R710 Signal Strength

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I'm evaluating options for a mesh network for a new home we have under construction. Looking for something a little more enterprise grade than consumer Google, orbi etc. gear.

The ruckus access points in unleashed mode seem to be perfect for what I'm looking for.

I bought one R710 used to setup now and play with to see how I liked it. Flashing to latest unleashed firmware and getting setup was a breeze, but I'm a little disappointed in how robust the signal has been with this one AP operating.

I noticed that connection to mobile devices at the edges of the small house we are in currently kept dropping and reconnecting. A Roku box connected to previous wireless router in the most distant room would not establish connection to the R710.

I had initially powered this with a new 8 port POE+ switch, the BV-Tech POE-SW800G, which can supply 30W per port and a total budget of 130W. The spec sheet I found on the R710 led me to believe with POE+ the tx/rx power was the same as with DC adapter. But just in case, I ordered a 12V 2A DC adapter to make sure this wasn't causing problems. No change.

I downloaded a wifi analyzer app on my phone to confirm what I was seeing. Standing in the same room with the R710 a couple of feet away, I see max signal strength of around -37dBm but usually when I check in that room it is more like -41dBm. Three rooms away, where I've noticed the most problems, the signal is down to around -70dBm. However, my old Asus nighthawk 66-n and even the built in wireless in the xfinity all-in-one router are more like -60dBm when located the same as the R710. Even the HP printer has a stronger signal around the house.

Is there something I may be missing in configuration? Is this expected performance, or is there a chance a used R710 may be damaged in a way that still works but with reduced tx/rx power? The point in purchasing this was to see if I like the setup etc. before buying 4 new ones. But now I'm just not sure.

Open to any suggestions.
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Richard Hosch

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Posted 7 months ago

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hayk

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I currently recommend rolling back to firmware 200.6.x
Firmware. I know 200.7.x has a bug that affects download speeds but only affects certain RF conditions. It might help you to go to 200.6.x the newest of that series.

200.8.x is being released on Tuesday but that speed issue might be carried over to that firmware since I’m currently working along with ruckus support in tracing the issue down.

Anyway, I haven’t had issues on dropping on 200.6.x firmware ... I know I did has issues on dropping sometimes on the edges and that was probably with 200.7.x .

Try 200.6.x

Note when you reflash to older firmware it will reset the unleashed. You can’t use settings that were backed up on newer fimware on older unleashed.

I’ve had my r710 since nov 2015 and back then I’ve tried the Asus rt-ac68u and the r710 can go through walls really well in my situation. And back then unleashed was not even announced so I used standalone firmware.

Back in 2014 I was trying to help a small school in upgrading their existing WiFi and on the market I was deciding between Unifi AC the square one vs ruckus 7372 which was about the same price at the time but the ruckus was 802,11n . And dam so glad that I went ruckus since the unifi would have be a disaster.

From that point started deploying more ruckus
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hayk

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FYI, this speed bug issue that I mentioned seems to affect mostly 802.11ac wave 2 aps... some reported to affect r500 . The bug doesn’t seem to affect WiFi 6 ruckus aps which there is only currently 2 aps r730 and r750.

Note if you plan to get new ap the r650 will be released soon but when it gets unleashed support don’t know when.
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hayk

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Oh btw , I deployed r610 recently in two client homes each about requiring about 3-4 ap depending on the shape of the home. Homes about 4500 sq feet. Works great but I kept them at 200.6.x
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hayk

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Oh I almost forgot to comment on mesh. Why do mesh especially your new home is under construction? If you want max performance get all the ap’s wired up on the ceiling.
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hayk

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If there firmware doesn't fix the issue.. it's possible that you could have a bad R710... I know the R710 has way better range than the regular Xfinity AC boxes that they dispute for regular customers. ... but yeah try rolling back firmware. I've never tested the R710 with firmware 200.7.x for range and signal strength but I just tested for raw speed when UP close since I already knew that range was good back in the days when I first got the R710 and used standalone firmware. .. but I know even the R500 way better in range than a regular Xfinity AC box... and I know that the R710 has better range than a R500 especially the 5ghz radio. 
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hayk

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Also just curious what Phone were you testing the signal strength ?
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hayk

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Also note.... when the R710 is running in POE af mode  just the 2.4ghz power is affected.. not the 5ghz...

