Mounting a Wireless AP to Ceiling

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Cod, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Cod

    Cod Gawd

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    I just moved into a house with a structured wiring panel and its pre-wired for two wireless access points (1x upstairs, 1x downstairs). The termination points are the panel and square in-wall electrical box in the ceiling (like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-...d-Outlet-Box-Blue-Case-of-100-B118A/100404124). My question is, do I have to buy an AP with a square mounting bracket? if not, how I can mount it with a circle bracket?

    I'm not a handy guy, so any help is appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Limp Gawd

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    I doubt you'll find any AP that uses the standard dimensions of an electrical box. Most come with their own mounting solution (and possibly the needed screws and drywall anchors) that should be used.
     
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  3. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

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    No problem - what you are loking for is an "in wall" AP. These are very common in hotels and such. Some of them even have a 4 port switch on them with PoE Passthrough. A simple, and cost effective one woudl be from Ubiquiti: https://inwall.ubnt.com

    Meraki makes one as well, but this is a bit cost prohibitive for home users: https://meraki.cisco.com/products/wireless/mr30h
     
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  4. ChRoNo16

    ChRoNo16 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The AP will come with the needed mounting plate. the box is merely in place so that you can run power at the unit if you with. it has nothing to do with mounting the AP.

    Most people would run the network cable to that box and mount the AP (Using the included wall/ceiling mounts) over where that box is. the box just makes it so u can plug in the cable without it sticking out from the AP
     
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  5. Cod

    Cod Gawd

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    The Ubiquiti solution may be best since I already have a USG. Would one of these in-wall APs work if mounted on the ceiling? Seems like I'd be limited by the by the beamwidth when its pointing straight to the floor.

    Thanks for all the inputs y'all. From the sound of it, any AP I purchase will work, I may just have to drill an extra few holes for the specific mounting hardware.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  6. antok86

    antok86 [H]ardness Supreme

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    so this was installed on the ceiling. ubiquiti ap comes with a mounting bracket. you mount the bracket so that it covers the “hole” this was on a new home and initially the wires were pulled then the hole was capped with a blank cover. i dont have pics of the bracket only on the ceiling hope that kinda helps
     

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  7. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

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    If it already has the box in the ceiling, you shouldn't have to drill anything. The mounting plate should fit all the standard screw holes in the gang outlet and then the AP hangs to the bracket. Most commercial APs are hung on the ceiling because of RF and how it covers, but this is also for being discrete and preventing any interference.

    Here's the RF patterns of the Unifi Inwall Non-PRO and PRO:

    UAP-AC-IN-WALL-Overall_-_Summary_Plot_-_5GHzrev.png

    UAP-AC-IN-WALL-PROOverall_-_Summary_Plot_-_5GHzfinal.png
     
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  8. Cod

    Cod Gawd

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    That does help. That's the exact way my ceiling looks (w/ a blank faceplate) currently. How many extra screws / drywall anchors did the Ubiquiti bracket require?
     
  9. Cod

    Cod Gawd

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    From the looks of the chart, an in-wall solution may be best since it won't be required to power anything "behind" it (or in my case, above it) since there will be one on each floor. Thanks for all the info y'all! I really appreciate it.
     
  10. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Here's my Meraki MR30H as a reference. This is installed where Cat5e is run. I just removed the faceplate and connected a 6" Cat5e cable and mount the MR30H to the wall:


    SE3ELd0.jpg
     
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  11. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I kept the keystone, just removed the faceplate. The AP sits flush with the wall and mounts to the plate which mounts to the box.
     
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  12. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Limp Gawd

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    Hmm, yeah, forgot about those. I was thinking more of standard APs. AFAIK, those in-wall units aren't meant to cover an entire structure/floor, just a more localized area such as a room or two.
     
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  13. S-F

    S-F Gawd

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    Just screw any AP to the ceiling over the box? These things weigh next to nothing. I'm sure two drywall screws would hold them up just fine.
     
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  14. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Typically yea, but it shouldn't be much of an issue in more modern homes that have open floor plans. I get good coverage downstairs with mine and I have another MR33 upstairs.
     
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  15. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yea, i would simply mount the AP over the hole, i wouldn't mess with the in wall one... those are for hotels and classrooms, not what youw ant in your ceiling...

    really didn't need a box there at all, but it was certainly on someone's drawings somewhere so they felt like they had to add it, plus they needed to terminate and put it ina keystone so they could put a jack on it....

    i think i'd just take the plate off just like you've already described and fill in any holes in the back of the boxes with some expanding foam... be carefull with that stuff, a little goes a long way, lol
     
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  16. S-F

    S-F Gawd

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    In new construction an inspector would probably demand a box or ring or something. The electrical codes are so bewildering and contradictory that even the code enforcement officials often don't know what to tell people.
     
  17. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's when you ask to see the violation in the code book :p won't see one there for data cable
     
  18. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I use 2 in wall ac unifi aps and they completely cover my 2500 sqft house. One on each floor and on opposite sides of the house .Even covers my backyard and garage
     
  19. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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  20. S-F

    S-F Gawd

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    Low voltage is absolutely under the jurisdiction of electrical code enforcement. In most cases nobody cares. Look at the crazy shit cable guys get away with. Running coax up the outside of a house screwed into the siding. In new construction no electrician could get away with that.
     
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  21. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh, there are certainly things that can count as a violation with data cable, but having it come out of a hole in some gypsum without a box is not one of them
     
  22. DangerousMan

    DangerousMan Limp Gawd

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    The ubiquiti access points come with 2 brackets (one plastic and one metal) and 8 screws; 4 short with anchors for wood/drywall and 4 long with nuts for ceiling pannels. You could easily line up one screw with the outlet box and maybe a 2nd, or make a small hole in the plastic bracket for the 2nd hole.

    If you really want a hassle free option, ubiquiti also sells a universal bracket with all the holes that lineup with any (most) outlet boxes, $8.50 direct from ubiquiti.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018 at 3:51 PM