Configuring Wireless Cisco Networks and Wireless Controllers.
Hi, I'm designing a complex Cisco Unified Wireless solution with several AIR-LAP1310G-A-K9R (access point role), and have the following doubts:- Can I use two Cisco antennas (same model) on the same equipment, for example: two 8.5dBi Patch (AIR-ANT2485P-R) to have greater coverage, and expect the WLAN controller to work fine with them? - Can I use two different Hyperlink antennas, for example, one 9dBi Omni down-tilt (HG2409UDT-PRO) and one 12dBi Omni (HG2412U-RTP), OR one 6dBi omni (HGV-2406U) and 8dBi omni (HG2408U-RTP), to have greater coverage, and expect the WLAN controller to work fine with them? Thank you so much.
Not only do both antennas have to be the same model, but they both have to be oriented to cover the same area. Here's an explanation from Cisco's paper on multipath and diversity:"A golf course with an electronic scoring application uses an access point with an outdoor antenna to cover an area of the golf course. One antenna is used to cover the left side of the course. Because there is little multipath, one antenna is sufficient. The course uses a directional Yagi antenna for its distance capability and ease of installation."When the golf course wants to add coverage to the right side of the course, the staff does not add another new access point to acheive this. Instead, it attaches a directional Yagi antenna to the other antenna connector, and points it in another direction. The staff drives around the golf course and performs a site survey to test the network. There are no issues with coverage. However, when tournament play starts and more users are added to the wireless network, they start to encounter difficulty and loss of connectivity."When the client on the left side of the course associates to the access point, it has very low signal strength, because the access point picks up the signal from the client on the right-pointing antenna. As a result, the client is out-of-range of the right antenna and drops its connection. However, the access point radio detects a problem and samples the left antenna port, under the assumption that it has encountered a multipath problem. The antenna switches over and the client increases coverage. As the client moves to the other side, retries begin and the access point radio switches over, uses the other antenna port, and preserves connectivity."Thus, when the access point cannot receive the client signal, it switches. The access point evaluates and uses the best antenna to receive client data. The access point then uses that same antenna when it transmits data back to the client. If the client does not respond on that antenna, the access point tries to send the data out the other antenna."In this scenario, the initial configuration was one client and two separate coverage cells; this works until additional clients are added. As the access point communicates to clients on the left side of the course, it does not switch to the right antenna port if no retries occur, because it does not detect any errors. However, it causes difficulties for users that are not on the left antenna."Note: The two antenna ports on the access point are designed for spatial diversity, and the radio only checks the other antenna when it encounters errors."The clients on the right side of the course have difficulty with connections. Only when a client with a weak signal reaches the left antenna does the access point recognize those clients and switch over to pick them up. This makes the right antenna active, so the left side of the course starts to receive errors until the antenna on the right hears a client from the left and switches over again."
Thanks for the prompt response to both. The case you posted is the worse scenario, given that the two antennas are pointing to completely different directions.Would the same issues arise if I slightly divert the angle? For example, if I use two 135-degree sectorial antennas arranged to cover, let's say, 180 degrees in conjunction. What happens, if i need to cover four floors of a face of building (with windows) from a building across a courtyard 175ft away, using one AP and two yagi antennas (AIR-ANT2410Y-R) at slightly different heights/angles (in order to be sure that the vertical angle of both covers the required area)?Thanks again.
The question becomes, is every client in the coverage area detectable by both antennas? If so, then they have effectively the same coverage area and you're fine. However, if some clients can be seen by one antenna but not at all by the other, then those clients will have a completely unreliable wireless experience. If multipath for the "shared" clients causes the antenna selector to switch back and forth frequently, then those clients may be served well, but there's no deterministic way to guarantee that.So, in your sector example, the clients at the outside of each antenna's angle, where the other antenna can't see them, might as well be on Cisco's golf course. They won't get signal unless the antenna switches towards them as a result of processing some other client's conversation.Instead, go with a weaker gain (i.e. wider angle) antenna, or multiple APs, or both. A patch antenna might cover all 4 floors where your Yagi won't.