Mounting AP-230/130 to ceiling tiles

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)

In a new office location I'd like to mount AP-230 and -130 to the dropped ceiling. I've read the manuals for the standard mounts included with the AP's, wich won't work as clip-on because of the width of the ceiling tracks. I'm looking into the recessed bracket (AH-ACC-BKT-80211AC-KIT) but can't decide based on the manual if it would fit or not. The ceiling that is going to be placed is constructed as follows:


Is there an alternative mounting kit that I could use (like the recessed bracket) or do we need to use the standard one with a piece of wood behind the softboard?

If the recessed bracket will suffice, could anyone supply a picture with an example of this mount? (I'm kinda lost on the manual to be honest)

Photo of Menno

Menno

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Malcolm Snelgrove

Malcolm Snelgrove

  • 21 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Do they have to be visible? You could leave them in the ceiling space, shouldn't affect the signal much at all.. I find I rarely need to access the Access Points (<grin>) this days. If it is offline I can power cycle it from the PoE point before I need to actually get it in my hands.
Photo of Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe, Official Rep

  • 2491 Posts
  • 451 Reply Likes
This really isn't a good idea! :-P It normally badly affects the signal.
(Edited)
Photo of Menno

Menno

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I strongly prefer the AP's being visible. I'm currently in the process of replacing the 121 model for 130, being visible makes replacing so much easier than searching for the right panel along a ceiling. Even if that only happens once every 5 years.
Photo of Luke Harris

Luke Harris

  • 265 Posts
  • 18 Reply Likes
I wouldn't put my AP's in a ceiling void. Too much potential for interference from  light fittings, heating/water pipes and power leads. 
Photo of Malcolm Snelgrove

Malcolm Snelgrove

  • 21 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
I guess it depends on the situation. Interference is an issue, but I have seen cablers mount a AP on the ceiling tile right next to a fluorescent light, exit light and a Smoke Detector. The ceiling space gives more room for positioning away from interference sources and finding optimal placement.
I would have thought ceiling tiles/soft board would be pretty transparent for the Wifi signal. My timber floors certainly seem to be ;-) But I just Googled it and it turns out that some ceiling tiles at least, have wire mesh in them, so that *would* be a big no-no.
Live and Learn!
Photo of Aaron Storey

Aaron Storey

  • 32 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Aerohive offers a plenum mount bracket that allows you to mount the AP in the plenum but secured and facing down.
Photo of Menno

Menno

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Do you happen to know;

- The ceiling track width the plenum mount is made for?

- How it locks ('clicks' according to manual) to the ceiling tracks?

So I can check in with the supplier if this is a good fit for this ceiling.

Photo of Aaron Storey

Aaron Storey

  • 32 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I don't know specifically the width. Its been a while since I installed these and don't have any on hand to check. It just had small indentations on the inside of the clips and snapped to the groove in the cross member, it was pretty simple. At one of our schools the ceiling tiles were standard width but the rail was different so the existing mounting options didn't work. We set up with the AP's in the plenum with no signal issues, of course each situation is different. I agree with some of the points listed above however sometimes if you don't have any other options you are left with one that might be less than ideal but can work. By your description and illustration it looks like the ceiling tile almost totally covers the track so I don't think any of the existing mounts will work. I had also looked at light fixture options where it clips to the rail in the ceiling and gives you an electrical box to mount to however it does require cutting holes in the tiles, we opted for the Plenum option.
(Edited)
Photo of Menno

Menno

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions and Aaron for the photo. I'm going to go with the standard mounting bracket, secured to the softboard with screws and a piece of wood behind it. Not the most convenient to install, but best results in the end.

Photo of Luke Harris

Luke Harris

  • 265 Posts
  • 18 Reply Likes
I have seen this mounting option in several environments with great success. I strongly advocate mounting AP's outside of ceiling voids, RF characteristics are a wonderfully tricky mistress...this helps to rule out this scenario.