Thursday, March 17, 2016

Upgrading Cisco IOS XE switches

IOS XE based switches like the 3850 series are Linux based. Compared to a 3750 switch where the tar file was under 15MB the 3850s have HUGE files. On the order of 300MB or 20 times the size of the 3750. Since the image is so large Cisco doesn't recommend using tftp to copy the image over. Here is the method TAC gave me and it has worked successfully on every switch I have used it on.

The switches can run in Bundle or install mode. Install mode is the recommended and is the method discussed in this blog.

Downloading the file

Log into's support site with your CCO credentials and search for the IOS XE file. Once you find the file click on the file name and copy the MD5 checksum value. You can drag your mouse over the hash to select it and then ctrl+c to copy it. We will need that to verify the file after we copy it to flash.

In our case - MD5 Checksum: 5fa29c3d9df48f882f4d6439b81bc2ce

Using SCP

I wrote a blog on using SCP a while back. You can refer to it for more detail if needed Using SCP to transfer files. On MAC/Linux SCP is built in.

On windows you will need to download an SCP tool. Since I use SuperPutty when I'm on Windows the Putty version of SCP (PSCP) is what I use. You can download it here. No install is required for PSCP and I saved it to my downloads folder.

If you prefer a GUI, WinSCP is a free open source graphical program for Windows.

On the switch, from global configuration mode, add "ip scp server enable" to enable SCP. You will need to be running a "K9" firmware version to use SCP. You can do a "sh ver | i K9" to determine if the switch is running a crypto image. Here is an example:

My-3850#sh ver | i K9
Cisco IOS Software, IOS-XE Software, Catalyst 4500 L3 Switch  Software (cat4500es8-UNIVERSALK9-M), Version 03.06.04.E RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2)

You will need the following information to copy the file:
IP Address of the switch -
Username and password of a user on the switch - mhubbard / mW!yV1s^L1Bx
The filename to copy - cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin

Once the download is complete open a cmd window, CD to the folder where you saved pscp and enter:
pscp -scp -pw mW!yV1s^L1Bx C:\tftp-root\cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin mhubbard@

pw - this is the password for the user. In this case mW!yV1s^L1Bx for user mhubbard
mhubbard@ - mhubbard is the user on the switch and is the IP

You will get some feedback on how fast the copy is going and a percent complete counter.
cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin | 8784 kB | 798.5 kB/s | ETA: 00:06:35 |   2%

If SCP isn't enabled on the switch you will receive this message:
Administratively disabled.
Fatal: Received unexpected end-of-file from server

Copy switch to switch

If one switch already has the firmware on it you can use SCP to copy the image to anohter switch:

My-3850#copy scp: flash:
Address or name of remote host []?
Source username [mhubbard]?
Source filename [cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.05.E.152-2.E5.bin]?
Destination filename [cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.05.E.152-2.E5.bin]?

Verifying the copy

This is the key step! Once the copy is complete log onto the switch and run a dir of flash:

Directory of flash:/

40402  -rwx     2097152  Mar 16 2016 16:58:43 -07:00  nvram_config
40403  -rw-        2574  Oct 24 2014 04:58:09 -07:00  aup.html
40404  -rw-         344  Oct 24 2014 04:58:09 -07:00  failed.html
40405  -rw-        4082  Oct 24 2014 04:58:09 -07:00  login.html
40406  -rw-         318  Oct 24 2014 04:58:09 -07:00  loginscript.js
40407  -rw-        1116  Oct 24 2014 04:58:09 -07:00  logout.html
40408  -rw-       70123  Oct 24 2014 04:58:10 -07:00  yourlogo.jpg
40409  -rw-        2846  Oct 24 2014 04:58:09 -07:00  consent.html
40410  -rw-         984  Mar 15 2016 19:18:26 -07:00  vlan.dat
40418  -rw-        1234  Oct 24 2014 04:27:48 -07:00  packages.conf.00-
48483  -rw-    82653508  Dec 30 2014 19:27:39 -08:00  cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
40419  -rw-        1236  Dec 30 2014 19:27:48 -08:00  packages.conf
72722  drwx        4096  Oct 24 2014 04:28:16 -07:00  mnt
40412  -rw-    82672260  Oct 24 2014 04:27:36 -07:00  cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
40413  -rw-     6601404  Oct 24 2014 04:27:36 -07:00  cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
40414  -rw-    33747948  Oct 24 2014 04:27:36 -07:00  cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
40415  -rw-    42769724  Oct 24 2014 04:27:37 -07:00  cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E.pkg
40416  -rw-    25711500  Oct 24 2014 04:27:37 -07:00  cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
40417  -rw-    98462528  Oct 24 2014 04:27:37 -07:00  cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
72723  drwx        4096  Feb 20 2016 17:09:01 -08:00  dc_profile_dir
48484  -rw-     6625980  Dec 30 2014 19:27:39 -08:00  cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
48485  -rw-    33749996  Dec 30 2014 19:27:39 -08:00  cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
48486  -rw-    42827072  Dec 30 2014 19:27:39 -08:00  cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E1.pkg
64644  -rw-    25727884  Dec 30 2014 19:27:39 -08:00  cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
64645  -rw-    99240768  Dec 30 2014 19:27:40 -08:00  cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
40411  -rw-   302988468  Mar 16 2016 18:03:48 -07:00  cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin

