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Stril
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cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:22 pm

Hi!

Did anybody here make a comparison of the new cAP XP vs the "old" cAP AC?
How well did it work?

I need to setup wifi in a new fully automated warehouse with a lot of interference.
Would you stick with cAP AC?

Thank you for your thoughts
Stril
 
ConnyMercier
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:11 pm

Hmmm good question....
Exept for the Antenna both devices are identical...
If price isn't a problem, go for the XL


My personal Tipp : Look at what's available
I don't know where you live, but many of my suppliers don't have the XL in Stock or in great numbers.
I only have one who has them in Stock and is asking a "normal" price for them
If located in Europe -> https://www.omg.de/mikrotik/wireless-sy ... ac/a-24789
 
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anav
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:01 pm

Expectations. The TP LINK EAP 245 is the same cost as a CAPAC and works far better.
If you wanted an improvement to that, look at the EAP660HD
There are no cheaper good solutions to individual APs. I am not familiar with mesh products.
I'd rather manage rats than software. Follow my advice at your own risk! (Sob & mkx forced me to write that!)
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carl0s
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:58 pm

I'm not sure about the XL.

I just installed them in some coffee shops. 1 per shop in the till / counter area.
Very close to this area (about 5 meters from the AP, other side of the till area), I saw a surprisingly weak signal on 5GHz (~-65 - -68dBm if I recall)
The power output is reduced from 20dBm to 14dBm because routerOS is told that the antenna is 6dBi gain.
I suspect the antenna might not be very good or not really be 6dBi :-/ Who knows.
It will be a little while before I get chance to revisit those coffee shops.

Take this with a pinch of salt though. It is possible that somebody put something in the way of the AP. I installed them the night before, and then after I was finished, till engineers came to remove and replace the tills with new ones. It was the next morning that I was sat in the shop observing the signal, and I did not revisit the till area because it was busy and I was exhausted from the night before.

Somebody on YouTube made a comparison and found much weaker coverage with the XL, and my initial findings might support that too. I do have some more of them here though, and I have a regular capAC in the ceiling at home. I could swap that out and see what difference there is at home.
Last edited by carl0s on Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Amm0
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:06 pm

Would you stick with cAP AC?
Well, if you're already using them and happy... They are cheap and available.

But I do see a lot of negative comments on the forums about the cAP AC however. And Mikrotik Wi-Fi in general... Personally, for standard office/werehouse, not sure I'd pick Mikrotik – even though it's awfully handy to have less vendors/platforms. We have some specialized use cases, so we use Mikrotik's wi-fi a lot, occasionally the cAP ACs – as you found out they do work, when tuned.

Never used @anav's TP-link, but sure they'd be better than the cAP AC – support Wi-Fi 6 out of the box. If you had a larger budget, all the Rockus always seem to just work. Mikrotik Wi-Fi 6/Wave2 seems new and "under construction" still & can't imagine it will be the initial v7.1 release [promised by end of year].

But since you already seem to have a handle on the Mikrotik Wi-Fi / cAPs... I'd get the newer ones – have to guess the antenna design is better – also sure Mikrotik reads the complaints, so one can only hope some of those are embodied in the new cAP AC XL design. Youtube suggests those hopes, at this point, may be misplaced. But imagine the cAP be improved with the newer wifiwave2 support, when it's released. By the same token, Wave2 has been out for a long while on other products & Apple, Android, et al used for a while on devices a while.

Since you mentioned "congested environment", without Wave2, you're going to battle without the full army of tools.
 
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carl0s
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:22 pm

I still use Mikrotik because of capsman and because, for now, none of my customers expect to see >200mbps over Wi-Fi because none of them have >200mbps Internet connections. But they are coming - more FTTP and more leased lines. Wave2 needs to come soon.

I have used Ubiquiti recently for the first time in a friends house that he was refurbishing and putting in cat5 for APs and TVs. I couldn't recommend Mikrotik Wi-Fi to somebody for their home in that situation. He couldn't wait any longer.
In office environments where I can replace the kit myself and/or manage expectations myself, it's different.
Ubiquity as usual disappointed in terms of real information (where are the logs FFS ? where is the real data? it's all fluff. Yes you can get ssh into Linux but I don't want to have to do that.). but the wifi performance was OK. AP updating and a few other things were also poor - the LED indications and stuff. Quite a lot of dumb stuff on their side.

I remember years ago having a lot of problems with NAT routers not liking clients roaming from AP to AP. It's like their ARP tables were sticky or something. This is why I like capsman because it really knows what is going on with the interfaces. So for now, I put the manageability above the performance, but I am struggling when it comes to advising and recommending. My coffee shop customer wanted to introduce me to somebody else who owns more coffee shops from the same franchise, and said it would be a good opportunity for me to install "my WiFi". I had to explain that, while I am happy to look after 'his' wifi in his shops, because I look after all his other IT stuff, I didn't feel it was something I should be offering to other people at this time. Which is a shame.
 
Stril
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:35 am

Expectations. The TP LINK EAP 245 is the same cost as a CAPAC and works far better.
I need about 140 devices, so management is critical. I need a working CLI, etc.
Somebody on YouTube made a comparison and found much weaker coverage with the XL
I am not sure, if he tried to test both APs with the same channel at the same time.
Since you mentioned "congested environment", without Wave2, you're going to battle without the full army of tools.
Not congested - intereference. There will be only 5 clients vor 3 APs. The warehouse is filled with high metal shelfs in long rows up to the ceiling. In every row, there are 5 robot-cars carrying boxes.

