EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment

EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment

EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2023-10-18 13:01:34 - last edited 2024-03-26 03:10:41
Model: EAP610-Outdoor  
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:

I have a cottage and a boathouse, which is located in rough terrain. I aim to have wifi coverage at the boathouse for safety reasons, as the conventional mobile network does not have coverage.

My cottage will get internet over fiber with 100 Mbps down/100 up at the end of 2023. I plan to use the following hw:
Router ER605 (with 4g backup mobile internet)

OC200 controller
AP1: EAP653 indoor wifi accesspoint (AP), cat6 cable to the router, POE from 230V power
AP2: EAP610 outdoor wifi AP on a pole at the roof top 25m above sea level, cat6 cable to the router - POE from 230V power
AP3: EAP610 outdoor wifi AP located on a pole (5m above sea level); 160m in direct view over sea from AP2 - POE from 230V power
AP4: EAP610 outdoor wifi AP located on a pole (9m above sea level); 140m in direct view over sea from AP3 - POE from 12V battery

There will be several VLANs on the wifi (Camera & public ++)

 

Q1: I plan to set this up as a MESH network; will AP3 and AP4 work as part of the mesh network despite not beeing wired by cable directly to the router?
Q2: Will this setup be able to deliver reasonable speed (above 15 Mbps) and stability ?
Q3: The location is the west coast of Norway, which have harsh weather during winter with rain/snow and regularly winds above 25-30 m/s [Beaufort 10/11/12]) & sub-zero deg. C. Will EAP610 stand up to this mounted on a metal pole ?

Q4: Is the antennas in the EAP610 Outdoor designed to work if the unit is placed alongside the pole, or must the unit be installed the top end of the pole ?

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment-Solution
2023-10-19 02:15:18 - last edited 2023-11-23 09:12:20

 Hi, @OddErikD 

Let's go through your questions one by one

 

Q1:I plan to set this up as a MESH network; will AP3 and AP4 work as part of the mesh network despite not being wired by cable directly to the router?

Yes, mesh networks allow data to "hop" from one access point to another. In your configuration, AP3 would communicate wirelessly with AP2, and AP4 would communicate wirelessly with AP3. However, the number of hops and the distance involved can impact performance.

 

Q2:Will this setup be able to deliver reasonable speed (above 15 Mbps) and stability?

It's theoretically possible, but there are several factors to consider:
Distance and Line of Sight: The direct line of sight between the access points is essential for optimal performance, especially over such distances. You've mentioned that APs have a direct view over the sea, which is good.
Interference: Open water can sometimes reflect signals, which might create interference. Also, consider other sources of interference in the area.
Mesh Network Overhead: Each "hop" in a mesh network introduces some latency and reduces bandwidth since the AP has to both receive and then retransmit the data. With your setup, AP4's traffic needs to hop through AP3 and AP2 to reach the router.
Given the aforementioned factors, achieving stable speeds above 15 Mbps is possible, but not guaranteed. Testing the actual setup would provide more concrete results.

 

Q3:The location is the west coast of Norway, which have harsh weather during winter with rain/snow and regularly winds above 25-30 m/s [Beaufort 10/11/12]) & sub-zero deg. C. Will EAP610 stand up to this mounted on a metal pole?

EAP610 is designed to be an outdoor access point, meaning it should have some degree of weather resistance. You can check the product information in the "Overview " and "Specifications" in the link:EAP610-Outdoor | AX1800 Indoor/Outdoor WiFi 6 Access Point | TP-Link,to see if it can meet specific weather resistance capabilities

 (e.g., wind resistance, temperature tolerance). For harsh weather conditions like you've described, you should ensure that the device is rated to handle those specific conditions

 

Q4: Is the antennas in the EAP610 Outdoor designed to work if the unit is placed alongside the pole, or must the unit be installed at the top end of the pole?
Answer: The antennas of EAP610 are omnidirectional, meaning they radiate signal in all directions horizontally around the AP. Mounting the unit alongside the pole should be fine as long as the pole doesn't introduce significant interference or blockage. However, placing the AP at the top of the pole might provide a slightly better range, especially if there are any obstacles around. The key is to ensure the antennas have as clear a line of sight as possible to where the signal needs to go.

