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Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

[ Edited ]

We're taking some time on a rainy day to revisit UNMS on an Android phone.  This is a bit long, but hopefully describes our current work flow and some of our history of trying to make the work flow work with Ubiquiti equipment. 

 

In the past we just modified an Ubiquiti airMax POE injector by removing the 110 volt electronics and soldering in a couple of leads to a switch and a 12 volt rechargeable emergency light battery.

 

We'd attach an airGateway configured as a bridge and connect that way.  If we were installing a radio already configured as a CPE we'd have no problem connecting with a smartphone and associating the CPE with an AP, setting the rate limiting, and Device Name and we'd be done.

 

If we hadn't preconfigured the device as a CPE it would have no DHCP so we'd have to connect with a laptop and put it in the 192.168.X.X subnet and open the GUI and update firmware and install the configuration file.

 

Then along came airGateway installer and a large USB battery.  That took care of the lack of DHCP by automatically going into some kind of semi-router mode if the device it was connected to wasn't supplying DHCP - very nice.  But it's DC - DC converter coudn't supply enough power to do an upload speed test - this is important to us before we do an installation.

 

But the big thing is that if we manually put a configuration file on the smartphone and loaded it into the radio to make it a CPE we could no longer log into the radio - it would say that we were using the wrong password.  So we still had to use a laptop.

 

Then along comes U-Installer.  This is nice and self contained and does the same semi-router trick with DHCP.  But we don't seem to be able to change the 2.4 frequency which can be a problem if it chooses a frequency that walks on your AP when you're trying to set up a 2.4 Ghz CPE. 

 

And I'm just testing the U-Installer with a new NanoBeam 2AC radio.  I thought that maybe its internal management radio was going to be a problem, but Ubiquiti ccleverly put the management radio in the 5 Ghz band.  Man Happy

 

So then we're trying UMobile - now it's the UNMS mobile app.   All we really want is a way to use a mobile Android device to put a configuration on a radio.

 

In testing right now it looks as if UNMS Mobile on Android can now load a configuration into a radio.  But how do we get the configuration into the mobile device?  How do we automatically update the configurations in the mobile device?  And we don't want our installers running around with out of date configurations.

 

What we're really after is to have a central repository of current base configurations that stays up to date across our laptops and mobile devices.  Currently we use Google Docs for this, but we can't load a config into a radio with a mobile device with its GUI because it will  complain that the password is not correct.

 

We just started our beta UNMS server this morning so maybe this is addressed somewhere, but we haven't found it or a preliminnary manual yet.

 

We aren't really needing 2.4 AC yet, especially since we can't use them as APs for non-Ubiquiti devices.  But what we really need is a portable 2.4 Ghz spectrum analyzer to find 2.4 interference in a customer location with a smartphone.   

So we thought that we'd use airView on a 2.4 AC radio because this is difficult or maybe impossible with an M radio.  Part of the problem is that U-Installer uses 2.4 Ghz so would be cluttering up our readings.

 

We were pleasantly suprised to find that the switch on the U-Installer would just turn off WiFi but would still power the 2AC radio.  Then we could connect a smartphone to the 5 Ghz management radio, open the GUI, then run airView.

 

This doesn't seem to work - it appears that airView won't work while the management radio is on.  A bit disappointing.  Again I wish that we could change frequencies on the U-Installer.  And I wish that it was dual band so that it could get out of the way while doing 2.4 Ghz stuff.

 

I'll cross post this last part in an airMax forum, I just wanted to air some of this workflow in the UNMS forum.

 

Please do not respond to my threads if you're going to be rude or condescending. We're all learning here... Icon Razz

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Regular Member
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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

I also would like to be able to load configuration files from an Android device.

 

Where are the files stored on the phone? I have a method to create customer-specific configuration files, so that would just be a download link when a tech is on-site and working the ticket in our internal web pages. This config file would then be downloaded to the Android device's download folder. Can we have UNMS (the mobile app) search that or other folders for configuration files?

 

@JWW Do you think we will have password issues with the method above?

