I was able to sit down at WISPAMERICA and talk with Dmitry from Cambium about some of the misconceptions of using 3rd party antennas with ePMP 3000.
One of the biggest tasks on a wireless AP is finding clean channels. Once you find those clean channels, making sure you stay on a clean channel is the next task. ePMP has a feature under tools called eDetect. One of the things this can do is give you an idea of how many devices are on a given frequency.
The ePMP AP you see above is on a 20mhz channel, which is why many home routers and other devices are showing up. If this was on a cleaner frequency it would look like the following.
While eDetect is not a replacement for spectrum analysis, it can give you a pretty good idea of what’s using a particular frequency. Please note, you see the most things on 20MHZ channels because that is what most home routers are set to. If you would like to read up on eDetect in more detail go here: https://community.cambiumnetworks.com/t5/ePMP-Configuration-Management/ePMP-Tools-eDetect-Explained/td-p/42997
Cambium and CTIconnecxt put on a webinar about ePMP 3000 today. This should be available online at one point. Look for it in the Cambium forums.
Some notes I took
-ePMP 3000 offers Simultaneous MIMO downlink transmission
-You will be able to use the beamsteering antenna with the 3000. Cambium is working on the software to make this work.
-3000 has a dedicated receiver chip. This allows you to run the spectrum analyzer in realtime. Also has “edetect on steroids” which shows more information than the current edetect.
-Sector is a 4X4 90 degree sector with beamforming. Achieves and extra 3db in the downlink.
Beamforming vs Beamsteering
Beamsteering is for dealing with interference.
Beamforming is for downlink gain.
-Cambium mentioned the concept of Azimuth Delta. This is groups of SMs in terms of how the AP talks to groups. The gave an example on a google earth plot. In a nutshell, when you have gain in one direction it takes advantage of the null in different directions. More to this, but that is for another post.
-“Sounding” -Sends a special packet and gets feedback from the subscriber. Determines how the phase shift works and other things.
-Elevated clients beta is coming to make the elevated clients work with the 3000.
I hope distributors work out a smaller cold shrink for the sma connectors on the ePMP Ap radios. Weatherproofing these properly will be an issue due to the close proximity of the connectors. I have not seen the connectors on a sector to see how those will be. This is where folks could take a page from the coldshring that comes with the Baicells gear or the cables with the integrated boot some distributors sell.
ePMP Beta Release 3.5.5-RC8 is now available for the ePMP and Elevate. The software downloaded at our Software Download Site, ePMP Beta: https://support.cambiumnetworks.com/files/epmp/beta
Force 190 FCC region support (including DFS functionality)
Multiple improvements to IPv6 operation with cnMaestro and DHCPv6
[Elevate] NBE-M5-16 produces errors on Ethernet interface
RX Pause counter increases on Mikrotik routers with ePMP devices connected
PMAC details not updated in cnMaestro when changing associated AP
Error Drop Packet erroneously reporting packet drops
NTP server IP assignment cannot be changed after JSON configuration file import
This post is a huge shout out to Tasos Alexiou from RF Elements. This story started out at WISPAPALOOZA Vegas this year. I had a few clients who have been fighting noise issues. While working the Cambium booth we would go over the benefits of ePMP for noise mitigation. This would naturally lead to an antenna discussion. You can’t have an antenna discussion without mentioning RF Elements and their horn design. As with anything, clients are skeptical to things outside the conventional way of doing things. It’s not that the client is closed minded, but change becomes a little harder when revenue and cash outlay are involved. I am a very visual guy so I walked several of these clients over to the RF Elements booth so they could see the product and have it explained by the folks themselves.
These clients were getting it, but I could tell they were a little hesitant to make the leap. This is where the teamwork of the story really comes into play. Tasos could sense the same thing I was seeing, and came up with a plan. In the shipment of their gear to Vegas, they had some extra gear. After some negotiation, he told us to stop by after the show and he would see what he could do to get some gear in the hands of both of these clients. After the show, I was able to send both of these clients home with some 30 and 45-degree horns. Not only that, but these clients were able to talk about their specific situations, draw diagrams, and get a great understanding of how to get the best fit out of the equipment.
