Configure Mikrotik CAPsMAN with Chateau and Audience

Configure Mikrotik CAPsMAN with Chateau and Audience

Mikrotiks CAPSMAN (Controlled Access Point system Manager) allows you to centralize your wireless network management to a single device. The advantage of this solution is that such a central “System Manager” (CAPsMAN) handles the configuration of the APs. This manager is responsible for providing wireless connectivity. As such, it takes care of client authentication, encryption, SSID and so on. Thus, the actual access points do not need to be configured individually. Instead, new APs can be integrated into the existing system by pushing a single button. An AP thus becomes a ‘Controlled Access Points’ (CAP).

In the following I describe how to setup CAPsMAN on a Mikrotik Chateau.

Configure your Chateau

I am assuming that your Chateau has loaded it’s default config. I strongly recommend using the default settings, unless you know exactly what you are doing (I do not). Be default, the default config comes with a set of settings that ensure efficient and, above all, safe operation. Such settings include:

  • bridge and lte interface are already configured correctly
  • also the DHCP server is already setup (192.168.88.2 - 192.168.88.254)
  • NAT is also already configured
  • firewall rules are in place and there are no open ports

Setup CAPsMAN

I advise to interact with the Chateau via Winbox or SSH, especially because WebConfig does not support Copy&Paste.

2ghz Wifi

The following two commands, will add a CAPsMan config for the 2 GHZ band. It is considered best practice to use different SSIDs for different bands to avoid clientside problems.

Create a configuration:

caps-man configuration add country=germany datapath.bridge=bridge name=Config-2G security.authentication-types=wpa2-psk security.passphrase=top_secret security.encryption=aes-ccm security.group-encryption=aes-ccm datapath.client-to-client-forwarding=yes ssid=Furzkopf-2G channel.band=2ghz-b/g/n

Explanation:

  • country=germany: different countries have different regulations and frequencies. So choose your correct country.
  • datapath.bridge=bridge: the access point is bind to the bridge interface named bridge
  • name=Config-2G: the name of the configuration. choose any name, but make sure you can distinguish your configs
  • security.authentication-types=wpa2-psk: choose wpa2-psk security. you may want to enable more insecure options like wpa-psk to support more client devices
  • security.passphrase=top_secret: your passphrase used to connect to the WLAN
  • security.encryption=aes-ccm: choose aes-ccm as encryption. alterntive would be tkip
  • datapath.client-to-client-forwarding=yes: allow client to client communication. should be disabled in public wlans (hotel, coffee shop, etc)
  • ssid=Furzkopf-2G: the ssid of the 2ghz network
  • channel.band=2ghz-b/g/n`: the 2ghz channel

Create a provisioning rule:

caps-man provisioning add action=create-dynamic-enabled master-configuration=Config-2G hw-supported-modes=gn

the important bits are:

  • action=create-dynamic-enable
  • hw-supported-modes=gn

Together these options make CAPsMAN assign SSIDs based on radio capabilities automatically.

You may refer to this post: https://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php?t=155048#p766920

5ghz

Create a configuration:

caps-man configuration add country=germany datapath.bridge=bridge name=Config-5G security.authentication-types=wpa2-psk security.passphrase=###meyerstinkt+++333 security.encryption=aes-ccm security.group-encryption=aes-ccm datapath.client-to-client-forwarding=yes ssid=Furzkopf-5G channel.band=5ghz-n/ac

This command is largely the same as the one for 2ghz. Just make sure to select the right channel: channel.band=5ghz-n/ac

Create a provisioning rule:

caps-man provisioning add action=create-dynamic-enabled master-configuration=Config-5G hw-supported-modes=an,ac

Finally

/caps-man manager set enabled=yes

Connect Audience

Disconnect your Audience from power. Then press and hold the reset button. Plugin in power and keep on holding the reset button. Do so until the green LED turns solid green (stops flashing). This will enable CAPs mode and the device will automatically connect.