Like many other engineers in my field I like to play with a variety of vendor APs at home in my spare time and over the years have amassed quite a collection.
I regularly switch between different APs in use to test features and functionality, this usually leaves spare APs scattered about my very small home office getting in the way.
Recently I decided that I needed to put them somewhere useful, easily accessible but out of the way.
In my home office (shed) I have a bit of wall which had a large calendar on it last year, as I don’t have a replacement this year I thought it might be a perfect space for this ‘project’.
The space is around 63cm wide and not much taller than that before going down the side of my 3D printer. This actually works quite well as you can get sheets of MDF in 620mm x 1220mm sizes.
Once I got my sheet of MDF I divided it in half and drew a grid with 4cm spacing between the lines, working from the centre outwards this gave me a 15 x 15 grid.
How did I get 4cm? Well, I measured the mounting holes on the pile of APs and worked out that most had 4cm, 8cm or 12cm hole spacing for the brackets or keyholes. Not all of them are like that and I will deal with those later!
The next job was to drill 3mm pilot holes, then open the holes out to 5mm before hammering in 225 x M4 Captive fixings on the rear of the panel.
Once this was done, it was simply a case of a quick sand all over to remove the rough edges and then put 4 screws in the corners and mounting it to the wall in my office.
Once the board was in place I could get my APs off the desk and put up somewhere nice and tidy!
I’ve used M4 round headed bolts to fix the AP brackets to the board, in some cases I’ve only used one bolt to hold the AP in place as the hole pattern doesn’t match the 4cm grid plan. I am intending to 3D print some brackets to provide ‘keyhole’ mounting lugs for some of the non 4cm APs. The great thing is, the spare holes on the board can be used to hold some spare screws for more APs in the future.
Also on the plan is to get a couple of network cables round from my PoE switch and fix them in place to allow me to easily plug/unplug whichever AP I need to use.
This project has cost about £22, I didnt really keep too much of a close eye as I already had a few of the bits lying round. The MDF was £9ish for 9mm from my local B&Q, because I cut it in half I actually have some spare to make a second board (which I’m considering doing to take to work). The captive nuts were from an ebay seller for about £13 for 250.
If you have found this post useful please feel free to ping me on twitter or leave a comment! It would be great to hear your thoughts on any improvements etc.