Matching CPE to EAP

Matching CPE to EAP
Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-20 23:48:19 - last edited 2019-12-21 19:25:23

Setting up a wireless network in a marina. Want to properly match CPE to EAP. I notice in one of the examples in a German campground they used a CPE510 along with EAP110.

The CPE 510 supports 2.4 and 5GHz but the EAP only 2.4 GHz.

Wondering if this is a problem. Why not use the CPE210 along with an EAP110? Is it because the CPE510 is more powerful?

If we provice only one frequency, 2.4 would be the one considering there are many computers and phones out there that cannot yet see 5GHz.

Any suggestions?

Second question: looks like we must have a CPE/EAP combo in every client location. If I understand the configuration correctly, a CPE access point can talk to a number of clients.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP-Solution
2019-12-21 18:36:45 - last edited 2019-12-21 19:25:23

 

Byteguy wrote

@R1D2 Sounds like I'd use 2 CPE510s to get the signal to the site and then use 2 or 3 EAP225s to create a mesh. The tech support answer from TP-Link seemed to indicate the EAP225 to be a better fit than an EAP110.

 

I prefer EAP110-Outdoor because it's a N300 AP operating at 2.4 GHz, thus not interfering with the 5 GHz backhaul the CPE510 provides.

 

EAP225-Outdoor is an AC1200 device, but you won't reach more throughput over the whole network if using two CPE510 for the backhaul, since they are N300 devices, too. However, if you need a mesh network at the remote side, then EAP225-Outdoor need to be used for meshing.

 

Depending on the distance between main AP and remote AP it could be sufficient to use only EAP225-Outdoor as I suggested already for distances ≤ 100m.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-21 13:28:04 - last edited 2019-12-21 13:35:20

 

Byteguy wrote

The CPE 510 supports 2.4 and 5GHz but the EAP only 2.4 GHz.

Wondering if this is a problem. Why not use the CPE210 along with an EAP110? Is it because the CPE510 is more powerful?

 

CPE 510 supports only 5 GHz. EAP110-Outdoor supports only 2.4 GHz. The reason why you want to combine a CPE510 and EAP110-OD is because this way the backhaul operates on a different frequency band, thus significantly decreasing interferences. Next point is that 5 GHz band isn't overcrowded as much as 2.4 GHz.

 

Just to be sure we are talking about the same network topology: this is how a network with CPE/EAP combo looks like:

 

 

Second question: looks like we must have a CPE/EAP combo in every client location. If I understand the configuration correctly, a CPE access point can talk to a number of clients.

 

CPEs are designed for long-range directional links. They concentrate RF energy by using directional antennas, which means the WiFi signal is bundled to a relatively small beam of 45º (for CPE510) in one direction only.

 

EAPs are designed to provide a WiFi signal with 360º coverage by using omnidirectional antennas. The RF energy is much lower at a beam width of 360º. Since smartphones, tablets and laptops have even worser antennas compared to an EAP (and thus much smaller coverage when sending data back to the EAP), an EAP is the best choice for the »last mile«, while two CPEs are the best choice for a long-range backhaul over distances up to several kilometers. CPEs are not designed to serve clients around them.

 

That's why you combine EAP110-OD with a CPE connecting to the main AP (second CPE) if the distance between the main AP and the clients is more than, say, 50 meters.

 

OTOH, for distances up to ~100m you could alternatively use two EAP225-Outdoor with omnidirectional antennas connected together via meshing. Note that standard clients such as smartphones and tablets won't be able to cover 100m.

 

Anyway, you will need a free line of sight between the CPEs (or the EAP225-OD if you choose them). This is the most important point in such a setup.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-21 18:21:51

@R1D2 Sounds like I'd use 2 CPE510s to get the signal to the site and then use 2 or 3 EAP225s to create a mesh. The tech support answer from TP-Link seemed to indicate the EAP225 to be a better fit than an EAP110.

 

In the past I've used just CPEs for the wireless connection as they were more suited for a point-to-point conection. I have no experience with the EAPs.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP-Solution
2019-12-21 18:36:45 - last edited 2019-12-21 19:25:23

 

Byteguy wrote

@R1D2 Sounds like I'd use 2 CPE510s to get the signal to the site and then use 2 or 3 EAP225s to create a mesh. The tech support answer from TP-Link seemed to indicate the EAP225 to be a better fit than an EAP110.

