EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?

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EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-06 17:56:04
Model: EAP225
Hardware Version: V3
Firmware Version:

I have a tight spot on the fourth floor of my small rowhouse-based office in dense and noisy downtown Philadelphia. The 2.4 Ghz spectrum is useless because of crowding, so I am relying solely on 5 Ghz. My third floor EAP245 access point reaches the 4th floor with around -75 or even -79 dbm signal, which is great most of the time but then cuts out during bad conditions or in certain corners. I would like to have a dedicated access point on the fourth floor, but I have no ethernet up there. What's a good solution?

1. I have tried putting an RE200 range extender in an outlet that is in between the 3d floor EAP245 and the 4th floor--I get -71 dbm signal on the RE200, and great signal on the fourth floor. It's the only range extender on ths system, it works fairly well, but it seems to get a few hiccups sometimes. 

1a. Should I consider replacing the RE200 in the same spot with an EAP225 in mesh mode?

2. I am currently experimenting with the RE200 range extender directly across the room from the third floor access point, then an ethernet cable running up the stairwell (about 10 meters) to the 4th floor. (Hence the title of this post). Seems to work so far, haven't tested long enough to see if it is bulletproof.

2a. If 2 seems to be working well, I might consider replacing the RE200 with another EAP245.

 

Any recommendations or cautions/tips for me among these options would be most appreciated!

 

Note: the entire network consists of an Archer C7 router with WiFi off, an Omada hardware controller, and a small collection of EAP 245s and 225s wired in via ethernet to the router (through PoE injectors). 

 

 

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 08:31:56

 

werdnawerdna wrote

1. I have tried putting an RE200 range extender in an outlet that is in between the 3d floor EAP245 and the 4th floor--I get -71 dbm signal on the RE200, and great signal on the fourth floor. It's the only range extender on ths system, it works fairly well, but it seems to get a few hiccups sometimes. 

1a. Should I consider replacing the RE200 in the same spot with an EAP225 in mesh mode?

2. I am currently experimenting with the RE200 range extender directly across the room from the third floor access point, then an ethernet cable running up the stairwell (about 10 meters) to the 4th floor. (Hence the title of this post). Seems to work so far, haven't tested long enough to see if it is bulletproof.

2a. If 2 seems to be working well, I might consider replacing the RE200 with another EAP245.

 

1. If the EAP245 achieves only -71 to -79dBm, the RE200 cannot do better.

1a. Same as 1.

 

2. Repeaters are never bulletproof. In fact the have many disadvantages (reducing bandwidth, Hidden Node Problem). Repeaters usually have no place in business solutions. Cables are bulletproof.

 

I prefer to use PowerLAN/DLAN in such situations where not Ethernet cable is available. Dependig on installation a phase coupler could be necessary. But even this is not 100% bulletproof, albeit much better than a repeater.

 

For my company, if Ethernet isn't available and PowerLAN can't work either, we refuse the project.

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 09:49:59
Thanks R1D2. What do you think about EAP245s in mesh mode? I suppose that's sort of like a repeater. The repeater location is closer to the hardwired access point than the client, so I expect it could get better signal theoretically. I didn't mention that I gave PowerLAN a try as well, and the convenient electrical circuits that I tried gave poor signal. I suppose I could try a few more spots though.
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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 10:18:58 - last edited 2020-05-07 10:20:32

 

werdnawerdna wrote

Thanks R1D2. What do you think about EAP245s in mesh mode? I suppose that's sort of like a repeater.

 

Depends on whether other clients use the 5 GHz band, too. The mesh uses 5 GHz.

 

I would give it a try with two EAP225-Outdoor mounted on the outside, so that both APs have free line of sight. If you use this link only as a backhaul (no clients), it's more like a directional link (up to ~100m) rather than repeater mode. The 2.4 GHz band of the EAP225-Outdoor can still be used by clients w/o affecting the 5 GHz link too much and yes, it will even cover partially the rooms bordering the mounting location for the outdoor APs if the wall is not made out of reinforced concrete and windows are not coated.

 

Note that EAP245 doesn't yet support mesh node as to my knowledge (only a beta firmware is available). But I do not monitor EAP245 firmwares, since I have no EAP245.

 

But honestly, I wonder why an Ethernet cable is not possible.

An electrician can easily lay a cable except if you have an underfloor heating system ...

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 12:11:01 - last edited 2020-05-07 12:12:49

All the clients exclusively use 5 Ghz band, since I have found that the 2.4 Ghz is impossibly congested from the WiFi of neighbors. There are only 4 workers here with about 16 total clients.

 

I am going to pick up another EAP225 and experiment with using a pair of them in mesh mode (close to line of sight with each other):

router-----EAP225))  ((EAP225))  ((client

 

...and separately experiment with using them as a point-to-point link:

router----EAP225))  ((EAP225----EAP245))  ((client

 

Cable is not impossible, just annoying and expensive.

