I need to mount four UAP-AC-M access point’s in a warehouse environment with all heavy steel construction. I want them on the ceiling, attached to the underside of steel I beams and joists. I have a photo attached to the post.
How can I go about physically attaching the access points to this kind of structure? What about cable management? This is pretty dusty so I’m reluctant to seriously consider the typical adhesive plastic clips, etc.
I know @LTS_Tom has done warehouse projects, I’m hoping he or someone can offer some insight.
I should also mention that this not temperature controlled, and it’s in the south (USA) so everything has to stand up to 100+ degree temps.
Beam clamps will work for both the mount and the cable management.
Any suggestions of where to source them?
You can get wire rings that clamp to beams to hold the cable. I’d be almost certain that the manufacturer of the AP have mounts that clamp onto beams, pretty much all of them have something for this task.
Here is one of the cable rings, but there are others including magnetic cable clamps.
A little more google-fu and I see that I’m wrong, they don’t seem to make a mount but this thread on their forums shows a bunch of ideas. https://community.ui.com/questions/Mounting-UniFi-APs-to-steel-warehouse-trusses/7fd42587-55bc-47d7-91af-08de97acd6a7?page=3
Beam clamps screwed to an AP mounting plate seem like a good idea. But all that said, ask the manufacturer what they suggest.
@Greg_E thanks for all the great input!
Yep, google beam clamps or beam cable clamps and find your nearest trusted supplier. Anywhere that does installation hardware will do this kind of thing I would think. In the uk I would probably head to an electrical wholesaler (RS, Farnell, TLA). Are home depot a thing everywhere in the US?
Some of these ^^^ with fire rated zip ties / cable ties for the cable and the AP just bolted in.
Maybe consider fitting metal cable tray for areas with more than one or two cables. UK link but something like this
The rings are really nice with a long pole to push the wire through, you can get about 20 or 30 feet if you space the rings every 10 feet or so. Or since they are split, run the cable as you hang the rings. I’ve done this both ways and theycan really speed up the process if they are already hung in place.
The conduit attached to a quad box and hung down away from the beam idea shown in that thread is probably best, it gets the AP away from the metal beam which might help prevent reflections. Might be worth finding a spacing that won’t cause an in wavelength reflection for both 2.4gh and 5ghz radios. That is probably more than about 10 centimetres, but you can probably look that info up on the web. A foot or more would almost certainly be fine.
Check Amazon as well, they are often cheap and with Prime shipping
Here is a good source for beam clamps:
The manufacturer says bridle hooks are not recommended for performance cable.
What is the preferred hardware for connecting J-Hooks to warehouse beams?
nVent Caddy is the answer. https://www.erico.com/category.asp?category=R156
How about mounting the AP’s to a vertical conduit? I have a few AP’s mounted to beams and purlins in a warehouse but would like to lower. I am trying to determine a viable way to connect vertical 3/4" EMT to a pro mounting plate.
Those J hooks looks nice, I’ve never worked with any that had gates over the J to keep things inside the hooks. We always bought the cheapest thing mankind could make everywhere that I’ve used J hooks.
Yeah the cheap metal does not hold up in some warehouse environments. The nVent Caddy can usually be found for a good price on eBay. I also go with Garvin (available at Home Depot) if zinc plated is good enough for the environment.
For the AP’s to vertical conduit, the best option I have found so far is a pro mounting plate and a junction box.
I realize the posts are in excess of a year old but I just came across them.
For mounting an AP directly to a beam I simply use a 1900 4 inch electrical box, a beam clamp and a 1/4" x 1/2" bolt to attach the box to the beam clamp.
Cisco mounting plates have holes to match the screw holes of the box but the mounting plates of other manufacturers may have to have a hole drilled in the mounting plate. For instance for the Unifi APs I simply remove the screws from the 1900 box, place a piece of paper over the plate poking holes in the paper to mark the holes, I then use this template to mark holes on the plastic AP mounting bracket (typically attached to the AP out of the box), drill out the two holes, screw the plate on onto the box, then attached the beam clamp to the box.
Once these steps are done I add a patch cable to the AP then place it onto the mount bracket before I hang it from the beam. Makes everything really simple to do on the ground.
If you want the AP to hang lower you can attach a 1/4" threaded rod (36" rods can be purchased at Home Depot and Lowes) to the beam clamp (add a nut to sung up against the beam clamp for a bit more security), at the box end add a nut and washer to the rod, thread the rod through a hole in the box then add another washer and nut.
The cable can be attached to the rod to dress it. This is a very simple, quick and cheap way option if you are not capable or your budget doesn’t allow you to hire a pro to install conduit.
As for using bridle rings or cabling, this is yet another quick solution when running just a few cables, J hooks are a better solution for weight distribution when multiple cables are ran.