Ruckus r510 range improvement for dummies?

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We recently purchased a smart home that has a Ruckus r510 AP installed in the ceiling of the front entryway, which is connected to a Ruckus ICX-7150 switch in a media cabinet in the laundry room.  All the smart home features seem to be working pretty well --- the only complaint I have is that there are a few "dead spots", locations in the house  where it seems to take forever to get my smartphone to communicate to the smart home devices through the supporting apps.  I was wondering what options I might have to improve reception/range to try to eliminate these dead spots. I would not consider myself an expert on home Wi-Fi & networking, but I'm a quick study --- I'm hoping for a fairly economical solution that would also minimizes the chances of me unintentionally crashing my smart home to a point where I can't recover with my limited knowledge!
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EJH7

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Posted 1 week ago

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Novell Red

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Could you provide a description of the home? Single story or multiple story, # of square feet, open concept construction? Do these dead spots have anything in common? Distance to the R510, # of walls between the dead spot(s) and the R510, mirrored and/or tiled walls such as bathroom, stainless steel appliances and tile back splash like a kitchen, fireplace and chimney between you and the access point?
If the settings were left at default when installed I wouldn't expect a  Ruckus R510 to have difficulty covering a normal size home.   
There are free tools available that will allow you to see the signal level on a smart phone or a laptop.  One of my favorites is Wi-Fi Scanner by Lizard Systems. They have a free personal license.  A tool like Wi-Fi Scanner will also show you possible competing neighboring networks. 
Eliminating signal issues, strength or interference, would be my first step.
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Ryan Hayes

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I am having the same problem. 2 AP's (one downstairs and one upstairs). My Apple TV (which is less than 6 feet from the master AP downstairs), continually connects to the AP upstairs. Because of this, I am getting about 5-6 Mbps down and up on a gigabit connection. This is ridiculous. If I restart the Apple TV, it connects to the master and all is well for several hours until it reverts back to the AP upstairs. 
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hayk

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Ryan,
   As for your issue, which Apple TV version do you have? for your AP downstairs you might consider turning off auto channel switching  and set it on a specific channel since that might be a reason why your Apple TV keeps dropping and reconnecting to the upstairs AP. Try that and let me know how that works.
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Ryan Hayes

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Thanks. I'll try that. 
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hayk

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TO the original poster yeah we need to know your layout of your house and where your current APs are located which will help us solve your issue.  You can get another R510 unleashed used on ebay for as low as $159-$250 now and of course no warranty so get one that has a 30 day return window or longer.. 
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Ryan Hayes

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2 story home. 2700 square feet.  Both AP's are located on the ceiling directly in the center of each floor. My Apple TV is hooked up my living room TV that is located about 10 feet away from the master AP. I spent considerable time on the phone with Ruckus last night and we are not able to fix the issue. For some reason, I'm getting worse speeds on my Ruckus system for all devices than with my regular free ISP router. It's worthless. 
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hayk

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What unleashed firmware are you using? I know there seems to be a performance issue with iOS based devices with unleashed r710,610, r510 using Unleashed firmware 200.7.x. If you got back to version 200.6.10 should be fine. What devices do you have? note if you go back you might have to reconfigure your settings unless you have settings saved for version 200.6.10
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hayk

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For the speed issue....please follow this thread
https://forums.ruckuswireless.com/ruc...
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hayk

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Might not just be iOS devices ....happens on s10 too from another user
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EJH7

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Hi, this is Eric, I'm the one who started this thread with my question. I've been out of pocket for a few days, just now getting a chance to respond. Ryan hijacked my thread a bit with the discussion on Apple TV, but that's OK --- that might be a related issue.

Our house is about 2800 sq. ft., one-story, generally open concept, and the Ruckus r510 AP (running firmware 200.7.10) is located on the ceiling of the front entry hall which is essentially the center of the house.

