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NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

[ Edited ]

I've read an awful lot before purchasing 2 Nanostation M2 radios for our company's campus. My problem is similar to a few others here: Using one AP and one Station in PtP across 100 yds with clear LoS. Ping times are solid, low noise, high CCQ, high AirMax quality & capacity. Connection is excellent (on par with a CAT5e cable -- most of the time.

 

About every day, out of the blue, the Station just drops. No warning, no fluctuation in ping times. It just drops completely. The Ping Watchdog on the Station is forced to restart, and then everything is back to normal again within 4 minutes. Here's the kicker: most of the time the drops occur after work hours, sporadically through the night, and then everything works normally again as people start working again.

 

PingPlotter charts show this happens 3 - 5 times during the night at different times, and not every day. Sometimes they happen almost exactly 30 mins apart, but not always. It's also hard to say for sure which end failed -- or even both. That tells me it's probably man-made interference of some kind. The Station is locked to the AP with MAC ACL, so nothing else can connect. Also, the Station feeds data to a separate Outdoor+ AP on a different SSID and frequency.

 

Troubleshooting steps taken so far:

* Installed APC UPS on each end (AP includes conditioning & historical charts)

* Confirmed LoS against changes in tree growth over the Spring (still good)

* Snapped the mast on the AP side a couple of times to measure impact of high wind (none observed)

* Compared outage times to weather conditions (all but one occurred while clear or cloudy--no rain/wind)

* Observed outdoor security cameras for physical interference like geese, drones, balloons, Chinese lanterns...flying leprechauns? (none seen, but you never know!)

* Replaced all standard CAT5e for ToughCable Pro (seemed to help for a couple of days, then not)

* Swapped POE injectors between AP and Station (no change)

* Used AirView to locate "quiet" zone and set it (helped for a day or so)

** Finally: Enabled AirSelect across entire 2.4GHz range, with recommended Hop settings. Not enough data yet, but will observe over the weekend.

 

At this point, I've got all kinds of theories, including large birds landing on the radio & blocking LoS with tail/wing, HAM radio operators on a binge to Russia or the Far East, police radios in cars patroling parking lot... But there are no signs of birds, the closest licensed HAM operator is 1/4 mile away, and police patrol times do not coincide with outages. We're located on the edge of a small town, along a rural highway. Our closest neighbor is away most of the time and is not the type of person to stay up through the night.

 

I *think* most potential problems associated with power, cabling, or outside physical interference have probably been ruled out. Assuming then that this is some kind of RF interference/noise, next troubleshooting steps are:

1) Purchase & install RFArmor on both radios

2) Purchase a spare NS M2 and configure for a 2nd Station to test side-by-side in PtMP scenario

3) Reconfigure the spare NS M2 and swap it for the AP

4) Remove the M2 radios and purchase/install M5 radios instead, and start all over.

 

Of course, all of this may end up telling me nothing more than today. So before I spend more time and money needlessly, does anyone have any other ideas??

BONUS -- If someone can help solve this, not only will the whole Ubiquiti Community benefit, but I'll also share my proprietary design for a fool-proof PtP aiming tool that can be made for next to nothing. It works at *any* distance too. It's awesome. You'll love it.

 

AP.PNG
ST.PNG
Ubiquiti-PtP-airLink.png

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Regular Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

I would use Loco M5's as the commentor above said. It look's to me like distance, and signal strength are your two problems.

In similar situations I have had good luck turning one or both radios horizontal and then misaligning one up and one down so that the top end of one and the bottom end of the other are almost level (as close as you can get) to drop the signal strength.

I have also used an Air gateway in station mode. They are weak, and take a little bit of work to get right. But we have this setup in a lady's shop to get internet from the house, through the shop window, to the shop computer. Works pretty well.

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Established Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Hi,

Good to see that you are getting somewhere.

Try misaligning the radios a bit, to get levels in the mid fifties.

I would definately go for a pair of NSM5 locos for this link.

 

Cheers

 

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Established Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

[ Edited ]

Hi,

The only thing I can see from your screenshots is that signal levels are way too "hot".

Try lowering output power so the signal level is in the mid fifties range.

Could be that the frontends on both radios are overloading.

 

New Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Yes, I thought that might be an issue too. Will do. Not sure that explains the outages, but it's probably good practice anyway. Thanks!

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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

OK, AP and Station are both set to 7 and 2 db power, just enough to maintain 95+ CCQ at each end. Signal strength is still hovering in the mid 45's.

Established Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Yeah, thought that you might have problems lowering the power on this link.

You might try dis-aligning one of the radios to get a higher figure.

None the less, for this link a pair of NSM5 loco's would have been the right choice.

The NSM2's for this sort of distance is an overkill.

Regular Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

I would use Loco M5's as the commentor above said. It look's to me like distance, and signal strength are your two problems.

