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Downgrading Software on LightWeight Access Point

Recently purchased several 3702i LightWeight APs. These shipped with Software version 15.3(3)JD

Our 5508 WLC is only running Software Version , which is not compatible with the Software on the new APs.

Unfortunately, The WLC cannot be upgraded at this time due to some legacy Wireless Devices.

Is there a simple solution that would allow us to downgrade the APs to older software so they will assocaite properly with the WLC?

I have looked for some good documentation and so far have not found anything.


The answer to your question depends on the following.... 

Models of APs you need to support

Model of WLC

Version of Prime (if applicable)

Version of MSE or CMX (if applicable)

The Magic Decoder ring is known as the Wireless compatibility matrix.

Also when you say "legacy wireless devices" what are you referring to exactly ? 

William Kuczmera


William, most of the info is in my Initial post.

access points are 3702i

Wlc is 5508

Legacy are older Cisco APs, but that's irrelevant as we just need to know the WLC cannot be upgraded.

I just need to know if we can downgrade the APs without needing the controller 


No worries. What I was trying to clarify is what are the legacy model APs you need to support. 

You can downgrade the code on the APs... but you need to reference the Compatibility Matrix. 

So specific model APs will work on a specific models of controllers with specific versions of code. 

In a controller based model the Controller code revision is the AP code revision. They are one in the same as the AP gets its code from the WLC. In other words, they are on the same code rev. 

You could run some of your older APs in Autonomous mode if you are really in a pinch but its not easy or fun and forget about roaming from the the Autonomous APs to the Controller based APs. 

The simple answer is buy new APs. 


I have seen some organizations buy a little 2504 to support legacy APs only or stand up a Virtual WLC for the same reason.  

William Kuczmera


Dear All,
I have some queries we are using 2504 cisco wi-fi controller with 10 access points. So now I procured 2 new AIR 3802l-D-K9 access points this access point has an 8.3 version firmware. But now the problem is in the controller has an 8.2 version firmware now I can't add 2 this AP to this controller and not able to discover AP from the controller. If AIR 3802l-D-K9 access points downgrade the firmware to 8.2 version then can able to add to the controller? Please help us resolve this issues.


Should be able to join as long as the country code is defined on the wlc. 3800 minimum code is
*** Please rate helpful posts ***

How many licenses are installed on the 2504? If it just has 10 AP licenses and you have already 10 APs in use, you can't attach additional APs.


The answer is no. I you have 2 controllers you could load newer code to support new model and keep the other controller on old code. 

"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin

I suppose, during discovery phase WLC downgrade AP without any additional configuration. 

Of not (very unlikely), you can download image 15.3(3)JA10 (it is, name ap3g2-rcvk9w8-tar.153-3.JA10.tar and install :

debug capwap console cli

archive download-sw /force-reload /overwrite tftp://

AP3702 supports images from 7.6. 

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