You’ve just purchased a new Cisco Aironet access point, and you are ready to outfit your office, warehouse, or outdoor area with a strong and reliable wireless network. Whether you have one, or hundreds of Cisco Aironet AP’s, you will have a fairly easy time bringing wireless internet to your respective environment. However, a critical component to ensuring your Cisco Aironet AP is utilized to its full capability making sure you’ve properly mounted and positioned it. Given that the strength of access points are based largely on their ability to host a strong and wide-reaching frequency, you want to make sure you follow the 4-step checklist we’ve provided, to guarantee that your network is functioning properly for the next several years.
Number 1 – Know Your Accessories
The first elements you want to familiarize yourself with, before mounting your Access Point(s), are the correct brackets, clips, and power supply (and PoE Injectors depending on your AP). Each Aironet model has a corresponding mounting accessory that is intended for a specific mounting area. Please refer to the accessory summary table to identify which items you need before mounting your Cisco Aironet AP’s. Many accessories intersect with different AP’s, so you want to make sure you have the correct attachment(s), depending if you are mix-and-matching various Cisco Aironets.
Number 2 – Know Your Environment
As I mentioned above, each AP accessory works specifically with a different mounting environment, and it is equally important that you know the type and general location of your mounting area. There are four area types that Cisco has designed their accessories for: below a suspended ceiling, on a hard ceiling or a wall, on a network or electrical box, or above a suspended ceiling. I’ve provided links below for more specifics about correctly mounting each AP to your respective area, which provides diagrams and more technical instructions. Each guideline follows roughly the same criteria, and is fairly straightforward for those mounting access points for the first time.
Number 3 – Know if Grounding is Required (Recommended)
This part of the checklist is optional depending upon your national and local electrical guidelines. As I am writing this post in the U.S., it is recommended that Cisco Aironet AP’s be grounded. There are only six easy steps to properly ground your Cisco Access Point, and they are as follows:
- Locate an appropriate grounding point that is as close to the access point as possible
- Connect ground wire (user-supplied) to the grounding point – the wire should be a minimum of #14AWG assuming a circuit length of 25 ft (30.5 cm).
- Direct the ground wire to the access point.
- Connect the wire to the appropriate grounding O-ring lug.
- Crimp or solder the wire to the lug.
- Insert the grounding post screw into the O-ring lug and install it on the mounting bracket
Number 4 – Know how to Properly Secure your AP (Recommended)
Like the previous step, securing your AP is optional (highly recommended), but it is quite easy and cost-effective to perform. Depending upon your mounting environment, you have two options for securing your Access Points: the first is to attach it to an immovable object with a security cable, or your second option is locking it to the mounting plate with a padlock. With the first option, Cisco has pre-milled a security cable slot on the side of your Access Point, allowing you to use a variety of standard security cables. For the second option, it is just as straightforward as the first option, with the mounting plate having a designed opening, allowing for compatible padlocks (Master Lock models 120T or 121T) to secure your AP.
At this point, you should have a properly mounted and secured you Cisco Aironet access point. It is a very straightforward process that makes a world of difference for the effectiveness and security of your wireless network. If you have any additional questions or troubles mounting your bracket, please leave a comment below, or use the official Cisco installation guideline to assist you. Thanks for reading!