Quick question about a survey I did yesterday. walked in and noticed that all the access points were wall mounted about 2 feet off the ground. The coverage wasn't bad, but I recommended they relocate the APs, to the ceiling as well as well as a few other things. Checking online I've noticed differing opinions about relocating the access points with some people saying since they are omni-directional orientation doesn't matter, but I would still believe mounting it so close to an obstruction would be an issue?
This is a topic that confused me and I spent a while pondering myself. From what I can determine, whilst the 1142/3502/3602 etc APs with internal radios are "omnidirectional" (360 degrees) it is only on the horizontal plane whilst on the vertical plane it is 180 degrees. This means that should you have the AP mounted on a wall it will be sending out a signal in a 360 degree pattern across floors above/below it and will have a strong signal in front of it but not as much behind (there will still be RF bleed and coverage behind due to reflection of radio waves etc).
If the AP is mounted on the ceiling, the signal will push out on a 360 degree range in what is best described as a donut pattern so imagine that the AP is at the center of a giant donut that expands outwards as the power increases. This will result in less cross-floor interference and provide more efficient coverage across each area (unless there's a specific need for wall mounted APs).
One option to save money on re-cabling all your areas is to install right angle mounting brackets on the walls to mimic ceiling placement:
David it's best to put them on the ceiling. However, if you place them anywhere else AND you survey the aps in said positions to map coverage and it's works ... It works ..
I've had customers in some deployments ask for crazy placements, even after educating them on how rf works. I've pleased aps under fixed desks and under fixed chairs because the customer wanted to preserve their office esthetics. Also in some density designs like stadiums you could even see aps placed under chairs to fill small holes.
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Thanks. I've always recommended placing them on the ceiling or overhead if possible, except if there is a specific need to have them mounted on the walls. This location happened to be a single floor that needed coverage and I suspect the APs were placed where they were in order to "hide" them as best as possible. The coverage wasn't ideal, and I have made a few other recommendations other than simply re-locating the APs and will be doing another survey after those changes are completed. Just wanted to get some feedback. My understanding was also that the omni-directional pattern was only in the horizontal plane as others have mentioned so wanted to ensure that was correct prior to the 2nd survey if the results of the changes didn't prove to be adequate enough to meet their needs.
I have ran into environments where these internal antenna access points were mounted on the wall and above the ceiling. The client swapped out old 1242's to 3502i's. Well after performing a passive survey, they had adequate coverage. Now, when I looked at this initially, I shook my head and told the client that the AP's should be mounted horizontal and not vertical. They understood but they also never had issue with coverage, which they told me. Well after the survey was done, they were right, they had enough coverage everywhere and this was a very large high school. They decided to leave the AP's as is.
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