Part of first Fresnel Zone which will be Shown, %

A part of the first Fresnel zone which will be shown when the path profile is displayed.

Median Value of K-factor

The median value of the k-factor that will be used to create the link path profile and determine clearance

Distance and Height Units

Distance and Height Units:

  • Metric (kilometers, meters)

  • English (miles, feet)

Path to Folder with Cache Files

The path to the folder where downloaded base map tiles will be saved for quick access. This will speed up the application. The downloaded maps will remain on your computer and you will be able to view them when you do not have an Internet connection. This folder is created automatically when the application is launched for the first time. You can change this folder.

Path to Folder with Data Files

The path to the folder where the downloaded SRTM and forest data files will be saved for quick access. This will speed up the application. Moreover, the downloaded files will remain on your computer and the application will be able to use them and create a terrain profile when you don’t have an Internet connection. This folder is created automatically when the application is launched for the first time. You can change this folder.

Proxy Settings

If you are using a proxy server to access the Internet, enter its IP-address and port number. If the proxy server requires authentication, enter the username and password.

Place the Base Station, Subscriber Station, or Link in the Map Center when you Click on them

Place the base station, subscriber station, or link in the map center when you click on them.

Enable "Show / Hide Panel Buttons" in the Main Toolbar

Enable "Show / Hide panel buttons" in the main toolbar.

Basemap Settings

You can configure your own custom base map by specifying a tile server URL.


The prototype URL encapsulates a request format that is specific to the map provider and it varies from map provider to map provider. It consists of a text string that begins with http://, has a domain name and possible parameters, plus some symbols that MLinkPlanner substitutes with real-time tile request information when actually contacting the server.


Below is a detailed explanation of how prototype URLs are constructed. The possible symbols that MLinkPlanner accepts in the prototype URL are: [X], [Y], and [Z] coordinates and zoom.


To lookup map imagery in their database, most map providers use tile coordinates of x and y, plus zoom. As an example, the OpenStreetMap provides map imagery using x, y, and zoom. We can test-fetch a map tile of a portion of North America by typing the following URL into a web browser:


http://a.tile.openstreetmap.org/3/1/2.png 
The numbers at the end of the URL represent zoom, x, and y, respectively. The OpenStreetMap fetches the map tile corresponding to x = 1, y = 2, and zoom = 3.


In order for MLinkPlanner to properly fetch tiles from a map provider, a generalized prototype URL scheme must be furnished. This generalized URL scheme will be used by MLinkPlanner to fetch any tile, at any coordinate, with any zoom. To accomplish this, the symbols "[X]," "[Y]," and "[Z]" (without the quotes) are inserted in place of explicit coordinates.


For example, creating custom map types in MLinkPlanner for OpenStreetMap can be accomplished by mixing the known explicit URLs above with the symbols representing x, y, and zoom to form a custom map prototype URL (try these in the custom maps setup screen in MLinkPlanner):


http://a.tile.openstreetmap.org/[Z]/[X]/[Y].png


When MLinkPlanner needs a map tile fetched from a provider, it will replace the "[X]," "[Y]," and "[Z]" symbols with the actual coordinates and zoom for the tile required and then use the resulting URL to contact the map provider's server to fetch the map tile.