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Aironet 1200 LWAPP Conversion and WLC Authorization Issues

Please excuse the length of this.

I am trying to convert several Aironet 1200 series APs to the LWAPP Recovery image and register them with a WLC. There is no WCS involved.

All of the 1200s have b/g cards in them, specifically MP21G and MP31G, so per the "Upgrading Autonomous Cisco Aironet Access Points to Lightweight Mode" guide, I am good. The 1200s are older and obviously do not have the manufacturer certificate.

The WLC is running the latest code, AIR-WLC4400-K9-3-2-116-21.aes.

The APs are running 12.3(7)JA2 or 12.3(7)JA3, all of which per the upgrade document and the Upgrade Tool utility meet the minimum requirements being 12.(7)JA or greater.

I will first dive into the disaster of the conversion process.

First, I upgraded a 1200 with a MP21G radio module. As far as the Upgrade Tool, I specified everything mandatory (AP credential file, recovery image, time source) while leaving the WLC and DNS server information absent. It successfully loaded the image and created all the necessary keys. Soon after I upgraded the image, the AP started rebooting continuously. I downgraded the AP to IOS, and found that the AP no longer has visibility of it’s radio module. It is simply gone. I upgraded and downgraded the code on the AP, hoping in the process that it would rediscover the radio module but it never did. I have not taken it apart yet to see if there is anything physically wrong and I will, but it was working fine previously, so even though it is possible that the radio module has checked out, my mind just can’t go there. Scratch one.

So, AP number two has the same hardware. After attempting to convert it seven times with complete failure, on the eighth it successfully converted. I changed nothing is the upgrade process. Cool. So, with this success, I wanted to add it to WLC.

Network overview: the AP and WLC (Management and AP-Manager) are in the same broadcast domain.

Ok, the WLC configuration. The WLC is in Layer 3 mode which per the documentation is the only supported configuration that the converted Aironet APs will support. The Management and AP-Manager interfaces have been defined and are up and pingable by the converted AP. The AP information (AP MAC address, SSC, SHA key hash) has been entered in the WLC AP Authorization list as well. SSC certificates have been allowed.

As far as DHCP options 43 and 60, none have been defined. Per the documentation, even if the WLC Controller is in Layer 3 mode, as long as the AP is in the same broadcast domain, the AP should do a LWAPP discovery and make a join request to the controller. Again, the AP can ping both the Managment and AP-Manager interfaces.

So far, the AP has not been able to join the WLC. There is nothing in the logs. I have failed to do a debug on the WLC to see what is going on, but one thing I have seen is on the AP debug, a “AP-Manager not enough interfaces” message.

All the documentation I have been referring to is the "Upgrading Autonomous Cisco Aironet Access Points to Lightweight Mode" guide.

I will put the AP on a different segment tomorrow and try the DHCP route.

It is probably something simple.

Any ideas? :)

New Member

Re: Aironet 1200 LWAPP Conversion and WLC Authorization Issues


From your post I belive you've done everything the right way...excetp: Have you activated Master Controller Mode? If you haven't, no AP is ever gonna be able to register with a controller. You need to activate it temporarily when you want to add new (converted only?) radios. Once the AP is visible on the master controller (in the Wireless tab), define the primary / secondary / tertiary controller for it. If you're finished with registering any new radios, disable it again.

You can find it under Controller -> Master Controller Mode

And yes...always keep the AP you want to convert in the same subnet as the management int (so you don't have to use DHCP and fumble around with the option 43 setting to find the controller). To help the Upgrade Tool work troublefree: Enable Telnet mode on the controller. Also, don't forget to enter the mgmt IP / user name / password in the Upgrade Tool. At least with this I was able to complete my upgrading and registering process successfully in my own environment.

Hope this helps...


New Member

Re: Aironet 1200 LWAPP Conversion and WLC Authorization Issues

Thanks SO much. That fixed this same trouble for me.

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