What should I set my radio settings to on my APs?

  • 0
  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
I have a C5210 controller with 3605/3610 APs. We have our APs deployed in school in almost every classroom. We have 1:1 in every school. We have Chromebooks, macbooks, ipads, Apple tvs. I have changed the radio settings on my APs many times but still have wifi issues. Mostly I am trying to find a good settings for the Tx power on the 2.4 and 5 radios. Has anyone found settings that works well in a school environment?
Photo of Laura

Laura

  • 1,490 Points 1k badge 2x thumb

Posted 2 years ago

  • 0
  • 2
Photo of Evan Kuckelheim

Evan Kuckelheim

  • 668 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
All depends on the environment!
Here is something you can start at. These settings are working fine for me in a K12 setting.
https://gtacknowledge.extremenetworks.com/articles/Q_A/What-are-the-best-radio-settings-for-my-envir...

What version FW are you running?  10.11.03.0004 has been pretty stable for me for my environment.
Not sure if you can use v10 because you have the 36** models. Make sure your at the latest version of v9 "9.21.14.0005"  at the least. 
(Edited)
Photo of Laura

Laura

  • 1,490 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for the info. We have 9.21.10.5. I'll have to submit a ticket to update it.
Photo of Ty Kolff

Ty Kolff

  • 1,098 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
You won't be able to update to v10 if you have 3600 series access points.  

I would look at the AP Channels and develop a good Channel plan that eliminates/reduces co-channel interference.  If you have 2.4GHz turned on everywhere and you have AP's in every classroom, you should probably turn the transmit power down to prevent interference.  

I have found Chromebooks prefer 5GHz and have had good luck turning of 2.4GHz completely on whatever SSID the Chromebooks are connecting to.  If you have legacy 2.4GHz devices, that won't work, but you can create a Chromebook only SSID that only transmits on 5GHz.  

I generally like to use a 20MHz wide channel setting and a 12Mbps min basic rate for high density school environments.  
(Edited)
Photo of Rich Pacheco

Rich Pacheco

  • 964 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
I'm in the university space and I found it best to lock down the channels but allow "Auto Tx Power Ctrl" in our environment.  We have about 1300 APs running 9.21.12 code with some really high density locations and it's worked well.   Here is a link to a thread where folks posted good info in response to my question on 5GHz best practices. 

https://community.extremenetworks.com/extreme/topics/5ghz-channel-planning-guide-best-practices

Good Luck.
(Edited)
Photo of Jeremy

Jeremy, Embassador

  • 9,788 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Keep the 2.4 Ghz power low.  I would use some good site survey software like Ekahau or use ATPC and do the best you can.  I would also use band steering and try to get people to move to 5 Ghz.  Use 20 Mhz channels and 12 to 24 Mbps for your MBR.  
Photo of Rich Upshaw

Rich Upshaw

  • 1,140 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
I have a few questions for you to begin to help you get a good channel plan going.  (because this is your problem)

Do you have any software that will allow you to do planning like Ekahau, AirMagnet or ATPC?
Are your AP's mounted on the ceiling facing down in each classroom?  Are they in the center or near the center in every room?
Do you have access to floor plans, particularly digital floor plans (autocad or pdf)?
Have you spoken with GTAC about advanced configuration for your access points and do they all have consistent settings? e.g. short guard interval, minimum basic rate, etc...

Some generalities that will help think about your wi-fi plan:

A good rule of thumb would be about 25-30 devices per access point.

Don't turn the 2.4Ghz radio (radio 2) on for every access point; you will cause interference even if they are turned all the way down.  1 AP - 2.4 radio will cover probably 3-4 rooms depending on how they are laid out.

2.4Ghz travels better through walls and goes further.
5Ghz is better for short distances, doesn't go through walls well and has many more channels to work with.  You can use this to your advantage.
Photo of Stephen McGuire

Stephen McGuire

  • 904 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Is ceiling mounted facing down the best orientation for AP's?

-Stephen
Photo of Jeremy

Jeremy, Embassador

  • 9,788 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Depends on the building layout and density of your wireless APs.  However,  I find mounting them facing down from the ceiling is the best way in our environment.  Although, sometimes the wall is the only place, and that's where we put it.
Photo of Rich Upshaw

Rich Upshaw

  • 1,140 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
"Ceiling Down" orientation will give you a little bit better containment.  For example, if you placed an AP on the wall facing west and a few rooms down you placed one on the opposite wall facing east, the signals would probably hit each other.  In this scenario, you're attempting to have the AP's as far reaching as possible to service a low density population.
However, if you have classrooms where there are 20-30 people inside each, you will want to contain the signal from the AP's to a smaller area so you can service the high density.  If everyone in the room has a laptop and a cell phone, you are now servicing 60 devices...

Make sense?