Does anybody know the Cisco air-lap1142n-e-k9 wifi access point?

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Peter, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Is the air-lap1142n-e-k9 wifi access point usable as a normal simple
    wifi access point (WPA or WPA2, fixed IP on the LAN e.g., and passing through the DHCP from the main router which
    is a Draytek 2955) or is it something very specific to Cisco
    equipment? I am not doing RADIUS or anything of that sort.

    I have just bought this on Ebay (the Linksys one I have is going dud
    again, 2nd one in 2 years) for 50 quid but reading the manual it looks
    like there is no way it can be used for anything "normal".

    I wanted a rugged and powerful access point because the Linksys stuff
    simply doesn't last, and I want the one AP to cover the whole house,
    which the Linksys doesn't quite do.

    It also looks like there is no GUI and one types in IOS commands.
    Gosh, I recall that from the 800 series ISDN routers...

    It has a console port and an ethernet port. There is a reset button
    and hopefully one can reset it to factory config and then it should
    appear on or so and then one can telnet into it and type
    in the commands - or am I too optimistic? :)

    The manuals I can find on the www are totally opaque.
    Peter, Jun 23, 2015
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  2. Peter

    Andy Burns Guest

    The AIR-LAP models are the lightweight versions, rather than the
    autonomous versions, they need a Cisco WiFi controller to configure and
    control them, normally one controller operates dozens of APs ... not
    sure if they're licensed to run the autonomous firmware.
    Andy Burns, Jun 23, 2015
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  3. Peter

    Graham J Guest

    WiFi performance is usually more dependent on the number and nature of
    walls through which the signal must pass, than the make & model of AP.

    Further, the maximum output power is limited by design, in order to meet
    the "license free" operating conditions. So, in principle no one AP
    will work any better than any other. Of course in practise some do work
    better, perhaps because they have the maximum legal power, or have
    receivers which are more sensitive, or use multiple antennae to work
    around obstructions.

    If you want to guarantee coverage throughout a building you should plan
    for an AP in each room connected by Etherent cable to the LAN.
    Something less than that might work, but cannot be guaranteed. Placing
    the AP in the optimum location should help - but then you might require
    an Ethernet cable from the AP to your router.

    Why not get one or more Draytek Vigor AP-710 or Vigor AP-810. The
    latter has PoE and can be managed from a modern Vigor router - so you
    only need the Ethernet cable.
    Graham J, Jun 23, 2015
  4. Peter

    Andy Guest

    Search "convert lightweight to autonomous 1142" (no quote marks) and see
    the first result (in Google that is - other search engines may vary).
    Andy, Jun 24, 2015
  5. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I used the Vigor 800 but it was unreliable. It got crashed by IOS6+
    clients, till Draytek brought out a firmware fix, and I suspect there
    are new issues with new phones like my Sansung S6.

    The 800 also had a bug in that it presented hidden-SSID connections
    which had no security in them. I could not work out whether it was a
    UI bug or something worse, and Draytek (China and UK) went very quiet
    when I sent them the evidence. That really pissed me off and I don't
    use them anymore.

    I can email a screenshot to somebody if interested.

    So I thought that some robust Cisco box, 500 quid when new, would be
    Peter, Jun 26, 2015
  6. Peter

    Nick B. Guest

    You'll need a serial console cable (light blue, aka "rollover cable" to
    see what's happening when it boots.
    Once you've achieved that objective then you should be able to enable
    the web interface, configure multiple SSIDs, dual band. Your biggest
    challenge is likely to be finding the IOS image required for the task.
    Nick B., Jun 27, 2015
  7. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I am going to throw this thing in the bin and write off the 50 quid I
    paid for it...

    I didn't realise Cisco stuff was "crippled" in this way.

    Regarding the power output, yes this varies by country but the Cisco
    products are reportedly configurable up to 100mW, whereas the "retail"
    routers have no config that I have ever seen.
    Peter, Jun 28, 2015
  8. Peter

    Graham J Guest

    Exactly my point - the 100mW figure is a maximum. Moreover, it is
    maximum radiated power, so 100mW transmitter power with antenna gain
    will exceed the regulatory limit. So legally the only improvement in
    performance that a high gain antenna will achieve will be related to
    reducing interference from other signals not in the direct line of sight.


    Some retail routers may transmit less than 100mW.

    But any access point that transmits 100mW will in principle therefore be
    no better or worse than any other access point that transmits 100mW.

    It follows that if one access point does not provide the coverage you
    require in your building then changing access point is unlikely to give
    any improvement. But adding another AP, in a suitable location, and
    connected via Ethernet - that will make a useful improvement.

    Using another AP to relay from the first could help, at the expense of
    halving the throughput for every relay stage.
    Graham J, Jun 28, 2015
  9. Peter

    Andy Burns Guest

    Stick it back on eBay ...
    It's not crippled ... you bought the LAP model designed for many APs to
    be centrally managed, rather than the SAP model designed to manage each
    AP individually (via command line or web interface).
    Andy Burns, Jun 28, 2015
  10. Peter

    Peter Guest

    We had that previously but had problems. I can't say what they were
    but we seem to be getting weird losses of connectivity. It could be
    interference from next door, but doing a channel scan with a wifi
    analyser app (I have some android ones) doesn't show a problem if we
    select a free channel.

    I am using the current Linksys WAP4410N AP in a "access point,
    default" mode, with a static IP address ( and that is
    the address on which I login into it for admin. No DHCP.

    So I should just be able to add one more, on say, and
    keep the same SSID and same WPA password.

    But this caused problems, with unreliable connections, which went away
    when we went to the single AP.
    Peter, Jun 29, 2015
  11. Peter

    Graham J Guest

    Correct, another access point, connected by Ethernet cable, using the
    same SSID and password, but a different channel - tht really ought to
    work. I have used two Vigor AP800's in this way, and it all works OK.

    However if you connect to one AP using a mobile device and move that
    device away, and towards the other AP what ought to happen is that the
    mobile device identifies the stronger signal and connects to it
    automatically. In practise some mobile devices won't do this unless the
    two APs are so far apart that the mobile device completely loses signal
    as it moves from one to the other. I think this is generally a design
    failing in the mobile device.

    The Cisco APs when used together with a central controller work around
    this: each AP measures the signal from the client device as it moves
    about, and the AP receiving the strongest signal is the only one allowed
    to transmit - so the client connects just to that one. At least, that
    is my understanding of the purpose of the controller.
    Graham J, Jun 29, 2015
  12. I wouldn't recommend using the same SSID. It doesn't really help,
    because your wireless devices will see them as two different
    connections (because that's what they are) but you won't. If they have
    the same names, you won't be able to tell straight away which one your
    tablet or smartphone has decided to connect to.
    Different mobile devices behave differently in this situation, which
    makes it all the more important that you choose different SSIDs (and
    different wireless channels of course), so that if performance is poor
    on your tablet or smartphone you can disconnect manually and let it
    find the nearer access point, and know when it has succeeded. Whatever
    the technical elegance of this arrangement, it's less confusing.

    I agree with you about connecting the second access point by ethernet
    though. Those wireless relay devices can be made to work, under the
    right conditions, but the speed is lower and reliability is never
    quite as good.

    Roderick Stewart, Jun 29, 2015
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