Let me pick on one specific example of a dead spot. I have the MyQ garage door opener app on my smart phone --- handy to use when I return from a bicycle ride so I don't need to carry extra keys. While this app can occasionally make the connection between my smartphone and garage door via the Ruckus AP in a few seconds --- it is far more common that the connection takes 30-60 seconds to make, or that the connection attempt fails completely several times before eventually working. Wildly variable performance. When standing directly in front of the roll-up garage door with my smartphone, I am probably 25-30 feet from the AP (measured in a straight line), and there are probably pieces of 4 house walls and the metal-skinned roll-up garage door in the comm path. However --- the connection time does not seem to improve or worsen whether the garage door is up or down (whether the door is in or out of the comm path). And... if I move to the right about 5-6 feet, the comm path simplifies to zero house walls and only the closed front entry door --- and doing this doesn't seem to have much impact on the connection time either.
I'm a techy guy, so I can appreciate the comments from Novell Red and Hayk about better understanding some of the communication issues I might be up against. But honestly, I'm a big believer in the 'low-tech solution', if there is one --- not really looking to launch a full blown research project into network communications around the house, or investing a fortune into additional AP equipment to do what one unit should be able to do. If I could hang an antenna off the existing AP and get some incremental improvement. that would be an admittedly ugly solution that I  might be able to live with!

I'll take a look into the scanner app/tool mentioned above, but would be interested in hearing about options that might improve my particular  situation without a lot of additional time and money investments.... Thanks!

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hayk

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Which phone do you have? Can you download the ruckus SpeedFlex app and find out what kinds of upload and download speeds you are getting when you are right not to the r510 and when you are just outside the garage. First want to find out if you are also having an issue where the uploads are fast and downloads are slow. We might have to roll you back to 200.6.10
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hayk

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ideally, I think 2800 sq feet for single story house is too much to cover for a single r510.. .. I would suggest two r510 strategically placed. If you don’t know how to do wiring. Then maybe get two additional r510 and turn on the meshing function. Just depends on where your dead spots are...
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EJH7

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I have an iPhone 7. I downloaded the SpeedFlex app, and tried it out.

Standing directly under the r510 AP:  
Average Downlink:    35 Mbps
Average Uplink:       177 Mbps

Standing in front of the garage door (closed):
Average Downlink:      0 Mbps
Average Uplink:           0 Mbps
Receiving the message "Destination address not reachable "

Standing to the right of the garage door (somewhat cleaner comm path)
Average Downlink:    12 Mbps
Average Uplink:         88 Mbps

What does this tell you?

I am hesitant to jump into multiple APs, given my limited knowledge of all the communication that takes place in the "smart home" configuration we have. I'd be perfectly capable of setting up the hardware aspect with a little guidance, but it's reconnecting all the rest of the associated "stuff" that scares me --- Alexa, lighting & switches, garage doors, pool panel, smart door lock, etc.  I go digging into the hardware side of this, and I'd be worried about quickly going from a "smart home" to a "very dumb home" with no easy path back, given all the various interfaces....


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hayk

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yeah it seems that you are also affected by the wifi bug issue on firmware 200.7.10.x. ..normally with ruckus access points the Download should be faster since it's able to beam the data to the device and not the other way around.  In your situation since you only have 1 Ruckus AP,  it's not just an issue that just affects several ruckus AP connected in the same area.

As for adding more ruckus unleashed APs, it's actually pretty easy. If you are adding a new unleashed one at factory default to your existing one which is a master.  Your current Master R510 will automatically configure it and set it up for you with the same settings as your master. Note this is doing through another wired connection. However, if you are doing it through mesh configuration you just have to get it authorized with password.

Do you have any room ethernet outlets sometimes somewhere in the middle between your garage and your current R510?

Anyway I don't suggesting getting another R510 til we resolve the wifi bug issue.
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EJH7

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Do you know the status on the wifi bug issue with the 200.7.10 firmware? Is this something that is being actively worked with a patch/update scheduled in the near-term, or something where the actual problem has yet to be identified, and there is no expectation of a fix being released any time soon? 
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hayk

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I don't even know if anything is being done on it yet.. since not enough people mentioned it.. but I'm piecing things together especially after I recently did a new WIFI install at clients new home using 3x Ruckus R610 and I upgraded their firmware to 200.7.10.x and did a wifi test and it was really slow since they get a 300mbit downstream and 20mbit up from their ISP provider. The upstream through an ipad pro 2018 was like 600mbit.... but downstream was like 50mbit... ... so reinstalled the older firmware which I know works really well 200.6.10.x.. and I get like 350-400mbit downstream  etc.. I can't open a new ticket myself since my own Ruckus APs no longer have a contract  support...  However I know my clients got their APs less than 60 days so I might register their APs  before losing support since they don't need a support contract since I am their IT consultant.  

