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Im moving from an all in one to a router + access point. In doing googling and reasearch and talking to friends I ended up with

  • router - cisco rv016

  • wifi access point - airnet 1142 lightweight access point. (lap1142n)

In trying to set all this up and reading I think I bought the wrong access point. It seems I need a wireless controller? Can someone confirm that I should not have bought the lightweight one?

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Without saying what you were trying to achieve, I wouldn't think anyone will be able to say what choice you should have made. – dunxd Dec 5 '12 at 17:00
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need a Cisco Wireless LAN Controller to configure and deploy a LAP. They don't run full-blown iOS, but rather a slimmed down OS that only boots the radios and physical interfaces and then "calls out" to a controller for the remainder of their configuration.

You can purchase autonomous (stand-alone) 1142s, Their part/model number is just AP1142. Anything that starts with LAP is a Lightweight Access Point and requires a controller.

tl;dr - You bought the wrong thing.

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so If I plan to add another later, am I better off buying a controller? Or just return this and get a non lightweight one? – Joelio Jun 20 '12 at 14:39
That's a tough question. Adding just one more? Probably not worth investing in a controller (they can be spendy). If you're planning on growing to 3, 4, 5 APs, then a controller starts to make sense. Especially if you want to ever use NCS to do usage heatmaps, interference mapping, etc. – MDMarra Jun 20 '12 at 14:44
also looks like you can convert it to a regular autonomous ap using software any thoughts on that? – Joelio Jun 20 '12 at 14:57
It's a PITA and doesn't always work as advertised. I recently converted about 200 standalone APs to lightweight (so the other direction) and ended up ~188 that were fine and about a dozen bricks that had to be sent back to Cisco. Just return what you ordered and get what you need right from the bat. – MDMarra Jun 20 '12 at 15:16
ok thanks for the advice all around! – Joelio Jun 20 '12 at 15:36

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