I have tried quite hard to get the three APs here to break when using a FireBrick FB2700 as gateway on a separate subnet (i.e. WAN side of FB2700 on my main LAN here).
What we did is move from a set-up that broke on my main LAN, to a separate subnet off the main LAN and a Ubquiti EdgeRouter. That worked! So I tried an FB2700 instead in same set up, and that worked too. So it was splitting off to a separate subnet with some sort of gateway that seemed to fix this somehow (rather than specific choice of gateway equipment).
My working theory was that there must be some network set-up aspect that is somehow triggering this issue (whether that set-up is a bug or error or not). This would account for why FireBricks seem to be a common factor as well as Unifi and Apple. FireBricks are not an off the shelf linux system so have very different default settings, and maybe that leads to the problem set-up to be much more common. Well, it was an idea.
Ubquiti had the problem immediately with an FB2700 that we sent them, so sounds like a default setup with very few changes would trigger it, but it did not do so here. I have now gone through matching settings to the gateway on my main LAN. This includes things like leaving DNS to automatic which announces the FireBrick itself as one DNS server only on each of IPv4 and IPv6. I even set up the extra VLAN for guest WiFi which is separately firewalled but on the same subnet with proxy ARP/ND between the two LANs, just in case that was a trigger somehow. After some days of doing this now, it really is "just working", which is rather frustrating.
So this morning I am back on the main LAN as before. Hopefully this will "break" things once again and hopefully quite quickly. It may be a few days to be sure.
The techies at Ubquiti have advised that a pcap on the actual AP itself may help, so the plan is, when it breaks, leave my phone in the broken state (don't move it) and try and diagnose with pcaps on the APs.
To further diagnose I also plan to set the iPhone with static IPv4 config, as some sort of "DHCP throttling" may supposedly be to blame for this. I have double checked with the other developer on FireBrick, as we have both worked on the DHCP server, and neither of us know of this "feature". However, it is worth investigating every avenue. Previous tests (albeit years ago I expect) showed the issue still happened with no DHCP involved. The problem may have changed since, so I'll repeat those tests to confirm. I'm not going to dismiss any ideas.
In case it is not obvious, when this started, years ago, the first assumption we had is that it has to be the FireBrick at fault, and I spent a long time testing things like static config to eliminate DHCP, and checking packet dumps very carefully for DHCP, ARP, ND, RA, RS protocols to try and find anything that would point to FireBrick as the cause. Only after all of that testing did we raise with Ubiquti.
I'll keep you posted...
P.S. Finally (Thursday) my phone failed, I confirmed even a static config could not send or receive packets, even to a device on same AP. I confirmed roaming to another AP does fix. I am leaving on static IPv4 config now to test.
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