Constant association & disassociation to APs

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Constant association & disassociation to APs

This bouncing around happens all across our APs.  It happens with many clients as well.  Tablets, Windows laptops, Mac laptops.  Is this normal?  Some people are complaining that their WIFI connection keeps dropping.

SSID log.png

We're using a mix of MR16 & MR33 



14 Replies 14
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

It's hard to say what is "normal" for your environment.


You are mixing 802.11ac (MR33) and 802.11n (MR16) APs.  Avoid using these in the same areas.  I wouldn't be surprised if a client had an 802.11ac connection then tried to roam to another AP that does not support this (such as the MR16) experienced dropped connections.

The MR33 is also 3x3 while the MR16 is 2x2 - so how well clients will handle roaming between APs of different radio specs - will be the roll of a dice.


As far as firmware goes - if you are not on 25.12 I would change to that.

Thanks Phil,

Looking at the timestamps on the disassociations you can see that the client isn't moving around the building.  The client is staying in one place yet the connection is bouncing from one AP to the next.

Granted the client should be able roam about the building without dropping their WIFI connection but should it bounce around every minute even when you're sitting at your desk?

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Lets say your client wants to prefer the fastest connection it can - 802.11ac.  It connects to that AP.  Perhaps that AP is too busy and asks the client to roam to a less busy AP.  It attaches to the 802.11n AP - doesn't like the speed, and bounces back.


With mixed technology like this there are many scenarios that could cause a client to keep bouncing around.

Is there a way to tell if the AP is "asking the client to roam"?

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Usually if a client is asked to roam it appears in the event log.  Clients can also decide to roam on their own (such as wanting to attach to an 802.11ac access point because they are currently attached to an 802.11n access point).

Does one of the events show in the initial screenshot?  I see almost exclusively association/disassociation events.

Building a reputation

Have you asked your neighbours if any of them implemented a WIPS/WIDS?

Something like Air Marshall can deauth your network if the admins have blacklisted your SSIDs. It would certainly cause Deauths to be a problem. We've had issues with this on our main site with this in the past.

Have you had a walk around with a wireless scanner (get one for your smartphone) to see if you're accidentally using the same SSID as another office?

Note: see the AM docs below for an explainer on what I mean

I agree with Phil make sure you only have one model of AP in each area or at least make sure they support the same versions of 802.11


Is your environment high density and did you do a site survey before deployment? You might have interference from a neighbour. 


Are your users complaining of poor connections?

Both the MR16 and MR33 support 802.11n.

No site survey was done AFAIK.  I was thinking it may be interference as well but I don't have any way to do a spectrum analysis.


Clients are definitely complaining about dropped connections.

Here to help

Hi @WD40 ,

Did you ever resolve this?  I do not have complaints about our wireless dropping, however, I do experience the same log entries & would also like to understand if this is normal.  Our environment is not mixed, so that cannot be the cause.

I love how people commonly suggest speaking with your neighbors as if that is a simple solution 🙂 When you are located in a busy corporate highrise, with over 30 SSID's in range, it's not so simple.


Screen Shot 2019-07-30 at 10.26.00 AM.png



You should try to do the following as we had the same issues 


A.Firmware upgrade to MR26.4 (If your org allows you to run beta)

B. Try troubleshooting the RF settings based on your Access Point Placement. (


If you have other issues feel free to DM me I have some more things you can try. 

Compare clients.  Are they like clients or all sorts of clients that experience the same?


In case of like clients: check the firmwares of the clients.
In case of all clients: check the wireless health, spectrum analysis of the AP's and the airtime utilization.


Also an over the air packet capture on the channel of the most troublesome channels could show who initiates the disassoc frames client or AP.  Also look for excessive retransmissions and the radiotap header if it shows deterioration of the signal.


This sounds silly but i had a similar issue occur with an HP OfficeJet 8600 wireless printer for one my clients. The printer would associate just fine. Then about five minutes later dis-associate and keep attempting.


According to some documentation i found, this particular printer does not like connecting to multiple AP environments that broadcast the same SSID.


So I ended up creating a separate SSID for this printer and assigned that SSID to the Meraki AP closest to the printer.


It's worked well so far. Just throwing it out there as the errors your having were similar.

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

We have a number of Ingenico PDQs and they have the same issue, on their display you actually see each wireless network repeated for each AP in range...

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