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Can I use WDS without a controller/WLSE?

Hi all,

We are replacing our mixture of cheap WAPs with autonomous Aironet 1602i's. I would like to use WDS but am encountering lots of technical issues, such as a laptop will connect fine, then I reboot the laptop and it won't connect at all etc (the WAP GUI may say "association processing" then eventually time-out, or the laptop will appear to connect to the SSID but I won't get an IP address).

Anyway, in order to better troubleshoot, I would like to get some facts clear. Whenever I find a new guide for setting up WDS on Aironets they seem to conflict with each other in regards to the requirements.

Please could someone definitively tell me:

1) Do I need any other hardware, such as Aironet controllers, or something running Wireless LAN Solution Engine (WLSE) to achieve basic AP-based (layer 2) WDS roaming with multiple Aironet 1602i's?

2) Does the WDS client AP talk to the master via the wired connection? I.e.: if the WDS client AP's wireless range doesn't reach the master's will this cause havoc with WDS chatter?

There are times when I have the following setup and all looks good, but then suddenly, a random device will not be able to connect and it's as though something "broken" in the overall config.

My setup is thus:

                 +----------------------+

                 | Linux RADIUS Server  |

            OOOOO| (MAC authentication) |OOOOO

            O    +---------+------------+    O

            O              O                 O

            O              O                 O

+---------------+   +---------------+   +---------------+

|  wap-h002492  |   |  wap-h002482  |   |  wap-h002496  |   

|(WDS client AP)|   |(WDS master AP)|   |(WDS client AP)|

+---------------+   +---------------+   +---------------+

       |                   |                   |

       |                   |                   |

       +-------------------+-------------------+

                 subnet 10.11.22.0/24

I am using the WDS master's local RADIUS to authenticate the WDS client AP's, but actual wireless devices (laptops, phones etc) are authenticated by MAC address using the linux RADIUS server.

P.S. I'm 99% sure the problem's not with the RADIUS server, as it's been working fine with the cheap WAPs and when I was just testing a single Aironet without WDS. Also, when I see "association processing" on the WAP there's no traffic between the RADIUS server and WAP.

Thanks for any advice or comments.

Best Regards,

Elliot

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Can I use WDS without a controller/WLSE?

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