Anyway, I just did a test myself with my 2x R710 today. Saved my settings and Went to 200.7.10.x  and got pretty bad download speeds... something like on my Ipad Pro 2018 with iOS 12.4.1 80mbit down and 300mbit up and that's just 6 feet away in the same room. Note using speedflex test.. then rolling back to 200.6.10.x  on the ipad Pro I get 300-400mbit down and 700-800mbit upstream.

I think you would benefit if you went back to last years firmware 200.6.x

The key thing here is for you to write down exactly how your SSID: is spelled like and
what your password is...

Also do you know if you have a bluetooth device plugged into your USB port of the R510? I really doubt you are using that for IOT devices.... but better check with a ladder and look at the rear opening of the R510 and see if anything is plugged into the USB port.... if nothing.. then it's all just wifi from here...

If it's confirmed that you don't have anything in the USB port.. then I think it's safe for you to roll back the firmware of your R510.. and just setup everything again on the ruckus... you don't have to worry about your other wifi devices since all those are setup on the other end.. and the settings are saved like your garage door opener and lock. You just got to make sure you get the same exact wifi name... also Do you know if you have any other SSID besides the one you are using? I know for one of my clients that likes changing the password often. I created a separate SSID for IOT devices  so it can remain the same for the password.

Also another think to know is what is your network structure like?

for example :

cable modem ---> wired router ---> POE switch ---> Ruckus R510


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EJH7

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We had our network & smart home components set-up for us when we moved into our house about 9 months ago, and I'm pretty sure that our r510 AP was on firmware version 200.6.x at that time.  But then a message popped-up one day saying there was a new, improved firmware update available (to 200.7.x) --- guess I should have given that message a little more thought before I said "yes" to the upgrade!  As they say, "No good deed goes unpunished'....  I guess where I'm going with this is that I think we were previously operating on 200.6.x, so a rollback to that version probably isn't going to hurt us.  The only issue we might have is, since I didn't set the r510 up the first time, I don't know if everything in the AP was left at factory default settings, or whether any tweaks were made. 

I do not believe there is anything plugged into the USB port back of the AP, but I'll get up on a ladder and double-check.

Our network structure is:
       Cable Modem > Ruckus ICX-7150 switch > Ruckus r510 AP
The modem & switch are mounted in a small wall enclosure in the laundry room (which as luck would have it, is very near the garage where I have the issues with opening the door with my smartphone!), and the AP is mounted on the ceiling of the front entryway hall, probably 20 ft. away.

When you referred to confirming our SSID name & password --- is that what the Unleashed app shows as the WLAN Name and Password? Just wanted to be sure we were on the same page.

Also, one other observation --- when I re-ran the SpeedFlex test again tonight, standing directly under the AP, I got quite a bit better speed results --- not sure why that would be.
       Average Downlink Speed, Mbps ---   Afternoon:    35;   Evening:  203
       Average Uplink      Speed, Mbps ---   Afternoon:  177;   Evening:  445

Assuming that would be OK to rollback from 200.7.x to 200.6.x firmware --- are there step-by-step instructions available somewhere that explain how to do this rollback?

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hayk

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are there any ethernet ports throughout parts of the house?

also do you have any experience settings up regular consumer wifi routers before that you get at bestbuy or any bigbox store?

Yes SSID name and password is the same as WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) Name and Password.

who is your current ISP (internet Service Provider) a cable provider?  Comcast? Charter? or some other?

is the cabled modem provided by your provider? I want to find out if it is one of the ones that is rented out to you which are normally an all in one cable modem/router/WIFI ? or did you purchase the cable modem? Also find out what model and brand is the cable modem which will help a lot.  Thanks.
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hayk

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Also by any chance do you know the ip of your R510? this way... you can log in directly with a regular webbrowser on your desktop/laptop computer and see more settings on the R510.
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EJH7

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We have 3 ethernet ports in the house --- one each in the living room, family room, and master bedroom. While the builder was interested in doing 'smart homes', apparently they were not interested in the extra expense of running a bunch of ethernet cable to facilitate lots of hardwired connections, so most of the rooms in the house are wifi-dependent.

