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Title: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on August 19, 2019, 02:50:12 pm
Does anyone know of a consumer-grade rack mountable router?  I use a Netgear router for my XR18 due to the spotty reputation of the built-in one.  It works fine, but I just got a 6 space rack and I currently have the XR18, a power conditioner and a 2 space drawer mounted in it.  I put the router in the drawer, but I foresee problems with it banging around in there as the rack is transported.  All the rack mounted routers I see seem to be made for IT installations and are way more than I need for my purposes. 
 
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Steve Litscher on August 19, 2019, 03:03:36 pm
I used to use Apple's Airport Express, and have also dabbled with a few other wireless routers from Netgear, Linksys, and so on.

I liked to use heavy duty Velcro to hold the router in place while in transit. I put the "soft" side of the Velcro on the bottom of the router, and the "hook" side on a flat surface inside of the rack (like maybe the top of your power conditioner). When we got to the gig, I'd move the router from inside the rack to the top of the rack and all was good. Never had issues with it moving around whilst in transit and (who knows) maybe got slightly better coverage with the router outside of the rack during the gig.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Bob Stone on August 19, 2019, 03:03:52 pm
Do you mean router or wifi access point?

Either way, check out ubiquiti...they have professional grade gear at high end consumer prices. There's a few single gang wall mount access points they sell that you could probably adapt to rack mount fairly easily.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Steve Litscher on August 19, 2019, 03:06:47 pm
Was going to edit to say what Bob did... :-)

I now use a Ubiquiti wireless access point (UniFi AC Mesh AP) with their EdgeRouter. Superior in every regard and a lot smaller. Set-up was a pain, but survivable. Total investment was around $150.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 19, 2019, 03:24:27 pm
Was going to edit to say what Bob did... :-)

I now use a Ubiquiti wireless access point (UniFi AC Mesh AP) with their EdgeRouter. Superior in every regard and a lot smaller. Set-up was a pain, but survivable. Total investment was around $150.

If my Airport Express ever stops being as reliable as it has been these last few years, I will look for something 'non router' but my 3 Airport Expresses are going strong - NEVER an issue. Small to medium shows mainly...

I also use velcro to hold mine tight in the rack. I have a shelf with slots in there and I have my AE and art net dongle attached to it using the velcro. I check on it every few months to make sure it is holding but no issues after about 3 years of doing it that way.
However, these days I usually use my 2nd unit placed way up high on a boom stand to make sure I can get good line of sight so if I only had the one, keeping it permanently in the rack wouldn't work for me.
I carry my 2nd unit separately in a small camera bag in my kit bag. I made a little mount to fit it that attaches to the boom arm.
OP - consider finding a way to get the router up high instead of installing in rack. You might have been OK till now but there will come time when you'll be thankful the router is NOT in a rack.
Of course if you do go the WAP route you could then just raise up the antenna instead of the whole router like I have to  (thank goodness the AE is so small).....
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Bob Charest on August 19, 2019, 03:26:41 pm
Was going to edit to say what Bob did... :-)

I now use a Ubiquiti wireless access point (UniFi AC Mesh AP) with their EdgeRouter. Superior in every regard and a lot smaller. Set-up was a pain, but survivable. Total investment was around $150.

+1

That's what I'm using now for a single-case solution for duos & trios. The Edgerouter X is tiny (4.33 x 2.95 x 0.87") and if you need more ports, the Edgerouter 10X is still a nice form factor: (10.55 x 5.37 x 1.22".)

BTW, the Edgerouter X doesn't have any RF capability, so that's what we've got the Ubiquiti WAP for.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 19, 2019, 03:41:02 pm
Chris, this has come up before and the short answer is "no."

It's NO because you need the RF part above the heads of the audience and if the all-in-one box is in a rack.... that's some serious lifting.  Using antenna extension cables is possible but the coax needed to to connect them all together without significant cable losses is big, fat, doesn't coil well and costs a whole bunch of $$.

You're better off with a small WAP that can be mounted to a light stand or on top of the PA, that gets its power over the Ethernet connection.  You only have to run a CAT5e (or whatever number) to the WAP, and you can run up to about 300' of cable.

