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terraformer
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Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 2:04 pm

Hello, is the pwr-line feature of the hAP lite stable? I'm wondering because I could not find this feature on the product page https://mikrotik.com/product/RB941-2nD-TC. The documentation was not enlightening either https://help.mikrotik.com/docs/display/ROS/PWR+Line.
Thanks & best
 
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smyers119
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:37 pm

Hello, is the pwr-line feature of the hAP lite stable? I'm wondering because I could not find this feature on the product page https://mikrotik.com/product/RB941-2nD-TC. The documentation was not enlightening either https://help.mikrotik.com/docs/display/ROS/PWR+Line.
Thanks & best
Quote from the link you posted that answered your question. :shock:
Supported Hardware

The device is fully compatible with our PWR-LINE AP and the newest revisions of products that have a microUSB port,
such as- hAP lite, hAP lite tower, hAP mini, mAP and mAP lite have pwr-line interface. A simple software upgrade to v6.44+
enables this feature (supported by the mentioned devices with serial numbers that ends with /9xx). PWR-LINE functionality
is also supported by some of previously manufactured units - if you have unit with serial number that ends with /8xx,
upgrade to 6.44+ and see if pwr-line interface shows up).
 
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woland
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:49 pm

Hi,

I have used a bunch of MT PL7400 (PWR-LINE EU) plugs with HAP mini and MAP lite. I guess HAP lite will work the same.
I have use 6.48.x and 6.49.x ROS, they all worked stable on the software side.
Beware however out of the 6 PWR-LINE EU plugs I have used, 3 are constantly going down and up. That happens since their first days. They are totally uselessly flapping.
So there seems to be some kind of HW issue with some of those. I guess it did not affect every production run.

I never opened a ticket or troublshooted them myself....

Regards
 
terraformer
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 4:02 pm

@smyers119
Thanks for your reply. How does this quote answer my questions? Or do you think fully compatible equals runs stable? If so, ok. I thought this would be a bold assumption.
AFAIK this feature was introduces 2018. Hence, I'm wondering what could be the reason that this features is not listed on the product page. My best guess was "it should work on those devices but do not rely on it because it lacks stability/performance whatever". To get clarity, I asked.

@woland
Thanks for sharing. Interesting that your hAP mini run stable but the dedicated power line devices do not.
AFAIK hAP lite and hAP mini are nearly identical despite the number of ports. And I looked up the product page of the hAP mini. I could not find any hint about power line support either.
Actually, I did not plan to use power line for LAN at all due to bad experience some 20 years ago. But since its a free feature of the current hAP lites, I'll give it a try and see if it runs stable enough to expand my IoT network.

Thanks & best
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 4:16 pm

The plugs do work well enough and stable (no problems for years, except with the ones with the manufacturing defects) for some situations, just don´t expect huge throughput. I have been using them since maybe 2 years for temporary or low traffic connections if no cabling present and it is not worth it to install more cables.

The HAP and MAP devices themselves are rock solid, none of them have failed (I have used something like 15 pieces). Just don´t try to upgrade them with ROS 7.x and do not expect high bandwidth and coverage.
 
terraformer
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 4:28 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'm optimistic that this could actually fit my needs. New cables are not possible ATM, so I aimed for WiFi bridge. But if pwr-line is stable I'll give it a try since my IoT network does not need bandwidth.

Just don´t try to upgrade them with ROS 7.x and do not expect high bandwidth and coverage.
Am I misreading you? I should not upgrade to ROS v7.x? Actually, i did upgrade the new device today (to version 7.6). And I planned to upgrade the second device, which comes this week I hope, as well.
Are there known problems with pwr-line? I read the change log but nothing jumped out at me. Despite what I read in another thread that hAP lite's performance is a bit worse with 7.x. I thought that this would not be an issue due to the low traffic and few devices (10-14 IoT devices) connected.

Best
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 5:25 pm

I am still using 6.49.x in most of my MT devices except on devices, which don´t support 6.x. It´s more stable and it gives you more performance. I also don´t need anything from the newer 7.x features.
I have tried 7.x (maybe 7.3) once wth one of my HAP minis and it got very unstable, and also less responsive. It took ages to generate a config export and the CPU was over 10% , while it was just idling.
I did not test Powerline with ROS7 and I did not compare performance.
Also if you read this board: I think the general consensus still is, to stay on ROS 6 as long as you don´t need to go to 7, because of the stability and performance issues.
You can´t easily downgrade to 6.x if you have upgraded to 7.x, but you can always do a netinstall to 6.x... Search the forums and help.mikrotik.com , there is lot´s of useful info on this topic.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 6:56 pm

You should consider the hAP lite and hAP mini basically as toys. They have so little storage that they cannot be upgraded to RouterOS v7 and when running v6 you will find that they often fail to upgrade to a new version and have to be netinstalled.
Also the WiFi driver in the most recent stable version is performing really terrible due to the fix of some "university research security hole".
You can run an older long-term version instead. But it basically is a dead-end. I would not invest in it when you are now considering buying it new, especially when it is more than 2 devices for some special temporary connection.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 7:15 pm

You should consider the hAP lite and hAP mini basically as toys. […]
correction:
all SMIPS models
(if there are other models)
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 7:58 pm

Well I am not using them as toys, but as low speed and very low power devices, with powerline support. The physical size is unbeatable. Should they get stolen, well I wouldn´t be happy, but I definitely wouldn´t loose any tears.

