WAP121 Mounting

Answered Question
Aug 8th, 2012

In the marketing info, the unit is shown wall mounted. Right now, I have 2 WRT54Gs wall mounted and I have always suspected that the wall mounting was the cause of poor coverage. The Linksys has omni directional antennas while the WAP21 has directional PIFA antennas. What is the optimal mounting location? I was going to go with Unifi ceiling mount APs but after participating in the support forums, its obvious that they have their own set of problems.

So, now I'm back to Cisco since I've been using Linksys for many years (I used to be a Linksys partner) and am very familiar with configuration. But honestly, I've never been able to get good consistent coverage. Plus, the WRT54Gs keep dropping off the network requiring reboot. Thoughts?

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Correct Answer by Tom Watts about 1 year 8 months ago

It is literally a peanut shape. So the answer, it is spherical. The antenna facing up will radiate vertical such as my terrible paint drawing.

The logical way to put to perspective would be, if the device sets on a table with the antenna setting upward, it is horizontal with a growing ends of a peanut pattern.

So if the mount is within the ceiling, the coverage between the AP is likely quite poor, but as you expand out from the unit, it should improve. I would estimate 10-15 feet within the unit would not be a good connectivity. However, 15-30 feet from the unit on the ground below the AP mount would be satisfactory.

-Tom

Correct Answer by Tom Watts about 1 year 8 months ago

Here is a 3d image. The area around the AP will not be optimal. The gain above and below will have a good RSSI and outward from the AP as the peanut shape expands the coverage will broaden.

I cannot give definitive coverage numbers. However, I would estimate the product will cover a 5000 square foot facility without much issue. pi x40x40 = 5024 square feet. Which would be a 40 foot radius, 80 foot diameter. The coverage beneath the AP will suffer in the ceiling, however, should appropriately expand as long as there is not reflective surface making the signal unfavorable.

-Tom

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Average Rating: 5 (3 ratings)
Tom Watts Wed, 08/08/2012 - 11:55

Hi Terp, Pifa antenna has a near omni directional and linearly-polarized. So it has an acceptable front to back ratio. The radiated pattern is sort of like a "peanut" shape.

With that being said, it should still remain pretty centralized. Wall mounting, although causes some absorption it won't significantly degrade the unit's performance unless that wall is more than an ordinary construction.

-Tom

Terp84Alum Wed, 08/08/2012 - 12:04

Are there any signal maps for these units? I understand what you're saying but in practice, I'm having difficulty obtaining coverage. The room is a "L" shaped room and I can't even seem to get full coverage on one of the sections where the unit is mounted. Its mounted centered on one side on a column. Coverage behind the unit is not required. Should I be trying to "shoot" down the room from the end? I can't really wall mount it in the center for front and rear coverage. How would the coverage differ if I mounted it in the ceiling? Thanks

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Tom Watts Wed, 08/08/2012 - 12:46

Hi Terp, you have forced my paint skills!

This is a rough pattern of how it would look. You may try to mount against a wall and radiate outward. Or, you can try to centralize the best possible maximize the "peanut".

In my opinion, it would be best to install in a hallway or corridor where the signal would work stronger in the common areas. Or mount to one side or the other and hope the one side of the 'peanut cone' will hit your distance goal.

-Tom

Terp84Alum Wed, 08/08/2012 - 12:57

Thanks. Is the peanut 3D? What I'm getting at is if I were to ceiling mount it, would the signal want to follow the path to the floor or would the peanut still he horizontal? Are there any estimates in feet for the outer limits of the reach? Thanks again

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Correct Answer
Tom Watts Wed, 08/08/2012 - 13:15

Here is a 3d image. The area around the AP will not be optimal. The gain above and below will have a good RSSI and outward from the AP as the peanut shape expands the coverage will broaden.

I cannot give definitive coverage numbers. However, I would estimate the product will cover a 5000 square foot facility without much issue. pi x40x40 = 5024 square feet. Which would be a 40 foot radius, 80 foot diameter. The coverage beneath the AP will suffer in the ceiling, however, should appropriately expand as long as there is not reflective surface making the signal unfavorable.

-Tom

Terp84Alum Wed, 08/08/2012 - 13:23

One more clarification. The peanut shape radiates from the top/bottom of the unit, thus wall-mounting radiates the signal horizontally, correct?

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Correct Answer
Tom Watts Wed, 08/08/2012 - 13:27

It is literally a peanut shape. So the answer, it is spherical. The antenna facing up will radiate vertical such as my terrible paint drawing.

The logical way to put to perspective would be, if the device sets on a table with the antenna setting upward, it is horizontal with a growing ends of a peanut pattern.

So if the mount is within the ceiling, the coverage between the AP is likely quite poor, but as you expand out from the unit, it should improve. I would estimate 10-15 feet within the unit would not be a good connectivity. However, 15-30 feet from the unit on the ground below the AP mount would be satisfactory.

-Tom

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Posted August 8, 2012 at 7:13 AM
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