XV. VigorACS and VigorConnect

VigorACS 2 - Mesh Wireless Setup Guide

Products:
Vigor 2765
Vigor 2862
Vigor 2865
Vigor 2926
Show all

Keywords:
ACS
Mesh
TR-069
Wireless

DrayTek VigorACS uses the TR-069 protocol to manage CPEs (DrayTek Vigor routers and VigorAPs). Since version 2.4.0 (or later) it can also remotely configure Mesh compatible devices listed in this article.

This guide demonstrates how to set up the DrayTek Mesh compatible devices as the Mesh Root for a Mesh wireless network and join additional wireless Mesh Nodes.

DrayTek Vigor Router Mesh Support

These routers support Mesh Root feature:

RouterFirmware Required
Vigor 2862ac 3.9.2 or later
Vigor 2862Lac 3.9.2 or later
Vigor 2862Vac 3.9.2 or later
Vigor 2926ac 3.9.3 or later

DrayTek Vigor Access Point Mesh Support

These access points support Mesh feature:

Access PointFirmware RequiredMesh RootMesh Node
VigorAP 802 1.3.3 or later -
VigorAP 903 1.3.5 or later
VigorAP 912C* 1.3.3 or later **
VigorAP 918RPD* 1.3.2 or later
VigorAP 920RPD 1.3.2 or later
VigorAP 1000C 1.3.3 or later

 * full ACS support since version 2.5.4
** only when connected to another VigorAP

Mesh Wireless Basics

A DrayTek Mesh wireless network groups 2 to 8 VigorAP access points (per Mesh Group), into a single cohesive wireless network spanning the whole coverage area of all of the access points. Each Access point in the Mesh communicates wirelessly by linking one VigorAP to the next. Each wireless link between APs is called a 'Hop', with the Mesh allowing for up to 3 'Hops' if the network covers a large area or distance. Typical Mesh networks will have only one or two hops.

There are three modes of operation in a Mesh network:

Mesh RootMesh NodeMesh Node via Ethernet
There is one root in a mesh network and it controls the connected VigorAPs.

The Mesh Root provides Internet and network access. It can be configured through the Web interface, ACS, VigorConnect, or with the DrayTek Wireless app to operate as a Mesh Root, which can then add in any Mesh Nodes.
A Mesh Node connects to the Mesh Root or another nearby Mesh Node wirelessly.

VigorAPs set up as Mesh Nodes do not need to be configured, they're managed by the Mesh Root once they've been 'adopted' into the Mesh network. Their status and other information can be viewed via the ACS, VigorConnect, DrayTek Wireless App or the Mesh Root's Web Interface.
A Mesh node which is connected to Ethernet and allows Wireless Clients or Other Mesh nodes to connect to it.

The Nodes communicates with the Mesh Root via Ethernet. This helps to reduce the 'hops' between Nodes.


When a new VigorAP is added into the Mesh network by the 'Mesh Root' as a new 'Mesh Node', it determines the best VigorAP to link up to, with no manual setup needed. Just power it up in the location it needs to cover and it will check for the best link it can achieve. This then links up to the Mesh network and begins providing wireless connectivity to clients.

The Mesh Root keeps track of the overall Mesh status, with a topology showing link status and signal strength. If one of the Mesh Nodes goes offline, any Mesh Nodes that were connected to it will connect up to the next best signal to continue providing wireless connectivity to clients.

Initial Connections for Mesh Nodes

Since ACS allows remote management and configuration, make sure that the devices are located in the right places. Have the power adapters connect up the to any VigorAPs that will be used as Mesh Nodes, so that they're ready to be 'adopted' by the Mesh Root during the setup process. If there will be a technician on site for initial setup, place the Mesh Node VigorAPs close to the Mesh Root to ensure that they're discovered.

Mesh Nodes automatically detect whether to operate in Access Point mode or Mesh Node mode. To set up a VigorAP as a Mesh Node, just connect it up to the power supply and do not connect it up to the network. Mesh Nodes don't need to be configured manually, they are set up by the Mesh Root once they're 'adopted' into the Mesh network.

If one of the Mesh Nodes has been set up as an Access Point, or was powered up with an Ethernet cable connected, hold in the Factory Reset button on that Mesh Node until the ACT light flashes rapidly. Disconnect any network cables and it will start up as a Mesh Node, ready to be adopted into the Mesh network.
Alternatively, change its operating mode to Mesh Node by following steps in Part 1 to 3.

VigorACS Mesh Root Setup

Part 1.
Select a mesh compatible device from your ACS network. For demonstration purposes we have used VigorAP 903 running 1.3.6 firmware.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide01

Part 2.
Go to DEVICE MENU > Configuration > Operation Mode.  Select Mesh Root and hit Save.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide02

Part 3-1.
Now the Mesh submenu should be available in DEVICE MENU > Configuration > Mesh section. Complete Step 1 of the Mesh Wizard by entering the Group Name. Press Next to continue.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide03

Part 3-2.
Enter your wireless network name (SSID) and password. Press the Next button.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide04

Part 3-3.
Populate the admin credentials that will be used across all Mesh Group devices for management purposes. Hit Next to proceed to the last wizard step.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide05

Part 3-4.
This is the final Mesh Wizard step with the settings summary. Press Finish to apply the configuration to your Mesh Root device.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide06

Part 4.
Your Mesh Root should be ready to search for local available Mesh Nodes. Press the Search button to start the search process.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide07

Part 5.
The Search process can take a few minutes, wait until it completes:

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide08

Part 6.
The Search Mesh Node list should now show some DrayTek Mesh Nodes that can be added. Select your APs, enter the Device Name, and press the Add button.
If no Nodes are detected, check if the AP can be moved closer to the Root.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide09

Part 7.
The Add New Mesh Node process can take a minute, wait until it completes:

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide10

Let the new Mesh Nodes synchronise with the Mesh Root, which will update their configuration. The access points should restart during this process and may be unresponsive for a few minutes.
kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide11

Part 8.
Once nodes are fully synchronised with the router, Online (sync ready) status should display as illustrated below. This indicates that the Mesh Node has successfully initialised and can be used for wireless network access.

kb ACS2 Wireless Mesh Setup Guide12
 

Troubleshooting

  • If searching for a new node results in nothing being displayed (Part 5 & 6), make sure that Mesh Root Wireless LAN is enabled, antennas attached, the VigorAP turned on and in short distance to the root (less than 2 metres apart).
  • Ensure the VigorAP being added is operating as a Mesh Node. Try factory resetting the VigorAP, making sure that it's not connected up with a network cable while doing so. If the VigorAP is powered up initially connected to a network, it will set itself up in Access Point mode, which can not be a part of a Mesh network.
  • If adding an outdoor VigorAP to the Mesh network, make sure that the router & AP's 5GHz wireless channel is set to a channel from 100 to 140.

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