AP1130 & Outdoor Patch Cable

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  • Updated 5 months ago
We're installing AP1130 APs at some of our schools and we're using outdoor rated CAT6a patch cables to connect them from the AP to the data connection just inside the building (and CAT6a back to the wiring closet).  Aerohive's instructions for the AP1130 mention using an outdoor rated CAT5 cable but makes no mention of the thicker CAT6a cable.  Because the CAT6a cable is thicker, we cannot put on the included slotted cable grip and waterproof plug inside the threaded housing.  With just the CAT6a patch cable in the threaded housing with the threaded nut, it's possible to pull on the patch cable and have it become disconnected from the AP as the patch cable does not "click" securely to the AP using the threaded housing.  If I remove the threaded housing altogether and just just plug in the CAT6a patch cable to the AP, the patch cable "clicks" into the AP and is secure.  I was just wondering if anyone else has run into this situation and if you did anything differently with the threaded housing.  Also, if I don't use the threaded housing at all, does Aerohive still standby the warranty?
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Rob Pritchard

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Posted 5 months ago

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Joel Brooks

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School district here as well...

I have around 20 AP170's... and outdoor installations are always challenging. I believe the "weather rated" connectors are ok at best. I leave the Aerohive connectors in place and rely on the threaded holder to retain the RJ45 connector into the housing. It hasn't been an issue for us in 5 years.

We also use a bit of silicone along with standard cat6 patch cables due to those limitations. I went down the path of trying to use outdoor rated Cat6 and it's just too large in every aspect. I find the industry lacking in this regard. Anyway, I tend to wrap the patch cables with some sort of tape to add a layer of protection to the cable jacket. The sun ruins cables in 2 years or less otherwise.

Water has been my only issue with my outdoor installs. I used "Outdoor Rated" PoE injectors and that was a complete joke. I now place the PoE injector inside a sealed cabinet or inside the facility itself... OR just use PoE from the switch. I've had luck with both. I no longer use outdoor rated stuff as it's cost prohibitive. It all wears out about the same, and ultimately I end up replacing equipment anyway. So regular old PoE injectors have been great. The Aerohive AP170's have been solid as a rock however. Hope that helps.
   
   
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Rob Pritchard

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Thanks for sharing your info.  We use POE switches so we don't have to mess with POE injectors.  I would think at this point in time that Aerohive would make some adjustment to their outdoor APs in regards to the thicket CAT6 and CAT6a cabling that they have to know their customers are going to be moving to.  I'm not overly concerned about just plugging the CAT6a outdoor rated cable into our AP1130 APs without using the threaded housing as the cable itself feels pretty indestructible, but I want to know what Aerohive's stance on this is.  I sent an email the other day to my Aerohive sales rep and my Aerohive support engineer - they forwarded my email to their Director of Professional Services so I'm waiting to hear from them on their view on this situation.
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Mike Kouri, Official Rep

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Product Managers do read these posts, too, although generally we only lurk here. I will take this up with the hardware product manager for consideration in our next generation of products.  
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Rob Pritchard

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I appreciate that, but that still doesn't answer my question.  If I don't use the threaded housing with my CAT6a outdoor rated patch cable, will Aerohive still honor the warranty on the AP even though I'm not using everything they included with the AP?  I'm concerned that if an AP goes bad because of possible moisture or something getting into the RJ-45 connection that Aerohive won't send me a replacement because the threaded housing wasn't used to protect the RJ-45 connection, and if that's the case then Aerohive needs to create a new housing that will work with thicker outdoor rated cables and send them to all of their existing AP1130 customers at no charge.
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Rob Pritchard

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I finally heard back from my Aerohive support engineer, who finally heard back from the director of professional services.  Aerohive's stance is that the warranty is void if the threaded housing is not used.  I replied to them and informed them that we will put the threaded housing on our CAT6a outdoor rated cable, but because this cable is thicker than CAT5 outdoor rated cable, it's not physically possible to use the waterproof plug and the slotted cable grip on the CAT6a outdoor rated cable.  To me, this is a design flaw that Aerohive needs to fix, or at least create a new waterproof plug and slotted cable grip that work on CAT6a outdoor rated cable.  I appreciate everyone's responses.  It's definitely been a learning situation. :-)