Cisco Aironet 1240AG Series Access Point Hardware Installation Guide, OL-8371-05
Overview
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Overview

Table Of Contents

Overview

Product Terminology

Autonomous Access Points

Lightweight Access Points

Guidelines for Using Cisco Aironet Lightweight Access Points

Hardware Features

Single or Dual-Radio Operation

Antennas Supported

Ethernet Port

Console Port

LEDs

Power Sources

UL 2043 Certification

Anti-Theft Features

Network Examples with Autonomous Access Points

Root Access Point on a Wired LAN

Repeater Unit that Extends Wireless Range

Central Unit in an All-Wireless Network

Bridge Network with Wireless Clients

Point-to-Point Bridge Configuration

Workgroup Bridge Network

Network Example with Lightweight Access Points


Overview


The Cisco Aironet 1240AG Series Access Point is available in autonomous and lightweight configurations. The autonomous access points can support standalone network configurations with all configuration settings maintained within the access points. The lightweight access points operate in conjunction with a Cisco wireless LAN controller with all configuration information maintained within the controller.

Product Terminology

The following terms refer to the autonomous and lightweight products:

The term access point describes both autonomous and lightweight products.

The term autonomous access point describes only the autonomous product.

The term lightweight access point describs only the lightweight product.

The term access point describes a product operating as an access point.

The term bridge describes a product operating as a bridge.

Autonomous Access Points

Cisco Aironet 1240AG Series Access Point (AIR-AP1242AG or AIR-AP1242G) provides a secure, affordable, and easy-to-use wireless LAN solution that combines mobility and flexibility with the enterprise-class features required by networking professionals. With a management system based on Cisco IOS software, the 1240AG series is a Wi-Fi certified, wireless LAN transceiver.

The autonomous 1242AG access point contains two integrated radios: a 2.4-GHz radio (IEEE 802.11g) and a 5-GHz radio (IEEE 801.11a). The autonomous 1242G access point contains a single integrated radio: a 2.4-GHz radio (IEEE 802.11g).

The access point serves as the connection point between wireless and wired networks or as the center point of a stand-alone wireless network. In large installations, wireless users within radio range of an access point can roam throughout a facility while maintaining seamless, uninterrupted access to the network.

You can configure and monitor the access point using the command-line interface (CLI), the browser-based management system, or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

Lightweight Access Points

The Cisco Aironet 1240AG Series Access Point (AIR-LAP1242AG or AIR-LAP1242G) combines mobility and flexibility with the enterprise-class features required by networking professionals.These lightweight access points are part of the Cisco Integrated Wireless Network Solution and require no manual configuration before they are mounted. The lightweight access point is automatically configured by a Cisco wireless LAN controller (hereafter called a controller) using the Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP).

The lightweight 1242AG access point contains two integrated radios: a 2.4-GHz radio (IEEE 802.11g) and a 5-GHz radio (IEEE 801.11a). The lightweight 1242G access point contains a single integrated radio: a 2.4-GHz radio (IEEE 802.11g). Using a controller, you can configure the radio settings.

In the Cisco Centralized Wireless LAN architecture, access points operate in the lightweight mode (as opposed to autonomous mode). The lightweight access points associate to a controller. The controller manages the configuration, firmware, and control transactions such as 802.1x authentication. In addition, all wireless traffic is tunneled through the controller.

LWAPP is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) draft protocol that defines the control messaging for setup and path authentication and run-time operations. LWAPP also defines the tunneling mechanism for data traffic.

In an LWAPP environment, a lightweight access point discovers a controller by using LWAPP discovery mechanisms and then sends it an LWAPP join request. The controller sends the lightweight access point an LWAPP join response allowing the access point to join the controller. When the access point is joined, the access point downloads its software if the versions on the access point and controller do not match. After an access point joins a controller, you can reassign it to any controller on your network.

LWAPP secures the control communication between the lightweight access point and controller by means of a secure key distribution, utilizing X.509 certificates on both the access point and controller.

This chapter provides information on the following topics:

Guidelines for Using Cisco Aironet Lightweight Access Points

Hardware Features

Network Examples with Autonomous Access Points

Guidelines for Using Cisco Aironet Lightweight Access Points

You should keep these guidelines in mind when you use a lightweight access point:

Lightweight access points can only communicate with Cisco 2006 series wireless LAN controllers or 4400 series controllers. Cisco 4100 series, Airespace 4012 series, and Airespace 4024 series controllers are not supported because they lack the memory required to support access points running Cisco IOS software.

Lightweight access points do not support Wireless Domain Services (WDS) and cannot communicate with WDS devices. However, the controller provides functionality equivalent to WDS when the access point associates to it.

Lightweight access points support eight BSSIDs per radio and a total of eight wireless LANs per access point. When a lightweight access point associates to a controller, only wireless LANs with IDs 1 through 8 are pushed to the access point.

Lightweight access points do not support Layer 2 LWAPP. They must get an IP address and discover the controller using DHCP, DNS, or IP subnet broadcast.

