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New Member
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎03-11-2015
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

[ Edited ]

Hi to everyone,

 

I have 22 AF5X in production on my network and I can confirm several and serious ethernet problems like data link frequently goes down and/or from 1G to 100M without any apparent reason.

 

I've checked cables, grounding (all well gorunded withouth ground loops) and all aspects related to ethernet links. I use ubiquiti tough cable carrier and tough connectors. I've experienced this issue on 12 of 22 units in production powered in all ways: Netonix Switch with 24VH, toughswitch 24V or 48V and with the standard AF5X power supply.

 

After a month of tests and several headaches, I can affirm that the problem is a mechanical issue on the AF5X connector. I've reproduced the issue in my lab with an AF5X powered by a Netonix and,slightly moving connector, I can see in log that interface goes down and up and in some cases AF5X lose power!

 

My temporary solution to fix the issue is to use a wrapper around the cable into AF5X cage near the connector to limit cable movements. Furthermore, I pay attention to not overcrimp connector and well fix cables on the pole to avoid wind generated vibrations. I've experienced that in presence of wind these issues increases much more.

 

But there is another cause of this issue: electrical interferences in power supply! I've experienced that powering AF5X with an AC powered switch like toughswitch PRO or Netonix WS-12-250-AC powered both with a NOT pure sine wave UPS causes ethernet problems! Using a pure sine wave inverter or UPS solves the problem.

Can you imagine my headache in resolving these issues in sites in which the causes was both presents ?

 

 

Best Regards,

   Dario M.

New Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-30-2013

Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

A lot of issues can be traced back to the tool. What crimping tool do you find work best?

Senior Member
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

This is a tolerance issue with the PCB connector.  Have you watched the video?

New Member
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems


RickGunderson wrote:

A lot of issues can be traced back to the tool. What crimping tool do you find work best?


We usually use a professional crimping tool made by Wurth. But we've experienced the issue also with high quality industrial made patch cables

.

I can't say that there is a crimping tool that works best to avoid the PCB connector issue of AF5X.

 

Best Regards,

   Dario M.

SuperUser
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

We have seen two separate cases of this in the past week (actually in systems other than ours but that we help with) and in both cases the cable was not adequately supported and was hanging from the radio held in place only by the RJ45 key.   In every case where we have an AF-X radio (and we have dozens in production over the past several years) we tie the cable to the support pole so there is active upward pressure on the cable/connector (just like with the hundreds of Rocket M and AC radios we have in the field) and we have had zero instances of this problem.  

Jim

" How can anyone trust Scientists? If new evidence comes along, they change their minds! " Politician's joke (sort of...)

"Humans are allergic to change..They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. "Admiral Grace Hopper, USN, Computer Scientist
Ancient Member
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

The professional ratchet style crimpers have adjustable depth setting on the ratchet but it still depends on the operator.  It is all for naught to adjust the ratchet if the operator squeezes the crap out of it beyond the point the ratchet releases.

 

The only thing the ratchet can 100% guarantee to prevent is undercrimps.  If properly adjusted AND the operator stops squeezing it when the ratchet releases, only then does it prevent overcrimps.  Essentially it is the release of the ratchet that signals to the operator that the depth has been reached.

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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems


eejimm wrote:

We have seen two separate cases of this in the past week (actually in systems other than ours but that we help with) and in both cases the cable was not adequately supported and was hanging from the radio held in place only by the RJ45 key.   In every case where we have an AF-X radio (and we have dozens in production over the past several years) we tie the cable to the support pole so there is active upward pressure on the cable/connector (just like with the hundreds of Rocket M and AC radios we have in the field) and we have had zero instances of this problem.  

Jim


Yes Jim,

I can confirm that an upward pressure on the cable/connector is the right way to avoid the issue. I tried to use a wrapper fixed around the cable into the AF X cage. You can see it in the following photo.

 

IMG_20170117_154924.jpg

 

 From two week ago until now, It seems to works well. But this isn't the only thing I've made. More details are explained on a my previous post of this discussion.

