Cisco Aironet 1132 / 1142 LWAP to AP

Old Cisco Aironet access points make good testing equipment, or a good home/lab network. They can be picked up rather cheap from ebay, although the light-weight access point variant. This LWAP variant is programmed to work with a Cisco Wireless LAN Controller (WLC), but the WLC is a rather expensive piece of hardware. And I like to have more than one active AP, not dependent on one piece of network equipment, for redundancy.
Luckily the LWAP access points can be flashed to be Autonomous access points which can fully function on their own. (Without WLC, yay!)
As always, use at your own risk!

What do you need?

  • The correct IOS image.
  • A TFTP server.
  • A network cable.
  • A console cable (Classic Cisco roll-over).
  • An external power supply (these things can work using PoE, you know?)

I’ll leave it up to you to obtain the IOS image, you can find the correct filenames over at I’ll be using my images in the example, so make sure to replace them.
Also be sure to check the MD5sum of the files before transferring the image!

A TFTP server (for Windows) can be found for free, for example:

Even when installing a wireless access point, finding a network cable should not be a problem. I sure hope so…

A console cable may be an obstacle, as maybe not very body had these lying around. If you need to buy one, I personally prefer the light blue Cisco RJ45 – DB-09 cable. And if you don’t have a serial port on your computer, look immediately for an USB RS-232 serial cable.

You would be surprised if you are not familiar with these access points, but since they can be powered over Ethernet (and are powered that way in most deployments), they are mostly sold without power supply. So make sure you have one, you cannot perform this process using power over Ethernet.

Off we go!

Disconnect everything from the AP, connect your console cable, open your terminal and connect the power supply while holding the “mode” button pressed.
The access point should now boot to ROMMON, it’ll tell you to release the mode button.

If needed (space issues, or old data from previous owner), format the flash:

format flash:

Then enter the next commands:


The access point will tell you when to connect the lan cable, by trying to activate the connection. In this example, the access point is directly connected to the Ethernet port of my computer, my computer is, the ap is configured as The default router can really be anything in the same subnet as it will not be used, I’ve chosen .

For Aironet 1140 series:

tar -xtract tftp:// flash: 

For Aironet 1130 AG series:

tar -xtract tftp:// flash:

Things that may get you in this step:

  • TFTP server not listening on the correct ip
  • AP not in the allowed-clients list
  • different firewall related issue
  • TFTP timeout to low

And last but not least, hold space-bar during the whole process!
For some reason the transfer always fails unless I hold space-bar, so get a paper-weight and put it on your keyboard, this is going to take a while.

To boot the new image, for Aironet 1140 series:

set boot flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD13/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD13
boot flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD13/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD13

For Aironet 1130 AG series:

set boot flash:/c1130-k9w7-mx.124-25d.JA/c1130-k9w7-mx.124-25d.JA
boot flash:/c1130-k9w7-mx.124-25d.JA/c1130-k9w7-mx.124-25d.JA

When booted, the first thing you should do is save a fresh config file:

write mem

Then set the boot image, for Aironet 1140 series:

conf t
boot system flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD13/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD13
write mem

For Aironet 1130 AG series:

conf t
boot system flash:/c1130-k9w7-mx.124-25d.JA/c1130-k9w7-mx.124-25d.JA
write mem

If the access point asks for a username and password, just enter the default cisco / Cisco .

Have fun!