outdoor site survey...

Unanswered Question
Dec 5th, 2007

have any of you guys ever did an actual outdoor site survey for mesh. the client already purchased 20x1510's which will be used for voice. the initial site survey report we did was just based on the guidelines from Cisco. re: RAP-MAP (1.2km), MAP-MAP (300m), MAP-Client pc (150m), ap height (10m).

however, the client requires that a signal propagation report be submitted, meaning putting the ap's on temporary locations and doing the signal stregth test/site survey.

1. is there an equivalent small ap to the 1510 that can be used, instead, and just fix it on the side walls of the buildings and/or street poles?

2. or if any of you guys did the actual survey with the 1510, how did you do it or can anybody share their ideas and experience.

thanks, you all!!!

I have this problem too.
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ralphfowler Thu, 12/06/2007 - 05:13

Well... first get a 20 year old pickup truck and mount a TV station news van pneumatic pole on it. (halfway kidding here but look at my rig on http://ralphfowler.com )

Seriously- make yourself some sort of portable mount that can safely hold the radio at the proper height so you can do this in a secure way.

I would not advise using any radio other than what you plan to use in the project. The outdoor mesh radios are kind of unique in their antenna placement, etc and I would want as close to a real test as possible.

I use a 2106 "baby controller" to make the radio work. I wish Cisco would release a site survey utility that runs on a laptop that would activate a radio so I could avoid having an expensive controller tied up.

Once you have the radio going, use AirMagnet Surver (if you are rich), to do an actual active survey. It has a mode that in which it connects to the node for its test in addition to a passive mode where it just listens.

The "poor man's way" would be to use Netstumbler and a GPS. It is somewhat of a combo active/passive survey (it does use probe requests so the AP at least has to hear it to respond).

Pull the data from the survey into a spreadsheet and run a couple of sorts on it to break it into strength regions.

Import the regions one at a time into something like Microsoft Streets and Trips and give each batch a colored dot for its icon.

When finished, you will hasve an attractive Poor Man's Drive Test that can rival AirMagnet's passive survey.

Bask in the glory as people wonder how you did it with almost no software investment.

I will try to find a jpg of one I did and post it as well. If I do, I will notify you here.

Ralph

pirateoftheairwaves Sun, 12/09/2007 - 10:06

hey, mr. fowler!!

thanks for your very informative reply. 'checked out the website as well, cool pic! nice work on the rig.

i had the same idea, i even referred to it as the 'mobile mounting kit'. sadly, it has not been realised it. i hope i can convinced my superiors with this pic. minus, of course, the 20 year old truck.

we've been using the airmagnet for the indoor site survey. it took us about 7-8 months to finish more than 300 points. although, the poor "man's way" sounds interesting, our client requires no less than the airmagnet site survey report as this is the tool recommended by Cisco.

yes, i join you in wishing that Cisco can come up with a way to make wireless engineer's lives easier than it is now.

have you heard about http://www.extricom.com. they're claiming setting one channel for all ap's on a single floor without co-channel interference. the next co-channel could be on the fourth floor. man, if this is feasible, Cisco should buy this, too! imagine, you can just plug an ap and you won't have to worry about co-channel interference.

thanks for your reply!!!!

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