Aruba Employee

AP70 in outdoor mesh

I am looking to provide out door Mesh in harsh a environment. the units will be pole mounted at 18 to 24 feet high. I had previously been looking at using the AP85.

If I have to provide a temperature controlled NEMA enclosure for the POE injector for the Light Pole mounted AP85 Mesh point units; would it not be cheaper to use the Aruba AP70 in the enclosure. I can not think of any reason why I should not use the AP70 unless there is some special outdoor Mesh license issue; can anyone think of any reason that i could not substitute the Ap70 for the AP85?

Thank you all and Happy Holiday

George Anderson
Occasional Contributor II

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh

I use a lot of APs in very harsh environments. I normally deploy the AP80/AP85. I've used the AP-70 for a few select requirements, and with no real issues. The AP-70 actually has a pretty good temperature range, but you need to consider moisture, condensation and dirt/dust.

Additionally, the physical antenna connections for the AP-70 are not going to accommodate most outdoor antennas, which are typically N-type. While the AP-70 is less expensive than the AP-85, I'd go with the AP-85 in a harsh environment.
Aruba Employee

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh

One additional reason to use the AP85 is the additional coverage provided by the 200mW radio on some of the 2.4GHz channels. The 5GHz channels don't allow the higher power, though, so the AP70 and AP85 would be more equal.
Occasional Contributor II

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh

I've been wondering the same thing. The AP-85TX doesn't seem to have any unique bits that make it more suited for outdoor mesh, besides the enclosure, RSSI graph (neat but fairly useless) and of course the stronger radio. The 85-FX doesn't need the PoE injector, but is pretty ridiculously expensive (2-3x the cost of a comparable Tropos node).

I think Aruba's made a move in the right direction with the 85, for those of us with campus mesh needs, but they're only 80% of the way there. I'd love to see a lower cost for lightpole power sourcing, a standalone feature (right now, if your node gets blackholed, you can't get into it from the ground to reprovision it), and a ground-based power reset (Tropos lets you power cycle nodes from the ground using an IR remote). IMHO these are fundamental and necessary features in any sort of campus/metromesh environment. Rolling a bucket truck every time you need to service a node quickly becomes expensive.
Aruba Employee

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh


An AP85TX isn't usually the first choice when powering from the light pole for mesh. Usually you'd use the AP85FX. It supports 90-288V power input and has an available light-pole power tap.

Why would you NEMA enclose a PoE injector just to power the AP if you're doing mesh? I don't get that...... For mesh and power pole installation, the AP85FX is your AP. Ahenson says that the AP85FX is 2 or 3 times the cost of the Tropos unit. Really? The AP85FX list price is $2495...the street light power tap kit is $145. You mean that the outdoor rated Tropos mesh AP/router is ~$1200 at 2x or $800 at 3x? I could be wrong, but my understanding was that Tropos APs were well above the cost of the AP85 in any flavor.

Regarding the RSSI meter, with omni-directional antennas, they aren't that useful--but with directional point to point links, the RSSI meters are very handy. This is the reason they were put into the AP...these point to point links.

It is extremely rare to need to power cycle an Aruba AP. If there is a problem, Aruba APs reboot on their own. I will admit that if you reprovision the AP incorrectly (say, mis-IP it or tell it the wrong IP of the controller), with the AP85FX, you cannot console in remotely. However, with the AP85TX you can console in via the ethernet cable. (SoE).

Fun on the IR reboot. Wonder how many people make IR remotes and walk around trying to reboot Tropos APs? :) They probably thought of some slick security for this but still.
Occasional Contributor II

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh

@bjwhite - hope I didn't offend, the 85 series is definitely a great product.

As far as the PoE + NEMA, we'd looked at that approach for mains-sourced nodes because I was quoted a much higher price ($3995) for the 85FX vs the TX ($1995). That was in January, apparently the prices have come down quite a bit! That, or we just pissed off some folks in sales ;)

The RSSI meter - absolutely good stuff for PTP/PTMP apps. Alvarion has a similar thing on their VL gear, and as a result, your average bucket truck tech can install and align it. That's pretty cool. Just mostly useless for mesh.

Re: the ground-based stuff - it's true that there's much less config stored on an aruba AP than a tropos node, but if I roll up to a node that's down, it'd be nice to be able to jump onto it from the ground and assess the situation. If it's just crashed/frozen, the IR remote reboot could come in handy. My understanding is that Tropos's implementation has you set a security code, which you then punch into the remote to initiate reboot.

It'd be nice to see a shift towards more remote accessibility, particularly in failure situations. These things are often installed in difficult-to-reach areas, and engineers like myself aren't particularly good climbers ;) Aside from that (and assuming the price has indeed come down), the 85 is an excellent product.
Aruba Employee

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh


No offence at all. :)

To my knowledge (and I've been with Aruba over 5 years now), the AP85FX has never been $3995...and has always been $2995. I even checked the international price lists (although recent).

Are you in the US? Were you working with a partner or a direct Aruba sales team?
Occasional Contributor II

Re: AP70 in outdoor mesh


We're in the US. I'm with Perot Systems/NASA. I was given these prices during a telecon with one of the lead Aruba AP-85 engineers and (I believe) one of our reps at LTI. We've been tossed around by sales reps like a hot potato recently, they seem to disappear as quickly as they come, so I don't know exactly who I had on the phone. My notes say list price $3995 for the FX and $1995 for the TX plus $795/unit for mesh licenses. Perhaps this was just a very expensive typo on my part.

I've received quotes since then which are more in line with the prices you mentioned, but I figured that was a gov't discount, and wouldn't apply to Joe Consumer. Good to know.

One question - when might we see an outdoor N mesh node? I know it's early, just wondering if it's firmly on the roadmap yet.
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