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osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA

[HELP] Anything to look out for when setting up a new WAP?

Now that my 1841 router appears to be fully functioning, I've got a couple of Aeronet 1242 Wireless access points (1242AG-A-K9's) (one is a LAP the other an AP -- at some point I might convert the LAP to a autonomous version or buy another and sell the LAP variant). Anyway, I'll use the non-LAP version first but am wondering what pitfalls await me with setting up one of these.. This will be my first. I gather from reading some of the docs on it that I just need to plug it into my switch that goes to the router and I can fire up some sort of web-based config page after setting the initial ip on it (via telnet).. Is there anything that I should be on the look out for? These will be used at opposite ends of our house to create a single strong WPA2 (or equiv) zone to replace our aging (but still functional) Apple Airport Extreme basestation.. Thanks in advance!

Oh yeah.. I've got a couple of antennas I bought that are ceiling mounted (haven't installed them).. If I need to run longer cabling for that is the cable pretty much standard fare stuff that I can buy in pre-done sizes (e.g. 12ft,etc).. That way I can place the AP in a nice (cooler) area and just run a cable for the antenna through the attic.. Thx!

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

1 edit
Well I do not have any experience with the 1200 series, I do have it with the 1300 series.

Same type of configuration.

You need to console into the radio (Hyperterm, Teraterm, etc). Once its on and you are in..

enable
configure t
interface bvi1
ip address (ip address) (netmask)
end
copy run start
 

Once this is done, you can now open your web browser and point it to the IP address of the radio and finish configuration using the GUI.

I do have one question. Why are you looking to use two radios? One radio combined with the right antenna system should provide good coverage. How big of a house are you in?

--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to do it safely."
-- AT&T
--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
--LLigetfa:"Wimax is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about doing it."

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Thanks for the pointers..

Regarding the question about the house size and need for two AP's -- our newly remodeled home is about 2800SF (used to be ~1700) and I assumed I'd need two based on the fact that the old house had a single (Apple Airport Extreme) and it had very poor coverage on the two far ends of the house (the house is more or less a long rectangle).. I assumed with the new addition making the rectangle even longer that the issue would be worse and not better. The old Apple AP was in the center of the house in the attic.. In this new setup I'm planning on putting the primary AP out in the garage in my structured wiring panel with the router, switch, etc.. I guess I hadn't taken into account that one Cisco AP with proper antenna placement (and selection) could vastly outperform (in terms of range/coverage) the old Apple unit with the internal antenna... One thing that did come to mind with the ability to handle dual antennas is whether or not I could locate one antenna at each and of the house and run them to the same AP.. Unfortunately I never found an answer to that and ended up just buying a 2nd unit.. Please advice if any of these assumptions are out the window... Thx!

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
reply to osxaddict
Since the 1200 series is POE capable, how about putting the AP in a central location in the house with the external antennas on it?

I have had good luck with a 5dBi omni on a 1310 in the outdoor environment, so indoors it should be good too. Keep in mind I was not running two (for diversity).

I'd be willing to bet the radio in the Cisco is way better than that in the Apple, but I could be wrong.
You seem like the technical type, so you could try putting the AP in the attic for now with one antenna and setting the AP to run on the RIGHT(PRIMARY) antenna port, or whatever port is the primary port if it has one. Crank the power up and run some tests around the house checking signal strengths and speeds. If it is satisfactory, you could leave the whole thing there where it is at or run some LMR-400 up to the antenna where you like it.

I'd personally not use a stick antenna, rather a celing mount 2.4GHz antenna (looks like a smoke detector) but it is whatever you have on-hand.
--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to do it safely."
-- AT&T
--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
--LLigetfa:"Wimax is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about doing it."

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Thanks for the info.. I've actually purchased a pair of ceiling mount 2.4Ghz antennas (3.5dBi) to use for this AP.. If I can get away w/ a single AP then I'll go for it.. I'll try putting both antennas up in place -- one at each end of the house and use the cabling you suggested (LMR-400) since I found that listed at the place I bought the antennas from (that stuff is expensive!)..

In terms of placement, I'm a bit leary of permanently keeping it in the attic as it's likely to get to be about 110 degrees worst case up there in the summer (I'm in LA) and would rather not cook the thing.. Although I did that with the Airport Extreme and it worked fine.. I guess I'd opt to buy longer cables and just mount the thing in an easy to reach area -- however I guess the long cable runs will bite me too.. Oh well.. I'll have to play around..


Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
reply to osxaddict
According to the datasheet:
Non-operating (storage) temperature: -40 to 185°F (-40 to 85°C)
Operating temperature: -4 to 131°F (-20 to 55°C)
Operating humidity: 10 to 90 percent (non-condensing)

In comparison the 1310 that is an outdoor unit:

Operational Temperature: -22º to +131ºF (-30º to +55ºC)
Humidity: 0 to 100% at 100ºF (38ºC) (condensing)

On second thought it might be best to keep it out of the attic.

