The same WAP multiple times in 1 zone?

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Tagged: mode, one AP, survey

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #1445

    Ralph
    Participant

    Hi,

    i wonder if it is possible to have the same WAP in the very same zone multiple times?
    When i go to a customers site and do a wireless survey, i grab my macbook, and WAP (Fritzbox).
    Then i place the WAP where i think it is positioned best and start my project with a floor plan, measurements and all that.
    Then i do my survey with this one WAP to find where the signal will drop to a critical level. Once i know where all the signal-borders are, i disconnect the WAP and move to the next location where i think it will cover that critical borders swell, so the signal wont get lost with Roaming.
    Then i add a new “Zone Survey” in the same zone, so i don’t have to create a new zone for each time i change the location of the WAP.
    I think that is the right way to do it, BUT(here is my problem):

    With this type of survey i will have multiple reports (1 report for each WAP). This is not very customer friendly, because mostly, the customer wants to look at the “Floor Plan” and have an overview of all the WAP’s and their coverage AT ONCE!

    I tried differnt ways to achieve that. One option was:
    1. placing the WAP
    2. doing a survey for that 1 WAP
    3. STOP Scan
    4. relocating the WAP to a new location
    5. RESUME the surevy

    This won’t work, because Netspot thinks there is just this one WAP and then the whole survey will become incorrect.

    I thought it is possible to scan for new WAP’s during the survey in a Project, but its not. The new WAP will be discovered in the “Discover Mode” but not being displayed when you go back to the “Survey Mode”. Its only possible to get new WAP’s if you create a new project or a new Zone. This is really a big hassle for me, because i don´t go to a customers Site and have like 50 WAP’s in my bag to preinstall all of them.

    I also thought it is possible to display multiple “Zone Surveys” in one map. That would be really cool and would solve my problem, but i cant see a option to do so.

    So i hope you unterstand my problem and any help about this would be really appreciated.

    Thanks and regards,
    Ralph

    #1772

    Ralph, that’s a really interesting question. Let me discuss this with our developers and get back to you asap.

    #1774

    Maybe a year ago we got a request from a large US mobile network operator. They wanted to assess the whole coverage of their WiFi networks all over the States. This involves several hundred people measuring towns and districts and producing thousands of reports that were supposed to be joined in one huge coverage map in NetSpot. This is definitely possible, but… not right now. We don’t have the feature right away. NetSpot shows actual coverage, so when you relocate the AP, you get a different map, and it doesn’t correspond to the reality. We are still planning to add reports/snapshots joining. But we won’t be able to release the update this year. Stay tuned.

    #1785

    Ralph
    Participant

    Alright, thanks for your time.

    Here is the story about how I solved the problem:
    I went to the customers site and they literally had not finished the building yet. There were just some Cables hanging from the ceiling and they started to build up some dry-walls. Well the windows were installed aswell, but no kitchening and no toilets, not even the elevators were installed.

    I had the floor plans of all 4 levels and they were pretty identical, just the ground-floor was a little bit different because of the entrance area.
    Alright I thought, where do i start from? I installed my WAP (FritzBox FonWlan7170) in the center of the 4th level and enabled WPA2-Security because i think WPA2 encryption will be used in the real scenario, once the building is ready.

    Next step was: I started up NetSpot and did a survey in the zone with the floorplan of the 3rd floor. I wanted to find out how strong the signal will be at a certain point of the map and when does the signal drop. When i found out that the signal will drop to 30% signal strength at a radius of 8meters, that was the information i needed.

    So i started to locate my WAP with a distance of 8 meters to the outer wall and in the middle of the building(the building was like 60meters long and about 8 meters wide).Now i started the “real” survey. i went around and checked the signal in each corner until I went like 10 meters away from the WAP, then i stopped my zone survey and unplugged my WAP.

    I relocated the WAP to where the “30% signal strength – border line” will overlap with the second WAP(which is 16meters away from the first WAP{8m radius + 8m radius}). Now i created a new “zone survey” in the same “zone” and walked a round in a 10 meter radius of the WAP and did my measurements.

    Then i repeated the same procedure again until i reached the other end of the building. The “walking around” was quite exciting, because there were rooms with no light at all and places where holes were in the floor. so I had to be really careful when walking around. I ended up with 1 Zone for the 3rd floor and 3 zone surveys for that floor.

