Radio Management

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Cisco has a great radio management command:

config advanced 802.11b tx-powethresh [RSSI in dBm]

When this command is used each access point's third loudest neighbour is not allowed to exceed the specified dBm. This command is obviously used to "tone down" loud wireless networks, which commonly occurs with high density deployments.

Does Aerohive have an equivalent command or commands to "tone down" loud wireless networks?

To maintain compatibility with some legacy devices I have set the 12 and 24 Mbps data rates as basic with all other data rates set to optional - except for the 802.11b data rates that are disabled.
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Crowdie, Champ

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Posted 5 years ago

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Adam Conway

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Hi Crowdie,
We don't have a specific command like that but we may have a similar capability. That said I am not sure that I understand what the cisco feature does, when you say neighboring networks, I assume you mean neighboring network managed by the same Cisco controller?
Best,
AC
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Crowdie, Champ

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The specified command is part of Cisco's Transmit Power Control system and is useful when neighbouring (but managed by the same WLC or WLCs) access points are too loud. When you set a tx threshold using the command each access point detemines:

(1) If it has three neighbours
(2) If it has three neighbours and the third strongest neighbour is detected by the access point with a RSSI higher than the tx threshold then the neighbour has its tx power dropped.
(3) This process is repeated for the fourth strongest neighbour, fifth strongest neighbour, sixth strongest neighbour, etc.
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Adam Conway

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Hi Crowdie,
That is not how our power control works. We take into account interfering devices but our algorithm functions differently. So no we dont have that command.
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Crowdie, Champ

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I am finding that the Aerohive radio management is making the tx power too high but, if I manually set the tx power to a lower level, I remove the ability of the radio management to increase the tx power, in the case of a failure with a neighbouring access point, or decrease the tx power if required.

Is there a way to get the radio management to cool the tx power across the deployment without "neutering" the radio management system?
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Adam Conway

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There isn't a way of using both manual and automatic control. As you have noticed, our power control is pretty conservative, but that is largely due to what mobile clients need. APs see eachother much better than clients see APs (I suspect you already know this) so we keep our power pretty high. That said, we have deployed in extremely dense environments with our standard TX power control without issue.
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Crowdie, Champ

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What I am seeing is very low Tx retries but Rx retries in the high forties and low fifties. Any thoughts on how to get those Rx retries down? Around 70% or our clients are Android/iPad/iPhone so that is why I am trying to get the tx power down and the BASIC data rates up.
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Tash Hepting

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You can set an overall max Tx power for auto-tune by modifying the radio profile that your WiFi interfaces use. I've attached a screenshot of where the config is.

From the help:
Max Transmit Power: Use this option on radio profiles for which you intend to apply automatic power selection (see "Aerohive AP Settings"). With this option, you set the maximum transmission power that the radio can use. By default, the maximum transmission power option is enabled. For the radio in 11b/g mode the default setting is 20 dBm. For the radio in 11a mode, it is 15 dBm. Aerohive has determined that these two settings provide optimal performance in the majority of cases when using automatic power selection. However, if there is more interference or contention than normal, you can reduce the area of radio coverage by setting a lower maximum power level and deploying the APs more densely. The range is from 10 to 20 dBm.

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Crowdie, Champ

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Tash,

Thanks for the recommended Tx_max settings.

We found that some legacy 2.4 GHz devices were extremely poor at roaming with the 2.4 GHz Tx_max of 20 dBm so we dropped it down to 17 dBm and this helped significantly.

Our 5 GHz Tx_max is currently 20 dBm as the 5 GHz signal has far worse signal propagation than 2.4 GHz. With this in mind are you able to advise why the 5 GHz Tx_max should be lower than the 2.4 GHz equivalent?

In some of our denser deployment areas the radio management has set the 2.4 GHz Tx power to 11 dBm and even this is too high. Are you advising that we should be making unique radio profiles with differing Tx_max settings depending on the access point density? If so, can you see any issues as clients roam between different access points with different Tx_max settings?

It is worth noting that we are not currently receiving any user complaints about the wireless network performance so is the Rx retry rates of high forties and low fifties just a red herring?
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Tash Hepting

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Crowdie,

I'm just quoting straight from the Hivemanager help, and I'm not really sure what went into determining those numbers. I would expect to use higher TX power for 5GHz because of the attenuation and larger selection of channels....

I'm also wondering if the help file might be a little out of date since I just looked at several default 5GHz radio profiles and they are all set to max 20dBm.
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Crowdie, Champ

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Maybe an option to adjust how "conservative" (to use Adam's terminology) the radio management is on a per radio profile basis could be an excellent feature?