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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Wireless networking and technology advice

Greeting Combine Forums members,
I am a wireless networking and technology professional, I am posting here to offer advise on many things technology related around WiFi/long distance wireless and remote data gathering/alerting. I am interested in different paths of 'Internet of Things' areas regarding remote sensors and see big potential in agriculture around these technologies. My specializations are in WiFi, point to point long range wireless links, LTE and satellite communications.

I currently work for a large marine transportation company but am familiar with agriculture having grown up on a grain farm near Saskatoon and have many friends that continue to farm. I am considering shifting back toward agriculture as I see some bright spots in smart ag and how it will help producers.

Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have and I will follow the threads to offer insight! Cheers!

theWifiguy

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:58 PM
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Absolutely, and welcome!

Lets start off with an easy question, ok maybe not so easy lol.

I have a hardwired UPD server and a UPD client on a wireless network transmitting GPS nmea sentences at rate of 5 hz. The client sends a packet every 200 ms however the server sees sometimes 2 or sometimes 3 packets combined arriving at the same time instead of a single. Parsing the two packets of course eliminates the old data since it arrived late so I'm now left with 2 or 3 data points instead of the original 5. Its the only thing running on the network.

Using the exact same everything except hard wired instead of wireless, it works perfectly. Packets arrive on time and individually. Tried 2 different wireless routers. Not even Siri has helped!

So, why does the wireless bunch up the packets and is there any way to fix it? At 200 Ms sending 64 bytes per packet, it isn't exactly a top end limit problem. Are there any qos settings I could look at? Real time tips and tricks ? Any thoughts would be very helpful. It has caused me great frustration and severely limited the network development aspect of AgOpenGPS.

Thanks in advance.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hi BrianTee, a nice easy one

First thing I would confirm, are the nmea sentences coming out in unique packets from the sending client adapter, get this analysis with a wireshark trace or netsh trace dump in windows or tcpdump in linux. There are times when the WiFi adapter will do strange things with the traffic out of higher stack applications so confirm that isn't what may be occurring. Get captures at both the client and server side that is best but first analyze what is coming off the client.

Another potential, though seems unlikely issue, could be channel time/contention, you may get some buffering if the network is highly loaded but seeing your lightly loaded that seems unlikely. Is it possible to view the error rates on your WiFi, CRC/PHY error counts? Those error rates may indicate a problem with interference/noise, but would expect that to translate more to packet loss, not packet buffering like you describe. Are you always seeing packet bunches, or do you sometimes see lost nmea sentences as well?

You can apply WiFi QoS if you have supporting infrastructure but QoS markings should be applied through all network infrastructure to make sure that priority happens across all links, not just the wireless flow.

thewifiguy
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewifiguy View Post
Hi BrianTee, a nice easy one

First thing I would confirm, are the nmea sentences coming out in unique packets from the sending client adapter, get this analysis with a wireshark trace or netsh trace dump in windows or tcpdump in linux. There are times when the WiFi adapter will do strange things with the traffic out of higher stack applications so confirm that isn't what may be occurring. Get captures at both the client and server side that is best but first analyze what is coming off the client.

Another potential, though seems unlikely issue, could be channel time/contention, you may get some buffering if the network is highly loaded but seeing your lightly loaded that seems unlikely. Is it possible to view the error rates on your WiFi, CRC/PHY error counts? Those error rates may indicate a problem with interference/noise, but would expect that to translate more to packet loss, not packet buffering like you describe. Are you always seeing packet bunches, or do you sometimes see lost nmea sentences as well?

You can apply WiFi QoS if you have supporting infrastructure but QoS markings should be applied through all network infrastructure to make sure that priority happens across all links, not just the wireless flow.

thewifiguy
Can I assume the packets are coming out of client properly since the server receiving the packets has no problem when wired, but has one when on wireless?

The client is an RS232 to Ethernet adapter wired to static ip address of router. I can't wireshark inside the router so am unable to determine if router is bunching them or if laptop wireless adapter is.

Tried a tablet wirelessly and is the same. Tried 2 different routers, all behave the same. If I increase rate to 10 hz I still get about 3 or 4 groups of packets per second instead of 2. Its like wireless can't give its full time to one ip so it groups them. Even if I go to 50 sentences I only get 2 or 3 unique sentences whereas wired, 50 unique as they are coming independently.

