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More AP4800E Questions

Unanswered Question
Apr 29th, 2002
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The company I work for has a wireless network setup on one of our VLANS. We are using Symbol handhelds and DSE wireless touchscreen computers.

I have found several problem situations with this installation. First, I wanted to add a wireless print server to connect a new printer in an area where we have good coverage. I selected the HP WP110. After I setup the print server I tested it on a Linksys AP I have in my office for testing purposes and it worked perfectly. I moved the print server out to the area covered by the AP4800E and found I couldn't ping it from a different VLAN. I could ping it from the same VLAN but then I would get a few responses then a few time outs. I also discovered I couldn't ping the Symbol handhelds from a different VLAN either. The DSE touchscreen computers have Cisco 350 cards in them and they function with no communication problems when associated with the AP4800E. I turned off "use proprietary extensions" on the AP4800E and could then communicate with the wireless print server from a different VLAN but still got "iffy" ping results.It appears that I'm having comm problems with any non-Cisco 802.11b device because when I tested my assumption by pinging the Symbol handhelds, I got the same spotty ping response that I got from the HP print server. This also explains why we have had intermittent service from the handheld computers.Now for the questions: the Cisco site leads one to believe it is possible to upgrade the AP4800E firmware with the 340/350 firmware.Is this true? If so will I get better non-Cisco device performance? If not, our version is currently v8.24, is a newer version for the 4800E available? I've seen a reference in the wireless forums alluding to this but haven't found it on the Cisco site.These units were purchased from the company that developed the softwarewe are using less than a year ago. Now I read the AP4800E is ancient. Is there any way to make the 4800E interoperable with non-Cisco stuff?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Don Berry

Systems Analyst

IPSCO Steel (Alabama) Inc.

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jsjackson Mon, 04/29/2002 - 14:16
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Don,

Just a couple of things to check. First when you were able to ping the device from within the VLAN but not from a different VLAN, did you verify all of the network settings (Default Gateway, Subnet mask). If that's all correct I would recomend if you have access to one, using a wireless sniffer to capture and possibly identify the problem(s). This print server is just a PC with a wireless NIC? What protocols are active on the NIC? Have you tried opening a TAC case with Cisco on this?

don.berry Wed, 05/01/2002 - 08:37
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Yes, I did verify the default gateway and subnet mask.(both on the

print server and all (7) of the AP4800E access points)

The proof that these are setup correctly is in the fact that the

DSE touchscreen wireless computers with the Cisco cards can

reach and are reachable from other VLANS and have no ping response

problems.


The wireless print server is a Hewlett-Packard wp110 stand alone

unit. It has a PCMCIA wireless card (non-Cisco) and a parallel

printer port. (a neat solution for out in the middle of a large

warehouse I thought). I've disabled all protocols except TCP/IP

and setup a valid address for the wireless network VLAN with

the proper gateway and subnet mask. Again, this little print server

performed like a champ when associated with a Linksys access point.


Since my last post I purchased a Linksys wireless print server, thinking

the HP may have compatibility problems with the Cisco AP4800E.

I get the same results with the new print server and it also will work

fine when associated with the Linksys AP.


A wireless sniffer is probably the best tool for discovering exactly

what is happening but I'm sure the problem is with the non-Cisco

802.11b compatibility in the 4800E so I hesitate to make the sniffer purchase

only to confirm what I already believe to be true.


When looking at the error stats on the 4800E, I do see a large amount

of errors reported but since the Symbol handhelds have a similar

problem I can't isolate the print server errors from them.


I also have a Cisco PCMCIA card in my laptop and it communicates

with the different VLANS with no difficulties through the AP4800E.


Very interesting (spell that f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g)


No I haven't tried opening a TAC case.

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