I have set-up a consumer wifi router or two before, but wouldn't claim I have much "experience" with it. Mostly, I've plugged them in, changed the default router admin name & password, set up SSID/WLAN names & passwords for the 2.4 & 5 GHz channels, and then left the thousands of other settings on the router at their factory defaults.

Our ISP is Cox Communications, and they did provide the cable modem (Technicolor CGM4140) which also has built-in wifi. We were making wifi connections via the cable modem before the smart home folks came to set-up our Ruckus AP.  Once they set-up the smart features, the told us we should make ALL of our wifi connections through the AP SSID, and to discontinue connecting anything via the cable modem SSIDs. The smart home folks also had given us a piece of paper that mentioned, among other things, to tell the Cox modem installer to do something with a modem setting concerning "bridging mode". Can't find the paper now, I don't remember now whether they were supposed to active or deactivate that setting --- and since I had no idea what that setting was, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have.

And yes, I do know the ISP of our r510 AP --- I just tried to connect to it with the Microsoft Edge browser, and got a boatload of scary-looking canned messages up on my screen about certificate errors (why?), and how I should not proceed with the connection. I proceeded anyway, and the Ruckus AP log-in screen popped up, so I'm pretty sure I could get in this way. 

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hayk

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Is either your living room, family room or master bedroom located  somewhere between you R510 and your garage?  That way it may be possible to add a second wifi access point such as another R510 with zero configuration since the master R510 (the current one you have) will adopt it automatically.


The next thing I want you to find out is if your R510 is out into gateway mode. I doubt it is in gateway mode, but it's better to check.  You can find out by login in the webbrowser through desktop/laptop. Go to the Admin & Services Tab, then System, then IP Settings.. There should be a box marked Gateway and should be unchecked... but I just want to verify if it is unchecked. Don't do any changes yet.


At this point I'm assuming it's unchecked and the Technicolor CGM4140 is doing all the routing and DHCP sevices.


Also do you know if the wifi SSID for the Technicolor CGM4140 is still active or not? If so we want to turn that off so there will be less Wifi interference in the house.

Also do you want to continue renting Technicolor CGM4140? I know comcast charges $11 a month  and I'm sure Cox will charge something similar. By purchasing your own equipment it can be paid off itself in 2-3 years... since in your situation you want to purchase a separate modem and separate wired router. Also what bandwidth are you subscribing right now?


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EJH7

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Unfortunately, those 3 wall-mounted ethernet ports are not any closer to the garage than the AP. But the network switch (where all 3 ethernet cables terminate) is located inside an enclosure in the laundry room which IS closer to the garage. So maybe there is still some hope?  

I just logged-in to the AP, and the gateway mode checkbox is NOT checked. 

I believe we had 2 wifi SSIDs set-up on the Cox cable modem after installation (one SSID for the 2.4 GHz band, and one SSID for the 5 GHz band) and, as far as I know, these SSIDs are both still active. (These 2 modem SSID name choices still show up when searching for potential wifi connections from a device). I could log-in to the modem to see if I can figure out how to turn these SSIDs off --- if it's as easy as clicking a couple of checkboxes, I think I could handle that! Is there some way tell if any of our devices are still communicating via the 2 modem SSIDs? If so, maybe I should switch them over to the AP before I cut-off the modem wifi service.

Cox has been charging us $9.99/month rent for the Technicolor modem. Now that everything has been up & running for awhile, I had considered purchasing my own modem, but wasn't confident that I knew enough about the technology requirements to buy the correct product and then install it myself. (I imagine that I'd still have to work with Cox to "authorize" any purchased modem to work on their network?)  When renting the modem, if the modem ever glitches or fails, or if the modem technology requirements change for some reason, Cox would be on-the-hook to keep me up and running. If I purchase a modem, all of that responsibility falls onto me... and I wasn't sure I was fully ready for that challenge!

Currently, we are on a Cox internet plan that is advertised as 150 Mbps --- though if we read the disclaimer fine-print, we all know that seeing that level of speed in any sustained way is highly unlikely....

