Configuring a Cisco AP for Site Survey

Unless you want to have to connect your survey AP to the network to reach the WLC (an therefore having UTP cabling everywhere) or carry around and power a WLC to each survey point you will need an Autonomous AP. This Autonomous AP should be the same model that you plan on installing.
This post will detail how to setup and configure a site survey AP.

You Will Need:

  • Cisco  Autonomous IOS for AP model you are utilising for the survey (Available from Cisco.com)
  • TFTP Server (Available free from http://tftpd32.jounin.net)
  • Console Cable
  • Switch (AP and TFTP Server must be on same VLAN) or POE Injector

Method:
There are two options of how to convert the LWAP to an Autonomous AP. Option A is the easiest and my preferred method, I utilise option B if I only have a MAC computer to use as the TFTP server (due to the MAC not supporting broadcast TFTP requests) or if something goes wrong in option A.

Option A
Step 1: Change your IP Addressing on your TFTP Server to 10.0.0.5/8
We have to do this because when we set the AP into default mode it will automatically use the address of 10.0.0.2 and will send a broadcast looking for a recovery image.
Step 2: Change the name of your Autonomous IOS to: ap3g2-k9w7-tar.default (Make a copy first)
Step 3: Boot your AP while holding the MODE button. Do NOT release until you see “image_recovery: Download default IOS tar image tftp://255.255.255.255/ap3g2-k9w7-tar.default” At this point you will see the IOS downloading to your AP.
Step 4: Once the download is complete your AP should reboot automatically. If not, then enter the following command to boot into the autonomous IOS.

ap:boot flash:/ap3g2-k9w7-mx.152-2.JA/ap3g2-k9w7-xx.152-2.JA

Now that we have the IOS booted we need to configure the boot statements to make sure we boot into the autonomous IOS at startup.

ap>enable
Password: Cisco (default password)
ap#config t
ap(config)#boot system flash:/ap3g2-k9w7-mx.152-2.JA/ap3g2-k9w7-xx.152-2.JA

If Option A worked then scroll down to the AP Configuration

Option B
Step 1: Change your IP Addressing on your TFTP Server to 10.0.0.5/8
Step 2: Boot your AP while holding the MODE button. Do NOT release until you see “image_recovery: Download default IOS tar image tftp://255.255.255.255/ap3g2-k9w7-tar.default
Step 3: At the ‘ap:’ prompt, configure the following commands:

ap:set IP_ADDR 10.0.0.1
ap:set NETMASK 255.0.0.0
ap:set DEFAULT_ROUTER 10.0.0.5

Step 4: Prepare the AP for the TFTP transmission.

ap:ether_init
ap:tftp_init

Step 5: Using the tar command begin the TFTP transmission.

ap:tar -xtract tftp://(ServerIP)/Filename Flash:

Example

ap:tar -xtract tftp://10.0.0.5/ap3g2-k9w7-tar.152-2.JA.tar flash:

This portion may take some time, but keep an eye on it to make sure there are no prompts that may time the process out.
Step 6: Boot into the new autonomous IOS.

ap:boot flash:/ap3g2-k9w7-mx.152-2.JA/ap3g2-k9w7-xx.152-2.JA

Now that we have the IOS booted we need to configure the boot statements to make sure we boot into the autonomous IOS at startup.

ap>enable
Password:Cisco (default password)
ap#config t
ap(config)#boot system flash:/ap3g2-k9w7-mx.152-2.JA/ap3g2-k9w7-xx.152-2.JA

AP Configuration

Step 1The 5GHz SSID:

ap(config)#Dot11 SSID [SSID_NAME]
ap(config-ssid)#Authentication Open
ap(config-ssid)#guest-mode – This tells the AP to broadcast this SSID.

Step 2: Now let’s configure the 5GHz Radio, Dot11Radio1.

ap(config)#interface dot11radio1
ap(config-if)#ssid [SSID_NAME]

Set your channel width to what you will be using in production, either 20 or 40 MHZ

ap(config-if)#channel width 40-above

Locks the AP into using channel 36. This will help you identify the ap within your surveying software

ap(config-if)#channel 5180

Configure the radio to use 50mW (in this example, set it for the radio power that you wish to survey at) – Refer to Cisco Radio Transmit Power for a handy conversion chart.

ap(config-if)#power local 17 
ap(config-if)#no shutdown

The 5GHz is now configured and you can begin surveying with the AP if you just require 5GhZ. Now let’s configure the 2.4GHz Radio.

Step 1The 2.4GHz SSID:

ap(config)#Dot11 SSID [SSID]
ap(config-ssid)#Authentication Open
ap(config-ssid)#guest-mode – This tells the AP to broadcast this SSID

Step 2: Now let’s configure the 2.4GHz Radio, Dot11Radio0.

ap(config)#interface dot11radio0
ap(config-if)#ssid Survey-2

Set the Channel Width, this is the default as 20MHz is the only option for 2.4GHz.

ap(config-if)#channel width 20 

Locks the AP into using channel 1. This will help you identify the ap within your surveying software

ap(config-if)#channel 1  

Configure the radio to use 25mW (in this example, set it for the radio power that you wish to survey at) – Refer to Cisco Radio Transmit Power for a handy conversion chart.

ap(config-if)#power local 14 
ap(config-if)#no shutdown

Assign an IP address to the AP – for remote management 

ap(config)#interface BVI 1
ap(config-if)#ip address 192.168.0.1 255.255.255.0
ap(config-if)#no shutdown
ap(config-if)#exit
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