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Wireless Networks Thread, Ruckus advice needed please in Technical; I'm supporting a School with a Ruckus Zone Director ZD1106 plus 6 wireless access points which are all PoE. The ...
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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Ruckus advice needed please

    I'm supporting a School with a Ruckus Zone Director ZD1106 plus 6 wireless access points which are all PoE. The school is on two floors so there are 3 APs upstairs and 3 downstairs. Currently we're on verion 9.3.1.0 build 20 of the firmware. It's a Victorian build school and so the walls are fairly thick - all the APs have been positioned high up in the classrooms or in corridors to try and maximise coverage.

    When I first started with this school (after the Ruckus had been installed), there were all sorts of issues with Group Policies not applying or logging on to the network being intermittent etc. which I tracked down to 4 of the APs having disconnccted, so I rebooted the ZoneDirector and powered the switch off and on again, the APs came back up again and everything was a lot better.

    The issue I have is that the APs keep disconnecting. I have checked again today when I'm in and two have disconnected over the half-term again. It's not practical to keep basically switching the ZoneDirector and switch off and on again when this happens! The supplier has recommended upgrading the firmware to the latest version - for which we are purchasing the ongoing support from Ruckus to be able to download it.

    What I'm after is someone else's opinion really - has anyone been in a similar situation? Does this sound like a sensible path to be taking to resolve the issues? Certainly once the support has been purchased, I hope I'll get access to the Ruckus training and want to learn a lot more about the info given in the ZoneDirector so that I can better analyse it. Is there anything obvious I can be looking out for in the logs in the meantime?

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    witch's Avatar
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    Might they be disconnecting because the power to them is dropping out periodically? Is it the same APs - are the two that disconnected over half term two of the four that disconnected before? If so you could swap out a POE from one that has never dropped out and monitor it?

    I have 10 Ruckus APs and none have ever randomly dropped out and our firmware etc is definitely not up to date so I am not sure that will make a lot of difference.

  3. Thanks to witch from:

    kaphc (18th June 2013)

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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Hi Witch

    Yes the two that dropped over half-term were two of the four from before. One of them has also dropped in May as well.

    There are Ruckus systems in two of the other schools I support, but most of the APs are plugged into the mains, not PoE. They've never droppped as far as I know either though and have not had firmware upgrades, which is why I've never gone into depth on the Ruckus ZoneDirector and how it works apart from the very obvious bits.

    We could try swapping the PoEs as well but that will necessitate me working out the way they've labelled them and sadly it's not obvious. For instance, there is one AP outside a Year 3 classroom and one AP in another Year 3 classroom, but only one AP labelled Y3.

    I'm quite happy to investigate this further but am hoping I'm investigating in the right direction :-)

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    witch's Avatar
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    Mine are all PoE and havent dropped at all. I think it is worth a look, don't you? Worth sorting out those labels too for future use. Just pull one out and see which point goes down!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaphc View Post
    What I'm after is someone else's opinion really - has anyone been in a similar situation? Does this sound like a sensible path to be taking to resolve the issues?
    Our Ruckus kit has been very reliable, no problems. If you think it might be a PoE issue, you could try sticking one of the access points on a power adaptor and see if it still drops off the network. I think they take standard 12V 1A DC power, if you don't have a spare power adaptor then you can get one under £5 off eBay.

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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will investigate the APs labelling further. I may be able to get mains power to them, however, their locations are all high / in corners of rooms so we'd be looking at extension cables and trunking to do it. Certainly once I find the one that disconnects first, I will assess whether we can mains power it instead.

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    witch's Avatar
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    It could just be some duff PoEs anyway. I would swap one that has never failed for one that has (once you work out which is which) and see whether things change to show whether it really is the issue or not

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    I have bought the TP-Link Gigabit PoE injectors (black ones - the white ones are 100meg) and not one has had this problem. You could have some faulty PoE injectors. What make are they? Are you able to get them sent back? Test them with the APs that work and dont drop out. Test the working PoE injectors in the areas where the failing ones are.

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    With gigabit ethernet and PoE your cabling is critical. Considering it is inherited cable and who knows how old it is, I'd start there.

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    I'm back on this site this afternoon investigating further. I have located the AP which disconnects first every time - typically it's the one outside the ICT Co-ordinator's classroom. It does explain why he constantly has the most issues though!

    I've swapped this AP with another one from another classroom which hasn't dropped since last year. And labelled them both so I know where they are now. Hopefully if there are any further problems these will narrow down to the either the AP or the cabling.

    The AP cabling itself goes into a Cisco SG300-10P Managed PoE Switch. Re: PoE Injectors - this is a new one on me so forgive my ignorance, is there a "standard position" for these to go in - would they most often be near the switch or near the AP or somewhere in between? I've had a look and can't see any, but a lot of the wiring for the APs goes into the ceiling voids so it's possible that they could be part of the infrastructure somewhere.

    Without copping out, I support this school technically for 3 hours a week, so am keen to get the supplier involved where possible to resolve this issue in order to make best use of my resources. Thanks for all the replies so far, it's really helpful to have some directions to go in rather than just having this "upgrade the firmware" approach as the sole solution.

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    The injectors can go at any point. It's usually most convenient to keep them in the cabinet because there are sockets there, and they're less likely to be switched off.

    We've a box full of Ruckus power supplies if you want one posting? They were bundled with the APs when we bought ours. Not the case any more.

    Best of luck.

  13. Thanks to IrritableTech from:

    kaphc (18th June 2013)

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    Hi @kaphc if the problem solving you're currently performing doesn't work, let me know and i will get one of our wireless technicians to give you a call if you like? They're brilliant at all things Ruckus and hopefully will be able to offer some advice and assist in fixing the problems you're experiencing.

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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer @IrritableTech, I will PM you.

    @Net-Ctrl I'm hoping I can put pressure on the original resellers of the system to help resolve the issues, but I'll bear that in mind, thank you.

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    No problem at all, i hope you manage to sort out the problems

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    You have to get a grip on your network. You need to know which cable goes where. I'd suspect its a cabling fault or not-up-to-spec cable. I've got 12xRuckus APs powered off 2xSG300-10MP.

    Incidentally, is the SG300-10P handling all of the APs? I didn't think it was spec'd to do that? Try changing a couple of connections on the switch, see if the power-down fault follows the change or sticks with the port.

  18. Thanks to catch21 from:

    kaphc (18th June 2013)

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