Ruckus Wireless as an Unifi alternative?

Konger

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Nov 24, 2019
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so...concensus is that unleashed is better than standalone firmware for the R710?

Yes in genernal unleashed is better than standalone since more features that are based on ZD.

but avoid firmware 200.7.x and 200.8.x til they fix a slow issue bug on iOS devices on wave 2 APs.
 

Konger

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Nov 24, 2019
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The R500 at $50 each ($40 each for 3x) sounds like a great deal. Is it worth the upgrade over my UniFi AC Pro/Lite APs? How do I choose which Ruckus AP like R710 vs R610 vs R510 vs R500, etc.

R500 are a great deal which normally perform better than any of your unif ac pro/lite (minus 1 antenna stream for the Pro)But do note r500 are EOL so no more firmware upgrades which means no WPA3 support. R500 have better range than the Unifi in both 2.4ghz and 5ghz. As with ruckus APs. they do really well in areas that have a lot of interference compare to unifi and can easily handle 100 devices on a single AP while the Unifi AC Pro would choke. Ruckus shines well in high density deployments like schools and hotels.


As for comparison for range. R500/R600/R700 have pretty much the same range for all 3 of them


The r510/r610/710 have better range than the wave 1 ap


As for the difference between r500/r510 it’s a 2x2 radio with 64 different antenna patterns per band. Poe
R600/R610 is 3x3 radio with 512 ish different antenna patterns per band? Poe+
R710 4 antennas radio and 3000-4000 different antenna patterns Poe+



But hey for $120 to check it out for 3 r5o0, I think it’s worth it. ... you can always resell it later if you upgrade.

anyway, for WiFi 6 ...only the r750 is out and unleashed supports it. It is going to be a while before we see it used. R650 should be shipping soon in a few months.

Also note all of the ruckus APs will have enterprise grade WiFi chipset, while the Unifi AC Pro and lite have consumer WiFi chipsets. Only the high end unifi APs such as Unifi HD have enterprise grade chipset.

R710 can be had for about $200ish used. Just wait til large companies upgrade. Anyway try out r500 and you won’t regret it.
 
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Thomas H

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R500 are a great deal which normally perform better than any of your unif ac pro/lite (minus 1 antenna stream for the Pro)But do note r500 are EOL so no more firmware upgrades which means no WPA3 support. R500 have better range than the Unifi in both 2.4ghz and 5ghz. As with ruckus APs. they do really well in areas that have a lot of interference compare to unifi and can easily handle 100 devices on a single AP while the Unifi AC Pro would choke. Ruckus shines well in high density deployments like schools and hotels.


As for comparison for range. R500/R600/R700 have pretty much the same range for all 3 of them


The r510/r610/710 have better range than the wave 1 ap


As for the difference between r500/r510 it’s a 2x2 radio with 64 different antenna patterns per band. Poe
R600/R610 is 3x3 radio with 512 ish different antenna patterns per band? Poe+
R710 4 antennas radio and 3000-4000 different antenna patterns Poe+



But hey for $120 to check it out for 3 r5o0, I think it’s worth it. ... you can always resell it later if you upgrade.

anyway, for WiFi 6 ...only the r750 is out and unleashed supports it. It is going to be a while before we see it used. R650 should be shipping soon in a few months.

Also note all of the ruckus APs will have enterprise grade WiFi chipset, while the Unifi AC Pro and lite have consumer WiFi chipsets. Only the high end unifi APs such as Unifi HD have enterprise grade chipset.

R710 can be had for about $200ish used. Just wait til large companies upgrade. Anyway try out r500 and you won’t regret it.
Excellent summary. Thank you!

New to Ruckus antenna patterns. What does it mean to have 64 vs 512 vs 4000 different antenna patterns?Practical use?

For some best practices question on number of APs, placement and orientation:
Scenario A: residential home 24'x60' with attic and crawlspace, up to 10 users
-> one AP (R500), in middle of attic, laying flat on floor (any difference upside down?)

Scenario B: three story apartment building 24'x60', up to 20 users
-> two APs (R500), one on first floor and other third floor, flat mounted to ceilings

Scenario C: 60' x 60' office, up to 50 users
-> two APs (R710), from center spaced apart midway, drop ceiling mounted
-> OR... three APs (R710), triangle formation, drop ceiling mounted
 

Konger

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Nov 24, 2019
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As with every, you need to factor in the materials of the building and when the building was built. As note you can cover more area per ruckus AP than Unifi AP. As doing a heat map would help.

As for antenna patterns I think it does help with more but never really tested it through. But as far as I know each AP keeps track of the best antenna pattern to reach each client.

Scenario A: for best performance why not just run a cable in the attic crawl space and poke a small hole in the floor and mount it on the ceiling of your living space area.

