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General guidance and advice on unleashed setup as backbone for physically mobile WLAN without permanent internet access

New Contributor


I have taken the plunge on an R710 Ruckus AP as I understand them to be the best AP's for keeping things working in signal dense environments.

I intend to use it to create a WLAN that extends my wired LAN which connects lots of equipment on a cart thereby enabling wirelessly connected devices like iPads and Cameras to interface with the equipment on the cart. (equipment on cart running with fixed IP's). The cart itself travels with me to studios and various filming locations all over the place, where sometimes the RF environment is very crowded. Since the main purpose of the WLAN is to allow items of equipment on site to talk to each other it is not necessary to connect the network to the internet, although it may sometimes be desirable. If I am to do this I would be using either the internet access available locally via wifi, whatever that might be, or using my phone as a hotspot. There may be situations where I would allow other users on site onto my network but I would want to be able to control the bandwidth allocated to them to ensure vital equipment is prioritised, and control if they are able to use the internet and limit sites and bandwidth there (so I don't run up a massive phone bill if I'm using my phone as a hotspot). On occasion I may need to extend the range of the WLAN by adding further APs in a mesh, ideally deploying them with no physical cabling, just an AP on a stand with a battery for power.

Because of that final point (expandability of the WLAN) I thought Unleashed looked like the way to go rather than Solo. - Perhaps those with more knowledge of Ruckus can give their opinion on the suitability of Unleashed to my application, and if there are any gotchas I might find in my use case?

I would also really appreciate any technical setup advice. I have a switch in my cart, have assigned fixed IP's to my equipment onboard  but not much else.

My R710 is currently stuck in a "building unleashed" loop, I think because I don't understand how I should configure the gateway when there currently isn't one to point it at but it's a field you can't leave blank so....In this kind of use case should I be configuring the R710 as a Gateway and DHCP server? Does Unleashed expect to be connected to the internet for set up and configuration?

If the WLAN and LAN have to be on different subnets (I read this somewhere, I think in the troubleshooting guide for unleashed) then what do I need to configure it so that a device on the WLAN can connect to a device on the LAN subnet via it's IP? Will the R710 resolve the addresses automatically? 

When it comes to connecting it to the internet on location:

I believe I might be able to use internet sharing on my Mac, which lives on the cart and can be connected to the internet via local wifi then connected via ethernet to the R710? If so, how would I need set this up to get it to work? When there is no local wifi for internet access, how might I go about using my phone as a hotspot to make internet available on the R710s WLAN? Is there a way to make this all fairly plug and play so I don't have to reconfigure lots of settings for each new physical location I take the cart to? For example, if the Mac computer on the cart is sharing it's internet connection, however it gets it (tethering to my phone or connecting to the local wifi), can everything else stay the same? 

Sorry for such basic questions, I guess I'm still at networking 101 stage, but most guides on networking seem to assume fixed location installs with permanent internet connections. They also often launch straight into technical language and brush over concepts none of which I am properly versed in yet.


New Contributor

These are not basic questions. Well done with getting things as far as you have.

Your "cart" network is no different than any network. It can be one switch with one gateway to the Internet. It can be many switches, routers, firewalls, access points (APs) ... all connecting to the Internet out multiple paths.

It sound like your key question is how to NOT change the Ruckus configuration and still allow those APs to get out to the Internet.

If the gateway or router (GW) you use on the cart is permanent, you should use that as the GW for the Ruckus (or any other) device. That way, if you're routing from that GW to the Internet, you can add a route to to whichever device is providing outbound Internet. For instance, if you have WiFi capability on the router, and you're not wired to the Internet, you can connect to your phone hotspot.

Anyway, this all sound very cool. Sorry I was talking in such general terms.