 

I prefer EAP110-Outdoor because it's a N300 AP operating at 2.4 GHz, thus not interfering with the 5 GHz backhaul the CPE510 provides.

 

EAP225-Outdoor is an AC1200 device, but you won't reach more throughput over the whole network if using two CPE510 for the backhaul, since they are N300 devices, too. However, if you need a mesh network at the remote side, then EAP225-Outdoor need to be used for meshing.

 

Depending on the distance between main AP and remote AP it could be sufficient to use only EAP225-Outdoor as I suggested already for distances ≤ 100m.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-21 19:01:24 - last edited 2019-12-21 19:34:51

@R1D2 That sounds like a plan. I'll be using the CPE's over a distance of perhaps 400 feet. Because the site is a marina with boats moving in and out, I think a mesh network will be better as we'll have more EAPs to cover the area in case a boat blocks the signal from one of them.

 

When I asked TP-Link tech support, they suggested the CPE's for the first leg of the network since the signal is narrower, but if the EAP110 will reach that distance, it could be part of the mesh network. If that works, it would be even better. That way I'd only need 3 EAPs minimum (more if we have dead spots).  I really need to get back to the site and actually measure the distance of the first leg.

 

Thanks for your help.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-21 19:28:20 - last edited 2019-12-21 19:29:05

Yes, a mesh will definitely give you better WLAN availability on the remote side. Depending on where you place the CPE510, you can minimize interferences somewhat b/c CPEs have directional antennas.

 

Note that the number of clients can not be increased by adding more mesh nodes – a mesh network can serve at most the same number of clients (~40 to 60) a single EAP225-Outdoor can serve. However, you can deploy more root nodes (= EAP225-Outdoor mesh nodes wired to the CPE) to increase the number of clients if needed.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-21 19:38:39

@R1D2 I've asked the marina director how many users we can expect but she hasn't replied yet.  I'm sssuming that there might be 20 to 25. We are making progress, though (with your help)! Thanks

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-21 19:42:45 - last edited 2019-12-21 19:44:10

@Byteguy, you're welcome. Have fun with the project! EAPs are nice devices and even easier to configure compared to CPEs, so you will become familiar with them soon if you already know how to set up CPEs.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-23 20:32:20 - last edited 2019-12-23 20:32:43

@R1D2 Don't want to keep bugging you, but I notice in the literature that the EAP110 does not appear to support mesh. If so, I guess I'll be using the EAP225 for APs. I think mesh definitely would be best for the marina as long as I can get a good line of site between the CPEs.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-24 12:28:20 - last edited 2019-12-24 12:33:19

@Byteguy, right, EAP110 does not use mesh. TP-Link mesh is implemented so far only on dual band APs such as EAP225 (and soon EAP245). A mesh network helps to greatly simplify deployment of more EAPs since only a cable for power supply is needed, but the mesh does not increase the total client capacity. That's why I asked how many clients you want to support.

 

Thus, if your EAPs are either too far away from each other to be meshed or you want to support more clients than what's possible with a single EAP225-Outdoor (meshed or not), the solution with a CPE510/EAP110-Outdoor combo is preferable over a CPE510/EAP225-Outdoor solution. Also keep in mind that for a mesh you need to deploy an Omada Controller.

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Re:Matching CPE to EAP
2019-12-24 19:46:40

@R1D2 First, thanks so much for taking the time to help me.

Mesh seems to be the way to go as any of the boat owners can access a single network. At this time they are using some Engenius equipment that is about 6 years old and has not been all that reliable. I'm really trying to locate the EAPs within sight of each other which is a bit of a pain, because boats move in and out. As I understand it, each EAP must be within sight of another unit for the mesh to work correcty.

The marina manager is fine with some experimentation unitl we get it right. They never really told me how many people will be trying to access the network at once and I suspect that they haven't a clue.

In case you are interested, I'll place a CPE on their office and send the signal to another CPE about halfway into the docks along with an EAP. The other 3 docks will get their own EAP and that might cover the marina. If not, we have an option of adding some EAPs at the ends of several docke. The only challenge is getting power to them. Each slip has power, so we will just have to tap into them. Not my job--I'll just point and tell them what to do!

 

Thanks again.

 

Art

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