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hayk

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Is the laundry room right next to the garage? Then there's hope in improving your wifi very easily. At this point presume that the Ruckus ICX-7150  is the compact one that has plenty of POE+ ports which is maybe inside a structured media box. It's a in-wall box for network equipment.. It's more likely it's metal. you can pretty much run a ethernet cable from that box to the ceilling of the laundry room or wall and mount it on the wall.. pretty easily... all you have to do now is buy a R510 new or use or open box.. I suggest the cheapest solution would be ebay... no warranty... just the return window of the provider... Normally the R510 from a dealer with limited life time warranty is about $400ish....  Amazon right now for new is $269 no warranty....besides 30 day return... ebay... $159+$19 shipping open box... from a smart home install that was removed.....

PM me if you want to get the link from ebay

You don't have to get it right away... but I notice the past few weeks this seller restocks every few days....

Again no warranty ...no support.. but I think that's fine... since you are just trying to solve your range issue.. anyway..

Once you plug it in the one of the ethernet  ports... your master R510 will adapt it and will take a few mins to configure it automatically.


As for the modem, I leave that up to you, but I know in most cases those modems don't fail.. so why keep paying for it. When ever you feel like doing that let me know. I can direct you with the right one.  But first turn off the wifi on the Cox provided Modem/router. There should be a way to see what devices are using the actually wifi on 2.4ghz and 5ghz.. I know the Comcast versions give you that information. You should also see a list of devices on the wired connection from your ruckus AP.





(Edited)
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EJH7

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Our laundry room and garage are on opposite sides of a interior wall, which sounds like a good thing in this case. Our ICX-7150 switch is the compact, 12-port version, and is mounted in an in-wall,  structured media enclosure in the laundry room --- though our enclosure is plastic, not metal.

I logged into my Technicolor modem this afternoon, and I think I found how I can turn off the 2 wifi radios in the modem --- this is what your were recommending, correct? What was the advantage of disabling the modem wifi radios? (I also noticed that "Bridge Mode" is DISABLED in the modem, which is what I had referenced earlier as being a requirement of the smart home installations). It was difficult to tell which devices might be communicating directly on the modem wifi because ALL devices seemed to be listed here, even the ones communicating directly with the AP.

(A side question --- While some of the modem and AP client device names are somewhat decipherable, many are super-cryptic, even when I tried to dig-in for further information. What is the easiest way to associate a cryptic client device name with an actual physical device?)

Are you saying above that, if I purchase a second r510 AP and plug it into the ICX-7150 switch, the existing AP will auto-configure the new AP and it will just seamlessly integrate into our network without any intervention from me?  If so, nice feature....

While certainly the most economical option, the eBay alternative you mentioned for sourcing a new AP sounds a little shaky to me. While our house was being built, I got to observe how a lot of  construction folks worked and treated their construction materials ---- leading me to believe that  survival chances would be very low for any AP torn out of a house by a dude with a hammer, even though he might be most well-intentioned dude.  Adding in the lack of any warranty for the eBay AP, and this doesn't seem like the best option.
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hayk

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You can turn off both wifi's "off" on th Technicolor modem/router. If something stopped working, then you know that device is tied to that wifi and you can switch it back on. If any devices are still on the technicolor wifi you'll know and does not matter if you wait a day or two to switch it on since it'll reconnect. If you find such device then you'll need to configure that device and associated to the Ruckus Wifi.  No big deal.

Reason why you want to switch off the Technicolor wifi off is less wifi interference so it does not compete against the ruckus Wifi. If you live in a crowded area say condos and have a lot of wifi ssid around you. Your network would be much slower which is call Wifi congestion.  To give your ruckus the max speed, best to switch off wifi that you are not using unless it's managed by a ruckus controller.

Yes if you get another R510 just plug it directly into the POE switch and it'll take a few mins for your master R510 to configure the new one. Ruckus Unleashed is very easy.


As for getting it from ebay, well I'm getting 3x R510 from a reseller on ebay. I'll let you know. $159 each plus a total of $19 shipping.

On Amazon, it'll be new for certain, but no warranty so $279 now. Prices go up and down. No warranty besides 30 day amazon prime return. Amazon sellers have been dropping this the last few months as 802.11ax/WIFI 6 is starting to get pushed..

