Chapter 11
Tuning AP Radio Parameters
Installing and configuring an access point (AP) is generally a straightforward affair.
Plug in the unit, establish some basic configuration settings, and you are ready.
However, your environment might require you to tweak more settings for optimal
performance. For example, in an effort to conserve laptop battery power, you might
reconfigure transceivers to operate less frequently. You might also find the need to
manually set radio channels or adjust the size of frames that are broadcast and received.
Cisco APs provide a way to manage these settings.
Power Tuning
When people buy APs, they tend to purchase the unit with the most power. Although
it’s great to get the best range, there might be times when you need less, not more. For
example, you might want to minimize a signal’s interference with your neighbor’s AP.
Power management has another useful purpose—it saves battery power. Many clients
are likely installed on laptop computers and other mobile devices. By the nature of
their design, these devices aren’t generally plugged into the wall. Rather, they rely on
battery power. If the 802.11 radio uses all the battery power, these devices cannot last
long.
Managing Power Settings on the AP
The configuration steps for this section and chapter are located on the Settings screen.
This page is reached from the AP’s home page, then you click Network Interfaces
from the menu on the left. Click the radio you want to change (Radio0-802.11G for
the 2.4-GHz radio and Radio1-802.11A for the 5-GHz radio). Finally, click on the
Settings tab.
Select the power level you wish, and then click Apply at the bottom of the screen. This
portion of the Settings tab is shown in Figure 11-1.
186 Power Tuning
Figure 11-1 Within the Settings Tab You Can Manage the AP’s Transmission Power
If you enter the commands described in Table 11-1, you can also adjust the AP’s
transmit power from the CLI. Use a console to access the CLI, or connect to the AP
with a terminal program and log on with the AP’s IP address.
Table 11-1 Configuring Transmit Power
Command Description
configure terminal Enters global configuration mode.
interface dot11radio {0 | 1} Enters configuration mode for the radio
interface. The 2.4-GHz radio is radio 0, and
the 5-GHz radio is radio 1.
power local
Power levels (expressed in milliwatts [mW])
available for the 2.4-GHz radio:
{1 | 5 | 20 | 30 | 50 | 100 | maximum}
Power levels available for the 5-GHz radio:
{5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | maximum}
Sets the transmit power to one of the powers
allowed in your regulatory domain.
end Returns to privileged EXEC mode.

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