Behold – The Cliffs Of Meta

Metageek has some awesome products available for our wireless toolbox. I really like the Chanalyzer and InSSIDer products — I look forward to giving their Eye PA a test run soon.

Chanalyzer is marketed for larger campuses, while the InSSIDer Office and Personal is targeted to smaller environments. I think that both have great value, but in this post I will focus on Chanalyzer.


AP Groups in the Cisco Realm

Access point groups (AP groups) help us as wireless network designers/administrators control our wireless networks and distribute WLANs with better precision. For each AP group created we are allowed up to 16 WLANs to support… In fact, the first 16 WLAN ID’s are automatically assigned to what is called the ‘default-group‘ on a Cisco WLC — This is something to be cognizant of when deploying AP groups and WLANs on your network, because all of the APs that join your WLC can join this default group… by default.

We also have control over the RF in these AP groups thanks to RF Profiles. Creating RF Profiles to attach to our AP groups gives us the ability to set DCA/TPC thresholds, data rates and several other options.

You have the power! You have a lot of power to tune and distribute your WLANs with AP groups. There are other related topics that will be covered in upcoming posts, but the following will discuss how to construct an AP group and add an AP to the new group.


DIY — Wireless Site Survey Cart

I recently completed a DIY build of a wireless site survey cart and I am pleased with the results. This journey led me to home improvement warehouses more times than I am required by law to admit — BUT I have done most of the R&D for you and you should make less trips than I did if you decide to build a similar cart for yourself.

My goal was to have a sturdy, lightweight cart that would break down to fit in my truck, but also be easily repairable in the field. Additional wants were the ability to hold my bag and Pelican case while transporting the cart around a site.

This design is not perfect — Actually, for my current needs, it is perfect. The cart will probably be refined as I put miles on it. I am also open to improvements that you may be able to suggest, so do not be shy. You can also visit this LESSONS LEARNED link to review my updates and comments.


Cisco Lightweight AP Registration

unclesamThis post is about the lightweight AP (LAP) registration process to the Cisco wireless LAN controller (WLC).

To troubleshoot an AP that will not join, we should first understand the process in which a Cisco LAP will try to register to a Cisco WLC.

Like many network devices, the LAP will request an IP address when you apply power and a network connection, unless you have configured a BVI1 IP address statically. The LAP must have an IP address in order to begin the discovery and join process.


Configure Lightweight AP From CLI

There you are… Gazing at your terminal emulator wondering why you see this

LAB-AP-01#configure terminal
% Invalid input detected at ‘^’ marker.

after you try to configure a lightweight access point from the CLI.

This is a built in safety net to prevent you from doing something stupid from the CLI of a centrally managed AP.

But wait – What if I told you that it is possible to configure from the terminal? If you think you can handle all of the power that comes along with knowing the truth, then take the red pill… Stay in Wonderland, and I will show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.