After researching most last night and reviewing the links provided by Nicholas concerning the Pi wifi client limited connections, it appears Debian made changes starting in Stretch that cut the number of Pi wifi connections in about 1/2 - 2/3. Under Jessee users could get up to 32 wifi connections but, under Stretch they are now only able to obtain 16 at the most and that's only when they set static IPs for connected wifi clients.
My testing so far using a Wifi Access Point that provides 32 SSID's all running ping commands to the Pi static IP (gateway) address --> Raspberry Pi Ethernet Port --> does not cause any power issues with the Pi. In a realtime test where clients are connected this way and they all are accessing webpages at the same time, would be a more accurate stress test of the Pi. However, its more than likely that even when resources begin to load the Pi down (via the Ethernet Port) there will not be a power issue like what currently happens when 9 or more wifi clients try to connect to the Pi.
I understand the "Plug & Play" configuration of MoodleBox of turn Pi on and connnect 8-10 students via MoodleBox via Wifi in a classroom which is indeed magical when you consider how simple it is for MoodleBox users to get to that end point. If that indeed is the actual end point for MoodleBox wherein only 8-10 students can connect, then those who want 20, 50 or 100 Clients connected to Moodle via a Raspberry Pi will need another option than MoodleBox.
With that being said though, there are a few very simple work arounds that could be used to get 50+ wifi clients connect to the Moodle via the Ethernet Port. I won't reinerate what I have already listed above but, lets consider how the typiclal Teacher provides MoodleBox in their Classroom.
- Most Teachers use either a MAC or a Windows Laptop; not a Linux powered Laptop.
- Most Teachers have to rely on IT people to help them get the MoodleBox to that Plug & Play state.
- Wifi Client Connectivity to the MoodleBox by Students is same as most any Wifi hotspot; very easy.
Since MAC and WIndows will both run Windows and they are used by most all Teachers, there is another option to obtain that 50 Client connects to MoodleBox and its called "Connectify".
Connectify is the only software package of its kind. It's MAX version will run either as a Wifi Bridge or Repeater or even as a router on a Windows 7, 8 or 10 instance (or on a MAC running one of these Windows versions). Connectify provides segmented IP addresses for the bridge / repeater options but, the subnet can be changed if desired.
Any Teacher would be able to use Connectify with a Plug & Play Access Point or have their IT people configure one or even a Wifi Router for them so they could connect 30- 50 wifi clients to the MoodleBox. In short here's the Schema:
Wifi Access Point (or basic wifi router with DHCP and NAT ON) ---> Windows Laptop on-board Ethernet Port --> Connectify Software Bridge --> USB Dongle Ethernet Port --> MoodleBox Ethernet port. MoodleBox Wifi will be disabled and static IP set on MoodleBox Ethernet port. And, that's all it takes folks to get passed the 8-10 wifi limited of the Raspberry Pi. I should have this fully configured and tested for max connections and resource loading in the near future. (Waiting on my 1st Retirement Check to get a better USB Ethernet Dongle).
This is a VERY EASY option without having to make major configuraion changes to the MoodleBox but, there are some additional costs for MoodleBox users, ie., Access Point or Router and cost of Connectify MAX which is normally $59 per computer but, discounted for a limited time for $14.99. (Disclaimer: I have no connection in any way with the people who sell or code the Connectify Software. I am just a new user of the Connectify; that's all).
So, that's my best and easy option to get at least 30, maybe 50 wifi clients connected to a MoodleBox but, I still plan on using a Net Drive and a lan switch in my configuration to reduce resource load on both the Windows Computer and Pi.
I hope someone else knows of an easier with less expense option than this Connectify configuration that I am suggesting that does not require an alternative Pi configuration of Moodle.