Saturday, June 3, 2017

Paradise ponders, mesh WiFi and sun room plants edition...

Paradise ponders, mesh WiFi and sun room plants edition...  I spent most of the day today bringing up a mesh WiFi network, using four of Ubiquiti Networks' UAP-AC-M-US Unifi Mesh Access Point devices (photo at right).  Mesh WiFi networks have long been used in corporate environments, but only recently have they come down in price to the point where one might consider them at home.  Ubiquiti Networks' entry to this marketplace isn't the cheapest, and actually isn't the fastest one out there (though it's close) – but it comes with an enterprise-ready management server that is just awesome, and Ubiquiti Networks gear has been the favorite of ISPs for years, for its reliability, capabilities, and manageability.  Those are all important things to me, so I sprang for the extra $100 or so and got them. 

Bringing them up was mostly a matter of (a) fixing the errors in my router configurations, and (b) building cables.  The access points all worked on the first try once I had that done.  The Unifi management server is, if anything, better than I expected – it gives me the best overall picture of a WiFi network that I've ever seen, including the enterprise systems I've worked with.  Configuration, firmware upgrading, provisioning, and monitoring are all a breeze.  Three of the access points directly replaced WiFi routers I used to have, and those all have wired uplinks.  The fourth access point, however, is going on our deck (mainly so we have a clear WiFi path to our irrigation controller, which is managed via WiFi).  That access point wirelessly links to the access point in our kitchen, and that was an absolute piece of cake to install.  Love this thing!

Earlier today Debbie and I went to a couple of nurseries in town to pick up a few plants for our sun room.  We got a dwarf Japanese maple, an ornamental bamboo, a Boston fern, and a flower we don't know called Veronica.  All very pretty stuff, in ugly nursery pots.  So very shortly after I post this, we're headed to Lowe's to see if we can't find ourselves something mo' bettah...

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