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 12:42:45

 

werdnawerdna wrote

Cable is not impossible, just annoying and expensive.

 

For private use, yes. If you have only a few clients (a family, your neighbors) a repeater or mesh can indeed work satisfactorily.

 

For businesses it definitely is more expensive to save on the wrong place, e.g. if hotel guests move to other hotels b/c of a non-working WiFi hotspot due to use of repeaters.

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 13:22:05

Hi @werdnawerdna,

 

Do you have FIOS?  Or coaxial cable throughout your home?  Why not use a MOCA bridge (e.g. Ethernet over Coax) to either connect the AP on the 4th floor or the clients directly.

 

I use the Actiontec branded ones.  They are a litte more expensive, but are pretty reliable.

 

Also keep in mind, there are only 2 80MHz, non overlapping channels.  You may need to limit the broadcast power and/or move to 40MHz channels to reduce interference.  Narrow channels also carry a little further.

 

-Jonathan

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 15:45:15 - last edited 2020-05-07 15:48:39

Hi JSchnee21: I do have FIOS and I don't have coax up to the 4th floor.

 

My aim to have bulletproof connectivity of about 50 - 100 mbps. I'm not sure I need 80 mhz channels for that. My 5 Ghz radio is currently set to 20/40/80 channel width (whatever that means). I thought 5 Ghz had tons and tons of channels though? I do not use 2.4 Ghz due to tons of interference from neighbors' networks. 

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 16:01:49

Hi @werdnawerdna,

 

Since the EAP225 and 245 don't support DFS.  There are only 2 80MHz wide 5.8GHz channels in the USA (centered on 42, and centered on 155).  But there are 4, 40MHz channels (38,46,151, and 159), and 8 20MHz. channels.  But in the EAP config pages it makes it a little confusing because it gives the appearance of lettering you select each of the 20MHz channels even though that's not really what it is doing when you choose 40MHz or 80MHz,

 

 

Also, keep in mind, when / if you use wireless MESH, the channel of the MESH connected EAP is forced to have the same settings as the root node.  So, for example, if you only have 3 AP's, and one is wireless MESH, having only 2 80Mhz channels is enough (two AP's will use one channel (one hard wired and one mesh), and the other hardwired will use the other channel.  If it were me, I'd set the channels manually, rather than using Auto.

 

-Jonathan

 

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 16:15:29

I haven't found a good table the compares Channel BW (20/40/80) vs. streams or chains (1x1, 2x2, 3x3) vs. MCS rate (aka negotiated link rate).

 

But in general, very roughly speaking, for a "normal" 2x2 client (like a modern smart phone or laptop) and a 2x2 or higher AP.

 

80MHz gives you a link rate up to ~866 Mbit/sec.  Max useable throughput is ~50-60% of the negotiated link rate (based on RF conditions) so ~400ish usable

40MHz gives you a link rate up to ~400ish Mbit/sec.  Max useable throughput is ~50-60% of the negotiated link rate (based on RF conditions) so ~200ish usable

20MHz gives you a link rate up to ~200ish Mbit/sec.  Max useable throughput is ~50-60% of the negotiated link rate (based on RF conditions) so ~100ish usable

 

802.11ac is perhaps a bit more efficient (higher percentage of link rate usable), whereas 802.11n (and expecially 802.11a) are less efficient (lower percentage of link rate usable)

 

But you can easily try each and see if it helps or not.  The relatively new setting of 80/40/20 in theory enables the AP to use a different BW per client depending on what the client supports.  But realistically, most modern clients which support 5.8GHz N or AC, also support 80MHz.

 

-Jonathan

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Re:EAP245-->R200 extender-->ethernet-->EAP225--Good idea? Suggested improvements?
2020-05-07 20:04:04 - last edited 2020-05-07 20:08:44

 

werdnawerdna wrote

My aim to have bulletproof connectivity of about 50 - 100 mbps. I'm not sure I need 80 mhz channels for that. My 5 Ghz radio is currently set to 20/40/80 channel width (whatever that means).

 

That's why I recommended to use two EAP225-Outdoor for the link only, this would let you use 20 MHz channel width (gives you 8 non-overlapping 5 GHz channels in the U.S.). Just connect the existing EAPs by cable to the outdoor APs, disable client use of 5 GHz on the outdoor APs (mesh link only).

 

If you use indoor EAPs for the mesh link and for clients at the same time, every packet needs to be transmitted twice. This cuts throughput by half, so you need 40 MHz channel width to achieve 100 Mbps. What's more, you will run into the Hidden Node Problem sooner or later if using indoor APs for mesh and clients. This also affects throughput significantly on busy sites. The HNP is what makes repeaters so unreliable.

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