Range of R300 vs R500?

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I have an R300 AP (which has worked well) but would like a little more range.  Would an R500 provide that?  Thanks!
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Patrick Kelecy

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Posted 1 year ago

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Max O'Driscoll, AlphaDog

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I bought 12x R500 for second site over R300 for higher client density and having a second ethernet port so it could function as a passthrough.

There might be some "modest" range improvement due to it having double the beamflex antenna patterns (so slightly more accurate directionality). But I don't believe it is sold/intended as giving "longer range" over R300. Willing to be corrected by someone with both units up and running in their environment.

Spec sheets below.

http://a030f85c1e25003d7609-b98377aee968aad08453374eb1df3398.r40.cf2.rackcdn.com/datasheets/ds-zonef...

http://a030f85c1e25003d7609-b98377aee968aad08453374eb1df3398.r40.cf2.rackcdn.com/datasheets/ds-zonef...
(Edited)
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Robert Lowe

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According to the datasheets the two have the same number of antenna patterns (64 per radio), RX Sensitivity is also similar at -100dBm. The main differences in the two AP's being client capacity and polarization diversity in the R500 over the R300. Assuming that you are running at the same power levels on either i wouldn't imagine that the R500 giving any straight line additional coverage over the R300. At 5GHz you may be able to increase coverage by changing the channel to one which allows a higher EIRP under regulation but I would urge you to consider potential implications before doing this.

Can I ask what the use case is and details around the AP installation position & configuration? You may find there are alternative ways to optimise what you have already.
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Patrick Kelecy

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Thanks for the replies.

The R300 is being used in a residence, and the main issue is streaming video (to iPads in particular).  The video is sometimes choppy/cutting out in certain locations.  The problem locations are ones where there are multiple walls, or a wall with some electronic equipment,  in between the iPad and R300.  The solution is probably to move the R300 (to a more centrally located ceiling), but that would involve running a PoE cable.  So I was looking for an easier solution and was curious if a R500 would do better (a number of these have been showing up on eBay recently).  Doesn't sound like it though.  So I'll probably just bite the bullet and run the cable.

Thanks again!
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Robert Lowe

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On that basis I would suggest that changing to an R500 is likely to make little difference other than you may see some gains form the dual polarity anttena's.

Can I ask how the AP is mounted in the residence? The R300 is designed to be ceiling mounted for optimal performance especially from a footprint perspective.  
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Patrick Kelecy

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Right now it's just sitting (flat) on a short book case.  I'm sure I could improve the situation by wall mounting it, but that would not look particularly attractive, with the cable hanging down and all (a consideration in a residence).  So at some point I'll just ceiling mount it.  There I'll be able to run the cable through an attic space, and the unit will more or less look like an unobtrusive smoke detector.
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Robert Lowe

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Ok the unit is designed to be mounted horizontally facing the floor. Wall mounting the AP will change the coverage provided by the AP in a negative manor from how it is now. 
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Patrick Kelecy

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Thanks Robert.  Looks like ceiling mounting it is the way to go then.  
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John D, AlphaDog

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I mostly agree with Robert's assessment here. I've got an R500, R600, R700, and R710, and I would say the first 3 have almost the same coverage despite having widely different beamflex  and spatial stream configurations, and being separated by a few hundred bucks price-wise too....

The R710 truly does seem to provide better coverage, but I would only say it's maybe a 10-20% improvement in range vs speed, and I mostly attribute that to its far superior receive sensitivity compared to the other APs.


Bottom line, especially given the great price point of the R300 vs the R500, I think it's unlikely that it's more cost effective to replace with a R500 vs deploying more R300's. I also agree with Robert on mounting position, but I will additionally add: Wall mounting is almost never something you want to do with the Ruckus APs unless your goal is vertical coverage (e.g. if it's a townhome with a lot of stories but not very wide rooms). For a more traditional house, you probably want the AP in the flat orientation. And in my experience, flat on a book case vs dome-down from the ceiling doesn't make a huge difference, UNLESS something is obstructing the book case mounting position that makes the ceiling position provide a better line of sight.


However, one point that hasn't been made here is that you've got an 802.11n AP, and the R310/R500 and above are all 802.11ac. With 80MHz channel bonding and 256QAM rates, I've observed a substantial performance improvement at ALL ranges when switching a residential AP from 802.11n to 802.11ac, as long as the client devices support it. So that might effectively improve video streaming range and give you the equivalent effect of improved coverage.
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Robert Lowe

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Hey John, I had considered the AC element but dismissed it as the OP stated clients were mainly iPad's. To my knowledge only the Pro supports AC. 

Agreed that AC AP will utilize more efficient MCS rates but at the distances the OP is talking about 256QAM wouldn't be achievable. Also I was always of the impression larger channel widths required higher SNR to achieve the same MSC rate as smaller widths therefore giving the illusion of smaller coverage areas.
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John D, AlphaDog

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I agree that in theory, it shouldn't be a big improvement, but anecdotally I've noticed a pretty big difference even at far distances when I've replaced N equipment with AC. I recently replaced an 802.11n 7782 with a T300. At far distances, the 7782 was delivering 70-80mbit to a 2-stream device, which is well below 802.11n's capabilities. I thought replacing that with a T300 wouldn't do much good since T300's main advantages were 256QAM and 80MHz channels, and neither of those should make a big difference.... But now I'm seeing 130-140mbit at the same distance.


BTW, note that Ruckus AP's are pretty smart about picking AP -> client TX rates. All rates and widths are considered. At far distances you'll see the AP automatically pick a 40MHz or 20MHz MCS rate over the 80MHz one. If you dump the support data and look at the Beamflex debug data, you can see that MCS/width candidates in addition to beamflex antenna pattern candidates are all ranked together.
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Tuananh Nguyen

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I saw the same impreovement when we installed a T301 vs the older N model. I was getting 250mbit at about 300ft on my Surface Pro3, pretty impressive. Oddly, I could never see more than 3/5 bars of signal no matter how close I was.
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Tuananh Nguyen

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Ipad Air 2 is dual beam AC capable of 866, a perfect match for R310/R500 and up.