Help getting started with cnPilot and cnMaestro

Continuing the discussion from

I see this screen shot above appears to be what you see when you add a new AP Group and create a new WLAN. Unless the customer has access to cnMaestro I did not figure the customer would be able to manage the WLAN settings.

Is this documented somewhere?

I really feel like I need 20-30 minutes with someone from Cambium that understands the capabilities and best practices of how to setup cnPilot R195W and cnMaestro. This would be to help me understand how this is all supposed to be setup properly to work together to allow us an a service provider and my customer as the end user be able to both see existing WiFi passwords and allow either the service provider or the end user customer to see existing WiFi passwords without changing them…or change the password when needed.

I just got my first cnPilot last week. I created a sample default configuration in a R195W in my lab (we use PPPoE so we want default credentials for PPPoE in place if the device is reset), set our support office IP range as allowed to remote manage the device and set a default admin password. Then I exported that configuration file and serve up that config file using DHCP option 66 with a hard reset of the R195W. It worked great to boot up, TFTP the config file and set the unit back up after a reset. I want our support or my customer to be able to see and change settings such as WiFi SSID and password as needed. I do not know how to properly configure the “AP group” to do that. I do not want to hijack this forum thread with my needs that may not be shared by others. I just did not know how to engage with someone at Cambium as a new customer trying to figure out how to get cnPilot R195W and cnMaestro doing what we need to serve our customers in the way we need to serve them. Feel free to message me privately if you are from Cambium or if you are another forum user and feel like sharing or talking to me feel free to private message me. Thanks!

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(I moved this post to a new topic, since you said you didn’t want to derail the thread. Your questions are good ones and it would be great to keep the discussion in the open, since there are probably other people in the same situation as you.)

Thank you! Is there any documentation that describes best practices on how a service providers should setup up cnPilot R195W and cnMaestro to work to provide a way for end users and service providers to see existing WiFi SSID and passphrase?

I have heard that there are regional technical managers (RTM) within Cambium to help Cambium customers get a bit up and running. Opening a ticket with tech support is more I have an issue and here is the fix. Whereas the RTM might know how to give an overall plan to success with the platform. Should I be taking my list of 10 or so question up with a support ticket or just discuss it all here in the forum?

It sounds like the sort of thing that ought to exist in the #knowledge-base:cnpilot-home-small-business category. I’m afraid I’m not part of either the cnPilot or cnMaestro teams, so I can’t help you myself, but hopefully either someone from one of those teams, or someone from the community, will be able to suggest something.

Here are some of my most pressing questions:

Device = R195W
cnMaestro = hosted at cloud.cambiumnetworks.com

  • Support PPPoE and DHCP
    • How to switch between DHCP WAN and PPPoE WAN after the device is in the field? Just login to device via WAN or LAN and simply change from between DHCP and PPPoE?
    • Is the device WAN configuration saved in cnMaestro?
    • If the device is reset to defaults and WAN is connected to our network where I have DHCP option 66 in place does the device loads the default config we provide. At that point will the device next try to check in with cnMaestro and pull down whatever config existed on cnMaestro before the reset?
    • About 90% of our customers are PPPoE. If we do need to put a device on a DHCP WAN Internet without DHCP option 66 device is reset to defaults would the device just use DHCP WAN by default as normal and then check in with cnMaestro, work normally and would continue to communicate to our cnMaestro account where the device was onboarded?
    • If we initially configure the device from a DHCP option 66 served config file can all of these be overridden by logging directly into the device or doing something in cnMaestro? Anything special we need to do to override the DHCP option 66 served up initial config file?

Other questions:

  • How to create a user interface (either in the local device and remote in cnMaestro) that works for the customer to change their own WiFi password and other settings yet let us manage the router always?

  • How to keep customer settings from being lost?

  • Are local device GUI edits sync’d to cnMaestro?

  • How do we choose or pre configure and communicate the WiFi SSID and password to the customer? There is no default WiFi on a sticker on the bottom of the device like other vendors we have worked with. I saw someone in this forum has pre-printed stickers for 50 different WiFi configurations they choose from. I would like a default but allow my customers to request and change as needed to suit the customer needs. Can we setup a default with our company_band_unique4digits? Perhaps the unique could be last 4 of the MAC or serial number of the device?

    Like EONI_5G_1234

  • Why is there a 16 device limit in the WiFi settings?

Nor urgent now…but if we really find this platform works for us…can we use API with the cloud model? Or is API only with the on premise model? Is there any other difference or advantage to running on the on premise cnMaestro?

Thanks in advance for letting me put all these questions here. If my questions help others I am happy to share this here. If I am creating a headache for Cambium please just tell me so and we can take the discussion off line or I can go find another managed router platform.

We are not going to manage each customer through cnMaestro

The user can login using the user “useradmin” and default password “admin”. They have to be on the local network to do so. This gives the user the ability to change the wireless settings and look at some basic information. See the attached pictures

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Thanks…I just googled cnpilot useradmin
and found this really nice document

It might be for a previous release…but it helps me see what this product might do

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You can download all the documents from the support page. I believe that is where I first saw the option in the configuration manual.

https://support.cambiumnetworks.com/files/r-series/

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I like the useradmin interface screen shots you shared. Thanks!

Fundamentally I just cannot deploy these devices to customers if I cannot display both 5G and 2.4G passwords in some way by either finding it in cnMaestro or by logging into the device itself.

I get Cambium wants to be secure but there needs to be at least some way for the service provider managing the device to find the WiFi password. As any service provider likely knows, but perhaps Cambium software engineers do not appreciate is that after the customer sets up their phones, TVs, thermostats, cameras, doorbells and then wants to add another device, calls us and asks for their password…and we say…cannot tell you the password because we cannot see the password. We can change your password but dear customer you will have to go touch the WiFi setup on every one of working devices to deal with this desire for the password.

That would be quite the hassle for the customer. Adding another SSID is easier than rekeying the existing one. However I think adding SSID adds to the confusion the customer may have. The point of managed router is easy and reliable.

We could store the SSID and password in a note on the customer’s account or in the description of the device in cnMaestro…however if the customer changes their own password and does not record the password…we still cannot help them other than changing their password to something else.

I logged in with useradmin on the LAN side and do not see a way to display the password there either.

I agree with you. I would not be surprised if a future firmware does not fix this.