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Wireless Reviews

Dual-Band Indoor 2x2 802.11n Access Point
At a glance
ProductXclaim Wireless Xi-2 Dual-Band Indoor 2x2 802.11n Access Point   [Website]
SummaryN600 class consumer SOHO / small-biz focused access point.
Pros• Automatic band steering, traffic prioritization, airtime fairness and channel selection
Cons• Managed only by Android & iOS app
• No documentation
• Auto features have no manual override

Typical Price: $199  Shop Amazon

Overview

The latest combination of plastic, silicon and software to set Wi-Fi geeks' pants aflame seems to be a new line of access points from Xclaim Wireless. Why so much excitement about products from an unknown company? Because Xclaim belongs to Ruckus Wireless, a maker of enterprise WLAN gear that has a faithful following.

Xclaim's pitch is they've "taken the performance, reliability and robust feature sets of big business wireless, and eliminated all of the cost and complexity". The pitch is aimed squarely at small-businesses that want good wireless at low prices and can't afford to hire someone to set it all up and run it.

The starting lineup consists of three indoor and one outdoor access points. As the graphic below shows, two of the APs are AC1200 class, one is N300 and one N600. All the indoor APs assume the same 5" x 5" x 1" form factor shown in the opening photo above.

Xclaim product line

Xclaim product line

Xclaim offers no routers and nothing to help their target user integrate their APs into an existing network that probably has a wireless router. In fact, there is no support available aside from a forum that appears to be monitored by Xclaim staffers.

The Xi APs can sit on a desktop or be wall or ceiling mounted. There is no mounting plate like the one that comes with a Cisco WAP321 or WAP121. Xclaim throws in a pair of screws, drywall anchors and a tool to aid in removing the AP from a "T-rail", i.e. the metal piece used to construct many suspended ceilings.

The only mounting documentation is this forum post that I borrowed the photo below from. There is only one screw slot; I presume the notch down near the connector area is where the other mounting screw head fits.

Xi series AP mounting options

Xi series AP mounting options

The AP is powered via a 12 VDC 1.0 A power supply (not provided) or 802.3af Power over Ethernet (injector provided). The recessed connector panel is where you'll find the single Gigabit Ethernet port, reset putton and 12 VDC port shown below.

Xi series AP connector panel

Xi series AP connector panel

The lone LED on the front panel is marked "PWR" is undocumented, but it changes color when the AP is booting.

Inside

Rummaging through the FCC ID documents for the Xi-2 reveals that the hardware is the same as a Ruckus ZoneFlex R300. Not so with firmware, however. While the R300 supports Ruckus' BeamFlex "smart" antenna technology, the Xi-2 (and the other Xclaim products) do not. The two "multi-dimensional" dual-band antennas are at the upper right and lower left of the photo.

Xclaim Xi-2 board

Xclaim Xi-2 board

The board shot from the FCC ID photo isn't clear enough for component identification. So after testing was done, I opened mine up and found the components listed in Table 1.

Xclaim Xi-2
CPU Atheros AR9344 802.11n 2x3 dual-band SoC
Ethernet Atheros AR8035 Gigabit Ethernet PHY
RAM 128 MB Winbond W9751G6KB-25 (x2)
Flash 32 MB Spansion S25FL256SAIFR0
2.4 GHz Radio - In AR9344
- SST12LP15A 2.4 GHz power amplifier (x2)
5 GHz radio - Atheros AR9582
- SST11LP12 5 GHz power amplifier (x2)
Table 1: Xclaim Xi-2 component summary and comparison

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