--> VERY low bandwidth demands
--> VERY low client number
--> VERY much interference
 
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carl0s
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:55 am

Somebody on YouTube made a comparison and found much weaker coverage with the XL
I am not sure, if he tried to test both APs with the same channel at the same time.
It's true, there are some doubts over his testing.

I will do my own comparison this weekend and post the results.

I also have a warehouse job that I have been putting off for more than a year. It is about 7 large units over both sides of a road. Similar situation - just needs basic but reliable coverage for stock taking and a computer at the end of each machine / line.
 
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Amm0
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:01 pm


[...]

I need about 140 devices, so management is critical. I need a working CLI, etc.

[...]
Not congested - intereference. There will be only 5 clients vor 3 APs. The warehouse is filled with high metal shelfs in long rows up to the ceiling. In every row, there are 5 robot-cars carrying boxes.

--> VERY low bandwidth demands
--> VERY low client number
--> VERY much interference
If I played backseat robot driver here, stick with cAP ac – you know it, it works well enough. A working CLI is certainly in the plus column on Mikrotik. Both the cAP ac and cAP ac XL have the same ARM chip, so one really just a bigger (more gain) antenna. Given the intereference, you'll likely need to de-power the APs the XL anyway. Same units at both your shops, means you have spares that be drop-in replacements. The lower cost means you can order extra if needed more APs.
 
Stril
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:04 pm

I will do my own comparison this weekend and post the results.
That would be great!!
 
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:46 pm

Very close to this area (about 5 meters from the AP, other side of the till area), I saw a surprisingly weak signal on 5GHz (~-65 - -68dBm if I recall)
The power output is reduced from 20dBm to 14dBm because routerOS is told that the antenna is 6dBi gain.
I suspect the antenna might not be very good or not really be 6dBi :-/ Who knows.
...
cAP ac XL will reduce it's TX power due to regulations in Europe. (ETSI Max power is lower than eg US where you could hit the radio limit).
(You are not limited to the indoor freq list if used indoors. Use installation "any". The other freq allow for a higher power. There are two sets of freq: "indoors only" and "also outdoors".)

IF regulatory domain max EIRP is dictating the max TX power of the radio, then any high gain or directional antenna (higher gain antenna is always directional to be able to make that gain) will emit LESS total power than an ideal omnidirectional antenna. (The total power emitted is the TX power of the radio). This means you will have directions in which the power is equal to the ideal omnidirectional, and directions in which it is lower.

So somebody measuring the received signal strength indoors at the client, will likely find that the cAP ac XL is weaker than the cAP ac. (The signal path comes from many directions due to reflections)

Concluding that therefor the cAP ac XL is inferior to the cAP ac is wifi being contra-intuitive.
The cAP ac XL antenna gain amplifiies the received signal from the client! That is the usual benefit of an AP with higher antenna gain: "amplifying the reception", and as such extending the range.
This is mostly an improvement as the clients are weak transmitters.

For a long range (eg PtP or PtMP) , both sides should have high gain antenna .(and best similar gain, for symmetric transmission needs).
 
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:51 pm

High interference is exactly where you SHOULD NOT USE MIKROTIK RADIOS.

But if each radio is going to have to carry more than about 3 clients... Change vendors.

The custom driver they wrote is stuck in 2014 performance.

Plus it does not deal well with noisy, crowded, environments.

Pick another brand for wireless and avoid the annoyance the rest of us dealt with.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
Mark Twain
 
Stril
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:26 am

Hi!

What kind of issues did you have? Only low bandwidth, or disconnects, etc.?
 
Stril
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:49 pm

I will do my own comparison this weekend and post the results.
@carl0s
Did you find time to do some testing?
 
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:52 pm

The Ubiquiti WIFI U6 Pro is cheaper than the TPLINK eap660HD by about $80 and thus may be excellent value IF, IF it can be configured in a stand alone mode.
I'd rather manage rats than software. Follow my advice at your own risk! (Sob & mkx forced me to write that!)
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:06 pm

The Ubiquiti WIFI U6 Pro is cheaper than the TPLINK eap660HD by about $80 and thus may be excellent value IF, IF it can be configured in a stand alone mode.
Last I checked, this is a Mikrotik forum?
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jonah1810
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Re: cAP vs cAP XL

Thu Dec 02, 2021 3:07 am

Last i checked Mikrotik doesn't make good wifi products. So if OP needs up to date wifi technologies, it's only right to steer him away from Mikrotik. Mikrotik has seen years of posts claiming they abandoned the wireless. They didn't make any changes then and they're barely making any changes now. The advice is being given by people who have all used mikrotik wifi and know what to expect.

Ammo mentions that with wave 2 these devices will be much better. I agree it would, i run wave 2 on my access point(hap ac3) and its much better. But these devices will never be able to run wave 2 as it currently stands as they require 256MB of Ram to run the drivers.

in my opinion your best option considering the high noise environment would be to go to a different vendor as anav suggested, or use a mikrotik that will get access to wave 2. (none of which are ceiling aps) using the mikrotik wave 2 option will likely still give you inferior wifi to a proper 802.11ax access point and you will be forced to wait for a stable release of wave 2, or run a developmental software on your access point.

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