Donated Access Points


Donated Access Points

At my school, we are running a Meraki switch with 9 current M16 access points. We are going 1 to 1 this year and will be adding 100 Chromebooks to our devices. We received a donation of Cisco APs (cisco air-cap1602i-a-k9)


I know I need to assign IPs to them through my DHCP, but I wondered if anyone else has dealt with this issue. 

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Kind of a big deal

The issue of having mixed APs?  If you do this I would go in understanding that you may have some issues managing them well or at least try to place them where they cannot overlap each other.  


Also, I think an MR16 is a bit underpowered and older tech to properly handle a classroom of ~30 modern devices.

- Ex community all-star (⌐⊙_⊙)
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

you are running a wlc with licenses?

you can add dhcp options so the AP can find the wlc


I am running WLC with multiple licenses, I tried setting up Option 43, but have had no luck. 

>I am running WLC with multiple licenses, I tried setting up Option 43, but have had no luck. 


WLC's running semi-recent code will reject connection attempts from a 1603 AP (because they are no longer supported).  This may be your issue.

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

I think it is a bit of a false economy to get 100 new chromebooks but not be prepared to invest in the infrastructure to make them work well.


air-cap1602i-a-k9 is a controller based AP.  So you need a Cisco WLC with sufficient licenses to bring them online.  You can convert a controller based AP to an autonomous AP but it is a bit of a painful time consuming process.  You may need to buy a Cisco SmartNet maintenance agreement to be able to get the autonomous AP software legally.

However I see that these have now gone "end of life" - so you can't buy new SmartNet maintenance contracts.  Also the current versions of the WLC software no longer support them.


I think you should use the Cisco partner locator and find a Cisco partner in your area.  Then ask them what educational pricing options can they get you.  Then get some budget to buy new APs.



Getting new machines and having terrible infrastructure to support them is going to give the students a terrible experience, and make life in the classroom difficult for the teachers.

Please do not inflict this pain on your learning environment.

@sjpanther I have no idea what your experience is with IT and I am not trying to offend you in any way but you might want to consider working with a consultant who is able to sit with you and plan the network that you require. 


That way you will have a shopping list of what equipment you require, donated equipment can be a mine field, some times the equipment is plug and play and other times is come with expensive licensing that is not mentioned and ends up costing you more than you thought. Its also usually someone elses old hand me downs.


As you are a school you do qualify for Education pricing on Meraki equipment which is WAY cheaper than standard pricing.


Good luck with what you are doing and ask as many questions as you need, we are all here ot help.


Unfortunately, the grants available were for devices and not infrastructure. It's a bit of a nightmare for me to have these new devices but not allow them to work properly because of poor WiFi. 


Thanks for the suggestion, I will gather some quotes and see if we can replace or add APs. 

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