Wi-Fi access took a huge leap last year when Ayrstone Productivity introduced a hub that stretched Internet connectivity over a half-mile to allow farmers to use their home Internet connection anywhere on their farmstead without having to pay for additional lines.
Since the launch, some 2,000 rural residents have installed the system, and new features are being added to extend its utility, says Ayrstone inventor and president Bill Moffitt, who visited with Farm Industry News last week.
“The beauty of the AyrMesh system is that no wires are required to set up a strong Wi-Fi system,” says Moffitt. “All you need is this small white box (see photo) that comes with firmware, an antenna, and two cables, one to connect to a power source and the other to your Ethernet connection.”
Brian Loeffler, farmer with Loeffler Farms in Stanford, IL, installed the system in 2010 and reports good results. “We were on a 'radio' type Internet connection and then beamed the signal across about 100 yards from the point of entry to the offices,” Loeffler says. “It was a very slow and delicate system."
Loeffler says once the AyrMesh was in place, it improved his entire system. “It took less than an hour to hook up and start working, and we have not had any real issues since. I am very pleased with it and would buy the system again,” he says.
AyrMesh Wi-Fi consists of a gateway hub, antenna, firmware, and two cables. The cost is a one-time fee of $324.95. Additional hubs can be purchased to extend coverage beyond the ½-mile radius.
Moffitt says the company is now testing a new system that will provide farmers with video surveillance. For more information, contact Ayrstone Productivity LLC, Dept. FIN, 855 Village Center Dr., #325, North Oaks, MN 55127, 888837-0637 or visit www.ayrstone.com .