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Author Topic: Switch from router to WAP ?  (Read 3952 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Switch from router to WAP ?
« on: August 21, 2019, 10:14:12 pm »

A couple of current threads got me thinking maybe I should get a more powerful WAP.
Yes, I have had AMAZING performance from my Airport Express routers  as I have commented on many times here but it would be nice to be able to get a bit more distance from the stage reliably sometimes.

A couple (?) of years ago, I was getting advice from folks here and the Ubiquiti Bullet ( I believe) was mentioned - since then I have seen some of the nightmares members have had trying to configure some models - this one in particular.
This is the kind of thing that makes me nervous upgrading to a dedicated WAP as opposed to a router.   " If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  comes to mind.
Anyway, is there a suitable WAP that wouldn't cause me to lose sleep trying to configure it ? - I have limited knowledge about these things and I need something that will be a relatively easy set up.....
Currently - iPad controls A & H QU-PAC/ SQ6 and Art Net DMX lighting.
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Bob Stone

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 11:05:00 pm »

Stick with what you have...Ubiquiti stuff is awesome, but it's not as user friendly and there are limits to RF.
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Brian Adams

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 11:37:33 pm »

Debbie, I'm in the same boat. I use Airport Express routers, sometimes up to 4-5 of them at once, all sharing the same network between consoles or to extend the network to other areas. I'd love to replicate that setup with something more robust (in terms of performance), but I haven't been able to find anything that checks all the boxes I need it to.

I wouldn't mind a little setup on the front end as long as it works every time. I've programmed Ubiquiti point to point dishes before, and they were only a tiny bit frustrating. I can certainly handle that. I get into a lot of venues where my Airport Express wifi gets a little sketchy for a while, and a few who's spectrum is so crowded I can hardly get anything to work at all. I really need to find something better soon.

If you find anything that works, let me know!
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Brian Adams
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Dave Bednarski

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 08:02:37 am »

My Rack: https://dbmisc.s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/IMG_6776.JPG

Its been 2-3 years now without an issue.  As others have said the Ubiquiti stuff has a slight curve but has been set-it-and-forget-it.  I carry two access points as backup or when we do separate monitor & FOH positions.  The PoE power of the access points is wonderful.

Shallow 10 rack - no need to access the rear of the unit.  The drawer is great, keeps the rack self contained.  The Whirlwind PowerLinks are in all of my racks for low-power-draw devices - its very streamlined.

I carry a Amplifi Instant Router (https://amplifi.com/instant) in my backpack for walk-on jobs or if when I want to use the iPad as a nice to have supplement to the console.  Pro tiny and I can power it from the USB port on consoles.  Range is decent in small crowds.  Con needs frequent hard resets!  Would not recommend at this time (hopefully future firmware makes it more stable).  :-(

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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 08:46:13 am »

I'm dubious of some of the comments on here in many previous threads about the need for a high end wifi solution.

For the past 6 years I have been using 3 very cheap ( less than $40) consumer grade routers with wifi including a Belkin unit that is probably 15 years old now and we have only experienced a serious connection issue one time. None of our routers are 5ghz capable. Only mixers we've connected to are a dl1608 and an X32 Producer.

My experience makes it hard for me to understand why so many people seem to have issues with reliable connections.

On outside jobs I have stayed connected up to 200 ft away from routers that only publish a 75 ft range. Of course we are ONLY connected to the mixer router and the mixer  itself with no  cellular data network of any type or light controller etc. connected.

I have to wonder if the folks having issues also have cellular service enabled on their tablets or are performing other tasks with it. Maybe it's not the wifi connection, but that the tablets are being asked to perform to many functions at once?
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John Schalk

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 09:01:54 am »

Debbie,

I decided to try adding a Ubiquity WAP to our Apple Airport Extreme strictly for outdoor, festival type situations.  My experience outdoors with the Airport Extreme was that I had maybe 40' - 60' of range, but beyond that, I would start to have dropouts.  Since we added an M32 core to our DL32 rack to allow us to use our own mics and normal stage setup for festivals (just give the house LR+Sub), I needed something with more range so I could mix the band on a tablet at larger events.  The Ubiquity Mesh AP (skinny one with 2 antennas in the picture above) worked really well for this so if you need more range for your band's LAN, then I think a WAP is worth the effort.  However, if you're not experiencing dropouts while you use your tablets and phones, then stick with what you have is my advice.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 09:53:53 am »

I'm dubious of some of the comments on here in many previous threads about the need for a high end wifi solution.

