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Nanostation M2 XW and M5 XW port usage standardized

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AE6XE's picture
Nanostation M2 XW and M5 XW port usage standardized
The code to standardize the port usage on the NS M2 XW and NS M5 XW has been committed to the git repository.  This means these changes will be available in the morning Nov 15, 2018 in nightly build images.    

What specifically has changed?

Before:   LAN was only on primary port, DtDLink and WAN on secondary port only.  This is inconsistent with other AREDN devices
After:   LAN/DtDlink/WAN all correctly function on main port with a single cat5 network cable like all other AREDN devices.

Additional benefit added but with limitations:

The mesh node can be powered on main port and an ipCam or other device can be plugged directly into the secondary port.  In advanced config options, the POE 'pass though' option can be turned on to power the device on the secondary port.   Thus, one cat5 up to the roof, to power 2 devices.

The secondary port is also functional same as the main port.   A single cable could be plugged into ether port to power the device and function like any other AREDN device.   However, it is always recommended to use the main port as this is the vendor designed port to power the device (not back flow power in secondary port).   

Both ports can be used simultaneously, but there are limitations.   LAN devices across both ports can not directly communicate with one another.   However, devices on the greater mesh can communicate to a LAN device, e.g. ipcams,  on both ports.  This means a laptop on the main port can not directly access an ipCam plugged in to the secondary port. 

Also, if a 2nd mesh node is plugged into the secondary port, e.g. another node on a different band,  this can cause issues with LAN devices obtaining IP addresses.   This configuration will munge together the LAN of both nodes and it is indeterminate which node will issue IP Address.  If doing this, turn the LAN dhcp off on the node attached to the secondary port to avoid LAN devices failing to function.  

al0y's picture

thanks a lot for the update and the info. This really will save me a lot of trouble with the non-standard switch configuration and running extra cat5 cables.

But, can I "suggest" the pass-throught POE from Main to Secondary port to be disabled by default? to prevent summoning the black smoke if that is to be connected to a non-poe device? 

I will actually also go an extra step and say, maybe disable it after every reboot? or when the "secondary" port is disconnected? so it has to be manually enabled after a device has been connected to the secondary port? 

Just a thought. 
AE6XE's picture
al0y,   yes the POE
al0y,   yes the POE passthough is off already.   The setting in Advanced Settings shows it to be 'on' in error.    The value needs to be saved once (on or off) to correctly show status.  This is a fix in the pipeline...

k1ky's picture
Leave POE Passthrough "on"?
I believe we had some prior discussion on this as I understood that the POE passthrough would default to "on". My case is that we have existing units installed on towers that are using only one ethernet line to the secondary port. If we upgrade and the POE passthrough is turned "off", then is it my understanding that the node will not operate with power applied to the 2nd port without pass-through turned on??  Thus a trip up the tower to switch the cable back to the primary port.
AE6XE's picture

This POE pass-though setting does not affect powering of the node itself.  The device will always power on regardless of this setting, no matter which port the POE power is supplied.    

Note, on Ubiquiti, the POE pass-though is 'off' until after the node boots, then this setting is applied.   On Mikrotik hAP ac lite, it is booting with POE pass-though 'on', then after linux has started up, the setting is applied -- a ~25 second window of being on, then the setting is applied.   If we can find a way to change the behavior on Mikrotik to be like Ubiquiti (boots with pass-though 'off'), we will change it.  Probably some code to change buried in the initialization of a chip in a driver somewhere. 

It is not necessarily a problem that the Mikrotik boots with POE pass-though 'on'.   The circuit will not supply the pass-though power unless the resistance or load is in the proper range to normally function.   It's not going to smoke as long as one doesn't try to plug a cat5 into the wall 120vac socket :).

AE6XE's picture
dual POE power supplies on
dual POE power supplies on both main and secondary with POE pass-though turned on?

I have not tested this combination to know if something would smoke on Ubiquiti devices.   If someone does accidentally test this combination, please post your result, and confess ;) .  

K5DLQ's picture
USB and POE "defaults" issue
USB and POE "defaults" issue has been fixed.   Will be in the nightly build tonight.
AE6XE's picture
Full functionality of both
Full functionality of both ports on NS M2/M5 XWs

I found a way to remove the limitations noted above in this thread.   Both Ethernet ports on the Nanostation M2/M5 devices are now configured and working without limitations.  This code will be available after tonight's build on Nov 22, 2018.  Now in the README:

The following devices have enhanced Ethernet port usage. A single cat5 to the device could be plugged into ether the 'main' or 'secondary' port with standard port functionality. Both ports can be used interchangeably and simultaneously with LAN devices on both ports at the same time. POE PassThough can be turned on in Advanced Settings to power ipCams or other mesh nodes.