 

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment-Solution
2024-02-07 08:43:51 - last edited 2024-02-07 08:49:10

Hi, all. Just wanted to give you all an update: 

During the first weekend of 2024 I installed AP1 (indoor) and AP2 (Outdoor on the top end of a wooden pole on the roof top) in their planned positions.

 

Q2; speed:

I did not have time to do a more detailed checkout, but I was impressed by the speeds i got on distances up to 200 meters. This exceeds own expectations and is very satisfactory. The installed Fiber from my ISP have 100 Mbit/s Down and Up. For the outer boundary, I measured 35 MBit down / 28 up on Ookla speedtest on my mobile approximately 300 meters away - looking sligthly upwards on the antenna (in direct sight on all measurements). On a range up to 200 meters, it looks as the speed is around 70-80 Mbit/s. 

These measurements was performed on a chilly day in January with clear sky, no winds and temperature just below 0 deg. C. I expect that these impressive numbers will go down in a westerly storm with rain or slatter... or when the wet leafs return closer to the summer ;-).

 

Regarding Q3: harsh weather during winter with rain/snow and regularly winds above 25-30 m/s [Beaufort 10/11/12]) & sub-zero deg. C.

The antenna has now been tested during two storms on a more extreme scale during the last couple of weeks. The official met.station not so far away has measured a windy start of the year, with the highest gusts at 34 m/s on the  31 Jan and 45 m/s on the Third of February (my own instrument has stopped working). My buildings and infrastructure - including the antenna mounted on a wooden pole - survived, while some trees had to give in for the wind (several years since last time this happened). So the antenna has performed flawlessly w.r.t. wind I will say :-). I also used self-vulcanizing tape on all visible joints on the antenna itself, in the hope that this will keep the water out when the antenna/pole shakes and twists in the wind - I guess time will tell if this is a success or not.

 

Here is an map of the distances and the terrain with some measurements on top. 

 

Thank you all for providing me with good input before I decided to purchase this Omada system. This is a very satisfactory result! (I do struggle with on other parts of the software, but this is configuration-related and out of scope for this discussion :-).

 

Odd Erik

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment-Solution
2023-10-19 02:15:18 - last edited 2023-11-23 09:12:20

 Hi, @OddErikD 

Let's go through your questions one by one

 

Q1:I plan to set this up as a MESH network; will AP3 and AP4 work as part of the mesh network despite not being wired by cable directly to the router?

Yes, mesh networks allow data to "hop" from one access point to another. In your configuration, AP3 would communicate wirelessly with AP2, and AP4 would communicate wirelessly with AP3. However, the number of hops and the distance involved can impact performance.

 

Q2:Will this setup be able to deliver reasonable speed (above 15 Mbps) and stability?

It's theoretically possible, but there are several factors to consider:
Distance and Line of Sight: The direct line of sight between the access points is essential for optimal performance, especially over such distances. You've mentioned that APs have a direct view over the sea, which is good.
Interference: Open water can sometimes reflect signals, which might create interference. Also, consider other sources of interference in the area.
Mesh Network Overhead: Each "hop" in a mesh network introduces some latency and reduces bandwidth since the AP has to both receive and then retransmit the data. With your setup, AP4's traffic needs to hop through AP3 and AP2 to reach the router.
Given the aforementioned factors, achieving stable speeds above 15 Mbps is possible, but not guaranteed. Testing the actual setup would provide more concrete results.

 

Q3:The location is the west coast of Norway, which have harsh weather during winter with rain/snow and regularly winds above 25-30 m/s [Beaufort 10/11/12]) & sub-zero deg. C. Will EAP610 stand up to this mounted on a metal pole?

