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Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

Hi,

 

I am upgrading my wifi system using two UAP-AC lite access points, and am trying to decide on placement. The attic would be the ideal place, as the cabling is already there, and I am in South England so there is no chance of extreme temperatures. My idea is to remove a small amount of insulation from between rafters, and then hang the APs between the rafters, so it would be as if they were on the ceiling below, but without showing (my mum doesn't want to see them!). I was only wondering about how directional the APs are, as I have read that APs can have quite flat distribution, and the signal needs to reach the lower floor. The house construction is fairly modern, so all walls are wood stud or thin brick, and haven't posed a problem to the current BT hub 3 when only going through single walls, so I would assume the AP lite will be able to handle it.

 

Thanks for helping


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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

[ Edited ]

I'd try just laying them, dome side down, on top of the sheetrock in the attic.  Same as if you mounted them to the sheetrock below, but instead they sit on top of it from behind.  

 

You could probably cover them back up with insulation given your climate too.  

 

It's best that they are horizontal especially given that you have some brick walls in the mix. 

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SuperUser
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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

[ Edited ]

I'd try just laying them, dome side down, on top of the sheetrock in the attic.  Same as if you mounted them to the sheetrock below, but instead they sit on top of it from behind.  

 

You could probably cover them back up with insulation given your climate too.  

 

It's best that they are horizontal especially given that you have some brick walls in the mix. 

When you receive a solution to your question/issue, don't forget to mark your thread as solved and to give kudo's to the people who have helped you out!

Having wifi problems? Take a look here first: https://help.ubnt.com/hc/en-us/articles/221029967-UniFi-Debugging-Intermittent-Connectivity-Issues-on-your-UAP
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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

I hope you are not residing in the southern part of the US with this advice. If you try this in the south of the US, the APs will be fried. 

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house


@sirozha wrote:

I hope you are not residing in the southern part of the US with this advice. If you try this in the south of the US, the APs will be fried. 


From his post:

 

 I am in South England so there is no chance of extreme temperatures.
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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

I still wonder what the temperatures in the attic can be even in South England. If there are even a couple hot days in a year, it's enough to fry the APs. I've never been to England in the summer, so I have no idea how hot the attics get there. 

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

[ Edited ]

Fry? I've helped people who had the original UAPs in attics in Florida.

 

Ideal?  Desired?  Nope.  Still worked.  A few folks had them in there for years. 

 

I'm not sure if the newer kit is more sensitive and I'm not interested in finding out, but I try to keep somewhat open minded about these things.  

 

Also if he lays it on sheetrock and covers it back up with insulation it will be a lot closer in temp to the room below than the highest point in the attic above.  A lot of heat in an attic is radiated from the roofing material, so having an AP in the open in an attic would likely be far worse than having it under insulation.  

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

[ Edited ]

Covering an AP with insulation seems like a terrible idea.  It won't be anywhere near the temperature of the room below because the insulation will trap the heat generated by the AP itself.  It might even end up hotter than the attic above!  If I had to put one in the attic, I'd put it above the insulation - not on/in it, but above it, perhaps on top of a joist or on some kind of riser if the insulation was deeper than the joists, as it is in some climates.  Perhaps you could have some some foil-backed foam insulation over it, to block the radiated head but still allow good airflow.

 

As for not ceiling-mounting them... They look a lot better than the smoke detectors in my house, which I also never notice because I don't walk around staring at the ceiling.  lol   The status light can be turned off, too, so it won't draw your eye.  You could even consider spray painting the cover if it's a drastically different color than your ceiling.

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

[ Edited ]

@Maltz wrote:

Covering an AP with insulation seems like a terrible idea.  It won't be anywhere near the temperature of the room below because the insulation will trap the heat generated by the AP itself.  It might even end up hotter than the attic above!


No, not really.  I had one such a way and the plastic didn't even discolor.  If your worried about it just put it in one of those covers for recessed lighting cans.  It will keep the insulation directly off the AP.

 

It will get WAY hotter above the insulation, radiated by heat from the undersid of your roof.  Get out an IR thermometer and take surface temperature if you really don't believe me.

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

Huh, I crunched some numbers, and I figure the AP temperature will stabilize around 100ºF (at the 4W my AC-PRO is currently using) to 125ºF (at the 9W max listed on the data sheet) using rather poor environmental factors of an 80ºF room below (ceilings are warmer) and 160ºF attic with R-30 worth of insulation. That's still WELL below the AP's max operating temp of 158ºF. (I had no idea it was that high!) So I stand corrected! The insulation definitely does hold in a great deal of the heat the AP generates, but it's able to lose it through the drywall at an acceptable rate.
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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

I've am also in the south of the UK and pending a number of house renovation projects have installed 3 UAP-AC-PROs in the large loft space to avoid damage to them or network cabling while work continues below.

 

I am monitoring temperatures 24x7 in the loft and at two heights and its currently around 36 degrees centigrade at the peak of the day so within spec.  I am not sure of the long term effects but time will tell.

 

In terms of coverage, its fine and mine are on platforms suspended from the trusses. I preferred to keep them above the thick insulation for now .  Given my home has a number of double brick walls internally the coverage down through insulation, plasterboard and floorboards isn't bad compared to being inside the rooms and some rooms getting coverage through those walls.

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

I started thinking more about the question of temperature at various positions in a loft and decided to add a third temperature sensor in my loft and put all three in the same section of the loft (the previous two were in different parts).

 

So one is about 40cm under the tiles and about 75cm down from the apex.  The second is just above the insulation to the floor below (20cm fiberglass) and the last under the insulation and so directly on the plasterboard/sheetrock.  The roof is concrete tiles and waterproof membrane underneath and the loft is 2.5 metres high at the apex.

 

The results after some really hot days (well by UK standards,30 degrees C) confirm some comments here.  The two above the insulation do vary by 5 to 7 degrees centigrade at the peek of the day but the one under the insulation is way cooler at about 14 to 18 degrees lower than the one near the apex. The highest temperature was 52 degrees C.

 

So if you can put them under the insulation (possibly in a plastic box/ downlighter shroud) that's good although I am not sure on how much the heat generated from the AP would bump that up. However when placing them above the insulation it doesn't make that much difference how high up.

 

The difference is greater than I expected for under the insulation compared with above, but less for height in the loft space generally.  Oh well you live and learn :-)

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Re: Placement of APs in 2 Storey house

Heh I lerned it the hard way sweating my butt off in attics in Nevada Man Happy

 

The APs. dissapate less than 10 watts - no more than an incandescent night light.  It's just not a lot of heat relative to the rest of the environment.

When you receive a solution to your question/issue, don't forget to mark your thread as solved and to give kudo's to the people who have helped you out!

Having wifi problems? Take a look here first: https://help.ubnt.com/hc/en-us/articles/221029967-UniFi-Debugging-Intermittent-Connectivity-Issues-on-your-UAP
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