    So how do I create a documentation about what I found out was my next thought. especially for someone who has no idea about WiFi or internet or whatsoever. I started to create a documentation in Word-format and put all the information about: “what WAP did I use(FritzBox); what wireless receiver did I use(Macbooks AirPort); what security settings; where are possible interferences; and so on” into that documentation. Then I used the PNG´s of that surveys to tell them where are the best locations for the WAP´s and marked the border where the signal will drop to a 30% signal strength.

    All in all i would say, it is OK to create multiple “zone surveys” when you only have 1WAP. It is just more work to get the borders for roaming correct, because you are not able to set 1 WAP multiple times in the same zone survey. And when you create the documentation, you will have to spend more time an that aswell, because you will have to edit each picture of each zone-survey and add that edited picture to your documentation.

    It would be really handy if NetSpot had an option where you can use the same WAP multiple times for 1 zone survey. Because thats what you do when you come to a site where the WiFi is being planned. You don’t come to a site with 15 WAP’s and start to locate them. Who has 15 WAP´s anyway?

    In the end, I like the app very much because its just very simple to handle and NetSpot did the job just fine, but I thinks it lacks of a lot of features, which are essential for professional site surveying. Like Alex said, there are plans for some good features, which I think will improve the app quite a bit. I hope one of them will have that feature I miss =).
    If someone is interested in my .netpsd feel free to send me a message.

    Thank you so far and regards,
    Ralph

    #1786

    Hi again, Ralph! Thanks for the update. I emailed you a couple of minutes ago.

    #1790

    gjherbiet
    Participant

    Hello Ralph, Alex,

    Your experience might be valuable to me as I have to do the same type of survey for a customer where no network is present/available (this is why I asked for local speed testing in another thread).

    Would you mind sharing your netpsd file as I don’t get how you created “zone surveys” ?

    Maybe Alex you have a recommendation on how to do, as easily as possible, an AP-on-a-stick survey (when you move a single AP over a building) with NetSpot and particularly how to exploit and merge the obtained results.

    Thanks to both of you in advance.

    #1796

    gjherbiet said: Would you mind sharing your netpsd file as I don’t get how you created “zone surveys” ?

    Zone surveys are easily created using the Snapshots feature.

    gjherbiet said: Maybe Alex you have a recommendation on how to do, as easily as possible, an AP-on-a-stick survey (when you move a single AP over a building) with NetSpot and particularly how to exploit and merge the obtained results.

    Ralph did this in a totally manual way, which we can’t recommend officially, other than as a completely custom workaround. Unfortunately, NetSpot doesn’t feature network planning yet. But we definitely have this on a roadmap. Additionally, what will actually help you achieve the desired results according to your scenario is a feature of joining data from several snapshots into one. It’s not that accurate as it could be, but good enough for a basic area polling. We will implement this into NetSpot 2.x asap.

    Thank you!

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Alex - NetSpot.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by alex.
    #1803

    Anthony_Pisano
    Participant

    I also would like a “join” feature as I am starting a project that this would help immensely.
    Can you give us any clue on where on the roadmap this feature is?
    Thanks
    Anthony

    #1804

    Once we finish improved export now, we will most probably proceed with this one. Stay tuned. We are doing our best…

    #1818

    incey2000
    Participant

    Any news on this feature? I’m looking for some software to complete wireless surveys for new installs. I need to be able to move the same AP to different locations on site and create a heat map showing coverage from each AP then a heat map showing coverage from all APs, is there any plans to implement this feature in the future?

    #1819

    @incey2000, NetSpot 2.1 is close to being released, but is not out yet. Once it goes public, we will be able to plan the next feature set more closely.

    #1820

    incey2000
    Participant

    Hi Alex, thanks for the reply. As far as I can see Netspot can only be used to survey an already installed wireless network and can’t yet be used to survey for a new install. I feel until this is a feature of Netspot then I really don’t see the point in it? I for one would gladly pay good money if it could be used to plan new wireless installs. Do you have any plans as yet to add this feature?

    #1823

    I’m not sure which point you are missing here. But, yes, sure, wireless site planning is definitely on the roadmap. And the ability to join several surveys into one is a great step forward.

    #1863

    fdonadio
    Participant

    Alex_NetSpot: this feature could be as simple as a “composite snapshot”. I mean, the user could select several snapshots and get a “composite” visualization.

    Implementing it any other way would be tricky, as the AP’s BSSID (wireless interface MAC address) would be the same and the software couldn’t tell one AP from another (since, of course, they are the same)!

    #1866

    Seems like it’s exactly how the feature is going to actually work.

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