For the past 6 years I have been using 3 very cheap ( less than $40) consumer grade routers with wifi including a Belkin unit that is probably 15 years old now and we have only experienced a serious connection issue one time. None of our routers are 5ghz capable. Only mixers we've connected to are a dl1608 and an X32 Producer.

My experience makes it hard for me to understand why so many people seem to have issues with reliable connections.

On outside jobs I have stayed connected up to 200 ft away from routers that only publish a 75 ft range. Of course we are ONLY connected to the mixer router and the mixer  itself with no  cellular data network of any type or light controller etc. connected.

I have to wonder if the folks having issues also have cellular service enabled on their tablets or are performing other tasks with it. Maybe it's not the wifi connection, but that the tablets are being asked to perform to many functions at once?

I too wonder sometimes why folks have such a hard time staying connected but put it down to them living in heavier populated areas than me. 
Like I said, I get fantastic results from my little AE's and couldn't be happier with the service they have given me. Stability has NEVER been an issue. 
However, when I first started using remote mixing through routers a few years ago I hardly ever had problems using either 2.4/5gHz and kept my router in a rack. As the air waves have become more and more congested, I have had to adapt to using 5gHz every show and removing the router from the rack and raise it up nice and high.
Getting something to extend the range would be the next step for me I suppose....
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2019, 09:59:39 am »

Debbie,

I decided to try adding a Ubiquity WAP to our Apple Airport Extreme strictly for outdoor, festival type situations.  My experience outdoors with the Airport Extreme was that I had maybe 40' - 60' of range, but beyond that, I would start to have dropouts.  Since we added an M32 core to our DL32 rack to allow us to use our own mics and normal stage setup for festivals (just give the house LR+Sub), I needed something with more range so I could mix the band on a tablet at larger events.  The Ubiquity Mesh AP (skinny one with 2 antennas in the picture above) worked really well for this so if you need more range for your band's LAN, then I think a WAP is worth the effort.  However, if you're not experiencing dropouts while you use your tablets and phones, then stick with what you have is my advice.

That's just it John, I get hardly any drop out - it is rare. I would just like to extend the range of what I have but I'm not going to cause myself any headaches doing it. What I have works so I don't NEED to make a change but on the odd outdoor show, I would like to be able to get better distance between me and the stage whilst using the iPad.
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Brian Adams

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2019, 10:05:31 am »

John, I've considered the Ubiquiti Mesh AP.

My typical setup is an Airport Express in each mixer case to "extend" the network to that mixer (connected to the LAN port on the Express), and then a master unit that each of them talk to over wifi. This keeps all the mixers (sometimes 3-4 at once) on the same network, which allows me to quickly switch between mixers, and the IP's are always the same no matter the quantity or configuration of the mixers. It's also nice not having to physically connect the mixer networks to each other. I can use any mixer by itself or with any others, and it's easy.

This setup works fine, until it doesn't. Venues with crowded spectrum are a problem, and shows with large audiences can make it drop out for a while (sometimes the whole show). The range isn't so much an issue for me, it's reliability in all situations. I really need to find a better solution.

I'm having a hard time figuring out if I could setup a few Mesh AP's similarly to my current setup, or if I'd have to entirely reconsider how I do things. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Brian Adams
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Steve Litscher

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Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2019, 10:49:03 am »

I was a strong supporter and proponent of the Airport Express - I had seven of them and regularly checked eBay to see if any decent used versions were available. They are great little devices.

That said... mine started acting-up with my old dLive rig. I'm not sure if it was a firmware update or what, but they went from having more range and reliability than they should to becoming flaky and finicky. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have updated all of their firmware in one fell swoop, but what's the saying about 20/20 vision?

So, I made the switch to Ubiquiti. It was semi-painful, primarily because the Ubiquiti devices are so flexible and can be configured in an almost endless array of situations. Most of the tutorials are geared toward people who have a full network (WAN connectivity and so on), so extrapolating what's really needed was frustrating to me.

I eventually landed on what has proven to be a completely bulletproof configuration - the Ubiquiti Unifi Mesh AP, connected to a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter. The entire set-up cost less than $140 and is uber-compact and beyond rock solid.

My beginner's tip/trick: you *need* to connect the Mesh AP to an active, working network (doesn't have to be your "final" network, just something with a live router that has DHCP and internet connectivity) so that you can configure it with the Unifi application. Figuring this out was the key to success.

I've been re-homing the AEs ever since making the switch, and I just ordered two more Mesh APs and an EdgeRouter for an upcoming tour.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Switch from router to WAP ?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2019, 10:49:03 am »


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