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My turn... Ubiquiti NanoStation loco M5 Install Problems

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kn6pe's picture
My turn... Ubiquiti NanoStation loco M5 Install Problems

Hello mesh folks,
A few of us in the SF south bay area are attempting to get 5G nodes up and running for some local emcomm work.  However, we are all stuck at the same point.  Here are the details:

1. PC = Windows 11
2. Device = NanoStation loco M5
    a. Wireless Type = 802.11n
    b. Date Code = 2328k
    c. Ubiquiti FW = XW.v6.2.0
    d. RAM = 32MB SDRAM, 8MB Flash
3. Set the PC
    a. IP=
    b. Mask=
    c. WIFI=OFF.
4. Put the NSM5 in tftp mode; I see the tftp led pattern… 1-3, 2-4, 1-3, 2-4… PASS
5. At the cmd prompt, I enter the following:
    a. C:\Temp> ping
    b. C:\Temp> tftp -i put aredn-
               Transfer successful: 5243292 bytes in 11 second(s), 476662 bytes/s … PASS
6. NSM5 reboots.  After about 2-1/2 minutes, I get to LEDs 1, 2, and 6 are on with 3 (RED) blinks slowly (on 2.5 sec, off 2.5 sec).

7. Per the Ubiquiti N First Install Checklist,
    a. C:\Temp> ping
Destination host unreachable
    b. Try to browse  ... FAIL
    c. However, from iPhone, can connect to the MeshNode5G Wifi link, then browse  to get to setup page.  I can set the node name, password.  Save and reboot.  But… MeshNode5G WiFi link never returns. 
    d. And still no ethernet access.
8. Tried a different approach as suggested by KG7GDB, 9/2/2019 (Comment).  After step 6 above
    a. WIFI is still OFF
    b. Put the PC in DHCP mode.  ipconfig showed IP=, Mask=, not the expected 10.#.#.#.
    c. Browse to http://localnode.local.mesh:8080FAIL
EDIT.  d. I also connected a Linux laptop with DHCP=ON to the ethernet port; no IP address was issued.

9. FYI… Can repeatedly reload Ubiquiti XW.v6.2.0 every time and it comes up as expected.

At this point, I am wondering if the problem is (i) the device not having enough memory or (ii) we are picking the wrong  AREDN FW to load, or (iii) there is a procedural step missing or (iv) a FW bug, or (v) something else.  I know it works since I see many M5 nodes out there.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.


k1ky's picture
Why Not Upgrade?
What is your time worth? I gave up on the NanoStation Loco models long ago (years), especially non XW.  Very unstable as a general rule of thumb due to memory limitations.  Your group and system will be much better served by newer Mikrotik SXT AC models with Gigabit LAN, MIMO and greater SNR performance compared to the non-AC models.  Increased Range, Throughput, Stability and overall performance to name a few advantages.
nc8q's picture
Nostalgic Ubiquiti loco M devices
Hi, Jim:
My entry into AREDN was via 2 loco-M2-XWs in 2017.
I was naive.
At that time the local AREDN network had 32 devices on 2.4 GHz and the network was very poor.
I still have 1 in service as an Access Point with a few services on its LAN.
IMHO, these make extremely poor point-to-point devices for linking LANs.
I do not recommend the loco-M5-XW to start a new AREDN Network.

73, Chuck

kn6pe's picture
Retire NSM5 loco’s from AREDN list?
Thx Tom, Chuck,
with so many Ubiquiti loco issues elsewhere on this forum over the years and your feedback, i concur; it is time to move on and write off my NSM5 loco as an  inexpensive lesson.  I will reflash it back to the Ubiquiti FW and only use it for Type 15 projects.  While this post was about the NSM5 loco, does this apply to things like the regular NSM5's as well?   What do you guys use?

I do have access to a MiktoTik QRT5 and that will be my next attempt.

Thanks again for your time and comments.

nc8q's picture
n9jim kn6pe ai6eh neighborhood
Have you met your neighbors?
73, Chuck

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k1ky's picture
Retire NSM5 loco’s from AREDN list?
Yeah, Same thing for the NSM5 (XM).  The XW models still have plenty of available memory and should be serviceable for a while to come, but I wouldn't purchase any of them either new or used.
w6bi's picture
New purchases
I'll expand on the guys' comments - as a general rule, don't buy anything that isn't 802.11ac capable.  The vendors are phasing out the 802.11n-only devices.   and the 802.11ac uses at least a generation newer hardware; the usual more RAM, faster CPU, gigabit Ethernet ports, more sensitive receivers.

Orv W6BI

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