Scenario B: again materials matter and depends how old the apartment is . If you want to play it safe why not one per floor. Again know the layout helps


Scenario C : you might able to do 2 r710 with that again need layout

Anyway, As reminder for the R710 or any Ruckus 802.11ac Wave 2 AP... stick with firmware 200.6.x til they fix the slow wifi issue with iOS devices.
 
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Konger

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Just as a reminder for ruckus WiFi coverage it’s like a doughnut shaped RF coverage.

For Scenario B : floor 2 might get ok coverage if you just have a total two aps that you planned but again it does matter how old the building is.. with the R500 so cheap just get 3 and one on each floor ...
 
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Thomas H

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Technical Support!! I almost forgot this. Are there any technical support, phone or chat or email, available for EOL products?

My experience with Ubiquiti, they don't have phone support but they have live chat 24/7. I have ran into issues like factory reset did not work, clients suddenly cannot connect to wi-fi, guest wi-fi not accessible, etc. and their support saved me.
 

Konger

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Nov 24, 2019
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Technical Support!! I almost forgot this. Are there any technical support, phone or chat or email, available for EOL products?

My experience with Ubiquiti, they don't have phone support but they have live chat 24/7. I have ran into issues like factory reset did not work, clients suddenly cannot connect to wi-fi, guest wi-fi not accessible, etc. and their support saved me.

Here’s Ruckus EOL policy.
https://ruckus-support.s3.amazonaws...463416&Signature=A9E0ev2sEJj2ChQ115Qyfc+S7xw=

You can still get paid support if you chose to do so direct from Ruckus.

Don’t forget ruckus is actually true enterprise gear where Unifi is more like prosumer. Thus a huge difference in price when bought new.

Also Ruckus has a lot less bugs than Unifi in general. Unifi requires more tweaking and you end up beta testing their firmware even though they label it as stable.

As for free support, all you have is over the ruckus forums. If you want phone calls then you’ll have to pay for a support contract.

I don’t need any of their support since I’m a IT consultant and my clients pay me to support them.

Of all the years since 2014 that I’ve use ruckus, it just works. The only firmware bug that bugged me was the unleashed firmware from last summer which only impacts wave 2 APs Hopefully that will be fixed soon.

anyway ruckus aps are a lot more robust than Unifi and rarely do I see any go bad.
 

Konger

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Nov 24, 2019
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Yeah, I also hang out at the ruckus and Unifi forums. I’ve owned a few Unifi AC ap and not impressed. I need to test out their products as an alternative cheaper products and can not recommend to clients. The biggest issue is they come out with new firmware and it’s bugged ridden. A new fimware breaks something. My clients won’t be too happy. I also tried the edgerouter and seems to be pretty good for the calvium based processsors and very stable but once fimware 2.0.x came out it’s so unstable. I think I’ll stick with pfsense routers and in process of check out MikroTik as an alternative.
 

rootwyrm

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Mar 25, 2017
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turned out to be not possible, the ASIC supports it however to drive the SFP+ ports it runs through a quad channel retimer (DS100DF410) that happens to only support a 10gbps clock
So, that actually is half-false half-true.
http://www.ti.com/lit/an/snla323/snla323.pdf - See pp12.

For a 2.5Gbps data rate, set registers 0x60-0x63 as 00,B2,00,B2 (Divider by 4) and 0x2F7:4 to A, as example. Reviewing SNLS399B, the DS100DF410 supports divider ratios of 1-16 for VCO. You actually want to look at section 7.5.9, VCO CAP DAC values. You'll also have to change the CAP Lock Rate, which also appears to be possible.

That said, writing these registers post-hoc is probably not going to be the easiest thing and I'm not even sure it can be done from the OS side in this case.
 

fohdeesha

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fohdeesha.com
So, that actually is half-false half-true.
http://www.ti.com/lit/an/snla323/snla323.pdf - See pp12.

For a 2.5Gbps data rate, set registers 0x60-0x63 as 00,B2,00,B2 (Divider by 4) and 0x2F7:4 to A, as example. Reviewing SNLS399B, the DS100DF410 supports divider ratios of 1-16 for VCO. You actually want to look at section 7.5.9, VCO CAP DAC values. You'll also have to change the CAP Lock Rate, which also appears to be possible.

That said, writing these registers post-hoc is probably not going to be the easiest thing and I'm not even sure it can be done from the OS side in this case.
I think that was the conclusion was that there was no way to override said registers with the way the board was laid out, but just in case - @up-n-atom
 

rootwyrm

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Mar 25, 2017
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So getting back on topic to Ruckus as an AP... my Cisco AP1250 decided it has finally had enough after 10 years, unfortunately. And one of the main reasons I used the AP1250 was the beam pattern on my antenna configuration. Basically, I had a relatively high power 'dome.' One AP, whole house and most of the back yard. Looking at the R600 , the elevation pattern's not going to cut it.