The file is in flash and the size, time/date stamp looks correct.

Now run the MD5 verify command. A lot of dots will scroll by before it completes, I truncated all but one row!

verify /md5 cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin
verify /md5 (flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin) = 5fa29c3d9df48f882f4d6439b81bc2ce

Compare it to the value from the Cisco site - 5fa29c3d9df48f882f4d6439b81bc2ce.

As you can see the file passed the verify operation.

Now we can start the installation:
My-3850#software install file flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin new verbose
Preparing install operation ...
[1]: Copying software from active switch 1 to switch 2
[1]: Finished copying software to switch 2
[1 2]: Starting install operation
[1 2]: Expanding bundle flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin
[1 2]: Copying package files
[1 2]: Package files copied
[1 2]: Finished expanding bundle flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin
[1 2]: Verifying and copying expanded package files to flash:
[1 2]: Verified and copied expanded package files to flash:
[1 2]: Starting compatibility checks
[1 2]: Finished compatibility checks
[1 2]: Starting application pre-installation processing
[1 2]: Finished application pre-installation processing
[1]: Old files list:
    Removed cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E1.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
[2]: Old files list:
    Removed cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E1.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    Removed cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
[1]: New files list:
    Added cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E4.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
[2]: New files list:
    Added cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E4.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
    Added cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
[1 2]: Creating pending provisioning file
[1 2]: Finished installing software.  New software will load on reboot.
[1 2]: Committing provisioning file

[1 2]: Do you want to proceed with reload? [yes/no]: n

Notice that I selected no instead of yes to reload the switch. There is one more step to take before reloading. Initially I used tftp to copy and install the file in one step. I didn't verify or do this step. I ended up with one switch at rommon mode and one switch stack that was missing its configuration!

Run the following to see the packages:
My-3850#dir | i 3.06.04
40408  -rw-    82665136  Mar 15 2016 18:30:27 -07:00  cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
40409  -rw-     4913852  Mar 15 2016 18:30:27 -07:00  cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
40410  -rw-    33784816  Mar 15 2016 18:30:27 -07:00  cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
40412  -rw-    27417488  Mar 15 2016 18:30:28 -07:00  cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg

My-3850#more flash:packages.conf
#! /usr/binos/bin/

Notice that this command runs a Linux shell command.

When it finishes make sure that all the packages are set to the 03.06.04 pkg.

sha1sum: b67332dea64aae6b5d80f92b19713413707f9c27
iso   rp 0 0   rp_base       cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
iso   rp 0 0   rp_infra       cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
iso   rp 0 0   rp_platform       cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg
iso   rp 0 0   rp_iosd       cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E4.pkg
iso   rp 0 0   rp_wcm       cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
iso   rp 0 0   drivers       cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.04.E.pkg

# -start- superpackage .pkginfo
# pkginfo: Name: rp_super
# pkginfo: PackageFileType: iso
# pkginfo: BuildTime: Sat Feb 13 04:00:36 PST 2016
# pkginfo: ReleaseDate: Sat Feb 13 04:00:36 PST 2016
# pkginfo: .BuildArch: mips
# pkginfo: RouteProcessor: mips
# pkginfo: Platform: ng3k
# pkginfo: User: abhakat
# pkginfo: PackageName: cat3k_caa-universalk9
# pkginfo: Build: 03.06.04.E
# pkginfo: Dependencies: PROVIDES:cat3k_caa-base,03.06.04.E,mips;cat3k_caa-infra,03.06.04.E,mips;cat3k_caa-platform,03.06.04.E,mips;cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9,152-
# pkginfo: .SupportedBoards: unknown
# pkginfo: .BuildPath: unknown
# pkginfo: BuildType: Production
# -end- superpackage .pkginfo

At this point reload and go get a cup of coffee (or two) while it restarts!

