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WiFi powOS Wireless Chip Tx Power Tx Power (dBm) Total Tx Power (dBm) Antenna Gain Cer reduced after upgrade to RouterOS

Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:30 am

We operate a network with ~150 customers connected directly to fibre using Mikrotik HAP AC routers each with 1Gbps SFP modules.
Although there were some initial challenges with WiFi performance these were mostly stable / resolved until we started to upgrade the firmware on some of the routers,. or replace failed routers with new ones
At this point we started to get complaints from our customers that their WiFi performance had suddenly dropped.

Some investigation shows that Mikrotik appear to have made two changes that reduce the WiFi output. The WiFi in on all our routers is set to "United Kingdom"
So we have about 80 clients running RouterOS 60.40.4
Delving in the 2.4GHz WiFi settings we can see that he radio chip is broadcasting at ~24dBm and the Antenna gain is set to zero

There are ~30 clients running 6.42.7. The Transmit Power is now pulled right back to 17dBm and the Antenna gain is still set to zero
And we have ~40 clients running 6.43.11 or above. The Antenna gain is now set to 3dB and the Transmit Power is reduced to 14dBm - presumably to limit the power output from the antenna to 17dBm.

Looking at the change logs it looks like these changes are linked to regulatory compliance, but given that nothing has physically changed we are looking at 10dB drop in output power - no wonder our customers are complaining!

So what are the options - particularly as we are still competing with the performance of BT Home Hubs using Wave 2 wireless which seem to have much more power than the Mikrotik routers?
Where is the evidence that the powers needs to be turned down this low? Particularly given the reported limitations in the router antenna design.

It's tempting to leave the routers on the older firmware but then we are storing up problems for the future if we have to fix a security vulnerability...
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Re: WiFi powOS Wireless Chip Tx Power Tx Power (dBm) Total Tx Power (dBm) Antenna Gain Cer reduced after upgrade to Rout

Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:02 am

Mikrotik started enforcing compliance and power levels for selected country.
If you don't care about these limits, you have following options:
1) set country to no_country_set and then you are free to do anything you want with power and channels. But note that some clients will be unable to connect to such AP because they need country code in beacon frame.
2) set different country that doesn't have such limits
3) set antenna gain to zero to gain a few dBm

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