CWNA Summary Notes: Site Survey Tools

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Indoor Site Surveys Tools

  1. Spectrum analyzer for RF spectrum analysis
  2. Blueprints or floor plans of the facility
  3. Received signal strength measurement tool
  4. 802.11 client card – prefer the vendor that will be deployed
  5. AP – preferably 2.
  6. Battery pack for AP and for the laptop
  7. Binoculars to view distant objects ( eg high ceiling and in the ceiling)
  8. Walkie-talkies or cellular phones for communication with site survey partners etc
  9. Antennas, both omni-directional and indoor semi-directional
  10. Temporary mounting gear – Bungee cords, plastic ties, duct tape, tripod
  11. Digital camera to record the exact placement of the APs and site specific information
  12. Measuring wheel (best p[tion) or laser measuring meter to measure cable distances
  13. Colored electrical tape to mark where AP was mounted. Advisable to use different colours for different channels.
  14. Ladder or forklift to mount the APs

It is not advisable to conduct a coverage analysis survey using one vendor’s access point and then deploy a completely different vendor’s hardware.

Outdoor Site Survey Tools

  1. Topography map
  2. Link analysis software to generate a bridge link profile and also perform many of the necessary calculations like Fresnel zone and EIRP
  3. Calculators
  4. Maximum tree growth data to estimate tree growth so as to avoid potential obstructions
  5. Binoculars
  6. Walkie-talkies or cellular phones for communication with site survey partners etc
  7. Signal generator and wattmeter (Bird Meter) to test cabling, connectors, and accessories for signal loss and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR)
  8. Variable-loss attenuator to simulate different cable lengths or cable losses by adjusting the amount of energy that is absorbed.
  9. Inclinometer used to determine how high obstructions are.
  10. Global Positioning System (GPS) device to record latitude and longitude coordinates.
  11. Digital camera
  12. Spectrum analyzer used to test ambient RF levels at transmit sites.
  13. Antennas and access points are not typically used during the bridging site survey. If all the bridging measurements and calculations are accurate, then the bridge link will work. An outdoor site survey for a mesh network will require mesh APs and antennas.

References:

  1. CWNA Certified Wireless Network Administrator Study Guide by David D. Coleman and David A. Westcott.
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