Optimize Wi-Fi Performance with Oberon’s Right-Angle Wall Mount Brackets
Wi-Fi is everywhere, and if you are a wireless integrator, installer, contractor, cabling specialist, or likewise fortunate person assigned by your superior to “make Wi-Fi work everywhere”, you might find this article helpful.
Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) are typically designed to mount in the ceiling. The ceiling location, of course, is the obvious choice for wireless signal coverage; from the ceiling, the access point is above most obstructions, providing the best path for the wireless radio frequency signal from the AP to the mobile client device.
Leading AP vendors have designed their enterprise access points such that the antenna provides a pattern of coverage optimized by the AP being mounted in a “horizontal” orientation in the ceiling (Figure 1). The antennas integrated within the access point are designed to approximate the pattern of a vertically oriented dipole antenna, creating a donut shaped wireless coverage pattern around the access point. When mounted “horizontally” in the ceiling, the AP antenna pattern has the most gain through the room space the AP is in, and less gain above and below the AP, say, to adjacent floors of the building. This antenna pattern can help wireless designers provide effective coverage within the room, and minimize interference on adjacent floors.
In fact, leading AP vendors Cisco and Aruba Networks recommend that their APs be mounted in the “horizontal” orientation. Of course the APs, will function electronically in any orientation, but the antennas are designed to provide best coverage when in the horizontal orientation.
Mounting the access point in the ceiling can be achieved in many ways if the ceiling is accessible and appropriate, but the following should be considered when mounting in the ceiling:
- Performance: Typical APs with internal antennas are designed to be in a typical commercial suspended ceiling 8’- 12’ above the floor. If the APs are higher than this, the scenario is created wherein APs are closer to each other than to the mobile devices they are serving. You can use right-angle wall brackets, mounted at the appropriate height, where ceilings are high.
- Accessibility: Consider how difficult it will be to service the AP if it is more than 15’ above the floor.
- Data Connection: Plenum rated data cabling needs to be available from above the ceiling.
- Aesthetics: In many venues such as auditoriums and ballrooms, it will not be permissible to mount the AP in the ceiling due to aesthetics.
- Healthcare Environments: In a hospital, access to ceiling panels may be restricted by ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assessment) procedures.
Figure 1 - Most commercial APs with internal antennas are designed to provide the optimal coverage when mounted in a horizontal orientation in a ceiling, 8’-12’ above the floor
If, for any of these reasons, the AP cannot be mounted in the ceiling, then another solution is required, and typically this is a wall mount. Wall mounting is not a bad option if the AP can be mounted above obstructions (as if it were in the ceiling) and if the AP can be mounted in the horizontal orientation. Oberon offers a number of solutions for mounting access points in the horizontal orientation, on virtually any type of wall or beam.
Right angle AP wall mount bracket, and AP with directional antenna articulating bracket guide
Right Angle Wall Mount Brackets for APs
Oberon offers a variety of right angle wall mount brackets. These brackets are designed to mount the AP in the desired horizontal orientation in locations where the ceiling mount is not desirable or convenient.
Figure 2 - Use right angle wall brackets in high ceilings, where it is difficult to mount APs.
Figure 3 - Right angle wall brackets can be used in locations where mounting in the ceiling is impractical.
Articulating Wall Mount Brackets for AP and Directional Antenna
In locations where the ceiling is higher than 25’ -33’, such as auditoriums and ballrooms, leading AP vendors Cisco and Aruba Networks recommend the use of external antennas or directional antennas rather than the APs with internal antennas. Oberon’s model 1013 and 1014 are articulating wall brackets for mounting the AP and directional antenna, permitting zones of coverage to be defined with the antenna pattern. (Figure 3).
Figure 3 - Using directional antennas to create zones of coverage.