I will not go too technical in this post to not confuse you guys LOL but if anyone wants more info or have a chat feel free to drop a comment!
We are changing some APs at work, we are scrapping the old Ruckus R700s to newer models. Because the old APs will have to be scrapped everyone in the office is taking some home to boost their home WiFi, you know with all the new IoT stuff that's in our homes there are some corners of the house that have poor WiFi connectivity and boosting it with an Access Point is the best solution, and if it's for free even better!
And in every office (I guess) there's that guy that is not too technical and does just the Cabling side of things, a Layer 1 cable engineer! So this collegue of mine wanted to take 3 APs home and needed some help to reset them and configure them! And you know your boy @trippymane is a good boy so I decided to help him! LOL And I said to myself "We're doing fuck all anyway so I'm gonna use this as re-learning experience and I will also share it on my blog!"
I'm trying to write some stuff that I learn/know here on Hive/my blog to use it as guide in case I forget how to do something in the future! Clever 😋
So what is the problem here? Can he not just take it home and then configure it himself?
Yes of course he can but first I need to reset the AP changing the firmware to the Standalone version! We need to change it from being an AP managed by the Wireless Controller to be a Standalone AP, then we can manually access the AP and change the config, if we do not change the firmware the AP will keep trying to connect to a Wireless Controller that doesn't exist, and in doing so we are never able to connect to the management page of the AP because it simply isn't configured on the device.
What do I mean by that?
In an Enterprise environment like my work place we house hundreds of APs all over the place and it would be hell if they had to be managed manually one by one! So that's where comes in play the Wireless Controller and in this case the APs being Ruckus, also the Wireless Controller is Ruckus; another good alternative to Ruckus is Cisco, but let me tell you something: WiFi sucks and both Ruckus and Cisco are going way downhill from what they were and the "good" support they used to give is slowly fading away, basically they're shit now! lol So many new vendors are trying to get some market share, we will see...
A Wireless Controller is just a device that lives on the network to which we associate all the APs that we want to host on the said network, in this way we have one single platform to manage and configure all the APs without having to physically go to them or manually change any config on them (this as long as they are up and live on the network so they can be accessed remotely from the Controller, if the AP is down then a physical action is needed!).
We use Ruckus SmartZone at work and we can create AP Groups, WLAN Areas, manage the channels of the APs, frequencies, radios, SSIDs, etc etc a bunch of stuff really!
Also as I already mentioned my collegue is not really on the tech side so I will config them for him as well, I will show you how to do it in here too! But for that part I will just use one of my APs for security reasons (I won't show you his home SSIDs and password LOL I'm not a savage brainless monkey! Well I am but not in the unethical side of things ahahah
How do we reset those APs?
Here are some pics of the AP.
In my case I will just plug in the AP to my PC, reset it with a pin once is fully booted (holding it down for 10 sec just in case), connect to the AP with factory default config and then fianlly upload the right firmware!
In the next section I will configure the SSID and then just test it by plugging a live Internet feed to the AP and connecting to the SSID with a Wi-Fi capable device.
Because the APs use PoE (power over ethernet) I will need a PoE brick, or power injector, to power the AP.
This is the PoE brick, main line goes into the Data In port and then an ethernet cable from Data & Power Out port to our AP.
Obviously the brick it's not needed if the AP is connected to a PoE Switch! When we connect the APs to our network they are feeded through ethernet only from the Switchport of the PoE Switch!
The default IP address of this AP model is 192,168.0.1 so I need to place my PC network card to have an IP address in 192.168.0.x range to be able to browse to the management (192.168.0.1) page of the AP to config!
Initially the device will not be reachable from the browser, we need to do a hard reset on it, just stick a pin in the reset hole and hold for 10 sec (while the AP is powered on).
Once I'm set with the AP rebooted I simply browse to 192.168.0.1 and if the reset worked we should get to the login page.
Log in with default super and sp-admin credentials (which we can find on the back of the AP), and here we have the main homepage of the management page.
Do you see the red message? Because this was connected to a network with a Wireless Controller it cannot be used as a Standalone AP with the current firmware installed on it!
So I need to install the standalone firmware, and we do it from Maintenance and then Upgrade.
Here you can see I selected Local and my R700 firmware file.
We can press on Perform Upgrade and then just wait for it to finish
Once the upgrade is finished we can start configuring, but the first thing to do will be to change the country code to UK (in my case) and this will push another quick update and reboot to the device.
(Once you change country on one frequency band it will automatically change on the other too.)
Once is fully on again and we can browse and log in to the management, we can now start configuring our Standalone AP, the firmware we pushed earlier removed the feature to connect to a Wireless Controller and made it a "dumb" AP to be configured manually!
You can see that the red message is now gone and we also have more options like Radio 2.4GHz and Radio 5GHz under the Configuration menu, and this is where we will configure the SSIDs for our WiFi.
In case we want the AP to get back onto the network with the Controller we'll have to reset it again and then connect it to the network (where the Controller lives), discover it through the Controller and push an upgrade to make it configurable through the Wireless Controller again! Different firmware basically! (gibberish gibberish gibberish lol)
How do we config those APs?
Now that the AP is manually configurable we can perform every configuration from the browser management page of the AP.
I will config a random SSID now just to show you the process
When we click Radio 5GHz (for this post I will just enable the WiFi on the 5GHz frequencies but for 2.4GHz is the same process but just on Radio 2.4GHz) under Configuration menu, it brings us a page with the option to configure multiple SSIDs, we can select Network 9 (1-8 are for 2.4GHz bands, 9-16 for 5GHz bands) and configure the details we want, for this instance I will set up an SSID called HIVE-WIFI with password (WEP2) hive-wifi
(We need to make sure that Wireless Availability is enabled if not our SSID won't be broadcasted!)
Here you can see how it looks in the management.
We can now confirm and apply the changes. That's it!
Now the AP is configured and it will broadcast the SSID we setup, we just need to plug a live internet feed into the AP, and it will have to be done with the PoE brick again, main line to Data In and cable from Data & Power Out to our AP, give it few minutes to fully boot and then our SSID should be broadcasted over the 5Ghz frequencies.
Here you can see on my phone that I can see the network and connect to it and get also a positive speedtest result! Everything working as expected!
I have set the payout of this post to 100% HP! 😎
Thanks for reading and if you're playing with tech stuff and have networking issues your boy @trippymane could help.
Hope you liked my quick guide!
Thanks for reading!