Engenius ECW230 (Wifi6 4x4 AP) - $125

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Dave Corder

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Dec 21, 2015
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I agree, the ezMaster GUI is a bit underwhelming (compared to the Unleashed interface I was coming from, it also feels a bit counter-intuitive in places). But I like not relying on someone else's cloud for my core infrastructure, and all I really end up using the UI for after initial configuration is seeing what APs particular clients are connected to (which ezM does just fine), so it'll work for me.
 
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Dave Corder

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Dec 21, 2015
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If anyone else wants to set up an HTTP->HTTPS redirect, just modify /usr/share/ezmaster/conf/nginx.conf with the highlighted bits:


Screenshot 2023-08-03 at 12.14.26 AM.png

(the server_name fields might not be strictly necessary, but I don't think they'll hurt anything, as long as you use your own hostname and not mine :)

It occurs to me I should have gone ahead and put a backdoor SSH account in there for myself as well so I can get in and make further changes or hacks later if I want to, without having to reboot into the live CD.
 
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bvd

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Jan 2, 2021
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I am happy @Dave Corder freed us from the cloud management of the 235 but I agree, ezMaster gui is not a great solution. I was hoping for a more intuitive and user friendly "on premise" solution but it is still better than cloud only.
There's the skykey, though that's just ezM on a small SBC. The fitcontroller though, it gives you a local version of their cloud management interface, as I understand it, which is actually pretty slick (it's what I use day to day myself). If I were looking for a local management UI personally, I'd feel like the hundred bucks is easily worth the dev work put into it, and with how (relatively speaking) easy it was to convert the ecw APs to ews, I can't imagine converting ewx t
 

e97

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Jun 3, 2015
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The FitController can be run as a docker container: Software Packages (VM) - FitController User Manual

If its possible to flash EWS377-FIT firmware to the ECW230 then this seems like the best of both worlds - local managment with a new Ui

Question 13.
Is the FitController graphical user interface or features like SkyKey (ezMaster)?

Answer:
No, FitController is a completely new network management software and supports more sophisticated features compared to EnGenius EnSky SkyKey (ezMaster).
 
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slidermike

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May 7, 2023
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Anyone got the specs or better yet, the 3d printer file for replacement ceiing mount brackets for the ecw 230 we have been discussing?
Bought them from the guy on ebay but you only get the AP. Find mounting to be a challenge and locating replacements or specs has not been easy.
Thank you
 

Dave Corder

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Dec 21, 2015
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Anyone got the specs or better yet, the 3d printer file for replacement ceiing mount brackets for the ecw 230 we have been discussing?
Bought them from the guy on ebay but you only get the AP. Find mounting to be a challenge and locating replacements or specs has not been easy.
Thank you
I ended up buying a couple of these: EnGenius Mount For wall or Ceiling Low Profile Includes Mounting Hardware | eBay

Edit: just realized the seller links to the files on Thingiversse here: Engenius WAP Mount by MatGyver85

My 3D printer is not set up at the moment, and his eBay price was very reasonable, so I just ordered a pair from him.
 
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bvd

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Jan 2, 2021
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Anyone got the specs or better yet, the 3d printer file for replacement ceiing mount brackets for the ecw 230 we have been discussing?
Bought them from the guy on ebay but you only get the AP. Find mounting to be a challenge and locating replacements or specs has not been easy.
Thank you
I'd just shoot a note to engenius - they've sent me replacements before, I didn't even have to pay shipping if I remember right. Worth a shot!
 

slidermike

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May 7, 2023
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Thank you both. Free would be a better price than the roughly $20 for two brackets. Worth the time to email them.
**update**
Engenius support was prompt to respond. They are shipping me a pair of ceiling mounts which I had to pay shipping for. Cost me just under $10 for two via USPS.
Thank you for the tip @bvd
 
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reznap

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Aug 13, 2023
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Hi all,

I just came across this thread, lots of great info here. About a year ago I got a free ECW220v2 from Engenius, I liked it enough that I bought a second one and have been running them without any issues. This seems like as good a place as any to share some info.

I decided that I wanted to move away from their cloud management so last week, and before I found this thread, I foolishly tried to flash the Netgear WAX610 firmware via web interface knowing that the hardware was the same. I didn't actually expect the fw would be accepted, turns out it was and the device went into a boot loop. Power light would be orange for 30 seconds and then briefly turn off and repeat indefinitely. Oops.

On the corner of the board there is a socketed header, an OpenWRT post indicates it is a 4 pin 1.25mm pitch JST connector but I can't verify. Without having the proper connector I very crudely hooked into the UART (115200 8N1) and could read the console output no problem but had no ability to input anything. No idea if that's an error on my end or if the device is simply read only. I was sure I could tftp a proper fw back on if only I could input commands but seemed stuck.

