Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh

Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-07-28 14:56:07
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We have an established mesh network. A user wishes to use his own EAP to get better reception on his boat. I'd like to set up the EAP to act as his antenna without adopting it into the mesh.

I'm thinking I can log onto the EAP and set it up with the network username/password to log onto the CPE.

If I cannot do that, I wish to keep him and his EAP separate from the mesh to avoid conflicts and interference.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-07-28 16:23:40 - last edited 2020-07-28 16:43:01

 

Byteguy wrote

I'm thinking I can log onto the EAP and set it up with the network username/password to log onto the CPE.

 

You can't do this with an EAP.

 

As discussed in the last thread about this use case, an EAP does not support STA (station) mode, except internally for the (proprietary) mesh. I did suggest to recommend to the user a standard WiFi router or a repeater which can connect to the EAP's WLAN as a regular client. There is no way to connect an EAP225-Outdoor to another EAP225-Outdoor except using meshing and there is no way at all to connect an EAP225-Outdoor as a wireless client to a CPE.

 

If you had said that you accept connecting the user to your CPE backhaul, I would have suggested to use a CPE – which supports STA mode – to connect this user's CPE in client mode to the main CPE running in AP mode. But a standard WiFi router/repeater would do better due to its 360º omni antennas.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-07-28 17:32:51

@R1D2 I did remember our last conversation about the AP not supporting station mode, but the guy bought an EAP anyway! (Actually, I think the marina manager gave him the AP that we were having trouble with!) I told him that the marina didn't want what amounts to "rougue" APs all over the place. Guess you have a point that he could get another CPE and connect it, but if he's just a temporary resident of the marina, that would be a big pain.

He told me that, at the last marina he stayed, lots of people just bought EAPs and they adopted them into the mesh. Everyone had great connectivity and all were happy. I really wonder about that. I think that would be rather difficult to manage, what with different channels and less than optimum AP spacing. I'm thinking no one actually managed that network.

 

Here's what I see happening: I'll go down and point out that the AP he is using was defective and we had removed it from service. I'll see if I can log onto the AP just to see the settings. Even if the AP supported station mode, I was pretty sure there was no way it could interact with the CPE.

I don't see adopting the AP into the mesh because when it was part of the mesh it kept going offline and online all day. That's why we replaced it.

I'll let you know what happens.

Some people's kids!  Sheeesh.

 

Art

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-07-29 14:43:34

@R1D2 Went onsite yesterday and sure enough, the marina manager had given this guy the old EAP 225-outdoor that had failed. We had a discussion on this and it seems everyone had a different idea of what worked and what didn't. I reminded them that it was me they were paying to keep track of this.

Anyway, the new marina tenant wants to get another AP and install it on his boat so he can tap into the network by using the ethernet connection on the AP. Said this is what the marina people in California had been doing.

I remain sceptical, but the marina manager decided we'd try it. I pointed out that if the mamrina owned the AP, then it had the responsibility to manage it as part of the network. She's the boss, so I said it was worth a try if that is what she wanted.

We'll see. It will be pretty close to another AP and I see potential conflicts. You guys have talked about this before and I believe you, but she's paying for the work!

Guess all there is to do is closely monitor the network to see if it is doing what it is supposed to do.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-07-29 18:19:24

 

Byteguy wrote

We'll see. It will be pretty close to another AP and I see potential conflicts.

 

At least you are not responsible for any implications with this AP then ...

We have a saying here: The will of man is his kingdom of heaven. Means something like: Delivered as ordered. :-)

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-07-30 01:26:52

@R1D2 You got that right. I tell them what they should do. They do what they want. I pick up the pieces and bill them.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-10-17 22:31:18

@R1D2 Still fighting the "I can't get a good wireless signal" battle. Some folks use a range extender, one guy bought his own EAP-225 and the marina folks said I could add it into the mesh.

Another guy with tech experience and way more money than he knows what to do with has experimented with all sorts of stuff. He came up with a CPE manufactured by Mikrotik. It's a Mikrotik GrooveA 52 ac Outdoor CPE. He has that hooked up to a wireless router below decks and has a very workable internal wireless network. It has PoE but to avoid attaching a PoE injector, he opted for using a router with PoE capabilities.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-10-18 11:05:11 - last edited 2020-10-18 11:06:44

@Byteguy, such solutions might work, but the more people use their own mesh nodes or directional links, the more they compete with the rest of the APs for AirTime. This can make the situation even worse for those using only the EAPs.

 

But that is not your problem. I would take measurements, hand in the measurement report and have the marina owner sign an acceptance protocol / a written confirmation that the system has been delivered as ordered and is working as well as possible with all advantages and disadvantages. Such written confirmations are usual for software projects.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-10-18 18:22:20

@R1D2 So far, everyone has been quite happy with the network. Only a few complain. One person remarked that they noticed people with iPhones had the most connectivity problems. He was wondering that Apple, in their quest to get the longest runtime out of their batteries have reduced the power allotted to wireless.

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Re:Using an EAP 225-outdoor as an antenna for a user outside of the mesh
2020-11-14 22:44:20

@R1D2 I found a solution to the problem. What I went with is a MikroTik Metal 52 ac. This unit acts as a CPE with an omnidirectional antenna that performs quite well. It can be mounted anywhere on the superstructure with an outdoor Cat5 cable to send the signal (and provide PoE) to a router.

This is a rather "complicated" device in that it does a bunch of things, but in its simplest configuration, it works very well. Attach it to a small router below decks and the boat owner has a great local wireless network to use.

Due to the nature of the boats, the local network is rarely a problem outside of their own boat.

I believe I'll try to get people in the marina to go with something like this rather than add a bunch of APs to the mix!

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