Add a Repeater to Controller based WLAN - How to ?

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Feb 5th, 2009
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Dear all,

I have a 2106 controller with 5 1242 AG LWAP's. I need to add another AP as a repeater to help provide a signal to an area where I have no LAN cable. I don't know how to do this and have the repeater recognised by the controller.


If anyone has any advice, deployment examples, or white papers that may help, please let me know.


Many thanks,


NM

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engineerangelo Thu, 02/05/2009 - 01:58
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Hi,


The only way you can do that is to use mesh on your 1242AG LAPs. You can upgrade your WLC with an image supporting mesh LAPs. From there, you can configure your LAPs as Root APs and Mesh APs. This is like deploying bridge mode on your radio A on your 1242AGs.


Hope this helps

engineerangelo Thu, 02/05/2009 - 01:59
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Hi,


The only way you can do that is to use mesh on your 1242AG LAPs. You can upgrade your WLC with an image supporting mesh LAPs. From there, you can configure your LAPs as Root APs and Mesh APs. This is like deploying bridge mode on your radio A on your 1242AGs.


Hope this helps

neilmac Thu, 02/05/2009 - 02:07
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Many thanks.


Do you know the IOS that supports meshing ?


Also, do you know of any white papers or configuration guides that will explain this ?


Thanks again,


NM

jeff.kish Thu, 02/05/2009 - 05:53
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Actually, repeaters aren't configurable in the controller because repeaters aren't plugged into the network. So if you want to configure a repeater, simply configure an autonomous AP to work as one. It will still repeat the signals generated from the lighteight AP.


You can downgrade your lightweight AP to autonomous if needed:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/access_point/conversion/lwapp/upgrade/guide/lwapnote.html#wp161272

neilmac Thu, 02/05/2009 - 06:17
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Many thanks, Jeff.


It already is autonomous, as it's a new one and hasn't been on the network yet.


Does this mean that I don't need to worry about meshing ?


How about roaming ?


I am thinking that if the controller won't be aware of the access point, then will the wireless distribution system still be able to handle roaming ?


NM

jeff.kish Thu, 02/05/2009 - 06:33
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You could either go with meshing or repeating, either one would work. Meshing is the better solution but requires far more to set up, execute, and maintain. You also need 1242 APs, I believe.


Repeaters are almost never recommended, but sometimes they're still needed. They can only extend a single SSID, and I believe it needs to be your native vlan SSID. So that might not end up working well for you.


As for roaming, this may cause troubles for wireless phones, but data clients should handle this fine. If you want wireless phones, mesh may be the best way to go.

gamccall Tue, 05/05/2009 - 10:21
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Jeff, are you sure? The IOS config guide specifically says that "Repeater access points running Cisco IOS software cannot associate to parent access points that that do not run Cisco IOS software."


If you've actually gotten this to work, did you have to do anything special on either side?

Roman Rodichev Tue, 05/12/2009 - 16:57
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An autonomous AP can associate with an LWAPP AP as a repeater without any special configuration on the LWAPP side.


• LWAPP AP - local mode

• Autonomous AP - repeater mode


An autonomous AP can associate with an LWAPP AP as a workgroup bridge without any special configuration on the LWAPP side.


• LWAPP AP - local mode

• Autonomous AP - workgroup bridge mode


I haven't had any luck using an autonomous AP with an LWAPP AP as a non-root bridge. Autonomous non-root bridge AP associates with an LWAPP AP but traffic doesn't pass.


LWAPP AP mode setting "bridge" is not supported by 1240 and 1250. Has anyone found any use for "bridge" mode setting in WLC AP settings? Was it used with the old 1010 APs?


There are no "native VLAN" requirements on the LWAPP side for any of the above cases.


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