WN Podcast 004 – Pre-Deployment Survey – 4P Part 2

Welcome to our fourth WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

Today we’re going to discuss second survey type of our hot ‘4 Ps’ – Pre-Deployment Wireless Survey.

Just to recap, there 4 main types of wireless surveysL

  • Predictive (Software Simulation)
  • Pre-Deployment (Simulation Validation)
  • Post Deployment (Deployment Validation)
  • Periodic (Healthcheck)

Structure of today’s episode:

  • What is a Pre-Deployment Survey?
    • Predictive Survey Validation, checking if the Predictive Survey is accurate in real-world conditions
    • Simulating new WLAN deployment using AP-on-a-stick
  • What are the benefits and use cases for Pre-Deployment Survey?
    • Targeting greenfield sites that are too difficult or impractical to simulate in Ekahau
    • Prove the RF concept – example: will cross floor leakage between floors through atrium affect RTLS?
    • Ensures all the RF requirements (overlapping, coverage, etc.) are met before the WLAN is even deployed
  • Pre-Deployment Survey Tools
    • AP-on-a-stick
    • Ekahau
    • Predictive Survey Report
  • AP-on-a-stick configuration
    • Sturdy tripod, at least 3m high (but higher is better), can be on wheels
    • Different brackets for different types of APs
    • AP that will be used during the deployment or at least with very similar propagation pattern
    • PoE battery, ideally at least providing 30W 802.3at PoE for newer APs
    • Patch lead to connect the PoE battery to the AP
  • Pre-Reqs:
    • Complete Predictive Survey – see previous episode
    • Plan your day on site – ensure access to relevant areas and that the business knows how your work would look like
    • Sometimes multiple AP-on-a-sticks are required
    • Charge that PoE battery 🙂
    • Take PoE injector with you
  • How do you perform Pre-Deployment Survey?
    • Prepare Ekahau survey – normally an empty project with just a scaled map and building layout
    • Place AP-on-a-stick in a proposed (in a Predictive Survey) new AP location
    • Do a ‘mini’ survey around it ensuring you go as far as the reach of the AP
    • Freeze the AP
    • Repeat for all the relevant APs in an area being subject to Pre-Deployment Survey
    • Create a report showing real heatmaps of a soon-to-be-completed wireless solution
  • Challenges
    • Clunky, heavy and expensive equipment
    • Very time consuming
    • More often than not doesn’t bring too much value to the project but extremely valuable for specific use-cases
    • In most cases a thing of a past, but still notoriously used as a main wifi planning tool by tons of vendor partners and integrators

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media. Cheers!

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