The lightweight access point console port is enabled for monitoring and debug purposes (all configuration commands are disabled when the access point is associated to a controller).

Hardware Features

Key hardware features of the access point include:

Dual-radio operation (see page 5)

Ethernet port (see page 5)

Console port (see page 5)

LEDs, (see page 5)

Multiple power sources (see page 6)

UL 2043 certification (see page 6)

Anti-theft features (see page 6)

Refer to "Access Point Specifications," for a list of access point specifications.

Figure 1-1 shows the access point with antennas.

Figure 1-1 Access Point with Antennas

Figure 1-2 illustrates the 2.4-GHz connector end of the access point.

Figure 1-2 Access Point 2.4 GHz Connector End

1

2.4-GHz antenna connector (left)

6

Console port (RJ-45)

2

Ethernet LED

7

Ethernet port (RJ-45)

3

Radio LED

8

48-VDC power port

4

Status LED

9

2.4-GHz antenna connector (right/primary)

5

Mode button

 

Figure 1-3 illustrates the 5-GHz connector end of the access point.

Figure 1-3 Access Point 5-GHz Connector End

1

5-GHz antenna connector (left)

3

Security key slot

2

5-GHz antenna connector (right/primary)

 

Single or Dual-Radio Operation

The 1242AG access point supports simultaneous radio operation using a 2.4-GHz 802.11g radio and a 5-GHz 802.11a radio. The 1242G access point supports a single 2.4-GHz 802.11g radio. Each radio uses dual-diversity integrated antennas.

The 5-GHz radio incorporates an Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) radio transceiver operating in the UNII 5-GHz frequency bands. The 802.11g radio is called Radio0 and the 802.11a radio is called Radio1.

Antennas Supported

The 1242AG access point supports a wide range of antennas that you can connect to the RP-TNC connectors on the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz radios. For a complete list fo supported antennas, refer to the Cisco Aironet 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Antennas and Accessories datasheet at this URL:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps469/products_data_sheets_list.html

Ethernet Port

The auto-sensing Ethernet port (see Figure 1-2) accepts an RJ-45 connector, linking the access point to your 10BASE-T or 100BASE-T Ethernet LAN. The access point can receive power through the Ethernet cable from a power injector, switch, or power patch panel. The Ethernet MAC address is printed on the label on the back of the access point (refer to the "Locating the Product Serial Number" section).

Console Port

The serial console port can be used to monitor the access point power-up sequences using a terminal emulator program. The port is located on the end of the unit (see Figure 1-2). Use an RJ-45 to DB-9 serial cable to connect your computer's COM port to the access point's serial console port. (Refer to "Console Cable Pinouts," for a description of the console port pinouts.) Assign the following port settings to a terminal emulator to open the management system pages: 9600 baud, 8 data bits, No parity, 1 stop bit, and no flow control.


Note After completing your configuration changes, you must remove the serial cable from the access point.


LEDs

The access point has three LEDs to indicate Ethernet activity, radio activity, and status indications (refer to the "Checking the Autonomous Access Point LEDs" section or the "Checking the Lightweight Access Point LEDs" section for additional information). Figure 1-2 shows the location of the LEDs.

The Status LED provides general operating status and error indications.

The Ethernet LED signals Ethernet traffic on the wired Ethernet LAN and provides Ethernet error indications.

The Radio LED signals that wireless packets are being transmitted or received over the radio interface and provides radio error indications.

Power Sources

The access point can receive power from an external power module or from inline power using the Ethernet cable. The access point supports the IEEE 802.3af inline power standard and Cisco CDP Power Negotiation. Using inline power, you do not need to run a power cord to the access point because power is supplied over the Ethernet cable.


Warning This product must be connected to a Power over Ethernet (PoE) IEEE 802.3af compliant power source or an IEC60950 compliant limited power source. Statement 353

Caution Be careful when handling the access point; the bottom plate might be hot.

The access point supports the following power sources:

Power module

Inline power:

Cisco Aironet Power Injector (AIR-PWRINJ3 or AIR-PWRINJ-FIB)

An inline power capable switch, such as the Cisco Catalyst 3550 PWR XL, 3560-48PS, 3570-48PS, 4500 with 802.3AF PoE module, or the 6500 with 802.3AF PoE module

Other inline power switches supporting the IEEE 802.3af inline power standard


Note Some switches and patch panels might not provide enough power to operate the access point with both 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz radios. At power-up, if the access point is unable to determine that the power source can supply sufficient power, the access point automatically deactivates both radios to prevent an over-current condition. The access point also activates a Status LED low power error indication and creates an error log entry (refer to the "Checking the Autonomous Access Point LEDs" section and the "Checking Basic Settings" section).


UL 2043 Certification

The access point has adequate fire resistance and low smoke-producing characteristics suitable for operation in a building's environmental air space, such as above suspended ceilings, in accordance with Section 300-22(c) of the NEC, and with Sections 2-128, 12-010(3) and 12-100 of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1, C22.1.