What is the max length of cable you are going to be using? You'll want to calculate losses so you can size the antenna properly.
--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to do it safely."
-- AT&T
--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
--LLigetfa:"Wimax is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about doing it."

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Our roofline is approx. 75' long from end to end (think of an A-frame style house) and with that in mind, one cable could probably be somewhere in the 15-20' length while the other might be closer to 60-70'+ once you account for extra lengths so it can run on the rafters,etc.

By the way, I've got the WAP started (first time) and its complaining about a duplex mismatch on FastEthernet0 but for some reason I can't get a CLI going.. I'm using the serial cable from my 1841 router since I didn't get one with the AP.. Any ideas? Below is the tail of the initial logging :

Press RETURN to get started!
 
*Mar  1 00:00:05.525: %SOAP_FIPS-2-SELF_TEST_IOS_SUCCESS: IOS crypto FIPS self test passed
*Mar  1 00:00:06.986: %SOAP_FIPS-2-SELF_TEST_RAD_SUCCESS: RADIO crypto FIPS self test passed on interface Dot11Radio 0
*Mar  1 00:00:07.338: %LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface Dot11Radio1, changed state to reset
*Mar  1 00:00:08.495: %SOAP_FIPS-2-SELF_TEST_RAD_SUCCESS: RADIO crypto FIPS self test passed on interface Dot11Radio 1
*Mar  1 00:00:10.614: %SYS-6-LOGGERSTART: Logger process started
*Mar  1 00:00:10.615: %LINK-3-UPDOWN: Interface FastEthernet0, changed state to up
*Mar  1 00:00:11.615: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface FastEthernet0, changed state to up
*Mar  1 00:00:19.620: AUTOINSTALL: FastEthernet0 is assigned 10.0.0.3
*Mar  1 00:00:29.680: %LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface Dot11Radio1, changed state to administratively down
*Mar  1 00:00:29.683: %LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface Dot11Radio0, changed state to administratively down
*Mar  1 00:00:29.697: %CDP_PD-4-POWER_OK: Full power - AC_ADAPTOR inline power source
*Mar  1 00:00:30.681: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface Dot11Radio1, changed state to down
*Mar  1 00:00:30.683: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface Dot11Radio0, changed state to down
*Mar  1 00:00:33.803: %SYS-5-RESTART: System restarted --
Cisco IOS Software, C1240 Software (C1240-K9W7-M), Version 12.3(8)JA2, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Technical Support: http://www.cisco.com/techsupport
Copyright (c) 1986-2006 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Tue 30-May-06 18:10 by pwade
*Mar  1 00:00:33.803: %SNMP-5-COLDSTART: SNMP agent on host ap is undergoing a cold start
*Mar  1 00:00:34.767: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface BVI1, changed state to up
*Mar  1 00:00:44.773: %DHCP-6-ADDRESS_ASSIGN: Interface BVI1 assigned DHCP address 10.0.0.4, mask 255.255.254.0, hostname ap
 
*Mar  1 00:00:53.312: %CDP-4-DUPLEX_MISMATCH: duplex mismatch discovered on FastEthernet0 (not half duplex), with SEP0008A3F46539 Port 1 (half duplex).
*Mar  1 00:01:52.477: %CDP-4-DUPLEX_MISMATCH: duplex mismatch discovered on FastEthernet0 (not half duplex), with SEP0008A3F46539 Port 1 (half duplex).
 

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA

1 edit
I should note that I was able to find that the BVI1 interface was assigned a nice DHCP'd address of 10.0.0.4 and once I fired up a machine to that address the web-based config util came up just fine.. I'm hoping that I've either got some issue with the serial cable or perhaps the output is configured to be a "read-only" sort of interface on the console port and that I can perhaps reset it to be more like my router (read-write)...

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Hmm.. All is working fine, but w/o encryption enabled.. I can't seem to find a way to use WPA encryption w/o using a radius server.. Is doing something like WPA-PSK encryption possible w/o using the command line? I saw some sample configs in the FAQ that shows it using the command line but the web-based GUI won't do it as far as I saw..


ooSillyoo
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Pack
Premium
join:2004-01-13
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to osxaddict
WPA-PSK can be configured using the GUI.

Go to Security->Encryption Manager Choose Encryption Mode - Cipher - TKIP

Go to Security->SSID Manager

Fill In:

SSID
Select a Radio for the SSID (Depending on version of IOS, you might not have this option)
Check Open Authentication

Under "Authenticated Key Management"
choose "Key Management" Mandatory
check WPA
type in a KEY

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to osxaddict
Here is some technical stuff for you to chew on:
Parameters--
Transmission Line: Times Microwave LMR-400
Code: LMR-400
Data source: TMS
Frequency: 2450.000 MHz
Length75.000 ft
 
Results--
Line Loss (matched):  5.037 dB
 

I ran that at 75 feet to be safe....