BTW, you dont need a "router".  A router interfaces multiple networks (like your home LAN to the Internet).  The AIO box that you call a router is actually multiple devices - a router, a Wireless Access Point, a DHCP server, a MAC address filter, firewall, and a data switch (it may do a couple other things, too).  You need a WAP and a switch.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on August 19, 2019, 03:46:02 pm
I thought of the velcro thing as well.  After I put everything in the rack I tested it with the router in the drawer and the drawer closed.  I was able to connect from the laptop to the XR18 without any issues.  I know that's not necessarily a real-world scenario, but if worse comes to worse I could always take the router out of the drawer and put it on top of the rack.  Up until now I've had the XR18 sitting directly on the stage with the router next to it.  The laptop controlling the XR18 sits next to me behind the drum kit
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 19, 2019, 03:48:01 pm
I thought of the velcro thing as well.  After I put everything in the rack I tested it with the router in the drawer and the drawer closed.  I was able to connect from the laptop to the XR18 without any issues.  I know that's not necessarily a real-world scenario, but if worse comes to worse I could always take the router out of the drawer and put it on top of the rack.  Up until now I've had the XR18 sitting directly on the stage with the router next to it.  The laptop controlling the XR18 sits next to me behind the drum kit

Aaah- you are on stage with the router - makes a difference. You may not encounter the wi-fi issues we do at FOH.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Kantner on August 19, 2019, 05:02:53 pm
Does anyone know of a consumer-grade rack mountable router?  I use a Netgear router for my XR18 due to the spotty reputation of the built-in one.  It works fine, but I just got a 6 space rack and I currently have the XR18, a power conditioner and a 2 space drawer mounted in it.  I put the router in the drawer, but I foresee problems with it banging around in there as the rack is transported.  All the rack mounted routers I see seem to be made for IT installations and are way more than I need for my purposes.

Someone posted a pic of this Swissonic Dual band rackable router on the XR18 facebook group that Thoman sells:

(https://mthumbs.static-thomann.de/thumb/padthumb600x360/pics/bdb/422678/13962371_800.jpg)

Here is a link to the seller site...I like it but don't want to deal with international shipping so just use a TP Link with the "Velcro and gaff tape" hold-down method:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/swissonic_professional_router_2.htm
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 19, 2019, 07:00:56 pm
I thought of the velcro thing as well.  After I put everything in the rack I tested it with the router in the drawer and the drawer closed.  I was able to connect from the laptop to the XR18 without any issues.  I know that's not necessarily a real-world scenario, but if worse comes to worse I could always take the router out of the drawer and put it on top of the rack.  Up until now I've had the XR18 sitting directly on the stage with the router next to it.  The laptop controlling the XR18 sits next to me behind the drum kit

I would skip the wireless and just run an Ethernet cable to your iPad in this case. 1000x easier and more reliable.

Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Jonathan Hole on August 19, 2019, 09:55:56 pm
Rather similar to Debbie, I have an Airport Express mounted on a 1U rack with a DMX to ethernet interface and a POE injector connected and both zip tie mounted so jacks are at front of the rack.  In the rack is a X32 Core with DL32 stage box.  The band uses the Airport to mix ears on stage - we've opened for A-list bands on very large stages with no troubles.  If I mix on iPad in the audience (versus full M32) I connect a TP-Link Outdoor AP 5G to the POE connection and mount on a small photo type light stand so about 6 ft off the deck.  Have mixed 250' out with no issues in very large venues.  I also keep an Airport Extreme in my FOH kit as a backup.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 20, 2019, 12:53:38 pm
Rather similar to Debbie, I have an Airport Express mounted on a 1U rack with a DMX to ethernet interface and a POE injector connected and both zip tie mounted so jacks are at front of the rack.  In the rack is a X32 Core with DL32 stage box.  The band uses the Airport to mix ears on stage - we've opened for A-list bands on very large stages with no troubles.  If I mix on iPad in the audience (versus full M32) I connect a TP-Link Outdoor AP 5G to the POE connection and mount on a small photo type light stand so about 6 ft off the deck.  Have mixed 250' out with no issues in very large venues.  I also keep an Airport Extreme in my FOH kit as a backup.

Jonathan, is that TP - LINK used as an extender and connected to the Airport Express?
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on August 21, 2019, 12:40:50 pm
For now I'm sticking with the velcro in the drawer method (see what I did there?).  I also checked out the Swissonic and it does look good, but the $$ might not be justified.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 21, 2019, 01:59:00 pm
For now I'm sticking with the velcro in the drawer method (see what I did there?).  I also checked out the Swissonic and it does look good, but the $$ might not be justified.
How are you going to the get rack over people's heads?
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Jay Marr on August 21, 2019, 02:30:38 pm
How are you going to the get rack over people's heads?

I was racking Airport Extreme routers for a while (and they worked great), but they interfered with my Guitar Wireless (shure glxd), and they don't have the option to turn off the 2.4 ghz frequency.
On a recommendation I grabbed a Mikrotik router (tiny and light) and it has been great.  I grabbed 2 of them actually and they both have worked just as good as the Apple, but I can shut off the 2.4 (thus my guitar wireless has been fine) and they are smaller and lighter.

