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Friday, September 9, 2016

How to Setup 2 Cambium CnPilot E500 Outdoor Mesh Access Points

Scenario:

This blog will explain how to setup two Cambium cnPilot E500 Outdoor Access Points, one hard wired to the Network and one connected via a WiFi (Mesh). 
This can be useful in scenarios where it's not possible to run additional LAN cabling to another Access Point whilst requiring extended WiFi coverage.

The sample setup for this blog has a 5Ghz mesh and 2.4Ghz AP setup on separate SSID's




Background:

Cambium Networks offers secure, scalable, cloud-managed WiFi solutions for homes, small business, and both indoor and outdoor enterprise applications. The 802.11ac and 802.11n controller managed access points are designed for rapid deployment, easy operation with tools for intelligent remote diagnosis, making it easy to connect the unconnected. 


Setup Process:

The E500 Access Point is setup to obtain its IP address from a DHCP server. A default IP address of 192.168.0.1 will be used if an IP address is not obtained from DHCP. 

The default username and password for CLI, as well as GUI (http/https) access, are admin / admin. Connect up one of the E500 Access Points, either to your network or directly to a PC. (You could connect up both at the same time if connecting to a network with DHCP)
Depending on which method you choose to use, you will now enter the relevant IP address into a web browser on your PC to login to the device for configuration.

Login Screen:





Once you have logged in, you will have the following options on the left hand side of the screen:



From this list, choose Configure then System tabs:




Here you can give your device a name (This is not the SSID) and choose a country code that suits, there is also an option to enable POE output on ETH2 (The second Ethernet Port on the AP).

This is also a good time to change the default admin password, once you have finished selecting the options click save.


Next choose the Radio Tab:







On the top left you can choose to configure the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Radios, ie Channel selection, power output, in my example I have selected channel 1 for the 2.4Ghz radio and 23DBM of radio output. (These units default to auto channel and full power and in most cases this can be left as default).


Next we are navigating to the WLAN Tab, where you will select "Create Wireless Lan" on the top right hand side of the window. 
With my example below I have created a wlan 1 and I chose to Mesh my devices on the 5Ghz radio.


This AP is going to be the base unit and the one that's going to be connected to LAN. 
You can choose either 2.4Ghz or 5 Ghz for your Mesh connection, 5 Ghz is the recommended option.


The SSID and Password of your choice needs to be the same for both units to successfully create the mesh network.
Once you have finished configuring these options select save.



Below you can see that Base has been selected from the Mesh tab.






Select the Create Wireless LAN button on the top right hand side again, we are now going to create our Wireless Access Point SSID etc.

You will notice in my example that mesh is "Off" as this is our separate network to be used as an Access Point and in my example I have selected to use the 2.4Ghz radio only for AP access.


Once you have selected your SSID and password for your AP select save.







This completes the Wireless part of the configuration process for the first device, if you wanted to assign a static IP address to the unit you can do this from the Network Tab as shown below.





This completes the configuration process for the first E500 Access Point.

Once your settings have been saved you can now unplug this device and connect the second device for configuration. (If you have them both connected and using DHCP you can leave this first unit connected).


The setup process for the second device is the same as the first, however the Mesh option under the WLAN Tab for this one will be Client (Shown below). This is to be the unit that will be connected via WiFi to the Base unit.


If you are using a static IP address you need to ensure that you don't use the same IP address that you defined for the first unit.









Once you have saved your settings for the second unit, you should have successfully finished the setup process and have the devices ready to deploy.


Now that this is up and running you can navigate to the "Dashboard" Tab and see some statistics.


The below Statistics are from my Client Unit which is not connected to a wired network.









You have now finished, congratulations. 

Notes:


* You can also mix and match Cambium device types, so a link is also allowed between a cnPilot E400 AP and an ePMP1000 Hotspot. Mesh support was added in software version 2.0.


* Up to five client radios can connect to a base radio.


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