Best meshing AP

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I have a bunch of 7363's and while the mesh works great if the AP's can connect to each other, I haven't been real impressed with the physical range of the meshing functionality. I believe the mesh is only on 5 GHz, so it makes sense that it won't reach as far as 2.9, but even so, it hasn't been really impressive. I have all radios cranked up to 100% output power. I have a couple 7363's by windows in neighboring houses, about 100 feet apart, with basically line of sight, and they have trouble connecting to each other via mesh.
If there is another indoor AP that has better range for meshing, would it be the highest numbered model of AP, or is there a specific model that may not be the flagship/most expensive AP, but is built more to facilitate meshing?
The Zonedirector allows for an "auto" mesh setting, and also allows for "root AP" and "mesh AP" configuration. Do these settings have any difference in the mesh performance?
Thanks for any reply.
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LONNIE

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Posted 4 years ago

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Primož Marinšek, AlphaDog

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I don't think a different AP will solve it. Power output is the same on all. I think it's more of obstacles in the way that are preventing MESH to work.

I've had similar things happen to me. MESH barely worked on 30ft. Sometimes it happens.

Is it better if you open the windows?
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LONNIE

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Thanks for the reply!
I have not tried opening the windows, as that's not an option anyway during the winter. This needs to work regardless.

Does orientation of the AP make a difference? I'm not sure I've ever seen signal propagation maps for the 7363.
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Keith - Pack Leader

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For indoor APs the signal looks more or less like a donut that extends out from the dome. So edge-to-edge would give the best signal propagation.
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LONNIE

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Thanks. What about ceiling mounted versus the AP sitting on a desk? How does that affect the signal propagation? In other words, all else being equal, is there more signal radiated under or above the AP, or is there no difference?
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LONNIE

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Maybe I should rephrase:
"under or above the AP" should say "from the bottom of the AP or from the top of the ap"
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Keith - Pack Leader

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More signal above the AP (quite a bit more). But directly above is a bit of a "donut hole"
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LONNIE

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Thanks everyone.

The only other thing I can think of is I wish Ruckus would have a trial program - I could pay a flat, say, $100, to receive a used access point of my choice and have a week or two to deploy it to see if it works, then send it back and, if I liked the performance, buy an AP like it. Take the risk out of buying a $1500 AP without knowing it will work. In my case in this topic, I could buy a $2000 7782 - after all, a comment earlier in this topic said I may be pleasantly surprised by its performance - but what if it fails? Then I paid $2000 that could have gone for 4 or 5 7363's instead.
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Bill Burns, AlphaDog

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I believe demo hardware is an option, at least when the sales team thinks there's a relatively large order pending. You could ask about this the next time you're close to placing an order for multiple APs.
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Keith - Pack Leader

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Yes, and many of our VARs and resellers have similar offerings as well.
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Eizens Putnins

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Hi, Lonnie, I suppose it makes sense to ask somebody who actually works with staff to make design and tests for you.
I actually suspect that your problem is related with metal coating on windows -- in almost all modern windows (last 15 years at least) glass has metal coating, reflecting heat back into house. It is invisible, but works very efficiently as metal shield for Wi-Fi.
Advice to you about test with open windows came from person knowing how staff works, and it is really a good advice. Check if connection is good with both windows open -- and I an sure it will be. Than you'll know that windows are a your problem, often brick wall makes less loss than windows in it.
I have meshed APs on distances about 500 m with performances 30MB/s and without packet loss, for ZF63 it will be probably a bit less, but nothing near to to mentioned by you 30 m. But without obstacles. And without obstacles includes not just optical LOS, but a zone about it (look on Internet about Frenel zones).
And of cause, you need to put APs in reasonable orientation ( horizontal in the same plane will be the best).
You must understand also, that power and RF propagation is same for any vendor Wi-Fi equipment -- power is limited by regulations, but propagation is set by laws of nature, and difference comes from better antennas and better receiver sensitivity, and in these 2 things Ruckus is really good.
By the way, you can mount ZF7363 outside of building, if you put it into watertight box. It is a cheap alternative, if you can't afford real outdoor AP (which are expensive because they are made very reliable). I have some customers running such APs for 3 years and more, and they are flowless.
Hope it helps,
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Jon Novakowski

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Lonnie,
Couple points to think about. Depending on how the mesh is set up the AP’s lose 50% throughput at each hop. So you might have a good solid connection but if you are so far down the “hop” line your performance will make one believe that it is a line of site vs a hop problem. Not saying that is the case here but something to think about. The 7363 best signal is around the it (thinner sides) while the top is next best and then the worst is the side with the rubber feet. My recommendations is to place the feet down on the window sill as a placement.

Some controller tweaks you can do are - Background Scanning can be changed to 300-900. This reduces the cpu overhead. I would recommend enabling band steering from the ssh command

I would like to know more about your environment. AP layout, location, windows treatment, mesh topography, etc.. Also my company does rent Ruckus AP’s
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LONNIE

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Thanks guys. I changed the background scanning to 1000 and looked at enabling band steering, but it's enabled by default.
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Jon Novakowski

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When you enable mesh band steering gets disabled. You need to enable it via ssh command. Now knowing your environment a little more.By adding an outdoor AP with a direction antenna you will certainly increase the mesh ability. I do think that not having a great LOS to the houses across the street you will potentially have mesh problems. I would recommend the placement of the AP outdoor in-front of the building closest to the house side of the building.
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Mark Young

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Jon,

What is the ssh command to enable band steering on the AP's with MESH enabled?

Is this command run against the AP's or the ZD controlling those AP's?

Thanks
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Jon Novakowski

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Hi Mark,
The command is done at the controller via SSH:

ruckus# debug
ruckus(debug)# remote_ap_cli -A "set band-steering mesh-ap enable"
---- Command 'rkscli -c "set band-steering mesh-ap enable "' executed at 04:4f:a
OK
---- Command Execution Summary:
success: 1
failure: 0
total: 1
remote_ap_cli -A "set band-steering mesh-ap enable"
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Mark Young

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thanks for the info. Very useful.