Possible quality degradation on cambium products

This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me

Recently my company deployed new ptp links on various sites using newly bought cambium products, but for some reason the link is just not even close as usable links as when we use the products that bought from a while ago.

Generally speaking the region that Im working on is relatively high on interference level, thus I need a powerful product that can withstand radio interference from the competitors, but these are cases which the areas has relatively low interference level

here’s what I experienced

  1. PTP Denggungan - Tanjungsari
    link coordinates : -7.521054, 110.712324 and -7.523350, 110.682739
    distance : 3.5Km
    used products : AP Force 180, client Force 200
    firmware version : 4.4 both ap and client

we tried changing the ap for it, which is on the denggungan site
used products : AP Force 300, client Force 200
firmware version : 4.5 both ap and client

here is linktest result using frequency 5950 20Mhz channel

here is the interference level

here is the interference level after using frequency 5950

I mean how much link should I expect on getting, on a distance 3.5Km, while both using 25dbi antenna ? If you take a look at google maps by the coordinates, the area is relatively flat with no houses or obstraction whatsoever

  1. PTP Warna - Mojoasri sawahan
    link coordinates : -7.533823, 110.799661 and -7.518966, 110.809722
    distance : 2Km
    used products : both Force 180 on AP and client
    firmware version : 4.4 both ap and client

as you can see, the snr for both ap radios are 40, but it does not even want to connect. it says check on interference level, but I have already tried various frequency channel and the result is pretty much the same, either it does not want to connect or it connects but with very limited link speed. I did not take screenshot on this, so you have to take my word for it

And lastly, this is the site which we use the old bought products, but with the same firmware update

  1. PTP Warna - Djitoe
    link coordinates : -7.552540, 110.794374 and -7.533823, 110.799661
    distance : 2Km
    used products : both Force 180 on AP and client
    firmware version : 4.4 both ap and client

as you can see, the snr is measly 21/26, but it can manage to get 60Mbps downlink and 27Mbps uplink and its not even PTP, there is another client connected to it. the link is also possibly not a Line of Sight and possible interference because its in the downtown area

There are a few more instance that I feel it is because of the products fault, not because on the external factor, but these are things that I can documented for now

Response would be appreciated
Thank you

@sss I truly hope you get answers to your questions. I am new to cambium products and implemented epmp and ptp 550 and force 300 25 for 3 towers. Was apart of another wisp that used strictly Ubiquiti products and the area they serve is very similar to my own.
I am in very rural sites for our towers… as in its bald ass prairie with very small towns in the area, so interference is very low. My epmp 3000 sectors are acting like they are in a high interference area… for example one tower has 3 sector antennas, one north facing, one east and one west (the east and west sectors are using frequency reuse).
They have 69% in DS9 for downlink and quite spread out for the % on the uplink.

I know for a fact that interference is not the issue, my setups are very rural… the closest city… if you can call a place with 18-20k people a city lol… is 45km away. I have incredibly high ping on my fore 300 25 antennas to my sectors… for perspective, I can ping an American server that my upstream provider gave me the ip for and I get an average of 79ping from my sector to that server, this is a sector that is 4 hops to my upstreams gateway then out to that US server, Im in central Canada. When I ping that same server from a force 300 25 that is connected to that same sector only 3-4km away it is an average of 98ping . I have been suspicious of this equipment since we purchased it, maybe its more firmware related but who knows.

For perspective, the other wisp I mentioned uses only ubiquiti, uses the latest AF for backhauls and the latest AC for SM and does not have any issues for ping between sectors and SM. The setup on towers is worse than mine for antenna spacing and separation, etc but service area and interference level is very similar in deployment.

Sorry for my long reply but truly hope, like us, you can get some insight and some better performance.

Is there a reason you are using old firmware?

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I have been informed by the cambium sales representatives that I frequently contacted, he said that the new firmware 4.5 has some bugs to it.

but to me, performance is what matters most, regardless what firmware version that I use

since when and how long have you been deployed cambium for your tower ? if I may know …

I have been managing my company for over 5 years now, and I found out that the performance is better if you give 5Mhz space between the channels,

heres for example on frequency selection on 20Mhz width

5700, 5725, 5750, 5775, etc …

and I dont use frequency reuse

New firmware (released few days ago) is Some issues have been fixed.