In similar situations I have had good luck turning one or both radios horizontal and then misaligning one up and one down so that the top end of one and the bottom end of the other are almost level (as close as you can get) to drop the signal strength.

I have also used an Air gateway in station mode. They are weak, and take a little bit of work to get right. But we have this setup in a lady's shop to get internet from the house, through the shop window, to the shop computer. Works pretty well.

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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Update: After reducing the power at both ends and turning on AirSelect, the link appears more reliable as it's not dropping completely. But PingPlotter still shows dropped packets, about 4 times each day, for only 2-4 seconds at a time. But those little breaks are enough to disrupt our connections and cause application probs. And there's still no discernable pattern to the drops.

 

I've seen similar problems with the NanoStations/Locos/M2/M5 here on the forum, but few of these seem to get fully resolved. I'll try mis-aligning these radios as you suggested. Failing that, do you have any feel for which would be better: installing RFArmor on both radios -or- swapping both radios for the NSM5 Locos?

 

 

Established Member
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Hi,

Good to see that you are getting somewhere.

Try misaligning the radios a bit, to get levels in the mid fifties.

I would definately go for a pair of NSM5 locos for this link.

 

Cheers

 

New Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-11-2015
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

[ Edited ]

Sorry for the delay getting back. Got an interesting e-mail from MS that needs to be dealt with and is taking priority.

Back to the radios: Well, it took a good 70+ degree horizontal twist of the radio on the pole of the main building to get it to low-mid 50s, but it's there. Ping times are up a bit, but still very tolerable. Throughput is down a bit too. Frankly, I'm surprised it's connecting at all! Interrruptions appear to be a bit fewer, but still occurring.

For the record, we're at about 99.99% uptime with the current radios. While that might be great for casual Internet use, our business requires a very reliable network. The goal is 99.999%, and from what I've seen so far, that's achievable with the right equipment.

Next step for us looks like changing these out for a pair of NSM5 loco radios as you (and OvrMyHed) recommended.

Thanks for the input!

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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Update for all interested: the Loco M5 have been connected for a few days. A monitor was setup to continuously ping both radios and record results. Uptime was calcluated at 99.9996% with only 1 missed ping over a 3-day test. During that test we had some pretty harsh storms pass overhead with high winds, tornado watches, and lots of heavy rain.

 

The missed ping wasn't due to any problem with the wireless signal. There was a momentary problem with the LAN connection of the AP, and so the Station couldn't respond either. That could have been caused by any device or connection point from the AP back to the computer running the monitoring software.

 

Thanks again for all the help. As promised, here is my poor-man's tool for visually alinging over radios over neary any distance you can see. It's pretty simple: a 1' clamp with a red dot sight attached to the end of the rod. It's sighted in at 100 yards, which makes for spot-on alingment of any of the Nanostation radios with flat faces. The trick is to get the red dot mounted as straight as possible to the clamp rod, and to clamp the unit to the radio firmly without squishing it. Total cost should be < $50. Enjoy.IMG_20150325_141456_157.jpg

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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

i have the same issue with a chain of m5s. first link is 13.5 miles and second is 25.5 miles. i have aps on both legs of the link and they randomly drop from time to time with EXACTLY 5 minutes of down time. they come right back up after the 5 minutes.

 

m5------>m5/ap------->m5/ap

 

the first tower is my upstream source (in ground fiber) and has an ap on it as well. this ap does not drop. however, the second ap and third ap are the ones that drop.

 

so im thinking my issue has to be on the first rocket m5 at my hub tower.

 

this doesnt happen often or even everyday.. but to have a reliable network i need no small issue like this.

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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

You should start your own thread. You should also check to see if you're using a DFS frequency. Exactly 5 minutes sounds like a DFS hold-off period after detecting RADAR signature.
Set a Frequency! Don't leave it on Auto!
Disable Uplink Connectivity Monitor
Always set-inform a Second time after Adopting
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

[ Edited ]

im sorry. just seemed like ol boy was having similar issues as i am. so while im here in this thread anyway.. clarify for a new guy please, should i be using dfs channel or get away from the dfs if im on it?

SuperUser
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

DFS adds the headache of getting kicked off if RADAR is detected, whether real or false.

If there's clear non-DFS spectrum available, I'd use that.
Set a Frequency! Don't leave it on Auto!
Disable Uplink Connectivity Monitor
Always set-inform a Second time after Adopting
New Member
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Registered: ‎10-29-2018

Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Hi All. I know this is a late replay to an old thread but hope this helps. I had the exact same problem and did the exact same troubleshoot steps of changing equipments and cables . I have figured out what the problem was .If i removed the wireless password it was stable for overa week.No dropping of network at night or during the day.it was perfect. How to get the password working without dropping the network i haven't figured this 1 out yet
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Re: NanoStation M2 PtP is great, but drops sporadically at night

Please don't bump old threads.
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