Run AP 350 as a client and bridge Ethernet -

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I have a bus garage with  AP350s deployed as Mesh Portals.  I have AP350's installed in buses as Mesh Points.  I would like to convert the Bus AP's to Client devices.  
I have POE from the bus in Eth0 and a client PC in Eth1.  The issue I'm trying to cope with is when to many buses arrive at the same time, the buses will mesh with the 1st best signal that it gets which could be another bus rather than a designated Mesh Portal.  

(Future request:  Allow AP's to run as a client.  By changing the Bus mounted Ap to a client device, I can avoid the pitfalls of multi-hop Mesh connections and reduce interference and CCA related to multiple AP's running on the same channel.)

If anyone has any idea's to circumvent this behavior, I would love to hear it.

Thanks,

Kurt
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Kurt Kidder

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Posted 4 years ago

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Tim Ruda, Official Rep

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Hi Kurt,

The AMRP mesh connections are formed based on cost values that are calculated using a number of metrics (RSSI / SNR, data rate, etc.) so I would expect two buses nearby each other with a good signal may calculate a lower link cost than the intended link.

It is possible on AP's to set a static link cost, which I have seen used to "prefer" certain AP's as mesh neighbors and trick the AP into using a desired AP instead of the calculated one.


If you navigate to an AP's specific settings (via Monitor tab, check the AP and click "Modify") scroll down and expand the "Routing" section, you'll see the section "Layer 2 Route Configuration"...


What can be done here is to specify the primary portal AP interface that you would prefer the mesh AP's connect to by telling the AP that it has the lowest cost. I typically have not seen a real-world mesh link cost under 30, so in the past I have configured a desired link at a metric of 30/30 and have had success in convincing the AP to do so.


This may not be an official way to accomplish this but it may be worth your time to see if it gives you the desired result. If you take the time to try this, let us know how it works for you!

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Kurt Kidder

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Hi Tim,  I agree with your thought process on this.  However, there is no way of knowing what the best mesh portal will be.  I have 5 Mesh portals through out the bus depot.  The client buses enter on one end and could connect to any of the mesh portals that meet the connection criteria and begin to upload video.  Since there is no assigned path or parking area, the best AP may change each time the bus enters the depot.

I currently have each mesh portal assigned a different channel in an effort to distribute the connections.  It has worked OK thus far, however, I do get the situation where a mesh client will attach to a mesh portal that may not be the best connection or they connect to another bus AP.  That's why it would be advantageous to run the mesh points as clients and use the roaming 
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Tim Ruda, Official Rep

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Hi Kurt,

This is based on theory and some experience but not necessarily intended design-- 
You could consider setting each mesh AP in the bus to have the same very low link cost to each of the 5 available portals. If a bus pulls into a depot and it detects 1 or 2 out of the 5 portals with a static link cost of 30 each, it would in theory prevent the mesh AP's in the buses from meshing to one another since the situation would always show a lower cost on one of the portals. The portal that the mesh AP selects would then come down to quality of signal (RSSI / SNR).
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Kurt Kidder

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Hi Tim,
Sounds like a good work work around and worth a try  The bad part is I would need to go into each of the 85 AP's and update them individually.  It looks like I only get Layer 3 routing when selecting multiple AP's via modify.

Do you know of a work around for that?

Thanks

Kurt
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Tim Ruda, Official Rep

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Sorry Kurt, no good answer for that one... the option can not be adjusted in bulk so it will need to be done per-device.

You may want to consider using a few particular bus AP's to test this first before spending the time to modify all 85 access points. If you configure 5-10 of them for this function and those 5-10 cease meshing to one another and things seem to improve, then I would go ahead with the rest of the access points.
I certainly don't want to advise configuring all 85 on the assumption it will just work. :)
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Kurt Kidder

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Thanks Tim,  My thoughts exactly...  I'll let you know how it works out.  It's tough to catch  buses in the barn so it will take some time.

Kurt