But what if they don't match up? 

I asked TAC and here is the response:
After the package files are expanded and copied to flash, the running provisioning file (flash:packages.conf) is updated to reflect the newly installed packages, and the controller displays a reload prompt.

If this is not pointing to the correct version, run the software install command again and make sure you are not getting a new provisioning file, sometimes the .conf file name is changed and we need to modify the boot variable to the correct provisioned file.

Cisco refers to “packages.conf” as the provision file. Sometimes when we expand the images this file name might change, at the moment of the expand the same system let you know about the file name change, when this happen the only thing you need to do is to modify the boot variable to point to the new file.

Watch the install messages closely and if you see a message stating that the packages.conf file name has changed you MUST update the boot variable before reloading. If you don't the switch will reload to the switch: prompt.

Note: you will see packages.conf.00- if this is the first upgrade and packages.conf.01- if it's the second and so on. You can run more (a standard Linux command!) on these files just as packages.conf.

A Failed Upgrade

I mentioned earlier that before I started following this procedure I had a switch that booted to switch: after the upgrade. Here is a dir from that switch. You can see that the packages have 0 bytes. TAC said that was probably because I used tftp for the transfer and the .bin was corrupt.
switch: dir flash:
Directory of flash:/

16161  drwx  4096       .
    2  drwx  4096       ..
16162  -rwx  2097152    nvram_config
16163  -r--  0          vlan.dat
16164  -rw-  1236       packages.conf.00-
    0  -rw-  1236       cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    0  -rw-  1236       cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    0  -rw-  1236       cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    0  -rw-  1236       cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E1.pkg
16184  -rw-  1234       packages.conf.01-
16185  -rw-  1236       packages.conf
16170  drwx  4096       mnt
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.00E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
16169  -rw-  2574       aup.html
16173  -rw-  344        failed.html
16174  -rw-  4082       login.html
16175  -rw-  318        loginscript.js
16176  -rw-  1116       logout.html
16177  -rw-  577536     yourlogo.jpg
16178  -rw-  2846       consent.html
16179  drwx  4096       dc_profile_dir
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.01E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.03E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.03E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.03E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E3.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.03E.pkg
    0  drwx  4096       cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA.

1557549056 bytes available (29929472 bytes used)

Operation timed out waiting for switch 2

I had this happen recently. I verified the copy but the install timed out on switch 2.

software install file flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.10.E.152-2.E10.bin
Preparing install operation ...
[1]: Copying software from active switch 1 to switch 2
[1]: Finished copying software to switch 2
[1 2]: Starting install operation
[1 2]: Expanding bundle flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.10.E.152-2.E10.bin
[1 2]: Copying package files
[1 2]: Package files copied
[1 2]: Finished expanding bundle flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.10.E.152-2.E10.bin
[1]: % Operation timed out waiting for switch 2 to respond. Operation aborted.

It didn't say what operation timed out so I ran a dir on switch 2:

dir flash-2:
Directory of flash-2:/

 8083  -rwx     2097152   Jul 9 2019 14:14:23 -07:00  nvram_config
 8084  -rw-        1344  Feb 27 2019 00:21:09 -08:00  vlan.dat
 8082  -rw-   302112348  Jun 27 2019 15:33:33 -07:00  cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.10.E.152-2.E10.bin
 8101  -rw-        1236   Mar 7 2017 15:45:15 -08:00  packages.conf
40402  drwx        4096  Sep 11 2014 03:06:13 -07:00  mnt
40403  drwx        4096  Feb 27 2019 00:20:01 -08:00  dc_profile_dir
 8089  -rw-        2574  Sep 11 2014 03:39:08 -07:00  aup.html
 8092  -rw-         344  Sep 11 2014 03:39:08 -07:00  failed.html
 8093  -rw-        4082  Sep 11 2014 03:39:03 -07:00  login.html
 8094  -rw-         318  Sep 11 2014 03:39:08 -07:00  loginscript.js
 8095  -rw-        1116  Sep 11 2014 03:39:08 -07:00  logout.html
 8096  -rw-       70123  Sep 11 2014 03:39:08 -07:00  yourlogo.jpg
 8097  -rw-        2846  Sep 11 2014 03:39:08 -07:00  consent.html
 8103  -rw-    83293932   Mar 7 2017 15:45:12 -08:00  cat3k_caa-base.SPA.03.06.06E.pkg
 8104  -rw-     3982012   Mar 7 2017 15:45:12 -08:00  cat3k_caa-drivers.SPA.03.06.06E.pkg
 8105  -rw-    33788908   Mar 7 2017 15:45:12 -08:00  cat3k_caa-infra.SPA.03.06.06E.pkg
 8106  -rw-    43074880   Mar 7 2017 15:45:13 -08:00  cat3k_caa-iosd-universalk9.SPA.152-2.E6.pkg
16161  -rw-    28394380   Mar 7 2017 15:45:13 -08:00  cat3k_caa-platform.SPA.03.06.06E.pkg
16162  -rw-   111233856   Mar 7 2017 15:45:13 -08:00  cat3k_caa-wcm.SPA. 

