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user_guide:md_ubiquiti_unifi_ap_pro [2016/06/12 15:05] (current)
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 +====== Adding Ubiquiti UniFi AP PRO hardware to an existing mesh ======
 +  * Someone who relocated office recently was so kind to donate their three **Ubiquity UniFi AP PRO** units to me while they upgraded to a Ruckus system in their new office.
 +  * Knowing that Ubiquity hardware are famous for the ease which you can replace the vendor'​s proprietary firmware with OpenWrt I was very eager to see how these dual radio nodes will live along the nodes from other hardware vendors in my existing mesh.
 +  * I must admit that the whole exercise turned out to be much smoother and faster than I envisioned.
 +  * Read on to follow my quick journey...
  
 +------
 +
 +====== Flashing the firmware onto the Ubiquiti UniFi AP PRO ======
 +Here is the steps to take when flashing the MESHdesk firmware onto the Ubiquiti hardware.
 +===== Get the flash utility =====
 +  * We will use our Windows machine and a small GUI utility program called tftp2.exe to flash the new firmware onto the hardware.
 +  * You will find a link to download this program on this URL: http://​www.dd-wrt.com/​wiki/​index.php/​TFTP_flash#​Windows
 +
 +===== Get the MESHdesk firmware image =====
 +  * Next you can grab the pre-build MESHdesk firmware for the **Ubiquiti Unifi AP PRO** from this URL: https://​sourceforge.net/​projects/​radiusdesk/​files/​MESHdesk/​Firmware/​Ubiquiti/​
 +  * Since this is a new install of OpenWrt we will use the **openwrt-ar71xx-generic-ubnt-uap-pro-squashfs-factory** image.
 +
 +===== Setting the IP Address of the Windows machine =====
 +  * When the Ubiquiti is in TFTP flash mode it will run a small TFTP server that listens on 192.168.1.20 on the hardware.
 +  * In order for our Windows machine to transfer the firmware to the Ubiquiti we will assign the IP of 192.168.1.200 to the LAN port of the machine.
 +
 +===== Put the Ubiquity hardware in TFTP flash mode =====
 +  * In order to put the Ubiquity hardware in TFTP flash mode you simply have to push the reset button down and keep it down while powering the hardware up.
 +  * After 15-25 seconds it will show you it is in TFPT flash mode by flashing the LEDs in a rotating fashion (White, Blue and then off etc)
 +  * Now you can fire up the tftp2.exe utility; select the file and flash it onto the device.
 +  * The whole flash process is magnitudes faster when comparing to the time it takes on the Picostation for instance.
 +  * As soon as the white LED stopped flashing rapidly you can disconnect the power and do to the next steps:
 +    * Point the mesh node to the MESHdesk server
 +    * Add the mesh node to the existing mesh network
 +
 +--------------
 +
 +====== Point mesh node to the MESHdesk server ======
 +  * We are not going to duplicate existing documentation but will rather point you to the following dedicated page about the **MESHdesk Node Config utility**.
 +  * http://​www.radiusdesk.com/​user_guide/​md_firmware#​configuring_the_firmware
 +
 +-----------
 +
 +====== Add the mesh nodes to the existing mesh network ======
 +  * Here is a bit of a heads-up. The **Ubiquiti UniFi AP PRO** are dual radio units so when we add them; we need to specify which radio we want to use and for what.
 +  * Here is also a second heads-up. On the **Ubiquiti UniFi AP PRO** we have the **5G** radio as **Radio0** and the **2.4G** radio as **Radio1**. <wrap em>This is different from the default</​wrap>​
 +  * See the following screenshot:
 +{{:​user_guide:​md:​ubiquiti_unifi_meshdesk_config.png|}}
 +
 +====== The results of our work ======
 +  * Now that the nodes are pointing to our MESHdesk controller and the MESHdesk controller knows about our nodes we have <wrap em>many vendors one mesh</​wrap>​.
 +{{:​user_guide:​md:​many_vendors_one_mesh.png|}}
 +
 +-----------------------
 +
 +====== Comparing hardware and prices ======
 +
 +{{:​user_guide:​md:​n600.jpg|}} **VS** {{:​user_guide:​md:​unifiap.png|}}
 +
 +  * Here is a point of interest when one compare the **TP-Link WDR3500** to the **Ubiquiti UniFi AP PRO**. ​
 +  * Hardware wise they seem to be pretty much the same. (Aside from the 3dBm higher power on the radios of the Ubiquiti)
 +
 +^ Item     ^ TP-Link WDR3500 ​      ^ UniFi AP PRO       ^ Comment ​  ^
 +| 2.4G radio    | Yes (21dBm) ​   | Yes (24dBm) ​  | Radio0 on the WDR3500 and Radio1 on the AP Pro    |
 +| 5G radio    | Yes (14dBm) ​   | Yes (17dBm) ​    | Radio1 on the WDR3500 and Radio0 on the AP PRO   |
 +| Chip set    | Atheros AR9344 Rev2     | Atheros AR9344 Rev2        |    |
 +| Processor ​  | MIPS 74Kc V4.12 278.93 ​  | MIPS 74Kc V4.12 278.93 ​   |    |
 +| RAM         | 128M      | 128M     ​| ​   |
 +| POE         | NO        | Yes    | 48Volt POE |
 +| External antenna ​  | Yes    | No   ​| ​   |
 +| Ethernet Ports  | 2   | 1    |    |
 +| Ethernet Sockets | 5  | 2   ​| ​    |
 +
 +  * Price
 +
 +^ Item     ^ Price (ZAR)    ^ Sourced from   ^
 +| TP-Link WDR3500 ​   | R685.00 ​    | http://​www.takealot.com/​tp-link-n600-wireless-dual-band-router/​PLID28719987 ​   |
 +| Ubiquiti UniFi PRO AP | R2844.30 | http://​www.scoopdistribution.co.za/​product_info.php/​unifi-professional-dual-band-p-1348 ​  |
 +
 +  * Note the listed price from Scoop (R2,495.00) is excluding VAT thus with VAT which is 14% we go up to R2844.30.
 +  * The price from **Scoop** also is a dealer price and <wrap em>​exclude</​wrap>​ delivery.
 +  * The **Takealot** price <wrap em>​include free</​wrap>​ delivery to your door.
 +
 +===== Conclusion =====
 +The cost of the **Ubiquiti UniFi PRO AP** is <wrap em>at least four times higher</​wrap>​ than that of the **TP-Link WDR3500** while offering more or less the same hardware.