Through the console logs I learned the first ~2 seconds after power on are a POST for IPQ60xxLZB-2, then "U-Boot 2016.01-ECW220v2-uboot_version:V1.0.0 [Attitude Adjustment 12.09.1,cb397a1] (Apr 28 2020 - 17:14:32 +0800)" loads and tries to start the device. If using POE it self assigned 192.168.1.1 and tried to upload a dump file, EBICS0.BIN, via tftp to 192.168.1.10 and then reboot. If on power only it would try to boot, fail and reboot and retry after approx 30 sec.

There was something more interesting in the log: "Booting from NAND FW1"
Could there be a FW2? There is as a matter of fact and you don't need console access to switch to it. On the board, right next to the UART connector there is a tiny unsoldered area marked SW2, there is no actual switch there but I decided I'd try to short the solder points with a bent paper clip to trigger the switch. I didn't entirely figure out the process and this was very tricky with only two hands but I'm pretty sure if you short SW2 while powering on or at the very beginning of POST, it will switch to the other FW image and you do seem to have to hold it for at least a few seconds. The button didn't seem to do anything after the boot process has begun. This successfully got me booting into FW2 and up and running again on the Engenius image. Thanks goodness for the dual images.

I ran on FW2 for several days without issues and then decided to see if I could fix FW1. If I recall correctly, I think updating the fw via the cloud interface only updates whatever image you're booted into but updating locally with the web gui using ecw220v2-1.5.60-24.bin updates both FW1 and FW2. The web interface rejected my attempt to upload EWS357APv2-v3.9.3.2_c1.9.51.bin

The main lesson here, which seems obvious, is don't do what I did and expect the device to prevent you from doing dumb things. The second point is that not all hope is lost if you do, even without console access.

I'm really impressed to see what Dave Corder pulled off, it gives me hope that the ECW220 can be converted into the EWS357. I'm just probably not the man for that job if I can't figure out how to get the console working.

Hope someone finds this interesting or perhaps even helpful!
 
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ru me

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Jun 2, 2018
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I got an ECW230 which was already registered to a different owner/network. Reset does nothing. Is there any trick to deregister? I will contact Engenius and see what they say. Anybody knows whether flashing the EWS357 firmware will make it forget?
 

ru me

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Jun 2, 2018
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Engenius will only help if the previous owner gives them the go ahead. I am working on that, but hurdles to reuse are clearly a downside of the cloud management. For ease of use I am mostly OK with cloud management but this makes me think about installing the stand alone firmware.
 
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ru me

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Jun 2, 2018
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I got the registration issue resolved after the previous owner confirmed the sale to engenius. I replaced 2x Ruckus R610 and 1x R720 with 3x Engenius. To my disappointment I noticed coverage problems even with 2.4 GHz. Coverage improved after increasing the transmit power but it was still inferior to what I got with Ruckus. I am guessing I would need 5 APs instead of 3 for similar coverage. I also got the impression that I would need to avoid walls for good connections. I went back to Ruckus instead. I checked the FCC filing and the Ruckus have significant higher transmit power. Also their antenna construction looked more impressive to me, for my lack of technical knowledge about antennas. Maybe I am overlooking something obvious, but so far I am not too impressed by the performance of the Engenius APs.
 

slidermike

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May 7, 2023
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Rukus is built with best in class components. enGenius is best bang for buck.
As for TX power. That is 100% regulated by the country code so no one manufacturer is allowed to TX more than the maximum regulation permitted at a given frequency.
 

ru me

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Jun 2, 2018
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In the FCC document I found for example 2.4 GHz Ruckus 673mW vs 334mW for Engenius. That may be the maximal possible hardware output and may well be restricted by regulations and firmware. However, I stand by my observation. It is possible that Ruckus achieves superior performance by superior reception (antennas, silicon and firmware). Also, I used previously consumer APs with better performance than the Engenius APs. From my experience, Engenius is pretty much one per room, which is a little much for my home use simply because of installation hassles.
 

nk215

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Oct 6, 2015
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Rukus is built with best in class components. enGenius is best bang for buck.
As for TX power. That is 100% regulated by the country code so no one manufacturer is allowed to TX more than the maximum regulation permitted at a given frequency.
Where does Ubiquiti Unifi AP fit in to this picture? I am using Unifi AP AC Pro at home and am happy with it.
 

bvd

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Jan 2, 2021
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Where does Ubiquiti Unifi AP fit in to this picture? I am using Unifi AP AC Pro at home and am happy with it.
Unifi's not as fast as Engenius, nor can it handle as many connected devices per AP, and has the best roaming I've ever experienced personally (aruba, unifi, cisco, etc), though with close to equivalent coverage. Unifi has the better management UI, though engenius is slowly starting to catch up there. Engenius' UI used to suck so bad it made my brain hurt just to look at it, but it's not even recognizable these days compared to years back (THANKFULLY!)