The .bin file is on switch 2 and the file size looks correct. I ran "more packages.conf" and "dir pack*.*" and everything looked  go to boot into the old image. I reloaded and then the install completed successfully.

The switch was on 3.6.6 and hadn't been rebooted in over a year. I think that 3.6.6 may have a memory leak because I have had issues with this version where the console isn't reponsive or other issues and a reload always corrects it. 


Catalyst 3850 Series Switch Upgrade, Management, and Recovery Techniques - If you have a switch that boots to the "switch:" prompt you can follow the instructions in this document to recover.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Configure Network Devices with Excel and Word Mail Merge

If you have several of the same type devices to configure it will be faster and more accurate to create a template and then use a Word feature called "Mail Merge" to create the actual configurations. Mail Merge can be linked to an Excel spread sheet to pull in the data.

For example, assume we have a company with 5 data closets and each closet uses a different vlan for the access ports. A customer requirement is to have the switch serial number configured as an SNMP location. The customer also has a standard for the hostname and uses RADIUS authentication against a Microsoft NPS server. Additionally, you use SuperPutty to manage the switches.

In Excel you can create a formula to build the NPS server script and the SuperPutty string used in the XML file. If you haven't used Excel to create formulas you should download my sample file and look it over. Excel is a great tool for network configuration once you get formulas down. A simple google for Excel calculation will turn up many websites with examples.

The items in the header row become mail merge items in Word. Here are several of the rows from the sample spread sheet.

With the spread sheet created it's time to build the Word document for the switch configuration. Once that is complete click the "Mailings" menu. That brings up several new selections in the Word Ribbon. Now click on "Select Recipients and Use Existing List..."

A File Open dialog box with open. It ALWAYS opens in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\QUERIES" which is very annoying if you use a cloud storage provider for your files. Anyway, navigate to the Excel spread sheet and select it. In my case I have more than one work sheet defined so I saw the following dialog:

This dialog let's you select the workbook to use with the merge. In this case I have two workbooks defined - SITE1 and SITE2. If I am configuring switches for site1 I would obviously select SITE1. Same logic if I was configuring site 2.

Now that the spread sheet is linked to the Word document we can insert the mail merge fields. Simply navigate to where you need a field then click "Mailings, Insert Merge Field" and select the field. Here is an example of inserting the HostName field: 

hostname «HostName». 

When the mail merge is executed the «HostName» field will be replaced with the value from the spread sheet. You can create as many merge fields as you need. 

Execute the Merge

Once you have added all the merge fields and saved the document you are ready to run it. Click the "Mailings Menu, then Finish and Merge, Edit Individual Documents...

A dialog will open allowing you to select All, Current or From.

The first column in my work book is named item. I don't use it in my switch configuration, it is in the work book so that if I want to configure only one switch I can pick it out easily. To configure the first two switches you would select From: and enter 1 and 2. 

As soon as you click Ok the merge will run and a new Word document will open. It will be named Letters1 and will contain all of the configurations. At this point I normally click ctrl+a and then ctrl+x to select all the text and cut it. I then paste it into a notepad to remove any hidden characters that Word may have inserted.

Below is a link to a sample Word document and spread sheet. You will need to change the column headers to meet your needs. If  you start with my spread sheet and change the headers you are prompted when running the merge that fields were not found. Simply click "Remove from document" and Word will remove my fields.

I encourage you to download my samples and try it. Once you get the hang of it you will find it's much better than using "Search and replace" to create configurations. It also allows you to "Outsource" creating configs because you can create the template, fill out the spread sheet and then send it to a co-worker who can do the actual configuring. Plus, you can get peer review on the spread sheet to reduce the chance of error.

The sample spread sheet has columns for SuperPutty and Network Policy Server.


To use the SuperPutty item simply edit the formula (use caution as there are a lot of """ character sets in it) to match your SuperPutty format. Then close SuperPutty, open the sessions.xml file in the SuperPutty folder and paste it in. I use Notepad++ and it color codes the XML file making it easier to view. Save the changes and then close the file. When you re-open SuperPutty you will find a folder with the new switches in it.