And another:

Transmission Line:  Times Microwave LMR-400
Code:  LMR-400
Data source:  TMS
Frequency:  2450.000 MHz
Length:  25.000 ft
Results
Line Loss (matched):  1.679 dB
 

You should see something around .32dB of loss through the connectors, so add that to the line loss numbers on each run and you'll get total losses.

--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to do it safely."
-- AT&T
--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
--LLigetfa:"Wimax is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about doing it."


ooSillyoo
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Pack
Premium
join:2004-01-13
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to osxaddict
Are you talking about using one AP and two antennas but putting them either end of your house?

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
reply to ooSillyoo
said by ooSillyoo:

WPA-PSK can be configured using the GUI.
Thanks.. I figured it was possible but just not obvious.. I'll give it a try tonight.. I can't believe just how many friggin settings are available on that darned thing.. Makes me wonder what the boxed home units pick for some of these.. Pretty slick!

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
reply to Hahausuck
said by Hahausuck:

Here is some technical stuff for you to chew on:
[...]

You should see something around .32dB of loss through the connectors, so add that to the line loss numbers on each run and you'll get total losses.
Hmm.. In light of the fact that my current antenna selection only has a gain of 3.5dB and once you calculate a loss of >5dB, should I be using an amplifier in the equation to make up for some of the losses on the longer cable run? I'm thinking of something along the line of a HA2401RTGI-250 (see link below) which claims to have a receive gain of 15dB (and transmit gain of 24dB).. By the way, is there any easy formula to calculate the losses on these cables? Thx for the great info!

»www.hyperlinktech.com/web/ha2401···RTGI-250

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
reply to ooSillyoo
said by ooSillyoo:

Are you talking about using one AP and two antennas but putting them either end of your house?
yup.. That's what I was thinking at this point.. I had the AP running with the antenna pointing "up" last night on the floor of the garage next to my Proliant server and was getting great reception about 30-40' away and only had the transmit/receiver power at about 50% of max.. I'm not sure what it would do in the back bedrooms (far back of the house) -- I suspect I'd either have no signal or poor signal from where (an additional 30-40' further).


ooSillyoo
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Pack
Premium
join:2004-01-13
Lawrenceville, GA
The two antenna ports on the AP are for diversity which is used to help with multi-pathing. You would put the antennas in the same area to do diversity. To cover an area larger than the coverage provided by one AP you would need to add a second AP in the area you plan to put the other antenna.

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Ahh.. See -- one more thing I've learned for today.. I guess you just answered why most home AP's have two (or multiple's of 2) antennas.. I'll probably see about downgrading my other AP (currently in lightweight mode) back to an autonomous version. Someone provided directions to do that on the Usenet Cisco group.. Hopefully it will work -- otherwise I guess I could leave this LAP alone and sell it to get a standard autonomous version.. (or I guess I could get a wireless controller).. Anyway, I'll take your suggestion about the two antennas.. Is it a bad thing to not use the 2nd antenna port (leaving it disconnected) for the current time until I get another pair of antennas? I vaguely recall seeing a setting in the config GUI for diversity settings..

Also -- if I use the two antennas, how far apart should they normally be? Obviously since each one is about the size of a box of 5.25" floppies, I'd prefer not to have them right next to each other.. Can I put one in my living room and another in an adjacent room (perhaps 20' away)?


ooSillyoo
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Pack
Premium
join:2004-01-13
Lawrenceville, GA
The LAP can easily be converted to an Autonomous AP as long as you have a current version of IOS. The process is simple I have to do it all the time.

In the GUI or the command line you can set the radio to use left, right, or diversity for the antenna. In your house you will be fine with one antenna per AP. Multi-pathing is a bigger problem in buildings with lots of metal for the signal to bounce off of.

What antenna did you purchase already? If you are going to use diversity you would put the antennas inches away from each other not feet. These are not like rabbit ears on a TV.

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
said by ooSillyoo:

What antenna did you purchase already? If you are going to use diversity you would put the antennas inches away from each other not feet. These are not like rabbit ears on a TV.
Ok.. I think I'll pass on Diversity mode then and just use a single antenna as you suggest -- our house is all wood construction (aside from stucco on the outside)..

As for the antenna I bought, it's the following model.. It seems to work good so far-- not as much gain as I'd like but it should be OK based on my initial testing..