  • NanoStation M5 XW
  • NanoStation M2 XW
nc8q's picture
POE PassThough can be turned on in Advanced Settings to power ip

Wow! :-)

"POE PassThough can be turned on in Advanced Settings to power ipCams or other mesh nodes."

...and DtD connected?

Could a 2/5 GHz node be 'seamlessly' inserted in series with an existing ethernet 'cable to node'
providing power and a DtD connection?


K5DLQ's picture
as long as the poe power
as long as the poe power supply can handle it, yes!
yes, and if doubling the
yes, and if doubling the current through the cable, expect its voltage drop to double
nc8q's picture
tonight's build on Nov 22, 2018. 465

Got Nightly Build '465'.
Tried to upgrade a NS-M5-XW from 458 to 465
"This filename is NOT appropriate for this device!
This device expects a file such as aredn-458-440fb3b-nanostation-m-xw-sysupgrade.bin

Click OK to continue if you are CERTAIN that the file is correct."

I tried to upload
aredn-465-f062021-ubnt-nano-m-xw-sysupgrade.bin which is barely different than
aredn-458-440fb3b-ubnt-nano-m-xw-sysupgrade.bin, but the warning uses

Is the extra 'station' the comparison failure?

Am I CERTAIN that aredn-465-f062021-ubnt-nano-m-xw-sysupgrade.bin is the correct file
for a
Firmware Update
current version: 458-440fb3b
hardware type: ubnt (nanostation-m-xw)


465 on NS-M5-XW

"Click OK to continue if you are CERTAIN that the file is correct."

"Am I CERTAIN that aredn-465-f062021-ubnt-nano-m-xw-sysupgrade.bin is the correct file"

Worked fine on my NS-M5-XW. Click OK


nc8q's picture
Nightly Build 458 and daisy chaining NS-M5-XWs and a 3rd node

Using Nightly Build 458, I have 3 nodes daisy chained from a 'Node' port on a NetGear GS108E.
I can see the 1st NS-M5-XW in the Current Neighbors column and can click on the link and view the
http://nc8q-loaner-nsm5-27.local.mesh:8080/cgi-bin/status page.
The next daisy chained node appears in the Current Neighbors column, but I cannot click the link
and view its /status page.

From another node on the GS108E I see the 2nd and 3rd nodes on the daisy chain
in the Remote Nodes column, but cannot click the links and view their /status pages:

NC8Q-Loaner-NS-M5-123.local.mesh 0.20 Mesh Conference x1093 Tuesdays 845pm
NC8Q-NS-M3-180.local.mesh 0.30

Does Nightly Build 465 fix this issue?


Let us know. ;-)  
Let us know. ;-)

nc8q's picture
POE PassThough can power other mesh nodes. :-)

POE PassThough can be turned on in Advanced Settings to power ipCams or other mesh nodes.

I have 3 nodes daisy chained with one 24V 1A Ubiquiti POE using Nightly Build 465 on the first 2 nodes:
NS-M5-XW <> NS-M5-XW <> NS-M3-XM

Marvelous work by the AREDN Team. Thanks Joe/Darryl:-)

NS-M5-XWs are no longer a they are an asset.
A NS-M5-XW can be added to an AREDN node switch without an additional (2)long run(s) of ethernet cable to the node's location.
Only a short patch cable between the nodes is needed.
Well, maybe add a 24V 1A 24W Ubiquiti POE.
SKU POE-24-24W-G

Happy, happy, happy!


Request for Summary and Clarity for Both XM and XW NanoStations
ALL Gurus!
We appreciate the excellent work to standardize the NanoStation ports!  And support PassThru PoE as desired!
However, these discussions seem to focus on only the _XW_ NS, with no mention of _XM_.  Many of us have _XM_ units too.
Can a Guru Please provide a Summary of these Port and PoE features for both XM and XW?
For example, as an unmentioned issue, can these nightly builds (and hopefully future releases) be applied to _XM_ NS, with featured standardized Port and PoE, same as provided for _XW_?  OR are we still stuck with the awkward split Port issues?  I have successfully _loaded_ 458 on both XM and XW, but have not yet been able to _test_ to verify actual performance....
Please advise, and Thanks All for great work!!
Gene :)
AE6XE's picture
Gene,   Yes, the XM dual port
Gene,   Yes, the XM dual port Ubiquiti devices are on my mind and the 2nd port can become functional -- the POE passthough works now, but no network traffic yet.  The config is a bit different since there is no internal switch chip.    This issue has been a pet peeve of mine, as I've been bitten one too many times as well.   The forecast is good...

There are also tplink dual port devices v1 and v1.1 hardware rev on the list too.

Joe AE6XE   

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