My local ruckus dealer sells it for $425 which comes limited life time warranty. I have my clients normally get it.....

So far of all my clients that have ruckus... none have failed since I started recommending them to cilients in 2014. I got my own ruckus 2x R710 each from a ruckus dealer for  $700 each. This is when the Ruckus R710 started shipping and offered a competitive trade up program.  My other clients have used Ruckus 7372 standalone and I was so glad when ruckus came out with unleashed program since most of my clients don't want to pay the license fees and the added cost of the Zone Director when they are a small business or small school.

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EJH7

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I thought I had seen some basic info on the Cox website awhile ago about requirements / recommendations for purchased modems --- if you have some modem recommendations, I could cross-check for a good match, and then decide how I want to proceed on the modem rental vs. purchase question.

I also wanted to loop back around to the earlier discussion regarding AP firmware rollback --- what performance improvement would I expect to see if I rolled back the firmware?  When I was logged-in earlier, I noted that my AP was currently on firmware version 200.7.10.2.339, but that there was a firmware update available to 200.7.10.102.64 --- I don't suppose that installing this minor update (inside of version 200.7.10.x) would improve anything, or get rid of any of the suspected bugs? If rolling back to the last version of 200.6.x should be an improvement, how exactly would I do this?  Is there any risk in attempting a rollback? 

By the way, wanted to say that I appreciate your input on all this so far --- hopefully, it gets me closer to resolving some of these pesky communication issues I've been having between my AP and various devices....

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EJH7

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I had to fight with this webpage / forum system a bit yesterday afternoon to post my last response. Every time I would hit "Submit", it sent me to one of those 'Captcha' things to "prove I wasn't a robot", and after I satisfied that test, it would bounce me back to the forum page but wipe-out everything I had just typed! After this happened a few times, and on two different browsers, I wondered if maybe this system might have a character-count limit for responses that I wasn't aware of --- and rather than just warning me about the limit, it was just blowing itself up in the most irritating way possible! So I broke my response into 2 parts, and was finally able to submit my response successfully.

The reason I bring all this up --- I had included some questions/comments about  1) cryptic client device names,  2) modem purchase recommendations, and  3) the AP firmware rollback. You hadn't  addressed these items in your last response --- and I assumed that this might have been because you hadn't noticed the "split" I was forced to use in posting my last response....

I was going to try turning off the wifi radios in the modem this morning. One thing I noticed --- one of our client devices is mounted outdoors. There must be some sort of transmitter included in the device outside (it has a little antenna), and then a receiver unit that they placed inside our structured media enclosure in the laundry room. This little receiver unit is connected directly to the modem with an ethernet cable. Should I just remove that ethernet cable from the modem, and plug it into the ICX-7150 switch for consistency? This would leave the modem with no responsibilities other than handling the internet communication....
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hayk

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Yes I did see you 2nd message but did not have time to reply.

For a modem purchase only I recommend the arris sb6183 which sells on amazon for $66. It can handle 600+mbps. It’s on the approved list from Cox.

You also need a wired router. I recommend the Edgerouter X which sells for $59 on amazon. Note it is a router that’s not meant for a novice, but does has a setup wizard to get basic functions running. I recommend sticking with firmware 1.10.10. Avoid 2.x firmware for until it is more stable.

Setup order would be like this

Coxial cable —-> arris sb6183 —-> edgerouter x —> ruckus Poe switch

Cryptic device names ... some devices you can log into it and change. It’s default from the manufacture.

Roll back firmware . I high doubt your installers changed much besides leaving it at default settings.
So,if you decided to roll back. It will reset everything on the r510.

Nor can you restore settings saved on a newer firmware install.

To do the rollback ...go to ruckus site for r510 Unleased firmware 2.00.16.10.x... I provided a link with the other poster Ryan . Download the firmware to your laptop.

Go to admin and services

Admin

Then update...

Do a local update from your laptop
Upload it... and continue..

Once uploaded ... give it about 5 mins in case to rebuild.... later on you should see on your WiFi a said called configure me something something.

Check out this YouTube video for setup.

https://youtu.be/j8I5aVwMNMg

If you lost internet connect... have a Ethernet cable ready to plug into an Ethernet port

As for the device that’s plug to the technicolor...you can move it to the ruckus switch.