I'm using for bar/club duty, so never going very far (and when the gig starts, my iPad is 3 feet from the router...so disconnect is never going to be likely).
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on August 21, 2019, 02:57:15 pm
How are you going to the get rack over people's heads?
Since the router sits on the stage and the laptop is also on stage usually about 3 feet behind it, we've never experienced any connectivity issues, and I don't expect any once we start using the rack.  This Saturday we'll be trying it out for the first time, so we'll see. 
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 21, 2019, 05:24:54 pm
Since the router sits on the stage and the laptop is also on stage usually about 3 feet behind it, we've never experienced any connectivity issues, and I don't expect any once we start using the rack.  This Saturday we'll be trying it out for the first time, so we'll see.

At which point I have to ask, "why wireless"?
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Lars Petter Dahl on August 22, 2019, 03:00:41 am
This is for the rack-router Nowsonic:

https://www.nowsonic.com/products/live/stage-antenna-set-58-ghz/
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on August 22, 2019, 11:13:30 am
At which point I have to ask, "why wireless"?

During set up, I will take the laptop out in front of the stage while we're checking the FOH speakers and monitors, and being wireless is handy there.  Once the show starts though, the laptop stays next to me onstage(I'm the drummer).  We've done a couple shows where we actually had someone running sound with the laptop in front of the stage, and it still worked fine wirelessly, although it was still a short distance from the XR18 and the crowds were small enough so as not likely to have contention. 
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Ed Hall on August 22, 2019, 07:17:56 pm
I too use the Airport Express and have a setup very similar to Debbie's, iPad mixing, X32 Rack, and Luminair control of lighting. Thanks Debbie. ;) My AE lives in the back of my rack in a plastic holster (https://www.amazon.com/TotalMount-Apple-AirPort-Express-Mount/dp/B009HC7BL8/ref=sr_1_14?crid=3U0JTYDD57L0V&keywords=airport+express+mount&qid=1566514440&s=gateway&sprefix=airport+express%2Caps%2C148&sr=8-14) next to the switch. For smaller shows it works well there. I have a longer Cat5e cable to get it on top of the speaker if needed. I always connect 5GHz. Hidden SSID and everything except the iPad has a static IP address. The AE is handling DHCP. I have two other AEs that are set up to extend the network if needed. I rarely need them.

I've only had one instance when I had trouble keeping a connection. It was at a public pool with about 300 people and in the center of town, next to a cell tower. Fortunately I ALWAYS have a laptop connected with Cat5e and it was a daytime event so no lighting needed.

I'm also of the camp of if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I have looked at some of the Ubiquiti gear. I just don't have the need yet.

Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on August 30, 2019, 10:23:34 am
So I ordered the Swissonic Professional Router 2.  Probably overkill, since the Netgear router I've been using has worked flawlessly for years now and was a fraction of the cost.  But I really like the idea of having it mounted in the rack instead of sitting in a drawer.  I also had to order a 1 space drawer to replace the 2 space drawer I have since the router will take up a space.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 30, 2019, 03:51:56 pm
So I ordered the Swissonic Professional Router 2.  Probably overkill, since the Netgear router I've been using has worked flawlessly for years now and was a fraction of the cost.  But I really like the idea of having it mounted in the rack instead of sitting in a drawer.  I also had to order a 1 space drawer to replace the 2 space drawer I have since the router will take up a space.

All this discussion of line of site and near field obstruction and you go and pay for an overpriced rack mounted unit.  Makes me wonder why we even bother.

Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Chris Doyle on September 05, 2019, 04:36:13 pm
I thought the purpose of this forum was a free exchange of ideas among people with a common interest.  I greatly respect the knowledge and expertise of the members and much appreciate their taking the time to reply to my post.  But I don't think asking for advice obligates me to do whatever someone might recommend.  I did say that it is probably overkill(though I don't believe it is overpriced) and that what I have has worked flawlessly. And since I mix from the stage, line of site and near field obstruction are not issues.  I will be the first to admit I'm a novice at best at this, and I will continue to consult this forum to increase my knowledge.  Thanks again for all the replies.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on September 06, 2019, 03:18:19 am
I thought the purpose of this forum was a free exchange of ideas among people with a common interest.  I greatly respect the knowledge and expertise of the members and much appreciate their taking the time to reply to my post.  But I don't think asking for advice obligates me to do whatever someone might recommend.  I did say that it is probably overkill(though I don't believe it is overpriced) and that what I have has worked flawlessly. And since I mix from the stage, line of site and near field obstruction are not issues.  I will be the first to admit I'm a novice at best at this, and I will continue to consult this forum to increase my knowledge.  Thanks again for all the replies.

Free exchange all you want, you were answered by a network engineer with 35 years of experience, one of the most experienced RF guys in the forum, several touring professionals and then you went and did the exact opposite.

Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Brian Bolly on September 06, 2019, 11:11:56 am
Some quick google-fu tells me the guts of that Swissonic are a Zioncom (also branded as Totolink) router, likely their A950RG, but possibly the A3000RU.

Basically, that 1U rack mount router is the guts of a $30-40 box with some fancy metalwork and a couple Ethercons on the front.  I wouldn't expect much from it.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Nick Falbo on September 19, 2019, 07:07:44 pm
Why anyone uses consumer grade network gear to run a show is beyond me. Apple, Netgear,  etc. Are all not made for use in high wireless traffic areas. Also I am blown away by the people that don't know that a router is not a wireless device...

Best way to think of it here folks, would you go to Walmart and buy speakers from Walmart to use as your FOH mains? If the answer is no why would you buy a Walmart routers with wireless AP built in to use as you network for your system?

You don't always need a router is you are just trying to get wireless access. A router is a piece of hardware that routes traffic between two or more Networks, if you are not routing between two different networks then all you need is a wireless access point.

Wireless Networks work in the 2.4ghz and 5ghz frequencies, which are effected highly by obstacles like walls or a crowd of people. Hence why it is better to get the access point or antennas above the crowd, line of sight from computer to antenna will give you better coverage than buying a higher price AP. This is the reason why people start to have trouble with their wireless coverage, they put one consumer grade wireless router in a rack on stage behind all the gear and well below the height of the crowd, then can't figure out why they loose signal 50ft away from the stage.

Here is the biggest thing, if you do not know, ask or have someone set it up for you. Stop trying to be the musician/sound engineer that knows it all and won't get help from an IT professional. Stop asking for advice and then disagreeing with the advice that people give you.

P.s. I work in the IT field as my 9 to 5 job.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Scott Slater on September 20, 2019, 08:05:55 am
Why anyone uses consumer grade network gear to run a show is beyond me. Apple, Netgear,  etc. Are all not made for use in high wireless traffic areas.

I agree for the most part, but the Apple iPads are finicky, and like something about Apple's wireless better than business-grade APs.  I was running a Fortigate 100D with a FAP-221E and I was getting regular drops with line of sight to the AP at about 15' to 20' away.  I replaced this network gear with an Apple AirPort Extreme and have had no issues since.  So as Ivan says......it depends.
Title: Re: Rackable router?
Post by: Rob Spence on September 20, 2019, 03:57:18 pm
Why anyone uses consumer grade network gear to run a show is beyond me. Apple, Netgear,  etc. Are all not made for use in high wireless traffic areas. Also I am blown away by the people that don't know that a router is not a wireless device...

Best way to think of it here folks, would you go to Walmart and buy speakers from Walmart to use as your FOH mains? If the answer is no why would you buy a Walmart routers with wireless AP built in to use as you network for your system?

You don't always need a router is you are just trying to get wireless access. A router is a piece of hardware that routes traffic between two or more Networks, if you are not routing between two different networks then all you need is a wireless access point.

Wireless Networks work in the 2.4ghz and 5ghz frequencies, which are effected highly by obstacles like walls or a crowd of people. Hence why it is better to get the access point or antennas above the crowd, line of sight from computer to antenna will give you better coverage than buying a higher price AP. This is the reason why people start to have trouble with their wireless coverage, they put one consumer grade wireless router in a rack on stage behind all the gear and well below the height of the crowd, then can't figure out why they loose signal 50ft away from the stage.

Here is the biggest thing, if you do not know, ask or have someone set it up for you. Stop trying to be the musician/sound engineer that knows it all and won't get help from an IT professional. Stop asking for advice and then disagreeing with the advice that people give you.

P.s. I work in the IT field as my 9 to 5 job.

Nick, we go over this stuff about twice a year.

For most folk, they are not running in a high traffic environment. The bandwidth needs for weekend warrior use is pretty minimal.

Most folk would love Danley or EAW for their bar rigs but realistically there is no business case for it.

For WiFi control, the budget lines up with the gig value.
No one here is proposing to do an A list stadium show with ďroutersĒ from Walmart.

I have used Netgear units for many years without trouble for many small gigs. I use 5gb only. For bigger events I use a Ubiquiti AP.

These days every sound person needs some networking just like most need some lighting. They cannot afford to hire pros to set it up for them and so they ask here for help, not a put down.
They want to make good sound and often that is where they focus. For many, they want the lights and WiFi to work like an appliance, and that is ok.

I have likely done IT longer than you have been on the planet. Yes, a long time. I donít know everything but I do know what I donít know.

Edit:
Nick, most of your points have been discussed in this very thread, weeks ago. I donít know you but you come across as a condescending know it all who just dropped in to poop on everybody.

Perhaps read more and post less?