Getting your e4k 6GHz network ready for the AFC

Hey folks, with the imminent AFC certification of the F4625 allowing for full commercial use of e4k 6GHz, I thought I’d write up a little guide on how best to prepare for this transition.

  • Make sure that you’re using the correct antenna gain and TX power on your e4k 6GHz connectorized radios. Remember that you’re limited to a maximum of 36dBm on both sides of the link, and that the AFC can reduce power to protect incumbent licensed 6GHz users.

  • The F4625 SM recommended maximum LOS distance is around 3mi. You can get up to 5-6mi by using a F4600c + higher gain dish. Be warned however that the farther the distance the SM is out, the more likelihood of it bumping into one or more incumbent licensed 6GHz users and having its channel not be available and/or it’s EIRP reduced.

  • Make sure that you’re scanning all channels and channel widths on your SM’s. You can do this by simply checking all the channel widths, and then making sure each channel list tab is blank (default is blank, which scans all channels). You want to do this just in case you get into a situation where when the AFC is activated, that there may be either less channels and/or lower EIRP then expected. Having all the channel options, while increasing SM registration times, gives you the greatest flexibility and chance for making sure that all SM’s connect if you have to reduce your channel width.

  • With 6GHz, radio height isn’t always better… due to the way the AFC calculates the antenna coverage as omnidirectional, this can severely limit the number of channels and/or EIRP options available. It may actually be better to be lower down on the tower in order for your radios not to ‘bump’ into incumbent licensed 6GHz users.

  • Make sure you use the AP’s built in spectrum analyzer to choose the quietest portion of the band that you can find. There will be a high likelihood that this will be available in the AFC… but not always.

  • Make sure that all of your e4k 6GHz radios have working GPS! This is crucial!. If your SM’s don’t have working GPS, at best they’ll connect using a low TX power mode or at worse they may not be able to connect at all. You can check to see if your radios are getting good GPS by checking the Monitor → GPS page.

If you follow these guidelines you’ll have the highest chances for success when you go to enable the AFC.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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Thanks, When the AFC is working. Will there be a auto software upgrade on the AP and SMs ?

Yes, there will be a firmware update that will enable use with the AFC.

Looks like the Spectrum Analyzer is “dead” for all of the AFC’d channels and ranges. Kind of weird.

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Thanks for putting this together Eric! We’re just getting started with 6 GHz and this is helpful.
I’m struggling with your statement about getting better range by using a F4600c + higher gain dish. If EIRP is limited to 36 dB, the uplink direction would be the limiting factor for range. With an 18 dB sector antenna and 25 dB SM antenna, the uplink RSSI will be 7 dB less than the downlink. Increasing gain on the SM would have no effect on uplink system gain. You’re limited to 36 dB EIRP and have to turn TX down. What am I missing?
It seems the only way to increase range would be to increase antenna gain at the AP.

You’re correct, but for our needs we’re much more concerned with downlink bandwidth, so adding a larger dish on the subscriber side helps significantly with this goal at longer distances.