You might need to force the R710 to run in at mode in CLI.... forgot what the command is. but it's in the forum.....but I first would recommend rolling back the firmware. 
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hayk

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Ok, just heard back from another user who was having a lot of wifi drops from time to time using the 200.7.10.x  firmware... he's in a new Lennar smart home which are using two R510.. so I had him drop back to 200.6.10.1312 firmware today and so far... no drops as of tonight...
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Richard Hosch

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Thanks, sorry for the delayed response. Seems I can't log in via mobile browser (chrome on S8), get stuck in endless signin loop, and employer must have blocked something because I couldn't log in there either.

I will try to downgrade tonight to see if that helps and report back.

Phones used were Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone X, iPhone XR, and the Roku box is an Ultra.

Mesh is a bad word that I keep using when I shouldn't. I actually sought out Ruckus and similar options to avoid the wireless only mesh lots of consumer devices rely on. I want wired backhaul and have half a dozen access point locations prewired and could easily move or add if needed - we pulled about 5 miles of Cat cable in all!
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Richard Hosch

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OK, downgraded to 200.6 firmware. Can't see any significant difference.

After more examination of the wifi analyzer results, it seems the 5GHz band is as strong as any other device co-located with the R710. However the 2.4GHz band is significantly weaker, sometimes as much as -10dBm. Since I notice the problem on the periphery of the wireless coverage area I'm guessing both 5GHz and reduced 2.4GHz signals are borderline.

So, perhaps the POE supply is reducing the 2.4GHz signal in af mode, despite the presence of an AC/DC adapter?

I did download PuTtY but was unsuccessful on my first attempt at establishing a connection to try and force at mode by CLI. I may try again tomorrow. I think I have a 100gbps switch lying around (much of my stuff is packed in storage) that isn't POE, which I'm assuming would force at mode instead of af?

Hopefully will have time tomorrow evening to investigate more.
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hayk

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Yeah you would have to force it in CLI mode.
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Richard Hosch

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Well, not really encouraging. I used an older non-POE gigabit switch I had handy and it seems the R710 won't power off of just the DC adapter. It isn't a Ruckus branded/purchased one, but is 12V 2A with 2.1mm plug. I get a couple of seconds of red power light then nothing. With POE power I get a few seconds of red, then another red, then blinking green and on to boot up sequence.

Is it possible I have a damaged R710, or do you have to force it to use the DC adapter port for power via CLI even if that is the only power it is being supplied?
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Richard Hosch

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OK, finally figured out the CLI and forced 802.3at mode. Man, seems very cumbersome but maybe what looks overly complicated for one AT makes more sense when you have 50.

Anyway, that seemed to help. 2.4GHz band is now pretty stable in the room farthest away that was giving us trouble before. Compared to the supplied Xfinity modem/router/AP, the signal at 2.4GHz is still -1 to -2 dBm down but that is a lot better than the -10dBm we were seeing. 5GHz doesn't look like it changed, so still not really usable in that area.

So I guess that fixed the problem, mostly. I thought POE+ operated at the same power levels as the DC adapter, but maybe I misread that? If not, then my problem is that the POE+ switch I purchased isn't triggering that mode. Perhaps that's the difference in mode A and mode B POE? I know those carry power on different Ethernet pairs, maybe you have to have an injector to get that power level rather than an end-mode switch regardless of what it can supply?

Oh well. Plugging in isn't difficult where needed. And although the range doesn't seem spectacular, it's no worse than what I had so the benefits of a solid network of AP's will still probably lead me to buy several more of these.

Thanks for the help, and hopefully my stumbling around helps someone else that has a similar issue.
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Andrew Giancola

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LLDP MED plays some part in power delivery. I use Netonix at home, and LLDP doesn't "advertise" how much power is available so the Ruckus APs here only pull AF. power is negotiated via LLDP. you may simply need to turn it on, and configure! Best of luck!