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Wireless How To

STA Selection Policy

Once steering has been triggered, these controls determine STAs that get steered. The controls here are a subset of the Steering Trigger Condition controls and are somewhat redundant. After all, if a STA triggers steering, shouldn't it end up steered?

STA Selection Policy  Controls

STA Selection Policy Controls

Since the controls are a subset of those above, let's just see what the defaults do.

On the 2.4 GHz radio, the selection policy is the same as the trigger criteria. So any STA with RSSI higher than -58 dBm (moderate to strong signal level) and link rate greater than 110 Mbps will be steered.

On the low band 5 GHz-1 radio, STAs need a moderate RSSI of -76 dBm, but a link rate higher than 433 Mbps to be steered. This generally indicates only 2x2 and 3x3 AC STAs with medium signal levels should be moved off this radio.

On the high band 5GHz-2 radio, any STA with link rate lower then 433 Mbps will be steered. The RSSI criteria of less than 0 dBm means signal level is basically ignored. Simply put, non-AC STAs and AC STAs with low signal levels (which lower link rate) will be moved off 5GHz-2.

This radio is supposed to allow high link rate clients only. But in one of the Smart Connect trials run as part of the RT-AC3200 review, all clients ended up on 5GHz-2. Clearly there are some bugs in the system!

Interface Select and Qualify Procedures

These controls determine where the steered STA will end up. The Target Band controls specify first and second choice of steering targets. STAs meeting the STA selection policy criteria for the radio will be steered to the first target if that radio's Bandwidth Utilization is less than the set value. Otherwise, the STA will be sent to the second Target Band radio.

Interface Select and Qualify Procedures Controls

Interface Select and Qualify Procedures Controls

On the 2.4 GHz radio, the default settings shown above will steer the STA to the high band 5GHz-2 radio if it is is not in use, i.e. its bandwidth utilization is less then 0%. Otherwise the STA goes to the low band 5GHz-1 radio.

For the low band 5GHz-1 radio, the STA will be sent to the high band 5GHz-2 radio if its bandwidth utilization is less than 60%. Otherwise the STA goes to the 2.4 GHz radio.

For the high band 5GHz-2 radio, the STA will be sent to the low band 5GHz-1 radio if it is is not in use. Otherwise the STA goes to the 2.4 GHz radio.

Allowed values are shown in the table below. Current defaults with 3.0.0.4.378_4145 firmware are bold.

Radio 2.4GHz 5GHz-1 5GHz-2
Target #1 -5GHz-1
-5GHz-2
-5GHz-2
-2.4GHz
-5GHz-1
-2.4GHz
Target #2 -5GHz-1
-none
-5GHz-2
-none
-2.4GHz
- none
Target Band values

Bounce Detect

The last set of controls determines how often a STA can be steered. This is intended to prevent STAs from constantly moving around. It does not, however, prevent STAs from disconnecting on their own, or counting them as bounces if they do. Each STA can be steered N Counts within the Window Time. When the Count limit is hit, the STA won't be steered again for Dwell Time.

Bounce Detect Controls

Bounce Detect Controls

Note however, that Smart Connect takes bandwidth use of the STA into account so that the target radio doesn't get overloaded. In other words, if the STA is using a lot of bandwidth, it won't be moved to an already busy radio. Broadcom keeps these decisions to itself and doesn't let them be messed with even by product manufacturers.

The default settings allow each STA one move every 3 minutes. If the STA tries to be steered more often, it will be prevented from being steered for an hour.

The Dwell Time setting was the only Smart Connect changed (from 1800 seconds) between the 378_4129 and 378_4145 firmware revs.

Wrap Up

At least now you know what all these controls are supposed to do. How they actually work is subject to the usual plethora of bugs ASUS seems to like to bake into its products to keep its fans happy and RMerlin busy.

Now you can knowledgeably experiment to see if you can get Smart Connect to deliver! Be sure to share your discoveries / recipies in the Forums.

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