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Support for TP-Link WBS210/510

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KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Support for TP-Link WBS210/510

Hi, everyone,

So, I'm still researching and found this product on Amazon ( https://smile.amazon.com/TP-LINK-WBS210-300Mbps-Outdoor-Wireless/dp/B011...). It's a TP-Link WBS210 Base station, which is supposed to work with their CEP210 and other equipment to form their Pharos Mesh Network. I also see that OpenWRT has firmware for this device. So I'm wondering if there are plans to support it on AREDN? My thought is that right now, you need multiple routers to cover the different areas, where the base station is omnidirectional.

I realize this might be more suited to the development forum, but I'm asking here in case someone already has one set up. If it needs to be moved, please do so.

Have a great day. :)
Patrick.

w6bi
w6bi's picture
Reviews

Boy, the (3) reviews on that product on Amazon aren't very favorable.  I wonder if they're using it properly, though.

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
An AREDN firmware image can

An AREDN firmware image can be made available for the WBS210 and WBS510 v1 hardware if anyone is willing to test.   Alternatively loan or donate the hardware to AREDN Inc. to get working.  Given OpenWRT support for these devices, it is expected to be straight forward to get working.

The Amazon reviews don't look credible.  They appear to be indoor home users not understanding this device is targeted for tower sites.   One has to separately purchase and match the appropriate antenna for a designed coverage need.  One reviewer probably tried to compare this device with no antenna to another indoor device, naturally it doesn't perform very well without an antenna :) .

Joe AE6XE



 

w6bi
w6bi's picture
Yeah

Yeah, I suspected that from the tone of the comments :-)
Orv W6BI

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
This is probably going to be

This is probably going to be a silly (borderline stupid) question, but... What exactly is the procedure for porting AREDN to a new device? Is it just copying the OpenWRT firmware and adding our configurations, or is there more to it than that? I found the process for building your own firmware but wasn't sure about the changes necessary for new hardware.

It might be a few weeks, but when I can, I'll buy one of these to test it. After all, if it works, it will save us at least two CPE210's for our mesh. Possibly more.

Have a great day. :)
Patrick.

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
Patrick,

Patrick,

There is one place, in a perl module, where we capture the specific power settings, band, and device name for AREDN to know about the new hardware.  Another place where we configure AREDN's use of an LED for mesh RF network connection.  When the device is supported by OpenWrt, these may be the only definitions needed.  It can get more complex from there if a device is not yet supported by OpenWrt.  Then we might need to write some C code for the kernel to have the right drivers, update build definitions, network ports and switch settings, and more.  

For further details, look at the git commit history to find prior devices added to review the specific changes made.

Joe AE6XE

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Hi, Joe,

Hi, Joe,

So I started playing around with this and was able to build a firmware image for the WBS210-v1. Granted, I don't have a device to test it out on, so I'm not prepared to commit my changes back. But, I do have a question. In the perfunc.pm file, you have entries like this:
<code>

'TP-Link CPE210 v1.0' => {
  'name' => 'TP-Link CPE210 v1.0',
  'comment' => '',
  'supported' => '1',
  'maxpower' => '23',
  'pwroffset' => '0',
  'usechains' => 1,
  'rfband' => '2400',
  'chanpower' => { 1 => '22', 14 => '23' },
  },

</code>

How do you find the values for these entries (specifically maxpower, pwroffset, rfband, and chanpower)? When I built this, I just copied from one of the earlier entries (albeit, I think I copied one for a 5 Ghz instead of a 2.4 Ghz device). I definitely don't want to send in faulty changes, so I'd like to find the appropriate values for the WBS210/510 device.

Thanks, and have a great night. :)
Patrick.

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
For tp-link, the power

For tp-link, the power offsite is '0' on all the devices we've seen.   offset is only significant on ubiquiti devices. 

The maxpower can be set to the manufacture specs, but it's not used on tplink.  The max power is controlled by the 'chanpower', a per channel setting.   Only on tp-link devices do we see different limits on different channels.  The only place this detail could be stored is on the vendor flash partition where device unique data is stored after being calibrated in the factory with a lot of high cost equipment.  To discover this, set chanpower to {14 => 30 } . This means all channels 14 and below are 30dBm max setting.    Then manually starting from ch -2, set the max power to 30 in basic setup, "apply" the setting, and then check "iw dev wlan0 info" to see what value the driver accepted on that channel.  go up each channel  and record the accepted values.     As an example in your current chanpower code, channels -2 through 1 will have max of 22 dBm,   channels 2 though 14 will have 23 dBm. 

Generally, ch -2 and -1 will have a higher max than ch 1.   However, we have been making ch -2 and -1 match the max of ch 1.  this is to be concervative on the signal quality.   If we get the device on a scope to compare the signal shapes,  then we can decide if it's appropriate to increase the max power on a give n channel if the driver lets us.  

rfband on 2GHz devices is always '2400'.  for 5GHz is always "5800ubntus"     I think someone was thinking there would  be 5800tplinkus or similar in the early days, but this didn't happen over time. 

Joe AE6XE

 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Thank you. As soon as I can

Thank you. As soon as I can get my hands on a WBS210, I'll start testing things out. I appreciate all the help.

Have a great day. :)
Patrick.

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