Place Cisco 1720i Access Point into Autonomous mode

If you are like me you occasionally need to setup a single AP into a site either too small for a controller, or unwilling to pay the extra costs associated with one. Here are the steps required to change to Autonomous mode, as I believe that all of the x702i series are shipping in lightweight mode by default.

  1. Log into
  2. Click “Support” at the top
  3. Click the “Downloads” tab
  4. Select the “Wireless” from the left hand pane”
  5. Select “Access Points”
  6. Select “Cisco 1700 Series Access Points”
  7. Select “Cisco Aironet 1702i Access Points”
  8. Click “Autonomous AP IOS Software”
  9. Ideally, you are looking for the highest number firmware revision that’s marked as MD, or GD. In some cases you’ll only see ED revisions, downloaded the highest revision number. Click the “Download” button, and agree to the terms of service.
  10. Connect a network cable from your PC to the AP.
  11. Start a TFTP server on your computer, and set your interface to
  12. Open a Serial connection to the AP, after it finishes booting log in. [Default Password:Cisco ]
  13. Enter the following commands, pressing enter after each line:
    1. enable
    2. debug capwap console cli
    3. debug capwap client no-reload
    4. capwap ap ip address
    5. capwap ap ip default-gateway
    6. Archive download-sw /force /overwrite tftp:// Name%.tar
  14. The AP will reboot automatically. After its finished the reboot, log back in and issue the following command:
    1. show version
  15. Verify the AP is now running the updated image, and that you have access to the full suite of commands.

NOTE: you’ll notice that you keep getting a capwap error while the AP is in lightweight mode, if you are having trouble entering these commands because of it, put them all into a notepade file, wait for the error to appear, and then quickly paste them all in at once.

7 thoughts on “Place Cisco 1720i Access Point into Autonomous mode

  1. Marky Mark

    x702 AP’s ship with both firmware versions installed. To convert an x702 from lightweight to autonomous does not require a software download. It’s just one (hidden) command:

    AP#capwap ap autonomous

    It asks you to confirm then reloads, deleting the lightweight IOS as it goes.
    To go back to lightweight DOES require a software download.

    Here’s a sho flash of a new 1702 before being converted to autonomous. As you can see, there are 2 IOS’s present.

    APe4aa.xxxx.xxxx#sho flash

    Directory of flash:/

    2 -rwx 1048 Mar 1 1993 00:00:20 +00:00 private-multiple-fs
    3 -rwx 155 Jan 1 1970 00:01:39 +00:00 env_vars
    4 -rwx 0 Mar 1 1993 00:00:34 +00:00 config.txt
    38 drwx 576 Jan 1 1970 00:22:17 +00:00 ap3g2-rcvk9w8-mx
    48 drwx 2112 Jan 1 1970 00:27:18 +00:00 ap3g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JAB

    40900608 bytes total (21839360 bytes free)

  2. samuel

    Hello, please can I configure my Cisco 3702i wireless access point to work independent of a Wlan controller? please if yes, how and if no, what other series can work independent of a wireless lan controller?


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