If you netinstall them with the packetized ROS6 and remove unneeded packages, you can always upgrade them afterwards.
Also I have successfully installed ROS7, but I dont recommend using it,see my previos post!.

They have the same amount of flash like most other APs from MT have: 16Mb. They just have slower CPUs.

No I would not use them if I´d build something serious, no, not even my uplink routers at my home are hap minis.

This leads me to a very obvious next idea: would I use MT at all in some big network, where money is less of a problem? Probably no...

Different use cases need different devices. High performance is not the benefit of using these, but stable low powered operation definitely is!
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 8:52 pm

Thanks all for the replies.
If the WiFi is weaker/unstable with v7.x, I'll do a netinstall on my new device and I'll stay with 6.x LTS. None of my hAP lite can be accessed from outside and there is no other relevant security threat.
My main reason for liking the hAP lite is the low power consumption - and also its price-performance ratio is IMHO excellent.

Best
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 9:15 pm

They have the same amount of flash like most other APs from MT have: 16Mb. They just have slower CPUs.
The big difference is that they have only 32MB of RAM, and hence no space for a RAMdisk.
In the other models with 16MB flash (which usually have 128MB or more RAM) the upgrade packages are downloaded into RAMdisk and the installation can take place in the 16MB flash without disturbance.
In the hAP lite and hAP mini, the packages are downloaded into flash (just like in the models with >16MB flash) and so there has to be space in the flash for:
- the existing installed RouterOS
- the newly downloaded upgrade packages
- the working space during installation

In practice that means that even an existing combined-package v6.xx install as it comes from the factory can only be upgraded for a limited number of times, until due to the always occurring space leakage there is no more room on the flash.
Indeed as mentioned you can escape the certain death by using a separate-package install and have only the packages required for your usage on the device, especially when that usage is only a simple access point and no advanced features.
But in v7 that is no longer possible, and v7 will be guaranteed problems.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 9:19 pm

If the WiFi is weaker/unstable with v7.x, I'll do a netinstall on my new device and I'll stay with 6.x LTS.
The last version that works correctly is 6.47.9
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 10:30 pm

The big difference is that they have only 32MB of RAM, and hence no space for a RAMdisk.
Thanks, this explains the issues with the upgrades I had.
So that´s one more reason not to go with v7.
I was using the latest 6.48.x-6.49.x without any issues, but only for short range, low speed. I have read this advice about 6.47.9 already, but I don´t know the reason for this.
Is it related to the TX power setting, which is not available in newer versions?
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Mon Oct 24, 2022 11:29 pm

Is it related to the TX power setting, which is not available in newer versions?
No, it is related to issues with the ROS 7.x WiFi driver for hAP lite and hAP mini.

TX power was removed to comply with regulation.
But contrary to popular belief, increasing TX power does not help much anyway. WiFi is bidirectional, and if the STA can't get its signal back to the WAP, there is no connection.
The range of a WAP is mostly determined by the radio RX performance (SNR, noise immunity and effective selectivity of radio RX circuits).
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 12:10 am

Thanks jbl42!
ROS 7 is out of question. If it´s not the tx power limit (which afaik can be overridden by the cli anyhow), then what could it be?
I think I have to rephrase my question: what´s better in 6.47.9 wifiwise than with 6.49.7 ?
pe1chl wrote it, that there was some bug or weakness introduced, but I could not find out, what that exactly that was?
I have seen this suggestion beforehand, but I could not figure out, why?
BR
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 12:21 am

I think I have to rephrase my question: what´s better in 6.47.9 wifiwise than with 6.49.7 ?
Nothing we know about, and hardly related to TX power.
But everything after 6.47.9 is worse than 6.47.9.
No more details known beyond what is mentioned in the (incomplete and sketchy) ROS release notes.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 12:30 am

Thanks jbl42!
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 11:37 am

My advice for using 6.47.9 has nothing to do with TX power.
The problem introduced after this version (as part of a fix for some imaginary problem found by students searching for potential things to write a paper about) is that the connection becomes flaky. I was using a hAP lite as an access point and had a program running that processes "real time audio" (a web browser connected to a WebSDR receiver site), and the audio becomes choppy. Every couple of seconds there is a short interruption.
I even was able to quantify it using this website: https://packetlosstest.com/
That allows you to send ping-like packets at a certain rate and graph how many get lost, and at what time.
You see a clear repeating pattern of packet loss when using a RouterOS version above 6.47.9

Since then I have replaced that hAP lite with a hAP ac2, that of course solves the problem too. But I would recommend not upgrade beyond 6.47.9, that security issue really is not a problem in practice.
 