Since it works wired perfectly, I have to assume its how wireless communicates and all other software/hardware is fine.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewifiguy View Post
Hi BrianTee, a nice easy one

First thing I would confirm, are the nmea sentences coming out in unique packets from the sending client adapter, get this analysis with a wireshark trace or netsh trace dump in windows or tcpdump in linux. There are times when the WiFi adapter will do strange things with the traffic out of higher stack applications so confirm that isn't what may be occurring. Get captures at both the client and server side that is best but first analyze what is coming off the client.

Another potential, though seems unlikely issue, could be channel time/contention, you may get some buffering if the network is highly loaded but seeing your lightly loaded that seems unlikely. Is it possible to view the error rates on your WiFi, CRC/PHY error counts? Those error rates may indicate a problem with interference/noise, but would expect that to translate more to packet loss, not packet buffering like you describe. Are you always seeing packet bunches, or do you sometimes see lost nmea sentences as well?

You can apply WiFi QoS if you have supporting infrastructure but QoS markings should be applied through all network infrastructure to make sure that priority happens across all links, not just the wireless flow.

thewifiguy

yeah, what he said!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:50 AM
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So wifi guy. I would like to be able to turn on and off a half dozen or so electrical outlets in my yard using wifi. Turning on yard lights, being able to plug in a tractor without being present etc... . Is this Home | Ayrstone the best way to get wifi throughout my yard to enable this. And is there a decent system out their that is weather proof that would allow me to remotely control electrical outlets etc.... A couple wireless outdoor cameras would be nice as well.
Thanks
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTee View Post
Can I assume the packets are coming out of client properly since the server receiving the packets has no problem when wired, but has one when on wireless?

The client is an RS232 to Ethernet adapter wired to static ip address of router. I can't wireshark inside the router so am unable to determine if router is bunching them or if laptop wireless adapter is.

Tried a tablet wirelessly and is the same. Tried 2 different routers, all behave the same. If I increase rate to 10 hz I still get about 3 or 4 groups of packets per second instead of 2. Its like wireless can't give its full time to one ip so it groups them. Even if I go to 50 sentences I only get 2 or 3 unique sentences whereas wired, 50 unique as they are coming independently.

Since it works wired perfectly, I have to assume its how wireless communicates and all other software/hardware is fine.

Ok, lets assume the client feeds are fine if you have tried multiple clients and routers. I raise the client side only as WiFi clients are typically the yehaa cowboys in many cases of WiFi 'issues' and detailed tracing is often the only way to get the whole picture.

You may have issues in packets queuing because of the way the access point/router (or client) is handling data packet aggregation. In the later 802.11 standards they can employ a 'block acknowledgement' scheme where packets queue waiting for 'airtime' then several are sent at once so only a single acknowledge is required, if enabled try disabling just options. Look into the routers setting for WMM (wireless QoS) and see if any settings are set for aggregation or enabling block acknowledgements. On client adapters there may be settings in the Advanced driver options around QoS/WMM, see what they are set at and potentially try toggling them.

thewifiguy
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wheatking View Post
So wifi guy. I would like to be able to turn on and off a half dozen or so electrical outlets in my yard using wifi. Turning on yard lights, being able to plug in a tractor without being present etc... . the best way to get wifi throughout my yard to enable this. And is there a decent system out their that is weather proof that would allow me to remotely control electrical outlets etc.... A couple wireless outdoor cameras would be nice as well.
Thanks
hey WheatKing,

I have not used any of the ayrstone gear before so I don't know how well it would perform. I have used Ubiquiti gear and it is of good quality and affordable. Have a look at this link freemansgarage com Long Range WiFi , you could construct very similar to how this guy has done it with the omni antenna to get signal around your yard. If you want to get signal into a building or a fair distance away you may need to use a bridge like the Ayrmesh bridge system.

Once you have that in place for controlling remote outlets, without getting into wiring relays etc I would suggest an IP power bars. These would go on your network and then you access the outlet control via a webpage. Pretty slick and very simple easy to use. Though they are not "weather proof" I have mounted them in a quality nema style electical box and have not had problems with them.

I have used these IP-Power-9258T-Network-Controller and these digital-loggers Web Power Switch and both have performer well.

As far as cameras go there are many WiFi enabled cameras out there, it's really a matter of budget and quality. WiFi signal quality will also come into play depending on the video format but if the camera isn't too far away from your base signal/throughput should be sufficient.

thewifiguy
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:59 PM
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I got a question. How does someone who grew up around Saskatoon get into a marine business??!!!

It's easy enough to be pleasant, when life goes by like a song. But the man worth while, is the man with a smile, when everything goes dead wrong!
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:25 PM
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A lot of water under the bridge , my guess.

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