EAP610 is designed to be an outdoor access point, meaning it should have some degree of weather resistance. You can check the product information in the "Overview " and "Specifications" in the link:EAP610-Outdoor | AX1800 Indoor/Outdoor WiFi 6 Access Point | TP-Link,to see if it can meet specific weather resistance capabilities

 (e.g., wind resistance, temperature tolerance). For harsh weather conditions like you've described, you should ensure that the device is rated to handle those specific conditions

 

Q4: Is the antennas in the EAP610 Outdoor designed to work if the unit is placed alongside the pole, or must the unit be installed at the top end of the pole?
Answer: The antennas of EAP610 are omnidirectional, meaning they radiate signal in all directions horizontally around the AP. Mounting the unit alongside the pole should be fine as long as the pole doesn't introduce significant interference or blockage. However, placing the AP at the top of the pole might provide a slightly better range, especially if there are any obstacles around. The key is to ensure the antennas have as clear a line of sight as possible to where the signal needs to go.

 

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2023-10-19 02:37:35

  @OddErikD 

 

KyrieM is spot on.  The only thing I would add is that you can expect an RF shadow behind the pole, especially if thick wood or metal.  I have suggested to other forum members to side mount the AP using a standoff and ideally a plastic or fibreglass pipe/post for the actual AP mount.  Imaging the AP mounted a 20-30cm above a thick/metal pole, or 15cm to the side (say in the window created by a C-shaped bracket whose open ends are fixed to the pole), or on a satellite dish J-mount.  The 610 seems more susceptible than the older 225 series.

 

You will get best mesh performance if the APs can see each other directly, without obstruction (tree branches, building wall/roof etc.).

 

Spend some dollars to get quality outdoor rated cables (gel filled, direct burial rated, and UV stabilized would be a good start).  Take your time with the cabling and make sure that connections are solid and waterproof.  Ensure your cabling is firmly fixed in place.  Consider a UPS for the router/POE switch/OC200...if your cottage is anything like mine, you can easily ride out all the power brownouts and short blackouts with a ~600VA UPS ideally AVR too...keeping in mind that mesh system can take ~5min from power up to stabilize.  

 

BTW it's pretty hard to keep calling a cottage with 100Mbps+ internet...a cottage ;)

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2023-10-19 09:42:17

  @d0ugmac1 

KyrieM & d0ugmac1LV5
Thank you for taking time to answer on my long text.

 

The area we talk about is a small bay, where AP2 and AP4 will be located on the west side and AP3 on the east side. And yes, there will be direct sight without any trees or buildings between them. This is on an outer end of an island, and there are only 18 internet customers with much space between the houses. I expect no competition for "wifi air-time" outside :-). Based on that and your replies, I am optimistic about the coverage and latency.

 

However, my biggest concern is the weather. I am a ham operator (radio-amateur) and have experience from exposing antennas up in the air. The EAP610 specification is IP67 so that is promising, but things tends to bend  when there are enough wind (even metal poles bend), and I am a bit sceptical when the instruction is to mount the antenna with zip-ties... 

 

Good point about the RF shadow, I will plan to put the unit on top of a pole to raise the antennas (presumably in the top of the unit) abowe the pole.

Anyway, you have confirmed my thoughts about this project and I will go ahead and order. I will leave AP4 out for now, and use AP2 and AP3 for some experiments to see what will give the best results. During the final installation I will use self-vulcanizing tape on everything, and place the cables inside the poles for best protection.


And yes, d0ugmac1LV5, this started off as a very small cabin in the 70's when my father and mother built it. Had no water, nor power, and we used the fireplace or popane for cooking. We used to "shower" outsider with a 5l bucket of heated water... My wife got tired of this way of living during the weekends, so together with our 3 sons, we startet rebuilding in 2008 and have now tripled the footprint. We have 230V power, cold  & hot water inside, shower, kitchen, 4 bedrooms - even washing mashine and heating cables in the bathroom floor! Plain luxury! 

With this internet-project I am preparing for the future; I became a grandad last weekend & expect that the grandchildrens elementary needs includes wireless internet-access when sailing in the dingy to be able to send snapchats to their grandparents ;-). 