 

 

Best Regards,

  Dario M.

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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems


darimar wrote:

eejimm wrote:

We have seen two separate cases of this in the past week (actually in systems other than ours but that we help with) and in both cases the cable was not adequately supported and was hanging from the radio held in place only by the RJ45 key.   In every case where we have an AF-X radio (and we have dozens in production over the past several years) we tie the cable to the support pole so there is active upward pressure on the cable/connector (just like with the hundreds of Rocket M and AC radios we have in the field) and we have had zero instances of this problem.  

Jim


Yes Jim,

I can confirm that an upward pressure on the cable/connector is the right way to avoid the issue. I tried to use a wrapper fixed around the cable into the AF X cage. You can see it in the following photo.

 

IMG_20170117_154924.jpg

 

 From two week ago until now, It seems to works well. But this isn't the only thing I've made. More details are explained on a my previous post of this discussion.

 

 

Best Regards,

  Dario M.


I'm hoping that pic is of a mock-up - I doubt that jumper is UV rated although it does at least look like it's got shielded connectors...

 

We use the stiffer outdoor UV rated HDPE jacket STP cable directly so the cable itself acts as a spring to push up into the radio enough to prevent the connection from ever loosening.   Maybe that's why we have zero problems in this area...

Jim

" How can anyone trust Scientists? If new evidence comes along, they change their minds! " Politician's joke (sort of...)

"Humans are allergic to change..They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. "Admiral Grace Hopper, USN, Computer Scientist
Established Member
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

 


RickGunderson wrote:

A lot of issues can be traced back to the tool. What crimping tool do you find work best?



A professional crimping tool is absolutely a must....

 

I use a PressMaster (http://www.pressmaster.se/product/mct_framehttp://www.pressmaster.se/product/mct_die79) crimping tool.

 

Top quality, newer had problems when using that.

 

Despite that, the AF-5X connectors are bad (Also LiteBeam AP + AC23). I have some with plugs like shown on the videos and they temporarily switches between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps. Quite annoying.
Putting pressure on the connector with a zip tie sometimes help solve the problem.

Emerging Member
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

I have noticed the exact same issue on several of our AF5x radios. I've tried 3 different brands of shielded RJ45 connectors (including ToughCable connectors) and two crimpers and have concluded that the only solution is to ensure that the cable is supported in a way that exerts upward pressure on the connector in the jack, as others have found. Since there is no cable tie loop like in the AF24 series for this purpose, it ends up being a bit of a hack.

 

Not what I'd expect for a "carrier class" radio.

New Member
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎03-11-2015
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

[ Edited ]

eejimm wrote:

darimar wrote:

eejimm wrote:

We have seen two separate cases of this in the past week (actually in systems other than ours but that we help with) and in both cases the cable was not adequately supported and was hanging from the radio held in place only by the RJ45 key.   In every case where we have an AF-X radio (and we have dozens in production over the past several years) we tie the cable to the support pole so there is active upward pressure on the cable/connector (just like with the hundreds of Rocket M and AC radios we have in the field) and we have had zero instances of this problem.  

Jim


Yes Jim,

I can confirm that an upward pressure on the cable/connector is the right way to avoid the issue. I tried to use a wrapper fixed around the cable into the AF X cage. You can see it in the following photo.

 

IMG_20170117_154924.jpg

 

 From two week ago until now, It seems to works well. But this isn't the only thing I've made. More details are explained on a my previous post of this discussion.

 

 

Best Regards,

  Dario M.


I'm hoping that pic is of a mock-up - I doubt that jumper is UV rated although it does at least look like it's got shielded connectors...

 

We use the stiffer outdoor UV rated HDPE jacket STP cable directly so the cable itself acts as a spring to push up into the radio enough to prevent the connection from ever loosening.   Maybe that's why we have zero problems in this area...

Jim


Yes Jim,

usually I use toughcable pro carrier with tough connectors. I took the picture with that white cable only to put in evidence the black wrapper. However, I used that PVC indoor cable to test AF5X in my lab with a high quality industrial made cable with connector also to compare its behaviour vs hand crimped connectors.

