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Ubiquiti Wifi Routers

I received a Ubiquiti Bullet M2-HP and the 12w 15v Power over Ethernet Adapter , so I'm posting my first impressions of this Wifi Router and BBHN firmware upgrade process.

The Bullet M2-HP is a wifi router that also works with the same BBHN firmware as the Linksys router, so its a drop in replacement.   More information and specs can be found on the http://www.ubnt.com/airmax/bulletm/ web site.    I'm testing this device, to see how it interoperates with the LInksys routers, and will do some testing over the next week to see how it performs.    The Bullet is one of the compatible devices listed in the BBHN website.

The advantages of the Bullet are a smaller, weatherproof housing, greater power (28dBm vs. 19dBm,  600 mW), a N connector for the antenna, and it uses POE,  which means a single cable for power and ethernet.   It also have more memory and a faster processor than the Linksys.   The downside is the cost - around $90 , with adapter, vs $5-$10 for the Linksys. 

I've included some photos of the packaging and devices.  You can immediately see the cigar-sized profile is much smaller than the linksys, and can be mounted using plastic ties onto a mast.  The N connector means a direct connection to a Panel or Grill Antenna, so less worry about cable loss and connector loss.   The bottom cable housing unscrews from the unit, and provides a nice, water resistant cover for the POE connector.   


The POE unit is small, but not water-resistant. and requires AC power.   This is not an issue for permanent connections, but you won't be able to use it for battery power - You'll need to figure out how to cable up an ethernet cable to deliver power, and also make sure that the right voltages are provided.  600 mW will be a hungry devil. 

I powered up the device, and connected my mac - it doesn't provide DHCP out of the box, so you'll need to actually read the manual, and set your laptop/PC to manually set up a 192.168.1.x address. The device will be configured to 192.168.1.20, and have default user/password of "ubnt".  to access the default firmware.

I downloaded the BBHN firmware from the BBHN website for ubiquiti devices. There are two versions of firmware, one for initializing the device, and one for upgrading the device once it has BBHN software - same method as the LInksys.   I uploaded the new firmware to the Bullet, and it flashed to the new firmware, and rebooted automatically.  Once the bullet has the new firmware, you'll need to set your laptop/PC back to DHCP, so that it will pick up an ip address from the Bullet.   This part of the process is different than the Linksys.

I then used the http://localnode:8080 and received the mesh node status page, and added my call sign, etc.  Again, this was exactly like the Linksys.

It immediately meshed with a Linksys node.   I noticed that the webpages were noticeably faster than the linksys. The web pages were more or less the same layout and content.   

I had the Bullet directly attached to my Cantenna - it had a strong (-54db) signal strength and great ratio (34db), even with the power turned down to 10 dBm.    Further testing will provide some better idea of how it actually performs. I'll do some side-by-side testing with the LInksys to what, if any, differences exist.

So, in summary, the Bullet works as expected on the initial power, and the firmware upgrade process, and there were no issues on forming a simple mesh.    The software worked exactly like  the Linksys.  I really like the  form factor and water resistant housing.   Further testing on Thursday will commence when I attach it to Grill antenna, and see if I can get Rich and Jennifer in Livermore.   I noticed that the Bullet runs a little warm after 10 minutes, but not hot.  I also think that it will need coax cable wrap on the housing to keep water out in a permanent mounting. 
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