I will like to know the ACS option (Automatic Channel Selection) inside the Cambium Force200 AP radio unit. When is this option needed or what is used for?
Can someone please explain what are the advantages or disadvantages of this ACS option.
ACS can be used to make frequency selection easy. I wouldn’t recommend it though as it may pick a channel with lower output power.
The other issue with ACS is that it’s only looking at the AP itself, so it’ll pick the quietest channel on the AP, but that might be the worst possible channel on the SM side of things. However, that being said - we find that ACS is a good place to start, especially on 1000/2000 APs. Noise on the AP side is more difficult to mitigate, so knowing the quietest channel on the AP side is a good starting place. On 1000/2000 APs in particular, it often picks a good channel for us, and it’s very quick. BUT, you do need to double check and make sure it didn’t pick the worst possible channel for some SM out there.
Ideally, it’d be best if Cambium did what UBNT and nearly everyone else does now, and that is that the AP/MASTER we can see both the AP and the SM’s Spectrum… so picking a channel which is best for both is much simpler than trial-and-error for 5 hours.
That all being said, on the latest firmwares, there is also a DCS (Dynamic) which is encouraging to see. If I understand correctly, that is supposed to somehow coordinate between the AP and SM’s and pick a mutually good channel, but it’s basically appeared as a feature, but I have no real idea how to operate it.
It looks really DCS could be a killer feature, but I fear it’ll be another feature they’ll want to add on with yet another licensing scheme.
I like to use ACS as a quick and dirty spectrum analyzer. This works very well for e1k/e2k radios.