The R610, R700 and R710, however, will. Sitting at my desk though, I've got 9 APs visible at better than -65dBm (but most over -50dBm) and another 6 before I hit -90dBm in 2.4. It is extremely noisy. Is one of these two markedly better than the other at coping with extremely noisy environments where beam forming matters less, or are they going to ultimately perform about the same? I don't really need highly advanced stuff or WiFi 6 or IoT; just VLANs and per-VLAN SSID capability. Everything's either a phone, tablet, TV, or RPi. What would you all recommend?
 
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tommybackeast

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I think that was the conclusion was that there was no way to override said registers with the way the board was laid out, but just in case - @up-n-atom
May I interrupt this thread to ask this question; as setting up the Ruckus r510 soon.

Ruckus r510 AP has ** Two(2) ** POE RJ45 ports .

My house does not have 1gig ISP Connection. Brocade 7250-48p POE switch will POE power the r510.

I do not really understand what I can do with two RJ45 ports on the r510 - can you explain? thank you.
(I have not really read the r510 manual indepth but was of course going to before the actual setup; but it seems using both r510 RJ45 ports will give a single 2GB wifi connection? - or did i vastly mis-remember from what I read weeks ago.

FYI: most devices in the house are hard-wired, including everything at the TV Media Center. / thanks

PS: re Firmware on Ruckus r510 AP : I made a paper note from some poster either here on STH or reddit that one should use the older firmware version 200.6; as there were known issues using 200.7 and 200.8 if you had many iOS devices such as iPhone or iPad (which I do).

May I ask your comment on that oh "Knower of Brocade/Ruckus" / thanks
 
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I do not really understand what I can do with two RJ45 ports on the r510 - can you explain? thank you.
(I have not really read the r510 manual indepth but was of course going to before the actual setup; but it seems using both r510 RJ45 ports will give a single 2GB wifi connection? - or did i vastly mis-remember from what I read weeks ago.
Only one of them is POE. Presumably, the second is for running a hardwired connection to a second AP or another switch.
 
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tommybackeast

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Only one of them is POE. Presumably, the second is for running a hardwired connection to a second AP or another switch.
Thank you, I misread the manual for it indeed states only one RJ45 port is POE.

Might you have any comments on what firmware to put down on the r510 as some poster said to use older 200.6 for the 200.7 and 200.8 had issues with iPhones and iPads (no clue if accurate)
 

RoachedCoach

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Feb 4, 2020
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Only one of them is POE. Presumably, the second is for running a hardwired connection to a second AP or another switch.
To clarify - one can daisy-chain these then, correct?

I feel silly, I've looked high and low for an actual manual and only managed to find the Quick Setup guide. I would assume there's something more detailed that I'm missing?

I have my first R510 Unleashed arriving this week, plan to start trying things out connected to an ICX-7250 and see if I want to expand from there.
 

tommybackeast

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tommybackeast

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AHHHHHH - that Indoor Access guide is what I've been looking for!!! THANK YOU

I have a sub on the Ruckus site, but the number of docs they have on there is overwhelming. Thank you!
I agree :) I love Dell Server and Brocade / Ruckus products; but given they are Enterprise grade, the amount of documentation can be daunting. Glad I could help for STH has been of huge help for me
 

Dave Corder

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I have an R710 on the way to replace an UAP-AC-Pro that doesn't give me very good coverage from one side of the house to the other (I have another UAP-AC-Pro in a box, but right now it's not feasible to run a cable through the attic to mount it where it needs to go), so I'm hoping the R710 does better...the house is not that big, really. I'm a little unhappy with the perpetual beta-ness of the Unifi firmware, too, so I've been wanting to go to a Ruckus solution for a while, and this is as good an excuse as any.

However, my house has foil-lined insulation in the exterior walls and I have a devil of a time getting a decent Wifi signal with the UAP-AC-Pro anywhere outside except right next to the window in the server/networking room (as well as trouble maintaining solid cell signals inside, but that's another story).

I'm thinking of adding on an outdoor AP to complement the R710, mainly to cover the backyard, if the R710 itself isn't enough to cut through the exterior walls. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the Ruckus outdoor AP options, though, and they seem to be less plentiful on eBay than the R series. I do have a small covered area on the back deck where I could in theory mount a non-outdoor AP out of the elements, but I don't know if that's a good idea. Does anyone have any recommendations for adding on some outdoor coverage without breaking the bank?
 

sth

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The external modules are similarly numbered but are prefixed by a T, not R. They are significantly more expensive though so sit down before hitting ebay up! At the price the R models are available Id be inclined to mount one in a sheltered location and see how it goes. Putting one in some kind of plastic external box probably wouldn't affect range and may help with rain protection etc.
I subjectively guesstimate an increase in range of about 10-15% moving to Ruckus from Unifi. They can't defy the laws of physics so tin foiled insulation will still be an issue, but there is likely to be a slight uplift which may just push it into the range of useable.