CP210 or CP510 radio directionality

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CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-29 18:11:38 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38
Model: CPE510  
Hardware Version: V3
Firmware Version: 2.2.1

I'm planning to set up two CP510 devices to connect a barn to my house.  I was planning on setting up the house CP510 as an access point, but I'm unsure about the mode for the barn.  I'd like to be able to connect devices in the barn both with wired ethernet and wirelessly, without using an additional wifi router.  From the documentation, it appears that the correct mode for this use is AP Client Router.

 

However, I'm concerned about the directionality of the radio.  I know that the primary radio and antenna are very directional, which allows the CP510 to communicate over long distances to the house access point.  But the documention is unclear about how the local wifi access in the barn will work.  Is there a second radio in the device that provides omnidirectional local access to the CP510?  Or does the local wifi network share the same radio and antenna, which would mean that wireless devices in the barn would have to be in the directional path towards the house?

 

-Dan

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-30 00:43:32 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@dkuchta5 Hi Dan!  The 2 CPE510 are radios that will create an invisible beam between you house and the building.... think of a invisible ethernet cable.  Cable is always the best way....but if its impossible the 2nd option is these radios.  In the barn you will need a AP for your wifi.... the CPE510 are not made to create WIFI for devices...that is what AP's do.... like the EAP245.  I have been installing Unifi hardware for this type for years.... testing TPLink brand now...

 

This video may help you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISUSlTcgWks&feature=youtu.be

 

 

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-30 00:50:04 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@Doc2485 Thanks for the reply!  According to the manual, the "AP Client Router" mode *does* allow you to use both wired and wifi ethernet at the remote location.  I just want to know if there are 2 radios in the device so it can provide both a directional beam back to the house, and an omnidirectional local wifi network at the barn.  Or is it just one radio/antenna and it is always directional, which means the local wifi devices in the barn would not do well unless they were in the beam.

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-30 00:58:56 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@dkuchta5 Not for sure on TPLinks?  Unifi older Airmax radios did a little but not good at all...the newer AC models do not at all.  I put AP's on both ends to cover all the wifi needed in the both buildings or houses.  I also put POE switches on both ends too....so all is powered on POE...much much cleaner setup.  smiley

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-30 01:27:17 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38
What brand of POE switch do you use? I have one from another manufacturer, but it didn't power the TPLink.
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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-30 01:39:19 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@dkuchta5 All Unifi right now....haven't purchased any TPLink POE switches yet.  That has always been an issue trying to find POE switches that do 24v passive and 48v both.... most radios all run on 24v passive for power....

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-31 13:51:04 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@dkuchta5 Here is pic of typical network diagram

File:
Network Bridge2.jpgDownload
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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-31 14:07:27 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@Doc2485 Thanks for all the help.  Yeah I understand the recommended network topology.  But my wifi needs at the remote location are very minimal so I wanted to keep things simple by just using the built-in capability of the CPE510 to establish a local wifi network, rather than connect a separate wifi router or access point. 

 

I've set one of these up already, and the local wifi network seems adequate.  I'm not having any trouble with directionality in the local wifi.  Or at least there's enough leakage in other directions that it's not a problem.  Thanks again!

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-05-31 14:13:24 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@dkuchta5 Yes I tried that.... way too weak and unreliable.  I add multiple AP's and then I have full WIFI in the whole building where I want them... thats why I put POE switches on each end to have a clean setup and easier to manage.

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-06-01 10:30:31 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

 

dkuchta5 wrote

According to the manual, the "AP Client Router" mode *does* allow you to use both wired and wifi ethernet at the remote location.

 

Any operation mode does allow to use wired and wireless Ethernet at both locations, local and remote.

 

As the manual states, »AP Client Router« mode is for typical WISP scenarios. This operation mode turns a CPE from an access point into a full fledged WiFi router with a wireless WAN and a wired LAN as well as an optional wireless LAN (WLAN). This mode is similar to the mode of a classical WLAN router and it is used by WISPs to cover the last mile to a Customer Premise Equipment (CPE):

 

 

The modes you want to use for a directional link are »AP« and »Client« modes. It doesn't matter which CPE is the »AP« and which is the »Client« in a standard PtP setup.

 

If you need WLAN coverage at the remote side, use an additional omnidirectional AP such as EAP110-Outdoor as shown here:

 

 

In this case you use a CPE510 (5 GHz band) for the backhaul and EAP110-Outdoor (2.4 GHz band) for a local WLAN (local to the remote location).

 

Depending on the distance from the house to your barn you probably could use an EAP110-Outdoor mounted at your house outdoors as shown here:

 

 

 

Which solution is best depends on the distance and direction you want to cover. Keep in mind that any client needs to cover this distance and direction, too.

 

Now, when it comes to the direction, standard clients have omnidirectional antennas, CPEs have directional antennas.

 

Thus: no, CPEs don't work well with standard clients. CPEs are not designed to communicate with such clients.¹
The Pharos forum is full of posts about problems when trying to feed standard clients with a CPE such as here: https://community.tp-link.com/en/business/forum/topic/209480. Such malfunctions are caused by using CPEs to feed standard clients. The weak part is not the CPE here, but the client's signal strength, signal quality and signal direction.

 

¹ Only exceptions are very seldom cases, where the characteristic of the CPE's directional antenna could be used to feed SOHO devices. A typical use case is to cover a very limited area such as a terrace by a CPE mounted 10m apart. But even then, a Pharos WBS210 with omni antenna TL-ANT2410MO (360º antenna beam width) or with sector antenna TL-ANT2415MS (120º antenna beam width) would fit much better.

 

 

Here are the antenna beam widths for CPEs, you can see the directional coverage in 1m distance to the CPE. For example, the CPE210 covers just 1.3m x 0.6m at a distance of 1m. What's more, your standard clients would need to be inside the covered area to get the full signal and to work reliably.

 

 

If your WLAN does not need to be reliable, you can use reflections of the signal from reflective material around the CPE to feed standard clients sitting somewhere on the back of a CPE. But you will run into problems anyway, at least you will run into the Hidden Node Problem (which is what every repeater has to deal with and what makes repeaters so unreliable).

 

And BTW, for a reliable backhaul link you need a fresnel zone clearance of at least 40% (better 20%). Maybe you now can image what electromagnetic chaos you can create with a CPE if used indoors where reflective material comes into the way.

 

 

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Re:CP210 or CP510 radio directionality
2020-06-01 11:59:51 - last edited 2020-06-05 06:00:38

@R1D2 Thanks for the detailed info!  

 

Note that in your first diagram, which I've seen in the manual, it shows "User Network" and has wifi symbols indicating a local connection to wifi devices.  This is what I was finding confusing.  According to that diagram, and the documentation, the device IS designed to support a local wifi network.  But as you and Doc point out, this is not it's strong point.  I guess it seems to me that if this mode is not really recommended, it should have been left out.

 

I found additional issues with the AP Client Router Mode as well.  Since it is operating as a router, it creates its own subnet with local IP addresses.  Since I needed to contact devices inside the subnet from outside, I set up port forwarding.  It simply did not work.  Now I've been setting up networks for years, am very familiar with how port forwarding works, and have set it up on many different devices from TP-Link and other manufacturers.  I could not get it to work on this device no matter what I did.  Everything else worked fine, just not port forwarding.

 

In any case, I have now switched to the setup you and Doc have suggested.  I'm using it strictly as a "wire replacement", in AP and Client mode.  And I'm setting up a local wifi network with an EAP which I have on order.  So thanks again for taking the time to reply!

 

-Dan

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