 

 

PS

Shouldn't the mobile app really have a separate forum? It's really tricky to search for mobile app specific issues when both the app and the server are named the same way, and they're both in the same forum. Why not change the name of the UMobile forum and unlock it so we can post mobile app issues there?

Regular Member
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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

I found where the files are stored: device storage/umobile/configs

 

The app really needs a way to browse the downloads folder for other config files. 

 

It seems it is very hard to modify the download location in Android Chrome, so the app must be able to choose files from another location.

 

I did find this Intent, which may be a neat way to launch the unms app from an HTML link that has the path to the config file:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/21319275/open-android-app-from-browser-using-html-link-or-javasc...

Regular Member
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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

Another thought. Can .cfg files be associated with UNMS, so that when I click on a file in the downloads folder, the app launches and "imports" that file to the UNMS cfg directory?

Ubiquiti Employee
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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

Thanks @JWW for sharing your thoughts with us.

 

But the big thing is that if we manually put a configuration file on the smartphone and loaded it into the radio to make it a CPE we could no longer log into the radio - it would say that we were using the wrong password.  So we still had to use a laptop.

 

We'll definitelly check out issues with password restore as you described. If it still doesn't work for you, it's a bug.

 

But how do we get the configuration into the mobile device?  How do we automatically update the configurations in the mobile device?  And we don't want installers running around with out of date configurations.

 

You are right,at this moment there is the only way how to get your template configuration into the device - manually upload it into /umobile/configs directory on you Android device. We were trying to find the best solution for the 'central repository of current base configurations' for some time, since we understand it could be a very convenient feature. It's planned to be added to UNMS, but as far as I know it'll take some time since there are other things to work on with higher priority.

Ubiquiti Employee
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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

@elmorekevin

 

1) The app really needs a way to browse the downloads folder for other config files. 

 

I'll put that on our roadmap.

 

2) Another thought. Can .cfg files be associated with UNMS, so that when I click on a file in the downloads folder, the app launches and "imports" that file to the UNMS cfg directory?

 

That also seems like a good idea to me. We'll think about that and add it on our roadmap too.

 

Thanks for your thoughts! Man Happy

 

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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

I just got  new Android phone and had to rebuild stuff from the ground up. Here is what I had....

 

 

  • UNMS on Android ( working great ) 
  • Wireless Router ( pre Gen 2 radios used ...no mgmt radios ) 
  • andFTP for file transfer to and from phone
  • CS FW versions ( dangerous ) 
  • Base Config file ( I run the same standard settings for SSID and VLAN membership on my entire network ) 
  • rc.poststart file with UNII and ethernet Port Security script ( checks if UNII rules are active and activates them if not and limits the number of MAC addresses that can get an IP address from my network on the eth side of the radio)

Steps

 

  1. Plug fresh radio into LAN Port of wireless router 
  2. Connect to the radio with UNMS
  3. Update FW
  4. Connect to radio with andFTP and upload the config file and rc.poststart files
  5. Reconnect with UNMS and make a small config change to enable the "save settings" button
  6. save settings
  7. Move radio ethernet to WAN port of router
  8. Ping Google

 

 

 

Now for some reason with a fresh installation of UNMS on my phone I cannot find the FW directory so the steps have changed

 

  1. Plug fresh radio into LAN Port of wireless router
  2. upload new FW to /tmp/ with andFTP 
  3. Connect to the radio with Juice SSH
  4. Update FW using /sbin/fwupdate -m ( as automated code snippet run after successful connection in juiceSSH )
  5. Connect to radio with andFTP and upload the config file and rc.poststart files
  6. Reconnect with JuiceSSH using a seperate code snippet which simply sends "save" and "reboot"
  7. Move radio ethernet to WAN port of router
  8. Ping Google

 

anyone else lose the FW dir on their Andriod? Im using a Note8

Senior Member
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Re: Using the UNMS Mobile app for new device configuration in the field (UMobile)

Please add A way to load config files in the UNMS app from Google drive

 

UNMS right now saying I can only load backup config already on device... its a new radio how would I have a backup config?

 

Please take a look at the android App EasyUBNT UNMS can learn a lot from that app

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