terraformer
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 12:00 pm

If the WiFi is weaker/unstable with v7.x, I'll do a netinstall on my new device and I'll stay with 6.x LTS.
The last version that works correctly is 6.47.9
I've installed 6.47.9 on my new hAP lite (using netinstall).
Factory/current firmware is 6.47.10 - newer than installed ROS. Could this be a problem? Looks like i cannot downgrade firmware, for good reason I assume.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 12:17 pm

Higher level firmware is probably not an issue, it is mainly the bootloader.
When you can still install and run RouterOS 6.47.9 you should be fine.
(there is a separate minimal firmware and minimal RouterOS version, but I think it usually is just the version the device came with. there can be technical reasons why a lower version cannot be used, but often that only happens with new devices, not these old ones)
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Tue Oct 25, 2022 1:32 pm

Thanks a lot & have a nice day.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 1:59 am

Hi,

I have used a bunch of MT PL7400 (PWR-LINE EU) plugs with HAP mini and MAP lite. I guess HAP lite will work the same.
I have use 6.48.x and 6.49.x ROS, they all worked stable on the software side.
Beware however out of the 6 PWR-LINE EU plugs I have used, 3 are constantly going down and up. That happens since their first days. They are totally uselessly flapping.
So there seems to be some kind of HW issue with some of those. I guess it did not affect every production run.

I never opened a ticket or troublshooted them myself....

Regards
My pl7400 are rock solid since updating the firmware on them.
viewtopic.php?p=913667&hilit=pl7400#p913667
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 2:10 am

You should consider the hAP lite and hAP mini basically as toys. […]
correction:
all SMIPS models
(if there are other models)
At this point any mikrotik with 32mb ram should be considered dead, for example I have 2 x rb750up, lovely devices for powering passive Poe to other stuff but basically dead in the water due to v7 needing at least 64mb ram.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 10:37 am

Hi,
@pe1chl : thanks for the explanation, I have never noticed these issues, but then, I used these devices for low bw, non real time only (sensors and occasional web surfing).

@hecate : good point, I forgot already, but I also did the FW upgrade on every powerline plug I used, that was necessary for stable operation.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 11:38 am

The HAP and MAP devices themselves are rock solid, none of them have failed (I have used something like 15 pieces). Just don´t try to upgrade them with ROS 7.x and do not expect high bandwidth and coverage.
Not my experience.
I have upgraded multiple mAP and mAP Lite without issues to ROS7. First thing I do when I get them since I need Wireguard for remote control.
Using Wifi I can easily get to 70Mb which for that device and price range is nothing else but fantastic.
Also those devices are not intented for far reach, close coverage is how they should be used (though I have used them on occassion 2 rooms away through brick walls and it still worked for what I needed at that moment).

Hap Lite is something else. It has less resources then mAP and mAP Lite (only half of RAM) so there it is true you could run into problems using ROS7 (depending on your config. For some it works, for some it doesn't).
Hap should be fine as well from resource point of view, though it does have another processor then mAP. I can't really recall any reports for this one claiming it doesn't work. So you would have to try.
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 2:41 pm

@holvoetn nice to know, after the issues with my hap mini on ROS 7 I did not put any efforts in upgrading any other lower end device, but it seems I should have.
I love the fact that we could gather some useful info on these not so popular low end devices. I sincerely hope that MT will continue this product line in the future!
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 3:15 pm

pwr-line is not a magic technology, good performance depends of multiple factors

as you use electric cabling to data transmision any disturbance on it can degrade performance

i have tested pwr-line time before MikroTik offered it on another brands and learned that in some cases it works great and anothers dont

an example:

pwr-line deployment (another vendor not MikroTik) initial performance at the morning 20mbps of bandwidth between 2 pwr-line wired adapters
but
at nigth when lights turned (cfl and led lamps) only 2mpbs, in some way lights introduce disturbance on electric lines and this degraded pwr-line performance

same adapters on another house worked ok

so pwr-line is not a very reliable technology
 
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Re: Stability of pwr-line support? Why not advertised on product page?

Fri Oct 28, 2022 3:31 pm

It is reliable if you know what the factors are which impact their performance.
Yet there lies the problem quite often. It is not always clear or there are situations which you simply can not avoid.

I had very decent powerline connection using TP-Link Deco P9 devices from my home office to living room where ISP modem is located. I was almost able to get close to my ISP max (200Mbps down).
Until solar panels were installed with accompanying DC/AC convertor last year in june ... performance completely down the drain and no way to improve that situation !!
(DC/AC convertors are KNOWN to cause this problem because of the harmonics they generate when creating the AC signal).
That's when I decided to run a dedicated CAT6 cable from living room to office via garage and basement.
Problem solved.

Another thing to watch out for is installations with multiple phases. Doesn't go too well with powerline if both ends are on a different phase.

Powerlines have their uses and sometimes if no other solution is available, they can help a lot.
But normal cable is always to be preferred if the option is there.

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