Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Access Point Mounting Solutions for Warehouses and High Open Ceilings

Installation Using a Section of
Metal Conduit and an Electrical Junction Box
Recently I was asked about ways a customer could mount their access points lower than the 25 foot ceiling present in their building. The physical structure is occupied by AC ducts, electrical conduit and fluorescent lighting at the full height of the ceiling, making installation of access points at that height undesirable for many obvious reasons.

One option is to mount the access points to columns by using an Oberon 90 degree wall mounting bracket. This bracket retails for $80, which can quickly add to the overall cost of your project depending on how many access points need this installation option.

I asked the twitter-verse for input and received several good links to sites where DIY solutions are featured.
One recommendation uses what appears to be a metal book stop repurposed as an angle bracket, another uses common parts found at a hardware store to create a quick, inexpensive mounting solution (by Timothy Dennehy).

Other commercially available solutions involve suspension cables to literally hang the access point from the ceiling, or suspend it off of a threaded metal rod. A similar mounting structure can also be created from off the shelf parts by using threaded metal rods and toggle bolts to tighten the access point to an overhead I-beam in a warehouse environment. 

For every commercially available solution, there is a way to do it cheaper if you've got the time brainstorm a solution from the parts and pieces available from your local home improvement center. Not all mounting solutions are equally aesthetically pleasing and ultimately the aesthetics of the final installation could be the deciding factor in the mounting solution chosen.


  1. I have done deployment with threaded rod but in California the building code is pretty specific about how you suspend stuff due to earthquake requirements. In the end we had to get it signed and stamped by a civil engineer so it could pass inspection but it was still cheaper then commercial products. I imagine each state, county and local agency might have different building code requirements so solutions for getting AP's below suspended high ceilings in one geographic area might not be allowed in others.
    - Ed

  2. Ed,

    Clearing mounting solutions with the local building inspectors is probably something most wireless engineers haven't thought about. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment about your experience with building codes and how they relate to the installation of access points!

  3. Too big¿? Its hard to make it cute and to have anetwork working fine. Its like to try to avoid your parabolic antenna to stay in the roof. In our website you can see projects with wifi equipment with custom enclosures. Thanks for the article.