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I'd like to add a ceiling-mounted Wi-Fi Access Point to the upper floor of an already existing house (USA, wood studs, built 1998).

I have access to the attic above and would run Category 6 ethernet (UTP, CMR or CMP) to this location.

If I use an AP like the Unifi AP Lite, which can be ceiling mounted, what's the best way to handle the "appearance" of the ethernet cable in the ceiling? I believe the choices are:

  • (a) hole in ceiling, push the cable through the hole from above, and terminate the cable with a plastic 'RJ45' plug, or a fancy Category 6 version. Cover the hole with the AP. Mount the AP with screws and drywall anchors to the drywall ceiling. (The UBNT community doesn't seem to worry about the weight of the AP.)
  • (b) wall plate on the ceiling with keystone-style punchdown jack and a very short 6" patch cable to the AP (I believe it has a recess to stow the cable)
  • (c) old-work box mounted to a ceiling stud (attic joist). Bore a hole in the ceiling the size of the old-work box. Terminate the ethernet cable inside the old-work box. (This seems like overkill).

Is a plain-old hole ("a") an okay way to go here-- Any concerns about losing the cable up into the hole?

And, I know they say "it's just as easy to pull two cables as one" but do I really need to pull two cables to this location? I can't imagine needing a second ethernet cable in the ceiling at this exact location!

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    IMHO "proper craftsmanship" would be your option (c). It's the way I like to think I'd do it ;) but I've never seen it done that way ... – brhans Oct 13 '18 at 12:54
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    Old work 4” round. I can’t remember if the holes in the bracket were correct or if we had to drill our own, but the device fits rather well on 4” round. – Tyson Oct 13 '18 at 13:04
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    For this low voltage I would not use a old work box (not required for cable/WiFi) I would use a low voltage ring cut the hole get a cover plate with the appropriate size hole then put the rj45 plug on quick cheap the hole is sealed somewhat so heating and cooling are not affected. If you want to move it later you can slip the plate into the attic and put a solid cover plate. – Ed Beal Oct 13 '18 at 15:07
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    I would not pull an extra cable to the location in a house. Done right, the AP has no visible cable when installed, so what you do above it (as LV cable) does not matter. If you have dreams of absurd $700 APs, they do make versions that will take two cables and use them both, but in a house - unlikely. – Ecnerwal Oct 13 '18 at 15:10
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    @EdBeal we used old work specifically because it’s attic above with blown in insulation. Low voltage rings don’t contain that as well. The AP looks rather nice with no exposed cable, I have the same one as the OP is proposing. – Tyson Oct 13 '18 at 17:54
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This is a very short answer but I'd just use the mounting disc that comes with the AP, drill a small hole in the ceiling and put a plug on the cable and you're done. The instructions for the AP show how to mount it but it's really just a matter of three screws and drywall anchors and when mounted no cable visible. Look at the disc and you'll see where the hole needs to be.

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    If you have access above and want to overkill it, you can use the metal plate and machine-thread screws and nuts intended for acoustic tile mounting. As for the cable itself, just poke a hole in the right spot and terminate - it's low voltage cable, the AP mount and AP are a perfectly good LV "box" and nothing more is needed, though you can overkill that to your heart's content. DO be careful about the angle of the cable, though, as sharp bends are bad. Some of the newer heavy metal UniFi HD APs might rate an anchor (or again the plate, which is even better, as you do have access above.) – Ecnerwal Oct 13 '18 at 15:07

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