I searched the forums for any info on Rain Fade with a 2000 AP with Cambium Sector and Smart Antenna and came up empty so I am going to post my latest experiences and hope some people reply with their experience. First a bit of background on our AP's and how they are set up.
1. ePMP2000 with Cambium Sector and Smart Antenna mounted on the bottom of the Sector.
2. Running Front and Back on 4 AP's on a 100-ft. tower.
3. 15MGz separation on 40MGz.
4. Excellent results with anywhere from 50-140 Ag. thru to customer's SM's. NOTE: I know this for a fact because I am one of the users.
5. Most SM's so far on 1 AP: 44
6. AP was set to "FORCE SMART ANTENNA"
Here is what happened to my set up 2 days ago.
1. It started Raining... HARD... LIKE REALLY HARD! Most Tower side signals stayed good and useable. But I noticed the SM side back to tower started getting higher and higher and soon not letting me get into the SM and then customers started calling. So of course, I started looking things over. Long story short... I put the AP on "Auto" for the Smart Antenna. When people got on their signals were GOOD again and customers could function.
2. But after a while I noticed about 3-5 customers were STILL connected to the Smart Antenna and their signals were bad. So, I when back in the AP and set it to "Forced Sector". Everyone got back on and signal were good including the 3-5 that were still trying to use the Beam Forming before I changed to Force Sector.
3. So since I live in a part of the U.S. that averages me 50 Inches of rain a year I need my equipment set to "Forced Sector" or I will be doing this every time it rains hard which is often. Good news is the customers did not experience any change in their service on this setting. But I do wonder when I get 100 customers on the APs if that will change?
CONCLUSION: Rain Fade occurred because the Beam Forming produces a 'small beam' there for Hard Rain will block it just like say the 60-80 Wireless spectrum. I know the higher the weaker but.... the small beam did get blocked by the Rain.
SORRY: I know the thread is getting LONG!
Questions to Cambium Engineers and OR Forum users that have experienced this and have answers.
1. My Engineer thinks that even though we have it set to "Forced Sector" that the upload is still going to the Smart Antenna just NOT Beam Forming. I think it is going ONLY through the Main Bigger Sector? So, Cambium Engineers which antenna is the upload going to. If it is going to the Main then I assume you no longer have the 4 chain but only the 2 chains?
2. I would like to leave things on the "Auto" setting for obvious reasons but since I found a few customers still on the Smart with bad signal it makes me not want to??? Should it end up putting them on the Sector if I would have waited long enough?
3. Has Cambium TESTED these conditions? If so pls. reply with findings.
Thanks to ALL for putting up with the LOOOOOOOOG Post!