Can not access a directly connected device on a link SOHO marked down

I have a mobile application of the SOHO Mk3. I just updated to the latest firmware 8.0.2.

My configuration includes a Ethernet connected Ubuquity Bullet 5 router mounted outside my motorhome. When I move to a new location I need to access this router to select a new connection and I would like to do it from a computer connected to the WIFI supplied by the SOHO.

It works fine if I turn off interface testing on the SOHO. When I turn on interface testing using DNS query and I drive away from the working location, the SOHO marks the interface down as it should and switches to the next interface in the list which is my Verizon hotspot.

The problem occurs when I arrive at a new location and wish to access the Bullet which is now on a link that is marked down.

I understand the SOHO is not supposed to route packets to a downed interface, but the interface itself is not down only the downstream system is down.

1 - Why can I not access a directly connected device.
2 - Is there some way to make this work?

Without this capability the fail soft system of the SOHO is mostly worthless as I have to turn off testing of the connection to get access to the downstream router and restart the connection. Turn off testing, make the connection, turn on testing is a lot of work for as system that is supposed to be automatic.

Any help would be appreciated.

Hi APhotoWizard,

Home user here (SURF MK3).

According to Ubiquiti you can connect to the BulletM5-HP using your smart phone with the UNMS app regardless of the other failover issues(?):

…UNMS App The Bullet M Titanium can be accessed by the UNMS™ (Ubiquiti® Network Management System) app once it has been set up on the same Wi-Fi network as your mobile device. (Original setup is done through your browser.)

Accessing airOS via Wi-Fi The UNMS app provides instant accessibility to the airOS configuration interface and can be downloaded from the App Store® (iOS) or Google Play™ (Android). UNMS allows you to configure and manage the Bullet M Titanium and offers various configuration options once you’re connected or logged in…

The above quick help guide quote pertains to the Titanium version of the Bullet which has POE so I don’t know if it works with the BulletM5-HP (non POE) but I think it should. You would want to set the BulletM5-HP so it doesn’t go to sleep when it drops the connection - that could be part of the original problem(?). If you can connect to the BulletM5-HP with your smart phone directly then you are bypassing all the other failover issues.

In theory you should be able to just log in to the BulletM5-HP’s WiFi directly (if it allows admin management over WiFi) with your laptop and that would bypass the failover issues kinda. I’m not sure though as I don’t use Ubiquiti products.

Alternatively you could reuse an old wireless router as a go between from the BulletM5-HP to the SURF. You would then log in to the old reused router’s WiFi to the BulletM5-HP as per your original request of being able to do it over WiFi. Not pretty - but slightly cheaper than WAN aggregating router solutions like a Peplink Balance. The old reused router probably has security vulnerability’s so you’re taking your chances there if you use it’s WiFi. Just use ethernet only for that one.

One last note… you could just manually disable (power down) your priority 2 devices to force the SURF to “fail over” to the BulletM5-HP (priority 1) when you need to log on to a new WiFi connection. Power cycle the BulletM5-HP at this point if you can’t connect to it as it may be sleeping.

If the BulletM5-HP goes to sleep after you drive away you won’t be able to connect to it - so you could try power cycling it when you are away and then see if you can connect to it. Although the UNMS App should really resolve a lot of these “what ifs?”. A lot of hotspots etc. go to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity. As mentioned above often there is a user selectable setting or you can just power cycle it and test right away.

I know you want that separate high speed 5Ghz BulletM5-HP link to feed the SURF but to be honest the SURF already has one. The SURF has 3 antennas vs the BulletM5-HP external single, (please correct me if I am wrong). Plus if you are feeding the BulletM5-HP’s 10/100 to the SURF’s WAN port 10/100 = it sounds like the BulletM5-HP is bottle necking anyways unless you wirelessly bridge them (haha the irony). The SURF can do all that anyways with 3 beam forming antennas and 5Ghz AC /spatial streams to juggle around. Keep the BulletM5-HP as a back up?

