SkyPilot SkyExtender Dual Band

In August 2009, we received some SkyPilot SkyExtender DualBand devices from the City of Portland to evaluate for possible re-use. One of them was dismantled and an investigation ensued. Over the next few months, 11 more SkyExtenders were received from the City of Portland, for a total of 12. More recently, we've been working on getting access to a SkyPilot SkyGateway. A gateway device is required in order to try to use the stock SkyPilot firmware.

Last Spring, SkyPilot was acquired by another company, Trilliant. Since August, the websites were integrated and the SkyPilot forum was taken offline.


We received the SkyExtenders with PowerOverEthernet injectors and Street Light Power Tap cords intact.

SkyExtender DualBand Main Body

This in the enclosure where all the smarts reside. It consists of a tapering cylinder approximately 24" tall, slightly over 12" in diameter at the base and about 9" in diameter at the top. The bottom is a heavy aluminum bezel with a weather-sealed cover for the cat5 entry and also exposing a serial port and two bulkhead mounted N-female connectors protruding downward. Most of the cylinder consists of a radome covering the sectorized mesh backhaul antenna array. For more detailed descriptions of this part, see below.

Mounting mast (two length variants)

Other Mounting Hardware

2.4 GHz omni-directional antennas (two length variants)

Two variants of the antennas were found, both N-male-terminated Comet 7.5 dBi omnis:

PowerOverEthernet enclosure with cat5

The PoE injectors enclosures, Bud ~6-5/8" x 4.75" x 2-1/8", mount onto a base flange of the mast with two bolts drilled through the middle of the large face and sealed with large washers and sealant. Cat5 and power cables enter though glands on the small edge face. The interior of the enclosure holds a "Mean Well" S-25-24 AC-DC converter, supplying +24V on the blue pair of the cat5 and Ground on the brown pair, made in Taiwan.

If one wishes to convert the injector from Street Light Power Tap to conventional wall AC input, the practical thing to do is to unscrew the terminals inside the enclosure and remove the Street Light tap intact. These are expensive to buy new and may have some resale value. Standard AC power cords can be cut off and wired into the now-empty screw terminals.

ANSI C136.10 Street Light Power Tap and cord

This is a connector for attaching to the standard street light coupling provided for daylight sensors. The power tap has three poles: line, neutral and load. When the sun goes down, the light sensor closes a switch and connects the line to the load. Other devices can connect directly to line and still pass the light sensor load pole on through. In this way, a light sensor can be removed, the tap placed on the street light, and the light sensor replaced on the tap and normal light sensor function maintained while simultaneously extracting power from the 110V AC. The coupling locks in place by twisting. A foam seal prevents water infiltration.

SkyExtender Main Body

DualBand Interior Disassembly

Disassembly of the main body proceeds as follows (provisional, from memory, pending confirmation):

Disassembled Interior Components

Password Recovery

All of the device we have received are from the defunct network abandoned by MetroFi. MetroFi left behind the devices without informing anyone of passwords necessary to access them for administration. According to a helpful person (username: salad) on the SkyPilot forums, the SkyPilot devices can be reset to factory default settings by logging in over the serial console with the password "!!!skypilotfactory!!!" or "!!!skypilotreset!!!" or something similar (when a working one is confirmed, please FIXME, thanks!).