Hi all. Any recommendations on getting better APs than Belkin RT3200? It should support 802.11s, 802.11r, and have seperate radios for 6ghz and 2.4ghz (correct me if I'm wrong, but 2.4ghz backhaul is best for mesh). If there is an AP with 3 radios (2.4,5 and 6), that would be great. My router is an RPI4.
Best backhaul, if possible is via decent quality ethernet-cable... for wireless backhaul aim for devices with 3 radios and use one exclusively for the backhaul ideally using channels/bands not used otherwise.
(I understand that mesh is often used where wired back-haul is hard/impossible, so compromises are in order, but IMHO wired backhaul is "best")
I know ethernet would be great, but as you mention, the only reason I'm using mesh is because of a lack of ethernet on another floor - not a big deal, as I don't need cutting edge speeds. Any devices with 3 radios you would suggest that can run openwrt?
Why is 2.4GHz backhaul is the best?? It's so slow....it has better penetration power but clients on your remote nodes will become very slow.
I'm using a Reyee RG E5 - similar hardware to RT3200, but with external antennas and not much flash. Available open box or used on ebay for decently under $50 lately.
The Reyee has much better intermediate to long range 802.11 ax 5GHz throughput than the RT3200 did (~500 Mbps vs only ~300 Mbps with RT3200 in same AP and client locations). The Reyee also can be set up to U.S. txpower limits on lower and upper 5GHz channels (30 dBm), whereas the RT3200 is stuck at 23 dBm on channel 36 and 27 dBm on Channel 149, which is less than ideal if running more than one RT3200 in a mesh setup.
But no third radio, and as noted, the 16MB flash is tight - limiting for a gateway perhaps, but fine for just an AP. The Reyee also runs a bit hotter than the RT3200 did (~59C versus ~53C for the RT3200); however that is probably irrelevant being within operating range either way. I've thought about adding a 1 inch hole top center for better airflow, but probably won't bother.
Thank you so much for your suggestion. I looked at how to install openwrt on the device - is it difficult? Also, did you notice any difference between stock and openwrt on the device, or (if you are like me), didnt bother trying with stock?
I didn't find it too tricky to flash OpenWrt on the Reyee.
The top pops off easily after the screws are removed by pushing a small screw driver into the screw holes - just be careful an antenna wire hasn't drifted behind that hole first! If it has, pick another screw hole to push the top off!
You of course need a USB to serial dongle. And a tftp server and serial console. My goto's for the latter are tftpd64 and PuTTY.
I've been successful using short lengths of solid copper "telephone wire" stripped on each end - barely on the end for the board - and after putting the stripped end into the board pin hole, i bend the wire 90 degrees and tape it down with electrical tape. Repeat for the remaining wires, then connect to the USB to serial dongle (planning this in advance so you don't disturb your taped down ends on the board). It's not soldering, but it works.
I did have to experiment a bit to interrupt the boot sequence in the PuTTY terminal to get the menu selection options. I wish I remembered exactly what I did, but don't - sorry. I do recall needing to be fairly quick about it as the unit was booting up.
And no, I didn't test the OEM firmware.
Thanks for the information. Can't find it anywhere in the UK, so I'll have to think of an alternative.