I manage a large number of remote locations that utilize Cisco Wireless Networks. Often I find myself changing channels on the access points to resolve odd problems that sound like co-channel interference from other businesses in the area. The current access points do not have the Clean Air functionality, so when I change channels, I’m really shooting in the wind hoping that I found the problem.
At a very reasonable cost Cisco came out with the Aironet 1600 series access points (See models below). The 1600 Series access point is being advertised as a Clean Air Express access point. At a high level Clean Air Express means that the access point does some Spectrum analysis in software, but does not have the full feature set of Cisco’s Clean Air. It’s my understanding that it will tell you about the potential interference, but the access point is not going to change channels on it’s own to avoid the interference.
The 1600 series was just released in Q1 of 2013. As soon as I got the access point I connected it to my controller only to find out that I needed to upgrade my controller from 7.3 to 7.4. After successfully upgrading my controller to 7.4 (The upgrade is very easy) the access point registered with out a problem. I didn’t have to modify my DHCP configuration to specify the model and my option 43 was already using HEX.
After the access point was online I started looking for the spectrum analysis information in Cisco Prime Infrastructure (Prime must be running 1.3 to work with 7.4 on the controller). I quickly found out that my controllers were not setup for Clean Air. Click here to find the procedures to enable Clean Air on your controller. After a few hours I still did not receive any information in Prime Infrastructure from this access point.
After further reading, I found out that the Clean Air Express feature was NOT add into this access point with the first release of version 7.4. If you go to the Cisco’s Product Page you will see that there is an asterisk next to “Clean Air Express”. If you go down a little bit farther you will see the following, “*Available through future software updates”.
I have included a screen capture of this, I’m sure some day Cisco will add the feature and the website will be changed.
For now, We are all left patiently waiting for this feature.
1. If you are running the 1600 I would like to hear about your experience with it. Is is working well? Is it better then the AP’s you had before? How is it working for you?
2. Did you have the same disappointed experience regarding Clean Air Express with the 1600’s?
3. If you read this after the Clean Air Express has been added, How do you like it?
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