Re: Engenius 200mW long range Wi-Fi equipment

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Leaving the original for clarity after a long while, below, I come back with
some basic difficulties:

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Multiple re-readings of the instructions suggest that an AP can be a
repeater.  The only way I saw was that individual clients (laptops, e.g.)
could talk to each other, using the AP as the repeater - not necessarily
that individual laptops could talk to a router, using the AP as repeater.
However, they seem to indicate that connection via cat5 to a computer is
necessary for that to happen, which defeats my purpose - and in any case,
since I want to talk to shore points (which would be a wireless router),
doesn't seem to accomplish my purpose.  How is it that Ham radio folks can
effortlessly connect to a repeater - that is, the unmanned antenna on a
hilltop takes their signal, amplifies it and sends it on its way - and we in
the wifi world, can't??  That's exactly what I want to do - take my signal,
amplify it, and send it on its way.  In turn, I want to hear/see the other
signal, picked up and sent my way.  Not being argumentative - just supremely
frustrated at total failure to get anything at all in this venture to work -
at all.  On to your suggestions:

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I'm not sure what you mean by "boat access point" channel 11.  The only
access point I'll have will be one of the 2611s.  I can set the access point
and bridge (the two 2611s, one each as bridge and AP) to use 1 and 11, but
it seems to make no difference, in the end (see below).  If those two items,
used on my boat, are what you mean, I'm still stuck.

Meanwhile, when I'm able to interrogate the bridge (or change it to the AP
mode), the first couple of times I did that, it showed that it was using
channel 12, supposedly not available in the US.  What's that about?  The
next time, it showed it was using channel 5, despite my having set it to
channel 1.  Reconnecting repeatedly gave 12, 12, 7, 6, and others.  When I
was able to make it act as a bridge (still single unit - not trying to put
them together), while it didn't succeed in actually obtaining an address, it
showed as bouncing around between 1 and 6 while trying.  Same question...

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I'm unable to make the 10 set work at all.  I initially set my NIC (just to
try to set up one of them, let alone have them interact) to 192etc, rebooted
the 2611, and got into the admin pages.  I then entered 10...100 in the
advanced TCP/IP settings on the NIC, and went back into the 2611, resetting
it to 10...1.

At that point, after the required reboot, it became invisible. I went back
into the NIC and set it for dhcp, at which point (of course) all of the
other settings disappeared.  Still no contact with the 2611.

Resetting the NIC to 10...100, subnet also didn't let me in.
Giving up and rebooting the 2611 manually, and resetting the NIC to didn't let me in, either.  Manually rebooting the 2611 yet
again did the trick on 192,etc.- but I'm still not up on 10,etc. That is,
the unit sees nothing - or at least, doesn't display them in the
associations, let alone the comms icons in the system tray - despite my
success in connection with my internal laptop antenna.  When I interrogate
the bridge using the 192etc. and "advanced" 10etc. it shows
association/bridging with both 192 and 10 sets, even though, of course,
they're the same NIC mac.  However, no external connection shows.

Giving up and going to the 192etc. static configuration lets it load - but
while it shows connected to my local router, it doesn't connect to the
internet.  My settings are (because dhcp won't let me see the page) static,
point-multipoint mode, no SSID.  While the instructions sets refer to using
dhcp, I can't imagine how it would work, as it's invisible, apparently, in
that mode.

I'm beginning to think this just won't work in the application I'm trying to
accomplish.  I want to put this - the bridge, and another - configured as an
AP, in a NEMA box, on top of the mast.  I want them connected to each other,
with a crossover pigtail, and powered directly.  The AP I'd have a rubber
duck to see me, on or below decks, and - I'd hope - lots of other boats in
the anchorage, or me in the dinghy gone to shore, even.  However, the
requirement of a static address seems to rule that out?  The bridge I'd have
using an 8.5dBi stick looking for shoreside points, passing them through the
AP to me, below, and from which I'd choose, just as I now do in my built-in
or externally USB connected antenna.  However, what I read in the
instructions suggests that it will only connect to the strongest signal, not
let me select, as my current antenna does (?).

I've even considered giving up and running a crossover from the nav to the
2611 configured as bridge, mast-top - but as yet, I can't even get it to see
anything alone, via my crossover to the NIC in the computer, certainly not
together (AP and Bridge pair mast-top, with no data line to the bottom).
While I'm able to see the local router, with better quality items (strength
and quality) numbers than with my "standard" antenna, it won't communicate
with it - that is, data won't flow.  Attempting to browse immediately
attempts to open a dialer, attempts to open NNTP news gives "server could
not be found" and attempts to pull email give error messages.  If I can't
make them respond in a wired mode, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to do it
wirelessly, especially together.  Setting the NIC to dhcp makes it fall
apart completely - which would mean, of course, that nobody else in the
anchorage could see it, either (a side objective for me), never mind that it
doesn't work for me, even wired up as a single-item, bridge, solution...

Ideally, in the event of a problem, I want to be able to address them from
below, rather than having to climb the mast and uninstall them, bringing
them below for direct connection.  So far I'm not able to see either bridge
or access point with my internal wireless antenna, let alone communicate
with it, or control it.  The only way I've been able to interrogate the card
has been via XO cat5 from my NIC.  And, despite it seeing my router, that's
as far as I get with it - I can interrogate it, and see what it's "seeing" -
but not pass data.  Just to be sure that it wasn't a router issue, I
reconnected my antenna and surfed and mailed successfully - including this
note - but when I disconnected it, rechecked the bridge, and saw the router
in strong connection, there was no surfing or mailing.  Given that I'd
always been certain that a wired-up 2611 bridge would work, this is
terribly, mortifyingly (after 8 months just trying to make the two interact
without complaint), disappointing. Obviously I'm doing something very
basically wrong - but 8 months of beating on it, and wearing out the manual,
hasn't gotten me very far.  While I (may have - I've not bothered to put the
two together, having not succeeded in even sucking down a signal yet, with a
wire!) solved the ipconflicts with the channel separations, I'm no further
toward my objective.  At some later point when I've regained my sanity, I'll
set up the AP with .2 (the bridge is .1), and channel 11 (the bridge is
channel 1) and put the two together with the crossover, power them up, and
see if the system complains about IP conflicts...

It still smells like I need a repeater - something which amplifies both my
and the shoreside point data so each can see it better than with the native
gear.  Or *something* other than this setup with which I've not had any
other than frustration for more than 8 months.

At the risk of trying your patience, do you have any (further) suggestions
as to how to resolve this impasse?



Skip, defeated.

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC The vessel as Tehamana, as we bought her

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover."   - Mark Twain

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