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You should give a try to LinkPlanner from Cambium:
It gives you what you should expect based on radio, frequency, power used.

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alright, will try it

this is what linkplanner says how much the link I should be getting, without interference options selected

and this is with interference options selected on both points

we installed it on triangle tower 20meters above ground in each point

in linkplanner, your link shows the graph which also has a details tab, use this to determine your gain margins, which look a little shy for your link. The best you can expect is DS1.

I am not familiar with the regulations that you are under, but the 24db dishes are not enough for your link with the restrictions that LinkPlanner has. You would need 32db 3ft dishes on each end according to linkplanner to have a good link and if you can get higher gain dishes (KP Performance has some nice high gain 3ft dishes but may not be allowed in your area, but gives you something to compare to) then you could max our the MCS on this link.

for sure, I could always go for a higher gain antennas

but 34dbi antennas just for 3.5 kilometers is an overkill, dont you think ? thats 2.03 in miles

to be honest, we deployed PTP link on the denggungan - tanjungsari sites using a pair of Force 180 before, and they performed as satisfactory as they should, which was around 100Mbps downlink 25Mbps uplink. but as time passes, the performance degrades rather quickly, not even a year. I dont have the screenshots on this, so …

and for the #2 problem that I mentioned above, we decided on using non cambium products altogether

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Im Canadian, I work in both measurement systems.

Again, I do not know your regulatory limits, but 34dB is not excessive if you can only have 0.5w conducted.
I have a 7.451mile (12km) link that needs 58dB of system gain (34+24 antenna gain) to be able to pass at MCS12/MCS12 (older epmp1000 link) and we have a 1W conducted limit on PTP links though Cambium has set a 0.5W TX limit in the radio (never got a proper answer from them as to why yet).

Remember that you are responsible for following the regulation, not the manufacturer. Personally, I would add antenna gain over TX power. It is better to have the radio running slightly lower powered than get the fine for being over the conducted limit. And if you need to later you can turn the power up to overcome temporary issues or as a matter of hardware fade mitigation.

As for your #2 issue, This sounds like your radios are receiving a wide area interference signal. the F180 isn’t that well shielded and does receive signals from behind it. Using a metal backed radio such as the F300 series would mitigate that. Also, changing which end is set as AP can be of major help. Since your not using a timed system, then it does not really matter which end is the AP except for matters of interference. The radios must hear the AP sync pulse and the control words to register.
But that is moot as you have replaced with different equipment that may already have these suggestions incorporated.


thank you for the suggestion

in my case I put this week a ptp of 14 km with a couple of force 300 25dbi update to version 4.6 and the truth is, look at details in some settings, I decided better to go down to version 4.5.6 and it is working wonders

Indeed 34dbi for that distance is crazy it would be like shooting an ant with a cannon, on the other hand you mention that the area is with high noise I recommend you use a pair of force 190 or force 200 for ptp these have a more aperture beam narrow and more directive, therefore, they collect less noise than a force180, from one day to the next the panorama of the electric radio spectrum can change a lot, it does not take years to get dirty, just enough equipment that emits a signal at the highest power.
welcome to the forum

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will try it, see whichever firmware version works

here is the update, regarding the regulations, for the ptp denggungan - tanjungsari sites

I have made arrangements, that enables me to use certain frequency range and maximum power emitted, so its taken care of

I set the country to other, and I set maximum tx power as far as cambium allows

and here is the result

What kind of results do you get with the ptp 550s?

we dont use the ptp 550 series, because we dont have it currently

we did deploy the ptp 550 series, but in a different sites. frankly speaking, the products also experienced similar things. the first time we deployed, it performed as satisfactory as it should, but as the time passed, the performance degrades, in about a year or so. it was for quite a while ago too. there was a whopping -20dbi difference in the ch0 and ch1 in one of the radio. we did not have a spare, so we can not perform a test to determine which was the unit that faulty

here is another example on my other sites, using very old bought cambium products which the mac address is still begins with 00:04:xx:xx:xx

setup : AP Force 110, client 180
coordinates : -7.53665993197085, 110.83973606673509 and -7.565274980495903, 110.81012518540629

the links are in the middle of the city, so very high chance of interference. nonetheless, the devices performs very satisfactory unlike the ones that I mentioned above