Wireless Site Survey

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by DoMeHardR, May 2, 2005.

  1. DoMeHardR

    DoMeHardR Limp Gawd

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    We are doing a site survey for one of our new elementary schools. In the past we hired a company to do this for us. Now, they are talking about doing it on our own. I was wondering if any of you guys know of an industry standard approach to doing this or what you guys have done in the past. Something like a checklist of things to go through would be great. I found a few things online from companies but wanted to get your guys opinions. Thanks.
     
  2. DoMeHardR

    DoMeHardR Limp Gawd

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    Also, if you guys know of any good products you have used in the past or heard good things about let me know thanks.
     
  3. sulchus

    sulchus Gawd

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    I don't know the scale of what you're trying to site survey, or the resources available, but if you're running Cisco equipment for example, there is a product called WLSE that you can install and it will do everything you need to manage your access points. One feature being site surveys, you can just walk around the site with a laptop or pda and WLSE will follow you and record signals from all APs. You can then generate reports and a lot of other things. The product is a few thousand dollars.

    On the other end, you can just print out 11 x 17" CAD drawing blueprints of the buildings and campus and then walk around with a laptop running Netstumbler and just record AP .db readings and SNRs for all the APs when you're standing in different spots.
     
  4. Party2go9820

    Party2go9820 2[H]4U

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    Sounds like a cool toy to play with and such, but since this is for a "new elementary school" I think hes looking for information about how/where to place the APs - not find them.

    What I've done in the plast is to put an access point and a ups (or two) on a cart and wheele the thing around. Park your cart somewhere and walk around with your laptop to see where you have coverage. Adjust the position of the cart/AP if needed and check again. Then mark the placement on a blueprint of the building. I like to mark where the coverage extended to so that I can make sure there isn't too much overlap. The UPS is nice so you dont' have to hunt for plug-ins all the time. Dont' forget to think 3D as well as your AP on the 2nd floor probably will bleed int the 1st and 3rd.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ktwebb

    ktwebb [H]ard|Gawd

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    Having done hundreds, and predominately in K-12 schools here is what I usually did. (got out of the wireless LAN/WAN field a few years ago) It easier of course if your in a perfectly square building. Obviously that is rare but assume that from the initial methodology. Put the AP, elevated, in a corner of the square (classroom typically), then get your coverage as you walk away. build a radius from that AP in that corner. Then start moving your AP on that radius semicircle. Then repeat. Now every wireless environment is different and you are bound by your obstructions to the perfect circle or half circle (whatever) doesn't exist but you can get a baseline and most schools are at least consistent in design and typically rectangular in the hallway system so once you get it down it becomes pretty easy. Have WLAN's in probably something like 50 to 60 schools, and 10+ universities, to go along with the odd commercial job and that is how I did every one of them. Really depends on what the schools expectations are for throughput as to how you proceed from there. If you need alot of overlapping coverage then it can get mildly complicated. But basically it's common sense and little experience. What you want in db, signal quality, signal strength, etc... And what the customer expects to achieve. THroughput, coverage, and so on. During the site survey you should also get an idea of the cabling that will be required, to the AP's. Are there cable trays in a dropped ceiling, power if your not doing POE, etc... Finally test with what your going to use. That is a golden rule and will really help you down the road. At the very least test with weak hardware and install enterprise gear but even then it's risky. I always tested with what I was going to install.