Autonomous IOS Support for 3500, 3600 and 1550 Series Access Points


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 19:59
Nov 17th, 2011

Table of Contents 


In the 15.2(2)JA release, Cisco supports running autonomous IOS (aIOS) only in "site survey" mode on the 3500, 3600 and 1550 Series Access Points.

Full feature support for 3500, 3600 and 1550 Series APs is only when running in lightweight mode (Cisco Unified Wireless Network.)


The following 15.2(2)JA aIOS images can be used in "site survey" mode on these APs:

  • ap3g1-k9w7-tar.152-2.JA.tar - this image can be used on a 1260 series AP with full feature support, or on a 3500 series AP in "site survey" mode
  • ap3g2-k9w7-tar.152-2.JA.tar - this image can be used on a 2600 series AP with full feature support, or on a 3600 series AP in "site survey" mode
  • c1520-k9w7-tar.152-2.JA.tar - this image supports only the 1550 series AP, and only in "site survey" mode.

"Site survey" mode is a subset of aIOS functions, and is defined in the 15.2(2)JA Release Notes.  There is no specific new feature to configure "site survey" mode; simply configure the desired functions on the access using ordinary IOS commands..

For more information on AP IOS, see the article Understanding Access Point IOS Images.

Rob Simkins Fri, 11/25/2011 - 07:17

Are we going back to WLC surveys then? I thought the days of AP1000 and WLC2006 were behind me

George Stefanick Mon, 11/28/2011 - 09:05

Cisco advance team actuallys uses the 3500 with either the 1142 or the 1260 code. So no need for a WLC.

Rob Simkins Mon, 11/28/2011 - 09:11

Good point for the 3500, it was the 3600 that I was interested in.  Not even sure what an ap3g2 image is...

Stefan Tiefel Sat, 12/10/2011 - 01:39


does anybody know if there will an autonomous IOS for the 3600 in the future?

I need an n-AP that can be configured as WGB an has the "EN 50155" certification. There are the 1260s or the 3500s which can be configured as WGB but they are not "EN 50155" certified and the 3600s have the certification but no autonomous IOS...

arellangera Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:20

Hello guys,

just wondering if you guys know about this, we were asked to do a survey using the 3600 , and like it said before it would be a pain to use a WLC for this,

Aaron Leonard Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:51

The next release of autonomous IOS ("Nitrogen"), which should be out within a week or two, will support running a 3500 or 3600 (or 1550) AP in autonomous "site survey" mode.

arellangera Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:06

That would be awesome, is really hard to make surveys using a WLC, speacilly on crowded environments like schools & hospitals

Frederik Schon Thu, 08/30/2012 - 08:41

It is still available!!!

Site-Survey Only Mode for 3600, 3500, and 1550 Access Points

You can install Cisco IOS Release 15.2(2)JA on Cisco Aironet 3600 and  3500 Series access points and on 1550 series outdoor access points to  perform site surveys. This release runs on these access points with  limited functionality. You can manually adjust these settings on the  site-survey access points:

Channel on each radio

Transmit power on each radio

Enable and disable the radios

Manually set basic and supported transmit rates

Enable advertised cell power in beacons to client to enable DTPC for doing active surveys

Enable and disable SSID broadcast in beacons

Enable open authentication

couchchris Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:54

I see this in the release notes but nothing is stated in the configuration guide on how to use it. How do you enable the site survey mode?

Frederik Schon Mon, 09/10/2012 - 02:03


there is no special Survey Mode. You can use the AP with this Software Version like a traditional autonomous AP! Everything is working you need for a Site Survey. You can configure it on the console or on the gui.

Last week i do a site survey with this IOS and a 3500 AP. It works fine!

Kevin Parsons Wed, 01/16/2013 - 15:16

Is the only way you can get this IOS on a 3600 to use a WLC?   I see no commands to do a copy or archive command to get it there via the CLI.

Kevin Parsons Wed, 01/16/2013 - 16:12

Outstanding, thank you!

Now if I can just suppress the capwap discovery process long enough to allow the tftp transfer to complete


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