Best solution(?):

Put the SURF near a window facing the park’s AP and dedicate its WiFi WAN to 5Ghz and allocate 2.4Ghz to your devices. Or vice versa. That way you dedicate one radio to the WiFi WAN connection and the other to your client devices. Sharing the same radio with your devices will affect throughput but since 5Ghz has greater throughput it may be ideal for this. Test. Experiment.

Keep the BulletM5-HP as a standby back up.

Have fun experimenting. Download your current configuration so you can easily re upload it.

Happy surfer;

Thanks for the extended suggestion list. You understood my problem exactly. I use the Bullet because I have a pole that raises the router and 8 DB gain antenna 15 feet into the air plus it has adjustable power so It reaches places where a unit inside the coach could never reach. For that reason I am willing to suffer the speed loss.

The Bullet stays active even after the drive-away disconnect so that is not the problem.

When I get back to the unit, I will work through your suggestions as there are several Ideas I never considered.

Thank you!

I wasn’t originally very clear on how the BulletM5-HP is connected to the SURF as I am not familiar with it. I had trouble finding good online documentation on the BulletM5-HP so I was not sure if it was cabled in to the SURF’s WAN port or if it has its own AP (ie more than one radio) that you are connecting to with the SURF’s WiFi WAN. So pick through my response to see if anything helps but keep that in mind.

Also I think I got the WiFi WAN “standby state” backwards - it should be “stay connected” for better connectivity. Setting it to “disconnect” helps keep data usage down on a metered connection - but creates a slight delay when it has to reconnect. Either way kind of unrelated since the BulletM5-HP is probably connected to the SURF’s WAN port by ethernet cable.

Another thought… sometimes these devices get pissed off with disconnect reconnect cycles / logging into new AP’s repeatedly / playing with lots of settings / corrupt DHCP- try rebooting everything when that happens? I apologize in advance as you have probably already played that game. I’m an expert at rebooting.

If you can’t connect to the BulletM5-HP when it is not the active WiFi WAN (your original question) that may be a limitation of the SURF itself which may or may not be resolved with future firmware upgrades.

As per my previous suggestion you would have to power down priority 2 devices to force the SURF to “fail over” back to the BulletM5-HP / priority 1 (or manually set it by dragging and dropping the WiFi WAN tabs on the main dashboard).

You would want to log in to the SURF over ethernet to verify this is occurring. I never had much luck logging in to the SURF’s admin webpage wirelessly as it does not prefer that and you can lock yourself out (lol) if you mess up the settings forcing a reset and re uploading last known good configuration. Someday I will figure that out or not.

This probably won’t solve your problem but you could also try upgrading the firmware in the bullet. Make sure you do that over a solid connection or you could brick it.

I wasn’t able to find an owners manual for the BulletM5-HP (just quick start guides and datasheets) so that’s about as far as I got although the Ubiquiti site seems to have lots of README’s on usage etc…

Sidenote: It looks like the new dual frequency Bullet AC has “a separate Wi-Fi radio for fast and easy setup”:

….UNMS App The Bullet AC integrates a separate Wi-Fi radio for fast and easy setup using the Ubiquiti Network Management System (UNMS) app on your mobile device.
Accessing airOS via Wi-Fi The UNMS™ app provides instant accessibility to the airOS configuration interface and can be downloaded from the App Store® (iOS) or Google Play™ (Android). UNMS allows you to set up, configure, and manage your device, and offers various configuration options once you’re connected or logged in…

Then you could just log on via your smartphone during config / antenna pointing.

I don’t know if the BulletM5-HP broadcasts its own network that you could log into during setup /antenna pointing. It sounds like it might. The Bullet M2 does not but you can buy a “U-installer” (mini battery powered WiFi network) that performs this function aiding set up / antenna pointing. You shouldn’t really need this though as you should just be able to log into Bullet via the SURF wirelessly.

If your antenna is dual frequency it may be time to upgrade to the Bullet AC and keep the BulletM5-HP as a backup. Or just buy another antenna!

The spectrum analyzer software that comes with that thing looks sweet. I can’t believe how inexpensive the older Bullets are. Thanks for making me aware of these products. Only 330 more days 'til Christmas!