Budgie

ECB1750 and UPnP/multicast

First post here.   Although I have more than 6 EnGenius wireless devices I have now come up against a problem I cannot solve and seek advice please.

The subnet on which the ECB1750 (v1.3.1) serves as the main wifi AP has a wireless bridge to serve a part of the building to which cables cannot be installed.  The wireless bridge device is an ECB3500 and this is connected by lan to (among other devices,) a media renderer.  This media renderer is controlled by a phone app and the phone connects to the ECB1750 AP.  

My problem is that the media renderer uses UPnP and multicasts for control purposes and the connection from the phone app is lost after a time.

The device gets an IP address from the subnet DHCP server when first turned on and after a few minutes may be seen on the phone app control point.  After an hour or so, if not being used, the device is no longer visible on the phone app.  Also the device continues repeatedly to seek an IP address with the result that overnight all available address on the subnet are used up by the media renderer and no new clients can connect by wifi.  The other symptom is that I can see the the multimedia device on the DHCP server ARP tables and can ping it even though it is not seen on the control point app.  

It seems to me that the UPnP advertisements from the multimedia device are not being relayed by the AP.

Please could somebody tell me how to set things up so the bridge works as required all the time.

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I'm having the same problem. The ECB1750 doesn't forward broadcasted UPnP messages, e.g. for device discovery.

Any response from Engenius,,please?

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Hi Piet,
Glad I am not the only one!
I went back to my supplier and he was not interested. In fact the device has been withdrawn from his website now and even though his company is the UK distributor he would not take up the problem with EnGenius for me. Perhaps they will pick up on this thread, but don't hold your breath.

This issue is becoming more relevant as homes become "intelligent" and increasingly wireless. Unfortunately not everyone has woken up to the need and UPnP is a very vulnerable technology so it is not used in commercial installations where security is of concern, so is perhaps not getting the investment it needs.

There was some work done to put dd-wrt or rather open-wrt on to the ECB1750 but this was never finished so I cannot go down that route.

Bottom line, I shall not buy any more of devices by this manufacturer. I have found an US supplier (FlashRouters.com) of equal or better devices such as Linksys, Netgear, etc with dd-wrt already loaded and I am going to replace the ECB1750 even though it is only a couple of months old. I shall post here when I have cracked the problem.

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Well, I just bought this device, and it's a great access point. So I just want it to work.
Can't be all too difficult for the Engenius guys to make it support UPnP the way it should!

Edited by Piet
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I totally agree.
Apart from this forum is there any way to approach Engenius from where you are?
If you have only just purchased it could you go to the supplier?
Still no joy at my end.

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I tried sending an email to the European part of Engenius. So far, no response...
Very disappointing!

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Hi Piet and Budgie, what is the exact problem you are having? For instance, which product is sending out the uPnP broadcasts? and do you know which protocol is used by affected device?

As for instance, microsoft's SMB protocol is being passed correct. If it about a device which broadcasts a different packet type for it to be able to be found by an application or an 'app' for phone or tablet, it is possible that the manufacturer is using a different type of discovery packets which for some unknown reason is not passing through.

@Budgie, couple of questions:

first one: can you let us know your region/country?
The bridge you use is a WDS bridge I assume? if its a Client bridge connection to the ECB3500, then I understand that after a while the connection goes down for most devices behind the bridge. As the CB mode was and still is developed as a legacy solution to connect a single wired-only device to a wireless network (main reason is because CB is not a transparent link, which the WDS is). Easily said, CB is developed to only pass one IP address through. Seen that issue a lot of times.

do note, that there could be a problem that needs solving, but I believe EnGenius team will need a bit more information about the setup.

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Hi Mark and thanks for picking up on this thread.
I am in the UK.
I do not use WDS for various reasons and am reluctant to go down that road because of the complex wifi environment in this building.

I do have an Engenius EOC2611P working as a CB to another building and this works well, passing DHCP (Bootp/UDP etc) traffic without any problems, but it is only to another PC and does not use the UPnP protocol.

The critical device on the far side of the subject CB is a Linn Sekrit DSM Network Music Player. Linn tend to adhere strictly to the UPnP protocol (See http://www.upnp.org/specs/arch/UPnP-arch-DeviceArchitecture-v1.0-20081015.pdf). It is likely the wireless bridge is blocking multicasting and going to sleep. Multicasting is used by UPnP to identify what is on the network. The Linn device, which the makers have ensured cannot have a fixed IP but only get it's IP using DHCP, will multicast broadcast its presence periodically and this is noted by the control app. If the control app does not get this broadcast then the Linn DS is taken off the list.

I am not a great fan of UPnP which is a consumer driven protocol which lacks the rigour of a commercial secure system but I am stuck with it here for the time being.
I am not a coder and beyond my pay grade here but there are on some wifi routers settings for UPnP. I am still trying to find what these setting do but meanwhile the menu choices on the ECB1750 are somewhat limited.

I do believe there are issues of wider interest than just my own here and there may be several ways to work around the problem, other than copper of course. There may be, for example, a better way to configure the ECB3500 than as a CB. If so please advise and if you need more info or for me to try any options please let me know.
Regards,
Budgie

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well, i am not familiar with the ecb3500, that's quite an oldie you have there ^.^ , it is just a hunch, but as you mentioned that multiple devices are behind the Client bridge, '(among other devices,) a media renderer ', Do all of the other devices running behind the bridge, function without problems? as all the devices behind the bridge would be registered to the router with the same MAC address as the MAC address of the AP running in client bridge.
This was causing problems in various installations that I worked with. Especially as you mention that the network music player comes online on the app and functions properly. until a certain point where it is lost.

In my case, it was because multiple devices behind the bridge started to lose IP addresses because there was already one device registered to the router's ARP table with the MAC address. After changing the bridge to WDS, all the clients behind the bridge were passing through the bridge with their own MAC addresses attached to all the packets

It might show what is causing the issue by just running a test using WDS AP mode on the ECB1750 and WDS station on the ecb3500. (create backups of both units before testing, so you can easily load back in the live environment settings).

 

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Hi Mark,
Thanks for the reply. Your diagnosis is good and fits with what I have read and some of the symptoms. I did as you suggest and tried putting the ECB1750 into WDS/AP mode and set the ECB3500 as WDS station.

Tried various settings all day and couldn't get the WDS link up. In fact I had a strange problem with the ECB1750. Once put into WDS/AP mode I could not fix the channels on either band on the ECB1750. Looking at the wireless status on the other machine it appeared the received channel was being changed every couple of seconds. I have dd-wrt on the ECB3500 but both devices use Atheros chips so I had hoped they would play but did not expect frequency hopping!

There is an interesting note in one of the dd-wrt help pages which refers to a setting for XBoxes and I guess would be appropriate for my media renderer. Sadly there was no such setting available for this on my device so I guess I have the wrong version of dd-wrt. I may now try open-wrt.

Meanwhile I have put the ECB1750 back into AP mode as that functions as expected and am trying the ECB3500 as Client Bridge (routed). Still not getting control or even visibility from the app.

Will report back if I get any further.

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