Microsoft Network Policy Server

Setting up a Microsoft Network Policy Server is very easy and will give you a free RADIUS server for switch (or 802.1x) Authentication. Server Standard is limited to 50 devices, Data Center is unlimited.

It is a Cisco Best Practice to use RADIUS (or TACACS+) for authentication. If you are using NPS the last column in my spread sheet creates the code needed to configure the device in NPS. Simply open a command line as an administrator and paste the code in. Super simple and it will save a lot of time over manually creating devices in NPS.

My Template
I always try to follow Cisco best practices whenever possible. As you look at the template hopefully you will find some best practices that you can implement in your environment.

Create a Wireless Access Point stand with Schedule 40 PVC

I was asked to setup some some Access Points for a large gathering. The location was a high school auditorium with no easy way to mount the APs. Luckily I had a weekend before the event.

I stopped by Home Depot and picked up some Schedule 40 PVC pipe, Tees, elbows, a piece of 1 3/8" steel punched flat bar and a box of 1/2" self tapping screws, a couple 1/4" x 2 1/4" Hex Head Cap screws and nuts and some 1/4" washers. I created a decent AP stand for under $20.

The stand is light weight, easy to disassemble for transport and worked great. The customer has used them at several events now and they have worked perfectly. I finally got around to modeling the stand in Solidworks 2010 and have created a Bill of Materials and some drawings saved as PDF files.

Not shown in the BoM or model files are 1x1in. UV Mounting Base Model # HW-4ACB  SKU #296167. These are small pieces of plastic with slots for cable ties. I screwed them into the PCV pipe, put cable ties in a loop and then ran the Ethernet cable through them. They keep the Ethernet cable organized. I have considered drill holes in the elbow near the mounting strap and running the cable internally. I think it would look better but it would make assembly at the site more involved.

Tools Required

Hack saw
Disk sander
Hand drill with a 1/4" and 3/32" drill bit
Sand paper

If you have access to a band saw so much the better! First cut the pipe into the following:
(1) piece 9" long
(4) pieces 15 3/4" long
(4) pieces 3" long
(2) pieces 48" long

Use the disk sander to square up the edges and the sand paper to smooth out the edges. If you don't have a disc sander you can purchase a PVC cutter for around $15. This will cut the pipe square enough to use as is.

Cut the 1 3/8" steel 5" long and round the corners on the disk sander. If you don't have a disc sander use the sand paper to remove the burrs and use as is. It will still work just fine.

Drill 1/4" holes through the 9" piece of pipe using the SCH40-1-25x9.pdf file for dimensions. The link to the files is at the end of the blog.


Assemble the 9" pipe and 1 3/8" steel mount using the AP-Mounting-Assy.pdf as a guide. When complete it will look like this:

The Cisco AP mount fits perfectly on the 1 3/8" strap and the PVC keeps it from sliding off.

Assembling the base

This step is easier with two people. 
Start with a Tee and insert a 3" piece of pipe into each side. The 48" section will go into the third.
Attach a Tee to each 3" section.
Insert one 15 3/4" piece of pipe into each Tee.
Insert a 3" piece of pipe int each Tee.
Attach a 45 degree fitting to each 3" piece.
Insert one 15 3/4" piece of pipe into each 45 degree fitting.
Place caps onto each 15 3/4" piece of pipe.
Insert a 48" piece of pipe into the vertical Tee.

Place a 20" long 3/4" x 2 1/2" piece of wood under the center Tee. Rotate each 15 3/4" pieces down until the caps are on the floor. You can leave the base flat but this creates a more stable base than leaving the base flat.

Make sure that the 48" pipe is vertical or slightly forward. 
Drill 3/32" holes through each Tee and 3" piece of pipe. 
Screw the #8 self tapping screws into the holes. 
Drill 3/32" holes through each 45 degree fitting and 3" piece of pipe. 
Screw the #8 self tapping screws into the holes. 
Drill 3/32" holes through each 45 degree fitting and 15 3/4" piece of pipe. 
Screw the #8 self tapping screws into the holes. 

Now you just insert the 48" pipe, attach the coupler, insert the 2nd 48" pipe and attach the elbow with the AP mount. To transport simply remove the AP mount, remove the two 48" pipes and the 15 3/4 pipes. 

Here are the Solidworks files, PDF and JPGs of the project. There is a file called ap-stand.wrl in the directory. This is a VRML file. VRML is a format that allows 3d models to be displayed in a browser. You need to install a browser plugin from cortona 3d viewer to view the file.

AP Stand files