Cisco Prime: Radiation Patterns and Antennas Orientation

Sorry for being silent for a while. I have moved to Leeds and now work in my company’s HQ as a project and design engineer. A massive change for me and my family. Anyway, this time I want to cover one very important topic – radiation patterns and antennas orientation in Cisco Prime (also applies to old buddy WCS).

If you have ever worked with Cisco Prime (or WCS) with regards to wireless networks management, you know how frustrating can be the process of adjusting access points’ radiation characteristics on the floor plan. Actually, it’s not a big deal if all access points have internal antennas and have been installed as per Cisco’s recommendations. In such case, Cisco Prime applies default azimuth and elevation values to match best practice installation. For example, omni-directional APs, like 1142N, 3602i or 3702i, have internal antennas and provide best coverage if installed on the ceiling, facing down. Of course, they can still provide optimal coverage in some scenarios with wall mount installations, but in such cases a more proper planning is required. There is a high likelihood that access points from different floors will become adjacent in RF spectrum (i.e. will see each other) and it will be more complex for a controller to come up with optimal Tx power levels to meet coverage requirements. However, we all know that suboptimal installations happen in a real life. In such cases every access point has to be configured with custom azimuth and elevation values to help Cisco Prime to build correct heatmaps. This is especially important during the planning phase.

Note! In case of external antennas (i.e 3702e with patch or sectoral antenna), it is always required to adjust elevation and azimuth within Cisco Prime to let it know how antennas radiate on the floor plan – north, south, west, east, north-west, south-east. This process can be even more complicated if antennas are installed at 45 (or custom) degrees to the floor/wall/ceiling.

We use Cisco 3702i in our company. It is standard access point and we tend to install them according to Cisco best practices (ceiling, facing down). However, in one of our offices, these recommendations have been totally ignored resulting in a mix of vertical (wall mount) and horizontal (ceiling mount) installations. Surprise, surprise! This is the only office from where we constantly receive complaints about poor coverage and intermittent disconnects from wireless network.

I found myself struggling to understand the real heatmaps in this office because I wasn’t sure how to adjust elevation and azimuth to force Prime to draw me a real heatmap. To make things worse, there’s little information about it in the Internet. Cisco account manager and TAC were there to help. So… to make your life easier, here’s the recommendations to adjust access point’s elevation and azimuth depending on its physical placement.

I am not the author of these tables and recommended settings. It has been shared with me by Cisco.

Please use it at your convenience and I hope it will make your life less miserable 🙂 Like in my case.

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / Ceiling Mount

  • Logo Facing DOWN
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing NORTH
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH

 

  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 0 UP

 

3602i Ceiling Mount Heatmap

3602i Ceiling Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / East Wall Mount

  • Logo Facing WEST
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing EAST
  • Azimuth: 0
  • Elevation: 90 DOWN

 

3602i East Wall Mount Heatmap

3602i East Wall Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / West Wall Mount

  • Logo Facing EAST
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing WEST
  • Azimuth: 180
  • Elevation: 90 DOWN

 

3602i West Wall Mount Heatmap

3602i West Wall Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / South Wall Mount

  • Logo Facing NORTH
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 90 DOWN

 

3602i South Wall Mount Heatmap

3602i South Wall Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / North Wall Mount

  • Logo Facing SOUTH
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing NORTH
  • Azimuth: 270
  • Elevation: 90 DOWN

 

3602i North Wall Mount Heatmap

3602i North Wall Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / Flat on the Table

  • Logo Facing UP
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing NORTH
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 180 UP

 

3602i On Table Heatmap

3602i On Table Properties

Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / North Wall 45° Mount

  • Logo Facing SOUTH 45° DOWN
  • Ethernet Ports Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing NORTH
  • Azimuth: 270
  • Elevation: 45 DOWN

 

3602i North Wall 45 Mount Heatmap

3602i North Wall 45 Mount Properties

Patch: AIR-ANT2566P4W-R / North Wall Mount

  • Logo Facing SOUTH
  • Cables Pointing DOWN
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 0 UP

 

ANT2566P4W North Wall Mount Heatmap

 ANT2566P4W North Wall Mount Properties

Patch: AIR-ANT2566P4W-R / Ceiling Mount

  • Logo Facing DOWN
  • Cables Pointing NORTH
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 90 DOWN

 

ANT2566P4W Ceiling Mount Heatmap

 ANT2566P4W Ceiling Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-ANT2524V4C / Ceiling Mount

  • Logo Facing DOWN
  • Cables Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 0 UP

 

ANT2524V4C Ceiling Mount Heatmap

 ANT2524V4C Ceiling Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-ANT2524DB-R / Ceiling Mount

  • Antenna Pointing DOWN
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 0 UP

 

ANT2524DB-R Ceiling Mount Heatmap

ANT2524DB-R Ceiling Mount Properties

Omni: AIR-ANT2524DB-R / Facing Up

  • Antenna Pointing UP
  • Arrow pointing SOUTH
  • Azimuth: 90
  • Elevation: 180 UP

 

ANT2524DB-R On Table Heatmap

ANT2524DB-R On Table Properties

 

4 Comments

  1. Aleksey Shvetsov says:

    Good afternoon.

    Can you advise me. In the first case “Omni: AIR-CAP3602I-E-K9 / Ceiling Mount” Ethernet port does not point north, and points to the south / east / west, it is not necessary to change the value of the Azimuth option?
    Although the access point and Omnidirectional, but the focus is still characterized by Azimuth.
    The same applies to cases when the access point is located on the wall, but the Ethernet port is not directed upwards and pointing downwards?

    • I know it’s late to reply, but I wasn’t best in answering to comments this year… but maybe it will help other visitors. In the first case, when AP is mounted on a ceiling azimuth doesn’t matter because Elevation is 0. That is, AP is mounted horizontally as it was designed to be mounted, in this case radiation pattern is omni directional, or default for this model. If you mount AP on a wall, it changes the designed radiation pattern and focuses energy to the side and not below or above AP. You need to think about it from the perspective of a default/designed radiation pattern.

  2. Fil Koczij says:

    Thanks you for this.

    This is great

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