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Spectrum RAC2V1K Askey wireless router 802.11b/g/n ERP protection tsunami
This is intended for 802.11 PHY geeks & I’m hopeful the right specialists at Spectrum & Askey somehow pick up on this as well.
Subject: Spectrum RAC2V1K Askey wireless router 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n ERP protection tsunami
Among the several dozen 802.11b/g/n BSS’s within range of my mine, 3 of them are of the subject product.
All 3 are the only 3 in “g/n” “mode” (versus b/g/n.)
All 3 are the only 3 with the “Non-ERP Station(s) Present” flag set. (Thus, of course, is ERP Protection also set.)
They move around, channel-wise, independently of each other as time goes by but these indications persist.
All of the BSS’s that overlap (including partially) these Askey BSS’s & detect their “Non-ERP Station(s) Present,” in turn, set ERP Protection.
In addition to that, some AP makes makes/models will set ERP Protection even if they overlap another BSS that has ERP Protection set even if “Non-ERP Station(s) Present” isn’t set. (The standard affords some regimental leeway for vendors to play it extra-safe & many do.) Thus are these 3 Askey’s causing a persistent domino-effect tsunami of ERP Protection across most of the BSS’s in my 802.11b/g/n PHY neighborhood.
The probe responses show that the “g/n” “mode” of the Askey’s eliminates support for non-ERP rates. This of course only applies to data frames as non-ERP-rate management & control frames are mandatory and non-ERP-rate control frames are indeed the very essence of ERP Protection.
I don't believe even one, much less all 3, of these Askey BSS's actually has any non-ERP (802.11b) devices associated. That standard was superseded by g in 2003!
My theory: the “g/n” “mode” of this product doesn’t just prevent non-ERP devices from associating; it furthermore completely ignores non-ERP data frames. The standard doesn’t allow this without also remedying the increased potential for contentious interference it facilitates. Thus the requisite persistent “assumption” that one or more non-ERP devices are associated which ERP & HT data transmissions need protection against.
Such regimen is a hold-over from auld land syne. The ONLY way it saves more air time THAN IT COSTS is if there were a LOT of non-ERP (802.11b) devices still around that would otherwise associate. If you would just leave it in b/g/n mode, then it would only use ERP Protection if/when a non-ERP (802.11b) device was actually associated (in the first place) & that would be never (in the second place.) The bottom line is a significant airtime cost for these Askey BSS’s & all overlapping BSS’s & a lot of BSS’s that overlap those!
Most makes & models don’t even have the g/n versus b/g/n modal option &, of all of the ones I’ve seen that do, the subject product is the only one I know of that implements it this way. It would be very sweet if Askey & Spectrum could push a firmware update to remedy this problem. Can any 802.11 PHY eggheads out there with one of these Askey’s confirm or deny any of this?