 

A bonus with wifi coverage (contra hunting for cell phone coverage) it that it will make it easier to pay for the raffle tickets when our small community meets at the seaside :-). 

 

Again, many thanks for reverting on my questions - highly appreciated!

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2023-10-21 12:55:37 - last edited 2023-10-21 13:06:12

  @OddErikD  " However, my biggest concern is the weather. I am a ham operator (radio-amateur) and have experience from exposing antennas up in the air. The EAP610 specification is IP67 so that is promising, but things tends to bend  when there are enough wind (even metal poles bend), and I am a bit sceptical when the instruction is to mount the antenna with zip-ties... "

 

That is a legitimate concern. From experience, when doing checkup on APs that have been in place for a year, the zip-ties can take a beating from sunlight.  I used the stock zip-ties on my 610 Outdoor. They have held up but they do not get direct sunlight at all. 40 to 60 mph winds have not been an issue for them. I have other devices with less beefy zip-ties that had direct sunlight for the majority of the day, and they actually became very brittle in less than a year, one even breaking on its own.

 

Depending on what you are mounting to, these may work out well and since all metal and stainless they will hold up for quite some time. Just make sure to get a length and width that works for your application.

 

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment-Solution
2024-02-07 08:43:51 - last edited 2024-02-07 08:49:10

Hi, all. Just wanted to give you all an update: 

During the first weekend of 2024 I installed AP1 (indoor) and AP2 (Outdoor on the top end of a wooden pole on the roof top) in their planned positions.

 

Q2; speed:

I did not have time to do a more detailed checkout, but I was impressed by the speeds i got on distances up to 200 meters. This exceeds own expectations and is very satisfactory. The installed Fiber from my ISP have 100 Mbit/s Down and Up. For the outer boundary, I measured 35 MBit down / 28 up on Ookla speedtest on my mobile approximately 300 meters away - looking sligthly upwards on the antenna (in direct sight on all measurements). On a range up to 200 meters, it looks as the speed is around 70-80 Mbit/s. 

These measurements was performed on a chilly day in January with clear sky, no winds and temperature just below 0 deg. C. I expect that these impressive numbers will go down in a westerly storm with rain or slatter... or when the wet leafs return closer to the summer ;-).

 

Regarding Q3: harsh weather during winter with rain/snow and regularly winds above 25-30 m/s [Beaufort 10/11/12]) & sub-zero deg. C.

The antenna has now been tested during two storms on a more extreme scale during the last couple of weeks. The official met.station not so far away has measured a windy start of the year, with the highest gusts at 34 m/s on the  31 Jan and 45 m/s on the Third of February (my own instrument has stopped working). My buildings and infrastructure - including the antenna mounted on a wooden pole - survived, while some trees had to give in for the wind (several years since last time this happened). So the antenna has performed flawlessly w.r.t. wind I will say :-). I also used self-vulcanizing tape on all visible joints on the antenna itself, in the hope that this will keep the water out when the antenna/pole shakes and twists in the wind - I guess time will tell if this is a success or not.

 

Here is an map of the distances and the terrain with some measurements on top. 

 

Thank you all for providing me with good input before I decided to purchase this Omada system. This is a very satisfactory result! (I do struggle with on other parts of the software, but this is configuration-related and out of scope for this discussion :-).

 

Odd Erik

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2024-02-07 12:57:14

  @OddErikD 

 

Congratulations.  That is a great result!  My parting suggestion is to keep a spare 610 outdoor unit on site, just in case.

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2024-04-20 07:43:50
Hi, I just wanted to say what an interesting and encouraging thread this is. Thanks for all the detail given. It has answered several questions I had. Great to see a real life example of what Omada is capable of. Jim
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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
2024-04-21 20:58:47

  @UKJim 

FYI: I have now briefly tested with an extra standalone mesh-antenna AP3 (giving 1 hop)  (placed on the boathouse in north-east on the map) approximately 210m from AP2. With this I had coverage over sea approximately 300m in north-northeast direction from AP3 (this place is in AP2 shadow) having speed around 30 Mb/s. The antenna AP3 was not placed in an optimal position on this occasion.