Caution Only the fiber-optic power injector (AIR-PWRINJ-FIB) has been tested to UL 2043 for operation in a building's environmental air space; the AIR-PWRINJ3 power injector and the power module are not tested to UL 2043 and should not be placed in a building's environmental air space, such as above suspended ceilings.

Anti-Theft Features

There are three methods of securing the access point:

Security cable keyhole—You can use the security cable slot (see Figure 1-3) to secure the access point using a standard security cable, like those used on laptop computers (refer to the "Using a Security Cable" section).

Security hasp—When you mount the access point on a wall or ceiling using the mounting plate and the security hasp, you can lock the access point to the plate with a padlock (see Figure 1-4). Compatible padlocks are Master Lock models 120T and 121T or equivalent.

Figure 1-4 Access Point with Security Hasp and Padlock

1

Security hasp

2

Security padlock


Cable security bracket—The cable security bracket (see Figure 1-5) attaches to the mounting plate and covers the console port, Ethernet port, power port, and the mode button to prevent the installation or removal of the cables or the activation of the mode button. The cable security bracket is user removable prior to attaching the mounting plate to a ceiling or wall.

Figure 1-5 Access Point with Mounting Plate and Cable Security Bracket

1

Mounting plate

3

Access point

2

Cable security bracket

 

Network Examples with Autonomous Access Points

This section describes the autonomous access point's role in three common wireless network configurations. The autonomous access point's default configuration is as a root unit connected to a wired LAN or as the central unit in an all-wireless network.

The autonomous 1240AG series access point supports these operating wireless modes:

Root access point—Connected to a wired LAN and supports wireless clients.

Repeater access point—Not connected to a wired LAN, associates to a root access point, and supports wireless clients

Workgroup bridge—Not connected to a wired LAN, associates to a root access point or bridge, and supports wired network devices.

Root bridge—Connected to a wired LAN and supports non-root bridges and wireless clients.

Non-root bridge —Not connected to a wired LAN, associates to a root bridge, supports wireless clients, and supports wired clients.

Root Access Point on a Wired LAN

An autonomous access point connected directly to a wired LAN provides a connection point for wireless users. If more than one autonomous access point is connected to the LAN, users can roam from one area of a facility to another without losing their connection to the network. As users move out of range of one access point, they automatically connect to the network (associate) through another access point. The roaming process is seamless and transparent to the user. Figure 1-6 shows access points acting as root units on a wired LAN.

Figure 1-6 Access Points as Root Units on a Wired LAN

Repeater Unit that Extends Wireless Range

An autonomous access point can be configured as a stand-alone repeater to extend the range of your infrastructure or to overcome an obstacle that blocks radio communication. The repeater forwards traffic between wireless users and the wired LAN by sending packets to either another repeater or to an access point connected to the wired LAN. The data is sent through the route that provides the best performance for the client. Figure 1-7 shows an autonomous access point acting as a repeater. Consult the Cisco IOS Software Configuration Guide for Cisco Aironet Access Points for instructions on setting up an access point as a repeater.


Note Non-Cisco client devices might have difficulty communicating with repeater access points.


Figure 1-7 Access Point as Repeater

Central Unit in an All-Wireless Network

In an all-wireless network, an autonomous access point acts as a stand-alone root unit. The autonomous access point is not attached to a wired LAN; it functions as a hub linking all stations together. The access point serves as the focal point for communications, increasing the communication range of wireless users. Figure 1-8 shows an autonomous access point in an all-wireless network.

Figure 1-8 Access Point as Central Unit in All-Wireless Network

Bridge Network with Wireless Clients

The access point supports root bridge and non-root bridge roles used to interconnect a remote LAN to the main LAN (see Figure 1-9). The bridge units can also support wireless clients.

Figure 1-9 Root Bridge and Non-root Bridge with Clients

Point-to-Point Bridge Configuration

In a point-to-point bridge configuration, two bridges interconnect two LAN networks using a wireless communication link (see Figure 1-10). The bridge connected to the main LAN network is classified as a root bridge and the other bridge is classified as a non-root bridge.

Figure 1-10 Point-to-Point Bridge Configuration

Workgroup Bridge Network

The access point supports a workgroup bridge role to interconnect remote Ethernet workstations to the main LAN. The workgroup bridge can communicate with an access point (see Figure 1-11) or with a bridge (see Figure 1-12).

Figure 1-11 Workgroup Bridge Communicating with an Access Point

Figure 1-12 Workgroup Bridge Communicating with a Bridge

Network Example with Lightweight Access Points

The lightweight access points support Layer 3 network operation. Lightweight access points and controllers in Layer 3 configurations use IP addresses and UDP packets, which can be routed through large networks. Layer 3 operation is scalable and recommended by Cisco.

This section illustrates a typical wireless network configuration containing lightweight access points and a Cisco Wireless LAN Controller (see Figure 1-13).

Figure 1-13 Typical Lightweight Access Point Network Configuration Example