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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Wireless and Communications => Topic started by: Mark Norgren on January 23, 2020, 07:38:30 am

Title: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Mark Norgren on January 23, 2020, 07:38:30 am
I currently use an Apple Airport Express to run my M32R from an iPad.  I had problems at an outdoor downtown location with too other many routers and I had a number of drops during the show.  It would be nice to set up a better wireless network that would be reliable in most traveling types of applications?

I have tried to read this section for ideas and know enough about routers, etc, just be dangerous.  I see that some have had good results with an "Access Point".  Ubiquiti seems to be a brand mentioned, specifically a mesh system?  I could use a Macbook Pro or laptop to set the system up, but would prefer to not have to use a laptop during gigs, one less thing to turn on and hook up.

There is a chance that I am way off base and not asking the right questions?  I'm looking for a reliable way, avoid drops, hide a network and use wifi to control my Midas board?  Lastly, iot would be nice to increase the range of my router that I could control the board from, more than 30-40 feet?  Any chance someone would be willing to post or PM me an affordable solution?  I would need to know recommendations for purchase and have a general idea of how to set up the access point and hook it up to my board.  If that's what's recommended?  I'm not a network administrator, so please forgive my ignorance!  It might be nice to update or create a sticky with this type of info?  Thanks for your assistance!
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Taylor Hall on January 23, 2020, 08:41:29 am
I would invest first in a better router. Specifically one able to make use of external antennas with something like an SMA or UFL connector on the back. The Airport Express was never known for its incredible range, and something more modern might give you better results. Also, like any other wireless deployment, channel coordination could help you as well. A quick signal scan would show you what wifi channels are the most congested and you may find that manually switching to a less cluttered one will help.

Pretty much any ASUS router can be set up to work as a repeater as a cheap alternative to dedicated enterprise APs. There again, though, this idea relies on the strength of the signal from your FOH position, so if that is lacking you'll be hamstrung in how far you can reach out.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Rolando Saenz on January 23, 2020, 11:47:34 am
I currently use an Apple Airport Express to run my M32R from an iPad.  I had problems at an outdoor downtown location with too other many routers and I had a number of drops during the show.  It would be nice to set up a better wireless network that would be reliable in most traveling types of applications?

I have tried to read this section for ideas and know enough about routers, etc, just be dangerous.  I see that some have had good results with an "Access Point".  Ubiquiti seems to be a brand mentioned, specifically a mesh system?  I could use a Macbook Pro or laptop to set the system up, but would prefer to not have to use a laptop during gigs, one less thing to turn on and hook up.

There is a chance that I am way off base and not asking the right questions?  I'm looking for a reliable way, avoid drops, hide a network and use wifi to control my Midas board?  Lastly, iot would be nice to increase the range of my router that I could control the board from, more than 30-40 feet?  Any chance someone would be willing to post or PM me an affordable solution?  I would need to know recommendations for purchase and have a general idea of how to set up the access point and hook it up to my board.  If that's what's recommended?  I'm not a network administrator, so please forgive my ignorance!  It might be nice to update or create a sticky with this type of info?  Thanks for your assistance!

I use this one with excellent results

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1089828-REG/tp_link_cpe510_5_ghz_300.html

i use it to control an X18 mixer from my ipad , android tablet and phone it have 500mW of power and 13dBi of gain dual polarized antennas
since it is 5Ghz it is immune to all the crap that live in the 2.4Ghz spectrum

i have adjusted the output on mine to 25% of total RF output and i can tweak the X18 from anywhere on a big ballroom or club's
certainly more than 50' , with my setup i can go as far as 200', havent tried more than that but we do not mix from 2 blocks away :D

some of the features of the CPE510 below:

Wireless signal quality indicators:
Signal strength/noise/transmit CCQ/CPU/memory
Monitors: Throughput/Stations/Interfaces/ARP/Routes/WAN/DHCP
Spectrum analyzer
Speed test
Ping
Traceroute

it have POE and it is wate proof
it was designed to be outside on a pole

I am very satisfied with it
it is a night and day difference from the internal "AP" that the x18 have
it is slow and slugish, with the CPE510 you can see all the meters and EQ spectrum analyzer  move smooth and in real time

