Installing Access Point Inside Ceiling Tiles Facing Upwards

Unanswered Question
Aug 24th, 2010

In an indoor environment, access points are usually installed outside the ceiling tiles facing downwards to the users.

Does it make a different if the access points are installed inside the ceiling tiles facing upwards? Take the indoor 1130/1140 access points for example. Technically it shouldn't make a difference because the RF coverage would be shaped like a doughnut and it wouldn't matter when the access points are facing up or down?

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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
Stephen Rodriguez Wed, 08/25/2010 - 05:40

No, it wouldn't really matter for that type of AP, or really any AP that has an omni-directional antenna.

Rob Huffman Wed, 08/25/2010 - 05:52

Hi there,

We have many of the 1130 series mounted this way due to our campus environment.

There does not seem to be a significant performance hit with this method of mounting

Here is the "best practice" from Fred Niehaus @ Cisco;

If you look at the AP logo / LED light that part should be pointing down toward the users.  The integrated antennas (six of them) are all designed to radiate best from an type of deployment as the antenna radiates DOWN and OUTWARD in a 360 degree pattern. 

Best coverage is when the AP is closest to the actual users, if you mount them really high on the ceiling the signal has to travel that extra height (distance) as the AP is naturally further away from the users.

Try moving some data (pinging with large packets) and see what coverage you actually have at 6-8 Ft and then characterize how it looks higher in the ceiling.

Ideally you want the AP at 6-8 Ft and close as practical the users but reasonable success can happen with the AP higher.  Avoid mounting the AP on a wall or upside down with the metal plate (down toward the user) - because if you do that the radiation pattern is not ideal.  Wall mounting works best with the coverage area needed is less such as classrooms, small conference rooms kiosks etc.




Leo Laohoo Wed, 08/25/2010 - 16:03

The 1130/1140 is very unique because of the way it's designed.  The vertical and horizontal azimuth gives out radio signals in a radial pattern.  Unlike the 1240/1250/1260 where signals propagate in a "kidney" shape.  So installing the 1130/1140/3500i with the Cisco logo pointing upwards or wall mounted won't make a difference.  I guess they were already thinking about this when they were designing the units.

George Stefanick Wed, 08/25/2010 - 16:18

I agree with Leo .. I have a few like this as well. So long as you do a survey so you understand the RF patterns you will be ok ... But i concur with the man from down under...

Leo Laohoo Wed, 08/25/2010 - 16:47

Thanks for the ratings George.

Haven't seen you for awhile.  Where have you been hiding lately?  


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