»www.hyperlinktech.com/web/hg2404cu.php


ooSillyoo
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Pack
Premium
join:2004-01-13
Lawrenceville, GA
Not knowing anything about your house I would still think you could cover the whole thing with one of these in the middle. Can you create a rough drawing of what your house looks like? Is it one floor or two and what are the dimensions?

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Click for full size
Floorplan
I'm attaching a portion of our floorplan -- the rough dimensions are approx. ~45' wide x ~75' long, single story.. The location I used to have the Airport Extreme basestation located at is above the washer/dryer in the above drawing (more or less in the center of the house)..


ooSillyoo
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Pack
Premium
join:2004-01-13
Lawrenceville, GA
Are you looking to have 54Mbps everywhere? If so put on in the den and one in the closet the master bedroom.

You can disable the lower speeds on the Cisco AP to keep people from connection outside your house at lower speeds.

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
I was planning on having the higher speeds available everywhere.. I'd like to place one AP in the center of the living room (near the front of the house -- left side of drawing), and the other was going into the Master Bedroom closet -- I've even got a structured wiring cabinet ready to go (along with a 16 port switch) in my closet already..

That way if I wish to use a laptop on my front (or back) porch, it will work just fine and not have issues with signal strength. I'll do as you suggest and lock out the lower powered rate and will also plan on not having a broadcasting SSID going (beacon)..

I guess I'll have to get my tftp server going on the Proliant so I can manage my image files from it for both the AP's and the router..

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to osxaddict
After seeing the floor plan, do a single antenna in the den and one near the MBR like stated above.....

54G operation has a lower receive sensitivity ( i think it was like -72?) so to obtain a good link there you will want to get as much signal back into the radio that you can.

Try the 3.5dB antenna. How many feet of cable would it take to get that in the den? How much in to the MBR?

Do single antennas per AP.

Your lappy will roam between networks. It wont be 100% seamless but it'll be fine.

The best thing would be to take advantage of the PoE capability of the radio, and locate the radio where you want the antenna and then use a short (1-2 feet max) jumper of something like LMR200 from the radio to the antenna.

If you must run long lengths of cable, the 1/4 watt amp that you linked to should be good. Keep in mind that it will boost the TX and RX to the AP so your neighbors might hear it nice.

The plus side of this AP... WPA with AES. Who cares if the rest of the world can hear it. The chances of it being broken into are slim, and the AP has AES hardware acceleration IIRC so it shouldnt impact speeds much.

FWIW you have 30dB TX power allowed bythe FCC. 250mW (24dB) factor in your cable loss and connector losses and add the 3.5dB of gain from the antenna and you'll have power out.

24-5+3.5= still puts you around +22dB out the antenna. Rough calcs right now.

Links I use every day....

Loss calc:
»www.vk1od.net/tl/tllc.php

Link estimation calc:
»www.electro-comm.com/cgi-bin/com···main.cgi
--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to do it safely."
-- AT&T
--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
--LLigetfa:"Wimax is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about doing it."

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
said by Hahausuck:

After seeing the floor plan, do a single antenna in the den and one near the MBR like stated above.....
Sounds good..

said by Hahausuck:

Try the 3.5dB antenna. How many feet of cable would it take to get that in the den? How much in to the MBR?
For the den it would probably be something near 25', and for the MBR, it could be as little as 10'.

said by Hahausuck:

The plus side of this AP... WPA with AES. Who cares if the rest of the world can hear it. The chances of it being broken into are slim, and the AP has AES hardware acceleration IIRC so it shouldnt impact speeds much.
Cool.. I'll have to poke around in the AP setup for those options. Those should work for both XP and OS-X from what I've read. Thanks for the links too!

BTW: Anyone have any ideas why I can't get the AP's console to allow me to type to it? I can get output from it (log messages) but it won't accept input for some reason.. Is there a config option for that?

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
reply to osxaddict
Hmm no shouldnt be...

term settings should be normal cisco settings....
9600
8
n
1
n

Try a different terminal emulator?

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
said by Hahausuck:

Hmm no shouldnt be...

term settings should be normal cisco settings....
9600, 8, n, 1, n

Try a different terminal emulator?
I'm using Minicom under Linux -- works great for use w/ the 1841 router.. I unplug from the router and plug into the AP and get a read-only interface.. Odd.. It's not a show-stopper by any means but is odd.. I'll try the other AP and see if it behaves the same or not..

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
reply to osxaddict
Strange. I use minicom on some things too (although mostly it is Hyperterm or Teraterm) so I cant comment much further.

osxaddict
Premium
join:2004-01-18
Torrance, CA
Kinda makes me wonder if the AP's receiver portion of the RS232 chip is dead for some reason.. Still odd-- something that shouldn't happen. If the other AP does it as well (which was purchased elsewhere) then I've got some sort of cabling issue.