my 2 cents.
Rolando
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 23, 2020, 12:45:09 pm
AGAIN, it may be "semantics" to you all, but what you need is a better ACCESS POINT.  YOU DONT NEED A FUCKING ROUTER.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on January 23, 2020, 12:58:32 pm
I started this thread:
https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=171874.70
......back in september and I couldn't be happier with my results from using my existing Airport Express in conjunction with the Ubiquity mesh as an extender. 
I had exactly the same problems as you - no issues until I had to be some distance from the router or/and was in an area with a high wifi traffic.
I had the choice of eliminating the AE and using the mesh as stand alone WAP but chose this method instead so I wouldn't have to assign a static address to everything plugged into my switch. I have had ZERO drop outs since using the mesh and I am happy I chose this route.
At some point I might eliminate the AE when I get time to set everything up for now - it works. 
The Ubiquity Mesh is definitely NOT plug and play so if you do choose to do the same you might want to ask for help from one of the folks here experienced in networking - as did I!...
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Brian Jojade on January 23, 2020, 02:26:33 pm
The most simple way to look at it is you need your device to talk to a wireless access point within your network. That access point should be as close as possible to your device. The further away it gets, the slower the signal, and longer the latency.

If you can run a wire to each access point, you can put access points wherever you want. Give them the same SSID and password, and your device will connect to whichever one has the strongest S/N ratio.  It's not too difficult.

You can also set up wireless mesh networks, however realize that each wireless hop means a slower connection and more latency.  Wired is ALWAYS going to be better.

Generally, what I'll do is put an access point on each side of the stage and one at FOH.  All hardwired into a single network.  Using POE means all I need to do is have a cat5 connection and we're good to go.  Easy. Reliable. Inexpensive.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Scott Holtzman on January 23, 2020, 03:13:16 pm
AGAIN, it may be "semantics" to you all, but what you need is a better ACCESS POINT.  YOU DONT NEED A FUCKING ROUTER.


Wow, Tim raising his voice. lol


BTW I grabbed a Mictrotik router board which while it does have a router you won't use it does have a PoE port for an extra AP and a wonderful AP built in.  The fact it has a DHCP server and a useful web interface make it far more approachable for the non-network savvy.


I think it performs as well if not better than the Ubiquity in the RF department and it is cheap.



Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Miguel Dahl on January 23, 2020, 03:25:10 pm
I use an old router (sorry Tim!) which is fairly average on the reception with the stock antenna. The key is that the antenna is detachable, whenever I know I need some more oompf to the Wifi I connect my extremely cheapo aliexpress directional antenna to the router and elevate it as much in the open as I can. Where I have one bar from the Apple Airport I have full bars with my own setup.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Keith Broughton on January 23, 2020, 04:21:01 pm
AGAIN, it may be "semantics" to you all, but what you need is a better ACCESS POINT.  YOU DONT NEED A FUCKING ROUTER.
While I am on board with what you are trying to get across.....good luck!
I have adopted the correct nomenclature at your ...er...how shall I put this...guidance and urging ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 23, 2020, 05:09:42 pm
While I am on board with what you are trying to get across.....good luck!
I have adopted the correct nomenclature at your ...er...how shall I put this...guidance and urging ;D ;D

I've been known to joust with windmills, too...  ;D
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Dave Garoutte on January 23, 2020, 05:37:05 pm
I've been known to joust with windmills, too...  ;D
Who won?
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 23, 2020, 07:54:58 pm
Who won?
So far it's a draw.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Mark Norgren on January 23, 2020, 09:39:06 pm
I apologize if I pissed people off with my question.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Geert Friedhof on January 23, 2020, 10:35:08 pm
I apologize if I pissed people off with my question.

It's all in good fun. Don't worry.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Rob Spence on January 24, 2020, 12:13:37 am
It hasn’t been mentioned recently but...

The box the OP calls a router is actually a box with many devices inside.
1 a router
2 a network switch
3 a WAP (WiFi Access Point)
4 a DHCP server

Most of us only use the WAP, DHCP server and the switch at a gig.
A mesh WAP can plug in to the switch too.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Keith Broughton on January 24, 2020, 06:57:02 am
I apologize if I pissed people off with my question.
Don't sweat it. Tim just keeps us honest ;D
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Mark Norgren on January 24, 2020, 08:02:09 am
It still begs the question. 

What I have garnered is that I should just buy a better router?  Use the 5G side and should be good?

Can someone PM me with a link to a router they have good luck with?
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Brian Bolly on January 24, 2020, 08:56:01 am
So far it's a draw.

Let me guess...you just keep going around and around again.


Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Rolando Saenz on January 24, 2020, 10:39:57 am
AGAIN, it may be "semantics" to you all, but what you need is a better ACCESS POINT.  YOU DONT NEED A FUCKING ROUTER.
Chill man you do not need to yell

Indeed this work as an AP only  and that's how i use it

CPE510 highlights
Operation modes : AP / Client / Bridge / Repeater / AP Router / AP Client Router (WISP)
Built-in 13dBi 2x2 dual-polarized directional MIMO antenna
Adjustable transmission power from 0 to 23dBm/200mw
System-level optimizations for more than 15km long range wireless transmission
TP-LINK Pharos MAXtream TDMA (Time-Division-Multiple-Access) technology improves product performance in throughput, capacity and latency performance, ideal for PTMP applications
Centralized Management System – Pharos Control
Passive PoE Adapter supports up to 60 meter (200 feet) Power over Ethernet deployment and allows the device to be reset remotely
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Rolando Saenz on January 24, 2020, 10:55:26 am
  Any chance someone would be willing to post or PM me an affordable solution?  I would need to know recommendations for purchase and have a general idea of how to set up the access point and hook it up to my board.  If that's what's recommended?  I'm not a network administrator, so please forgive my ignorance!  It might be nice to update or create a sticky with this type of info?  Thanks for your assistance!

PM sent
just tell me what AP you decided to buy
i can help you out to configure the AP and your board

you don't really need a mesh wifi network for your application
those are used on big buildings or large areas to cover like univeristy campuses where one wifi antenna cannot cover the entire area

in this case you only need one antenna that will reach  basically a line of sight to yor stage , if you dont see your speakers , how can you make accurate mixing adjustements on your board :D

I am not a big fan of DHCP so i assign static IP addresses to the units i want to control

i have tried several units for WIFI range from Netgear, Dlink, Tplink, and Ubiquiti
the Netgear and dlink was not consistent enough, the Ubiquiti was great but the price was high
and the Tplink worked great and at a great price so i returned the Ubiquity and stay with the Tplink


Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Scott Holtzman on January 24, 2020, 07:25:37 pm
It still begs the question. 

What I have garnered is that I should just buy a better router?  Use the 5G side and should be good?

Can someone PM me with a link to a router they have good luck with?


Is not 5G it's 5Ghz.  5Ghz is a wifi band assignment 5G is a mobile telephone standard.  They seem to get confused all the time.



Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 24, 2020, 08:14:37 pm

Is not 5G it's 5Ghz.  5Ghz is a wifi band assignment 5G is a mobile telephone standard.  They seem to get confused all the time.

Semantics matter?😤
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Mark Norgren on January 26, 2020, 10:45:31 am
OMG! 

Whatever, I'm moving on.  I really tried.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Steve-White on January 26, 2020, 12:58:50 pm
Who won?
I wouldn't wanna be the windmill...  :)
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 28, 2020, 10:54:17 am
OMG! 

Whatever, I'm moving on.  I really tried.

Well, the answers are here. Like the X Files, the truth is out there.  And the reality is that you don't need a Mesh, you need a decent WAP.  Use fixed IP addresses and the EnGenius ENS500ext or it's current equivalent.  5gHz, very good range if you put it up on a speaker or mic stand and get it overhead.  Simpler to configure than any of the Ubiquity Networks gear.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on January 28, 2020, 11:50:59 am
Well, the answers are here. Like the X Files, the truth is out there.  And the reality is that you don't need a Mesh, you need a decent WAP.  Use fixed IP addresses and the EnGenius ENS500ext or it's current equivalent.  5gHz, very good range if you put it up on a speaker or mic stand and get it overhead.  Simpler to configure than any of the Ubiquity Networks gear.
but if he doesn't get a Ubiquiti Mesh, he won't be able to do this.....
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Dave Garoutte on January 28, 2020, 12:15:49 pm
but if he doesn't get a Ubiquiti Mesh, he won't be able to do this.....
I think your rabbit ears are overdressed for most of my gigs.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on January 28, 2020, 12:30:39 pm
I think your rabbit ears are overdressed for most of my gigs.

That's his casual look.... I have a real miniature sized tuxedo, dress pants and shoes.....
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 28, 2020, 03:52:05 pm
That's his casual look.... I have a real miniature sized tuxedo, dress pants and shoes.....

It's all about the accessories...
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on January 28, 2020, 05:36:09 pm
It is Tim - it is. I've had a few comments and giggles from musicians and audience members.
I don't mind paying for his accessories as long as he keeps giving me the excellent service he has done so far.
If he starts letting me down, his wardrobe budget takes a nose dive.
Title: Re: Mesh Access Point for Dummies
Post by: Rob Spence on January 29, 2020, 11:59:17 am
Well, the answers are here. Like the X Files, the truth is out there.  And the reality is that you don't need a Mesh, you need a decent WAP.  Use fixed IP addresses and the EnGenius ENS500ext or it's current equivalent.  5gHz, very good range if you put it up on a speaker or mic stand and get it overhead.  Simpler to configure than any of the Ubiquity Networks gear.

I agree he doesn’t need the mesh function but just using it as a single WAP makes the learning worthwhile.
It is powered via POE
It mounts nice for a tall stand
It is weather proof

Just my $0.02