 

I plan to mount AP3 permanently during May sometime. And I will revert with my findings closer to summer, after I have tested with both antennas in their final positions.

 

Per now I would say that 250 - 300m is the practical outer limits from AP2 for "normal users", but with some extra effort I am able to find signal and run a speedtest up to 400m on a regular basis. The most extreme was connection on 550m. All tests on my Huawei P30 Pro mobile. However, I need direct sight to the antenna :-).

 

 

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
3 weeks ago

  @OddErikD thanks for your reply.

 

For your interest, in our case I am researching for wifi for use by traders on a large greenfield showground for our annual agricultural/horticultural/crafts show (Heckington Show, Lincolnshire).

Your case and info has been useful to help me determine possibilities for our installation.

 

The show only exists for 2 days over a weekend, but we get about 30,000 people attending. This many public causes a real problem of overwhelming the local telecoms masts, which prevents our traders from reliably accepting card payments (via mobiile phone) at their trade stands. Traders have been cautious of coming to the show because of this.

 

So this year we are implementing Gigabit fibre internet into the fields (200m wide x 700m long) with OC200 Omada controller, ER706W-4G router, 2x 8-port switches for tagged VLANs, 2 x CPE710 for a long-range bridge transmission between the 2 main fields, with 5xEAP650 in one mesh in first field, and 5xEAP650 in second mesh in 2nd field. Mesh is important to reduce trailing cables (providing power/PoE to each AP from about 10 diesel generators dotted around the showground, which provide power to all the other amenities of the show). The middle AP of each mesh will act as central wired uplink to the switches/router, with wireless mesh backhaul 2 hops each side.

 

This is for use by ONLY the approx 250 traders, NOT the public!! (I'm sure so many public would be too much throughput for this configuration, and that would probably require High Density APs). Taking card payments is a low data requirement compared to say video streaming, but we want to provide high security and be notionally Payment Card Industry compliant, segregated sections and client isolation, etc.

 

Quotes we received to have a pro company provide all this were about 4 times the cost of buying the TP-Link gear ourselves, and that would have been every year! Whereas doing it ourselves is a single major cost, and re-use the equipment each year. Being a greenfield site means everything has to be removed after the Show is done.

Interesting project.

 

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Re:EAP610-Outdoor: Mesh in harsh environment
3 weeks ago

@UKJim 

 

HI Jim, thought I'd chime in a bit here too.  I have had experience with similar 'crowds in the country' at ski race events and wanted to share a few thoughts.  First, you're lucky to have gig fibre...we only had cellular and consequently had to use a mast and high gain antenna to hit a tower that the crowds on the ground were unlikely to.

 

One of the bigger issues are Apple phones which love to hunt around for 'open' Wifi signals, this generates a lot of noise in the active wifi bands.  My suggestion is to encrypt and hide (no broadcast) your SSID(s).

 

Regarding the Omada mesh architecture, be aware that the same 5.8 Wifi channel is used for rx/tx of mesh traffic as well as accepting user traffic from both 5.8 and 2.4 radios.  Given your traffic profiles this is likely less of an issue than most, but my recommendation is still if planning 5xAP mesh (1 root, 4 meshed), it's better to add another AP and make it two sets of (1 root, 2 meshed) and force each set onto a different 5.8 channel.  This also reduces the interference induced when the far left and far right try to talk to the root AP because they can't 'hear' or 'see' each other, they will talk all over each other forcing packet retransmits/loss.  Design your physical layout accordingly.

 

In the case where you are designing 'strings' of meshed APs, consider bridging a pair in the middle to allow you to change RF channel and avoid noise.

 

Primary Root.ChX (( mesh )) First Hop.x  (( mesh )) Second Hop.x--wired--Secondary Root.ChY (( mesh )) Third Hop.y (( mesh )) Last Hop.y

 

Good luck!  Love to hear how it all turns out!

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