All set up -- but a couple of questions

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Well, I have just set up my r600's in the house, and I cannot believe how easy it was, even via the web host!

Now that's all done, I have noticed that some devices appear to be connected to both ap's at the same time. I have tried tweaking the power settings etc but they still seem to hang on. Is there anything else I have missed that I should try?

Also, is there a way of renaming each device in the list rather than having to guess what the ip/mac address is?

Thanks!
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JasonS

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Posted 2 years ago

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John D, AlphaDog

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I've noticed that ever since recent standalone firmwares (like 100.0 and above), there's a bug where sometimes even when a client disconnects/roams, it still shows up in the radio's MAC address list for a while. Sorry, I think that's probably a UI bug currently. I wouldn't start tweaking your power settings because of that, because in reality your client is only on one or the other AP, definitely not both.


And no, I'm not aware of any way in standalone AP firmware to see the name of the device rather than the MAC. This is a form of reporting supported when you have a ZoneDirector, though. Without a ZD, I wouldn't sweat too much effort in tracking down where your clients are.


(If you believe you have a sticky client roaming problem, you would want to look into the smart-roam or bss-minrate options at the command line. However, personally I would not suggest messing with either one unless you are really noticing a significant roaming issue. In my experience, the smart-roam technique of forcibly disconnecting clients that the AP considers weak results in more trouble than benefit with modern clients. Some devices won't bother reconnecting to wifi again for a long time.)
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JasonS

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Thanks John,

I'm not sure my capabilities are up to command line stuff, well not yet anyway!

Everything seems to be working well at the moment.

Using my iPhone as a gauge, I have full bars throughout the house, and then for outside I have a Unifi 5g AP to take care of that which I have turned the power right down to keep it outside.

I suppose I should just leave the settings alone for now and see how it goes.

However, do you think I should turn the power back up to full on the 600's?

That was the default setting when I I stalked them.

And lastly, I thought I would check the firmware and perform an update on them if there was one available, however it came back with a warning about not being able to connect or something similar. Just wondered if there was anything specific I should do or, are the firmware updates for the aps only available to 'paid up' members?
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John D, AlphaDog

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(1) Yes, I would recommend just leaving advanced roaming parameters via the command line alone unless you are 100% sure you got a problem that needs to be solved. I found that most of the advice floating around in that regard no longer apply to devices made within the last couple of years. But if you do start fooling around with the CLI, make a note of all the things you changed — there's not an easy way otherwise to remember or restore things to default short of factory-resetting the AP's.

(2) I would recommend turning the power up to full (the default) unless the two AP's are really close to each other and / or need to share the same channel. In Ruckus's ZoneDirector manual, they have some best practice guidelines, and they (roughly paraphrasing) recommend that ZoneFlex AP's be set at max power because BeamFlex inherently reduces interference compared to omnidirectional antennas, thanks to their ability to direct/focus energy in the direction of the client.

(3) The ability to check for updates from the web admin interface hasn't worked for a while. Nowadays, the way to check is to go to the Downloads page for your AP from the Ruckus support portal: https://support.ruckuswireless.com/products/68-zoneflex-r500#firmwares

Standalone firmware is supposed to be downloadable by all members with accounts, even those without support contracts. If you encounter a standalone firmware that you cannot access, either file a support ticket or post something here. Historically, that's all it's taken for someone from Ruckus to fix the access controls.
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JasonS

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Ok, advice noted!

One more thing (hopefully!), is it better to give them a static IP?
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John D, AlphaDog

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Totally personal preference. I just use DHCP because I rarely need to access my AP's, and don't mind checking the DHCP lease table on my firewall/gateway to figure out their IP's.
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JasonS

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ok i have set them up with static for now so ill leave them for now.

Which software would i need to upgrade?

There is a zoneflex one and a Standalone so im not sure which? or both?

https://support.ruckuswireless.com/products/69-zoneflex-r600#firmwares
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Sean

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The base 100 images (stand alone images) have only been created to allow the AP to join both the SCG and the ZD. On a stand alone AP you can use what you want really as they all have the same capabilities.
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JasonS

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Ok thanks.

I have just downloaded the base 100 file, so do i just unzip it and select the unzipped file in the option in the local upgrade?

And lastly, should i do the upgrades in order of release or can i just jump straight to the latest version?

:)
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Sean

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As they are stand alone AP's there is no rule of upgrading firmware - this applies ot bothe the base 100 and xoneflex images.

If you were to move to a ZD however, there are upgrade paths and these are mentioned in the release notes of each firmware release.
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JasonS

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One thing i was also going to ask was, would i be better manually setting the wifi channels?

We don't have that many rogue AP's so was maybe wondering if it would make any difference with device connection and making them more stable?

As i said, im not noticing any drop outs at the moment.

Just seeing if anything needed fine tuning that i was capable of doing without breaking anything!

:D
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John D, AlphaDog

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Generally speaking, ChannelFly (or in standalone lingo, "SmartSelect") will select the optimal channels for your area, particularly in a crowded RF environment with lots of rogue AP's. Furthermore, ChannelFly responds *dynamically* in realtime to changes in the RF spectrum. For example, channel 1 might be unused in your house, but let's say you invite me to dinner and I'm a jerk -- I could take out my cell phone and tether it to my laptop using wifi channel 1, and all of sudden channel 1 is hogged by me. If you were using ChannelFly, within a few seconds your AP would realize channel 1 now has very little capacity compared to before, and switch to a different channel.

So that's the good news... The bad news is: ChannelFly attempts to announce / coordinate its channel changes through a protocol called 802.11h, which allows an AP to alert clients that a channel change is about to happen. Clients are supposed to heed that advisory and hence seamlessly migrate to the new channel. However, not all clients gracefully handle these advisories. Sometimes, when ChannelFly changes channels, it causes a poorly behaving client to just lose the wifi network.

If you have such poorly behaving clients, you can try to increase the ChannelFly MTBC (Mean Time Between Change) such that switches become less frequent. Or, some folks like a "run stop" mode of operation, where you run ChannelFly for a few hours to see what channels the AP's pick automatically, then you manually lock the AP's on those channels. That, however, loses the benefit of ChannelFly's ability to adapt in realtime to changes in nearby rogue AP traffic.


If your home RF environment is relatively clean, then you might benefit from static channel assignment. However, I live in a dense apartment complex and see 100+ rogue AP's. For me, ChannelFly's ability to find the cleanest channel is well worth the tradeoff of occasional channel changes (e.g. once every 4 hours), especially since the majority of my devices are also Apple devices and they seem to handle the channel changes gracefully.
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Sean

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Like John has said already Channelfly can either be a good or a bad thing.

A good example is that the Sky HD box does not like Channelfly :(
(Edited)
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JasonS

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Thankfully, anything that has Cat5 port has a network plug in it :))
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Sean

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Ditto

Its not all about WiFi :)
(Edited)