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charlescurley
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How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:28 pm

I have an MikroTik router hAP ac lite, RouterOS v6.45.3 (stable), and I would like to use it to extend my home network to WiFi. I am new to MikroTik, and somewhat knowledgeable on IP routing.

What I want I will call a dumb bridge. My current network provides DHCP, DNS, firewalling, etc, so I don't need those on the hAP. I would like devices on the hAP to use the same class C network as the existing network. The hAP should be completely transparent on both sides, except for its own IP address.

I had this working with a TP-Link TL-WR841N, which died recently.
 
mkx
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:40 am

I'm not sure about the QuickSet modes (I'm pretty sure there isn't one for exactly this setup, but there might be something really close to it ... and I may be entirely wrong about this), but you could go this way:
  • download and install winbox to your management computer (if you're not familiar: that's a windows application, but works under wine in linux and OSX)
  • reset the hAP ac lite with no defaults
  • connect ot hAP ac lite using winbox MAC connection and configure the following:
    • create a bridge
    • add all ether interfaces to that bridge
    • add both wireless interfaces to that bridge
    • configure IP address on bridge interface
    • configure wireless parameters (SSID, security, etc.)
BR,
Metod
 
anav
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:27 pm

In summary, you wish the hap ac lite to act as a combo AP/switch. This is extremely common for wifi routers that are replaced by newer ones and people use them on their network as an AP/switch. This is an under utilization of the hap ac lite but very doable as indicated by mkx. I use capACs in WISP mode and they work great as access points. Not sure what default setting is best for hap ac lites but try searching in the forums as I have seen it discussed before.
I'd rather manage rats than software. Follow my advice at your own risk! (Sob & mkx forced me to write that!)
 
charlescurley
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:39 pm

...
  • create a bridge
  • add all ether interfaces to that bridge
As soon as I change the interface I'm using (eth2 in this case) from the old bridge to the new one, I lose contact with the router, and can't get there from here.

I am running winbox on wine on debian.
 
mkx
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:09 am

  • ...
  • reset the hAP ac lite with no defaults
  • connect ot hAP ac lite using winbox MAC connection and configure the following:

I thought that combination of these two steps would leave device with no configuration whatsoever, no bridge etc. I'm pretty sure that the first quoted bullet can not be achieved by pressing reset button while powering up (that one reverts configuration to default configuration which is not the same as no configuration), it has to be performed in some management tool (e.g. winbox).

And yes, when administrator performs some nasty things on L2 (e.g. changing bridge membership for ether interfaces), access to the device might be lost ... but if the previous action was not entirely wrong, it should be possible to reconnect and proceed with configuration process.
BR,
Metod
 
charlescurley
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:30 pm

And yes, when administrator performs some nasty things on L2 (e.g. changing bridge membership for ether interfaces), access to the device might be lost ... but if the previous action was not entirely wrong, it should be possible to reconnect and proceed with configuration process.
OK. How does one reconnect? Again, using winbox on wine on Debian 10. I tried using the default IP address, 192.168.88.1. I also tried several MAC addresses I had seen from the device. If it had some other IP address, I never saw it. I tried powering up the hAP on a network with two DHCP servers; neither one saw it.
 
mkx
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:08 pm

Winbox searches for routerboard devices and presents a list. Then you select presented device. Devices don't need IP address configured.

When device is reset to no configuration, it doesn't have IP address nor runs DHCP client ...
BR,
Metod
 
charlescurley
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:04 am

Winbox searches for routerboard devices and presents a list. Then you select presented device. Devices don't need IP address configured.

When device is reset to no configuration, it doesn't have IP address nor runs DHCP client ...
Well, it isn't showing up in winbox.
 
mkx
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:43 pm

Well, it isn't showing up in winbox.
I'm not sure about this, but it could be that device is not accepting MAC connections over ether1 ... so if your management PC is connected to ether1, try to plug it to some other ether port ...
BR,
Metod
 
nostromog
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:49 pm

...
  • create a bridge
  • add all ether interfaces to that bridge
As soon as I change the interface I'm using (eth2 in this case) from the old bridge to the new one, I lose contact with the router, and can't get there from here.

I am running winbox on wine on debian.
When I have been cut access from the machine I have used ping ff02::1%<your interface going to the mikrotik> to get the list of neighbours, and then ssh admin@fe08:XXXX:..%<interface> to connect to it and assess status. It requires that the ipv6 package is enabled and the firewall is not too tight :)
 
charlescurley
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:05 pm

Well, it isn't showing up in winbox.
I'm not sure about this, but it could be that device is not accepting MAC connections over ether1 ... so if your management PC is connected to ether1, try to plug it to some other ether port ...
Nope. I tried all four ports. Each time, I could see the MAC address using arp on the Linux command line (clearing the arp cache between replugs). In no case did winbox pick it up.

All of this is on Debian 10 (buster) with wine 4.0-2. I note that the version of wine on Debian 9 (stretch) is 1.8.7-2, and wonder if something changed there.
 
chesya
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Re: How to dumb bridge (?) using hAP ac lite

Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:03 am

Hi @charlescurley
I would appreciate if you post there the step-by-step instruction on how to set up the AP on hAP WI-FIrouter if you figure this out. I have the same issue. I got disconnected after changes.
I was able to set-up my another Mikrotik hEX router as a dumb switch without WI-FI following this instruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2XvhtojInk&app=desktop
In my Netgear router it is as easy as pick "AP mode" for the router.

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