survey

WN Podcast 009 – Periodic Survey – 4P Part 4

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode.

We have reached the final P in our 4 part 4Ps Survey type!

Matt has spent last few weeks on site again working on projects every single day and has recently attended the Wireless Lan Association conference in Reading in the UK and was a total blast with some great speakers talking about WiFi all day.

Mac has been swamped with project work recently too and has just got back from a well-earned yoga & meditation break to Italy with his wife Magda! Food was amazing and despite it being extremely light and healthy, they haven’t lost any weight due to pigging out every day.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • What is a Periodic Survey?
    • Ensure that wireless network is STILL performing optimally by conducting periodic site survey to account for changes in the dynamic WLAN environment in brownfield sites.
    • Similar to Post-Deployment (see previous episode)
    • Is RSSI & SNR still good?
    • Channel overlapping check
    • Spectrum utilisation check
    • Interference check – rouges and non-WiFi wireless interference
    • Problems? Still Periodic or tshooting focused Assessment?
  • Why is it important to do it?
    • Important to always do it, no matter the vertical nor how big or small the deployment is. Clients have general tendency to push back on doing periodic survey to save costs
    • Physical environment may have changed:
      • New tenants may now occupy floors above or below and have brought new wireless devices with them causing interference on the network
      • New neighbouring buildings might have been erected
      • Some walls might have been put in, removed or changed
    • Requirements may have changed:
      • Wireless network designed for basic data connectivity might now be expected to cater for voice, video, RTLS or high density.
    • Rule of thumb is to check your WiFi condition every year
    • Amazing chance to tweak existing WiFi or flag a need for potential re-design to be better suited for purpose
  • Periodic Survey Tools
    • Ekahau / Sidekick
    • See episode 2 for more info
  • Pre-Reqs:
    • Wireless in place
    • Defined success criteria
    • Access to the site
  • How do you perform Periodic Survey?
    • Prepared survey plans, scale them, etc.
    • No need for drawing walls, but need to define areas and success criteria
    • Standard passive or hybrid survey
    • Office full of users, under normal load, in hours
    • On-site and off-site documentation

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

WN Podcast 007 – Post-Deployment Survey – 4P Part 3

Welcome to our fresh & hot, new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode 🙂

Matt has spent last few weeks on site working on projects every single day and he’s working from home today on a design for the first time in ages.

Mac is still on site in Dublin and he has hijacked client’s meeting room recording this podcast on the new WiFi he’s just put in.

Busy times! But no challenge, no fun. We take it all with a massive smile on our faces as we enjoy it as f….resh cup of coffee in the morning.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • What is a Post-Deployment Survey?
    • RF design validation
    • APs & Antennas installation validation
    • RSSI & SNR validation
    • Channel overlapping validation
    • Spectrum utilisation and interference validation
    • RF configuration validation – channels, Tx, rates
  • Why is it important to do it?
    • Important to always do it, no matter the vertical nor how big or small the deployment is. Clients have general tendency to push back on doing post-deployment survey to save costs
    • Encourage more tests with client devices against success criteria – i.e. test roaming speed with all types of corporate devices while on a call in wireless first voice optimised deployment etc.
    • Capturing as-is condition of a wireless network / documentation
    • Perfect opportunity to make final RF adjustments and ensure new wireless deployment is performing optimally.
  • Post-Deployment Survey Tools
    • Ekahau / Sidekick
    • See episode 2 for more info
  • Pre-Reqs:
    • Completed new deployment
    • At least 24 hours after the deployment to allow for RRM to settle
  • How do you perform Post-Deployment Survey?
    • Prepared survey plans, scale them, etc.
    • No need for drawing walls, but need to define areas and success criteria
    • Standard passive or hybrid survey
    • Office full of users, under normal load, in hours
    • On-site and off-site documentation

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

High five!

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!

WN Podcast 003 – Predictive Survey – 4P Part 1

Hello and welcome to our third WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode 🙂

Today we’re going to discuss one of our 4 Ps – Predictive Wireless Survey!

Mac has just moved to Boughton (outskirts of Northampton) and has some wireless coverage issues at home due to BT box sitting 2 floors below the home office. Sorry for the lower than expected quality while the home production network is being looked at 🙂

Situation should improve in two weeks! Thankfully Matt is sounding as great as ever so we hope it will help with positive reception of this recording :]

Structure of today’s episode:

  • Predictive Wireless Survey – What is a Predicative Wireless Survey?
  • RF Design & Simulation
  • What tools do you use to complete this type of survey

What questions should you be thinking about?

  • How many APs and where?
  • What Power and Channels?
  • What APs and Antennas?

On-Site element part to the survey

  • RF Spectrum Analysis – duty cycle and interferers,
  • DFS Check – radar activity potentially affecting 5GHz band,
  • Visual Site Inspection – APs/antennas mounting limitations,
  • Attenuation of Walls and Ceilings – understand wireless propagation.

Off-Site element part to the survey

  • Use data captured on-site to build an Ekahau model of the premise and predict post-deployment RF parameters such as coverage, interference, SNR, channel overlapping, capacity health, data rate, roaming, throughput, redundancy and more.
  • Then use Ekahau reporting to build a beautiful report to provide all this information back to the customer and the cablers!

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