I know that to use a PVC cable in outdoor is a bad idea (PVC is hygroscopic and not UV resistant).

 

It's a very good thing that we're sharing our experience to avoid this strange AF5X's issue, but I think that UBNT should take action about this. AF5X is a very good product, but for me It's inexplicable that it has an issue ever seen also in a $ 50 UBNT device.

 

Best Regards,

  Dario M.

New Member
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎08-26-2014
Solutions: 1

Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

I have been having this ethernet problem with a "Carrier Class"airf iber 5x out of the box since the very begining,  it just works ok when it is forced to 10m FD , in 100 FD drops 50% of packets.c42fd950-6b4d-4fab-80b7-f57ec3d3e39c.jpg

I should have gone with the PtP450i....shame on me.

 

 

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-24-2016

Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

I've tried several different brands of shielded RJ45 connectors (last one was RJ45 industrial plug Cat.6a STP with cat7 cable) but i still have 100Mbps on data port. Airfiber 5X on other side works perfectly (1000Mbps).

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-22-2015

Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

Having similar issues with AF5X's and data drops , connected via 1.5mts sheilded cable to a Ubiquity Fibre PoE accessory , intermittant data drops outs related to sloppy connector in the radio , not that much fun when crane access is required to resolve @ 80 ft up  Smiley Mad

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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

We have been able to replicate this sensitivity to connectors and cable terminations based on some variability we see with the RJ-45 vendor.  There are several alternate vendors that have been used for this part across the company and we are narrowing it down to component lot-codes etc...  In the meantime, we have tested and approved the use of silicone dielectric grease and recommend the proper use of short drip-loops for cable dress. It is also beneficial to use the strain relieving tie-wrap (as shown in posts below) to prevent excessive pull force from interrupting the connection.

 

Testing reveals that there are cables and terminations that do not exhibit this issue and there are brands that appear to be more problematic than others.  We can post a list of brands of cables/terminations that tend to not exhibit this issue however our goal is to make sure it works with “all” brands.

 

Dielectric grease has been shown to reduce the "camming" action that happens as you apply lateral force to the connector with a result that the inter-conductor plastic insulator (between cable connector contacts) pushes on adjacent spring contacts within the RJ-45 potentially causing disconnects. The grease tends to reduce this tendency to stick.

 

Sorry for the difficulty this is causing some of you guys. 

 

Gary

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Solutions: 4

Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

@UBNT-Gary FYI for our Desert project the biggest culprit of the problems described above has not been the AF-5X's themselves, but rather the ubnt eth surge protectors. For the 50 plus that we used, all of them required a ridiculous amount of undercrimp (ie you need the pins to almost protrude above the dividers in the ubnt crimp for them to work at all). Our AF5x's and eth surge protectors were delivered in April last year. The eth surge protectors have been horrifying to work with.

New Member
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-01-2015
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

[ Edited ]

Completely new AF product line (lets call it "revision 2") with SFP cage and two-wire DC input would be very nice option to have.

In mu opinion that is the best and safest way to connect equipment on RF noisy TV and radio towers..

We would gladly pay higher price for that improved stability and reliability.


Regards,

M.

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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

@UBNT-Gary, @ClaudeSS, or anyone...

 

Can you describe the proper way to apply dielectric grease in this situation?

 

Thanks

Mark

 

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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems


Solideco wrote:

@UBNT-Gary, @ClaudeSS, or anyone...

 

Can you describe the proper way to apply dielectric grease in this situation?

 

Thanks

Mark

 


The idea is to make the connector fit more snuggly into the radio connector and move less.  Sides of connector need the most.  Added benefit is that there will be less corrosion over the life of the connector. 

ubiquiti certified trainer :: ubwa | uewa
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Re: AF5X - Ethernet Problems

How does this impact the electrical connection between the socket and the shielded connector? Is a connection still made at the tip of the connector?

 

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