I am happy to say we have the first results from these horns. Mohave Broadband was able to put up a 30-degree horn in an area where they were having clients with signal and interference issues. By adjusting their 90/120 sectors, which even have beamforming, they were able to have the horn fit in their most troublesome area. Some of the troubles were customers who could not connect on a certain frequency very well, but others could. If the frequencies were changed the good customers became bad and vice versa. Once the horn was in place we noticed a couple of things.
The first was customers in the 30-degree beam of the horn were able to connect at good signals and data rates. These were customers who were pointed right at the sectors before, not ones on the fringes.
Secondly, due to the nature of the horn we were able to select from more channels due to the lack of sidelobes from the horns.
We could go on and on how the ePMP 2000 APs with their noise filtering, and the “clean” pattern of the horn make the difference but that is not the focus of the article. The focus is how many separate pieces of the WISP community came together to help. From WISPA putting on the show to the willingness of Tasos and RF elements to help these customers, and the ability to sit down and draw out diagrams and antenna placement to get the best place to place antennas. For those of you who don’t attend tradeshows, this is one of the success stories with a few more to come on this blog.
Some ePMP 550 and sectors.
Recently I attended the Cambium Roadshow 2018. Some notes.
-Epmp 3000 expected to be here in September. 4×4 Mimo product. Early marketing should be coming in the next couple of weeks.
-820C pricing is getting aggressive.
-Mikrotik Open beta Elevate is out. Ability to elevate Mikrotik units.
-second radio can be used as management access or a realtime spectrum analyzer
-No more java client for the analyzer
-65k packets per second
-About 10% throughput at the sector in a legacy network. Future software updates can lessen this.
-Dynamic spectrum capability
-Future vision is to have CNMaestro be aware of spectrum. This opens up the ability to view channels and interference on a network level.
450 Product Line
-Channel sizes have increased to 30 and 40mhz
-450b radios Integrated (17dBi for $299) and high gain (24dBi for $349)
-Single gigabit port
-30 volt power supply, polarity Agnostic
-450 3.65 will be SaS compliant
-iPhone app should be here soon.
-Ability to push configs from the App
-8×8 mimo due to physical size. 12×12 or 16×16 would mean a very large product
-Integrated 90 degree sector
-Direct DC power
-Current SMs will connect
There has been much discussion on the performance of going from an N Series outdoor wireless system to AC. Not all AC is created equal. Right now there is AC Wave 1 and AC Wave 2. Just about all the AC stuff currently in the pipeline for outdoor wireless is wave 1. There is wave 2 indoor gear available, but for a WISP you are interested in the outdoor gear.
So what’s the difference?
For some reading about spatial streams, channel sizes, etc. look at this article https://info.hummingbirdnetworks.com/blog/80211ac-wave-2-vs-wave-1-difference
For the WISP folks who want the Cliff Notes version here are some key differences.
-Wave 1 uses 20,40,and 80 Mhz Channels. Wave 2 can support 80 and 160mhz channels. The 160mhz channel would be two 80mhz channels bonded together.
-Wave 1 can do 3 spatial streams. Wave 2 does 4. This requires an additional antenna to take advantage of wave2. This is a hardware upgrade from wave1 to wave 2.
-Wave 2 supports MU-MIMO. The AP can talk to 4 clients individually at once. The client must also support this, which is a hardware upgrade from wave 1 to wave 2 on both the client and the AP.
The question to ask your vendors is what is the upgrade path if you are using existing AC gear. If you are running AC currently you are most assuredly going to have to replace your AP radios and antennas. Will your existing clients work with the new AC wave 2 aps? An important thing to ask.
Crosstalk does an in-depth review of the ePMP 2000 setup.