I recently got my hands on the E430W and just wanted to share my findings with everyone.
For those not aware the E430W is the latest access point in the cnPilot series, its a wall mounted access point designed for the hospitality market.
From a Wi-Fi perspective it's quite similar to the E410. Both are 2x2 Wave 2 access points, both offer similar software features (meshing and 802.11r for example) and both have the same controller options.
But the E430W has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. When unboxing you can't miss the extra Ethernet ports at the bottom of the device. Port number 4 is PoE out which could be useful to power say a VoIP phone. There is a passthrough port as well and the Ethernet 1 port is on the back of the device.
It's also worth noting that you can jumper the Ethernet 1 port and the passthrough port on the back of the device to make the passthrough port of the bottom of the device your Ethernet 1 port. Cambium include a small cable for this which is a nice touch.
You have the option of powering via a DC adaptor (not included). I wonder if you can use both PoE in and the DC adaptor as a redundant power setup?
I've included images of both sets of Ethernet ports, as well as the jumper cable Cambium provide.
The E430 also has a BLE radio, I understand a software update will be released in a few months to enable more functionality around this.
In terms of Wi-Fi coverage, I was a little confused by the propagation of the RF, the spec sheet states that an omni directional antenna is used, but the Eakhau files show that the RF signal seems to be directional (Azimuth pattern in 5.15GHz shown below from Eakhau files).
I wonder if anyone from Cambium is able to confirm if either an omni direction or a directional antenna is used?
I did some very basic testing comparing the received signal strength of the E430W with the E410, the 2.4GHz antenna is smaller than the E410’s and signal was a little less powerful, but overall coverage was still good. More importantly the 5GHz antenna is larger and of a similar size to the E410's and I was very impressed with the 5GHz coverage, it was right up there with the E410 which I didn't expect. I've seen some vendors put smaller antennas in similar devices and it throttles the coverage, but with this device the coverage was good.
Lastly in terms of deployment it's obvious to see that this will work well for many Hotels and similar venues but I can see other use cases for this product as well.
For example, you could mesh from one AP to another AP and then provide an Ethernet connection to say a wired printer. In my country (England) we have many protected buildings where by law your simply not allowed to start drilling holes for cable runs. Or sometimes getting a cable to some locations is just not feasible, this could be a quick and easy solution.
The BLE radio will open a whole new range of possibilities and I'm sure there are many more environments where the E430W will be useful as well.
Overall, I think this is a well-designed product that I'm pleased to have it in the cnPilot portfolio.