I got the registration issue resolved after the previous owner confirmed the sale to engenius. I replaced 2x Ruckus R610 and 1x R720 with 3x Engenius. To my disappointment I noticed coverage problems even with 2.4 GHz. Coverage improved after increasing the transmit power but it was still inferior to what I got with Ruckus. I am guessing I would need 5 APs instead of 3 for similar coverage. I also got the impression that I would need to avoid walls for good connections. I went back to Ruckus instead. I checked the FCC filing and the Ruckus have significant higher transmit power. Also their antenna construction looked more impressive to me, for my lack of technical knowledge about antennas. Maybe I am overlooking something obvious, but so far I am not too impressed by the performance of the Engenius APs.
Yeah, Ruckus has absolutely massive coverage. With how good roaming's implementation has gotten these days though, that's kind of the idea - more APs, albeit at lesser coverage area. I'd say 5 Engenius to cover what 3 Ruckus units do in the current generation seems about right to me.

As to going through walls... That, idk. Do you have plaster or brick or something? I'm reaching 2.4 through 4 walls here without issue. Though with the way I've set mine up, I'm almost never on 2.4, and never notice the hand-offs between them on 5 either.
 
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reznap

New Member
Aug 13, 2023
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Engenius will only help if the previous owner gives them the go ahead. I am working on that, but hurdles to reuse are clearly a downside of the cloud management. For ease of use I am mostly OK with cloud management but this makes me think about installing the stand alone firmware.
Do you know if this is only because the previous owner had not removed the devices from their inventory? I'm just wondering if that makes a difference or not. At some point I'm going to sell mine and when I do I'll probably go with something locally managed and delete my Engenius account, thus they wouldn't be able to reach me if needed. I don't want to leave the new owner with a pair of paperweights.
 

ru me

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Jun 2, 2018
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Do you know if this is only because the previous owner had not removed the devices from their inventory? I'm just wondering if that makes a difference or not. At some point I'm going to sell mine and when I do I'll probably go with something locally managed and delete my Engenius account, thus they wouldn't be able to reach me if needed. I don't want to leave the new owner with a pair of paperweights.
I bought three and I was able to register two without problems. The third showed as already registered but the seller said it was not visible to him. Maybe registered to a test account or a bug on Engenius’ side. Engenius needed email confirmation from the seller to reset the registration. Should be easy to test whether you are able to register the AP to a new account before a sale. If you are locally managed, Engenius’ blessings should not be required.
 

ru me

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Jun 2, 2018
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Unifi's not as fast as Engenius, nor can it handle as many connected devices per AP, and has the best roaming I've ever experienced personally (aruba, unifi, cisco, etc), though with close to equivalent coverage. Unifi has the better management UI, though engenius is slowly starting to catch up there. Engenius' UI used to suck so bad it made my brain hurt just to look at it, but it's not even recognizable these days compared to years back (THANKFULLY!)



Yeah, Ruckus has absolutely massive coverage. With how good roaming's implementation has gotten these days though, that's kind of the idea - more APs, albeit at lesser coverage area. I'd say 5 Engenius to cover what 3 Ruckus units do in the current generation seems about right to me.

As to going through walls... That, idk. Do you have plaster or brick or something? I'm reaching 2.4 through 4 walls here without issue. Though with the way I've set mine up, I'm almost never on 2.4, and never notice the hand-offs between them on 5 either.
No bricks or plaster, just typical stick build. My RF environment is probably pretty busy with too many devices but even 2.4 had trouble getting through more than one wall. I always had to use two or more APs to get reliable coverage, so maybe it’s the layout of the house.
 

reznap

New Member
Aug 13, 2023
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No bricks or plaster, just typical stick build. My RF environment is probably pretty busy with too many devices but even 2.4 had trouble getting through more than one wall. I always had to use two or more APs to get reliable coverage, so maybe it’s the layout of the house.
What's your max tx power as seen in your management console for those ECW230's? My 220v2's max out at 22dbm in both 2.4 and 5ghz. That's only 158mw and is barely adequate here. The Netgear WAX610 (hw twin of the 220's) goes much higher, I think the WAX620 twin of your 230's is similar. That's what started me down the flashing rabbit hole earlier.
For whatever it's worth, I've noticed the datasheet for the new Engenius EWS377-Fit shows 23dbm in 2.4 and 5, which is 200mw. I think it's the same or similar hw to your 230's.