Cisco Aironet 2600 usage questions

I am unifying various wireless networks in a manufacturing environment. There is a fair bit of interference, but we haven't done a true site survey and there are a few unknowns. I am trying to make the best decision on equipment without going overboard.

So we have 2 office areas, and 3 warehouse areas, 1 of which is about 30% larger than the other two.

I am having a hard time coming up with some answers;
1) Do we use a wireless controller, or standalone APs? I like the 3600 series, it looks very robust and will do what we need, but they only come in the "controlled" variety.
2) Is the "clean air" technology going to help with industrial interference detection? There isnt a huge amount of interference, and it is only intermittent (paint line runs occasionally.. no other real sources) but it is enough to make cheaper consumer grade appliances fall short. I'm more interested in the ability to say if interference is messing with our equipment than whether or not its mitigable.
3) If I buy some 2600 series stand-alone devices, can I reflash them to controller-based APs if we so decide that the controller will help, down the line? I want to get a device to test in our environment and see if it works better than our currently terrible wireless network, and if it works out well we will most likely go controller-based unless theres any reason you guys can tell me we don't need it.
4) Do the 2602E devices come with basic antennas for use out of the box or will I have to order some antennas along with my device?

One other important note, this wireless network is fairly critical. Inventory is tracked, controlled, and transported using handheld Windows-CE based scanners (Motorola Symbol) to interface with our ERP system. These devices are old and support a/b/g, but otherwise seem to work fine. When the wireless network is not functioning, shipping grinds to a halt as workers are manually writing down serial numbers and inputting them at computer terminals.


I feel like I'm missing something else, but this is a good start.
LVL 1
ntobinAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Craig BeckCommented:
1] I would use a controller, then you can use CleanAir.

2] CleanAir will help to avoid non-WiFi interference on the 2.4 and 5GHz bands.  It won't help where other APs are on the same channels though.  You'll need to use RRM for that.

3] You can reflash the standalone APs to lightweight.

4] None of the enterprise external-antenna APs come with antennas in the box.  You need to buy some.  All Cisco internal APs with connectorized antennas use RP-TNC connectors.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
ntobinAuthor Commented:
Do you have any experience with using these devices and was that experience positive?
0
Craig BeckCommented:
I am a Cisco WLAN consultant :-)
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Network Architecture

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.