RF Survey -- what's involved or how to do it??

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Ringo Langly, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Ringo Langly

    Ringo Langly Guest

    Hi all,

    We've put a wireless network into two of our buildings, and each has
    identical hardware and access points... in fact the buildings are
    almost identical in layout with AP's in the same spots at both sites.

    With 4 access points per site and a number of wireless devices, we're
    finding one building works great while the other isn't so good. In
    the latter building we can literally put a laptop on a table,
    stationary, and watch the wireless strength go up and down.. from 54
    all the way down to 2 or so mbps and back up -- almost randomly goes
    up and down.

    I've talked to a few folks online and many asked if we did an RF
    Survey of the area before putting in the wireless network. I've never
    hurd of such a survey. Can someone give me info on whats involved in
    doing such a survey or what equiptment is needed?

    Before putting in the network I did use Kismet around each building.
    The one that's having trouble is near a neighborhood with two access
    points which reach to our building... but theirs plus ours are all
    closed with WEP encryption. The site with no problems is isolated
    with nothing around it -- so no neighboring AP's.

    Some factors I've heard could cause problems are 2.4 Ghz phones and
    other devices plus fluorescent lighting... but both buildings are
    basically equal in both of these.

    Any suggestions?


    - Ringo -
    Ringo Langly, Aug 6, 2004
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  2. Ringo Langly

    Ron Bandes Guest

    WEP encryption will not prevent your neighbor's radio signal from
    interfering with yours. You should configure your APs to stay away from the
    neighbor's channels, especially your APs that are closer to the neighbors.
    Ideally you would like to use non-overlapping channels (1, 6, and 11), but
    it's OK to use channels that are at least 3 channels away, especially if
    they're not too close.

    Ron Bandes, CCNP, CTT+, etc.
    Ron Bandes, Aug 7, 2004
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