Unified Wired & Wireless Access

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Occasional Contributor II
gwilliams
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎11-07-2008

Best FREE tools for site survey?

I'd like to know what others are using for site surveys. Because of budget constraints paid versions of software are out of the picture and I would like to make sure our APs are placed well. Here's what I've looked at so far:

Ekahau HeatMapper - doesn't really work well. It says I have full signal outside, when clearly I don't.

Cain and Abel - RSSI updates every 5 seconds, which is nice - but in the long run I don't want to manually record all this.

InSSIDer - Nice piece of software, but again manually recording is a pain

Kismet - again manually recording is a pain

NetSurveyor - What I'm currently using, nice reporting feature, beacon graphing is a little off on some APs.
Contributor I
mtraettner
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎02-15-2008

Re: Best FREE tools for site survey?

Hello, we use Air Magnet. Best Regards
New Contributor
jonah
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-24-2009

Not quite free...

This is another not quite free suggestion, but when doing site surveys with AP-65s we've had great luck using an external 5V pocket-size battery.

We configure our survey APs as remotes and in the VAP profile we add:
forward-mode bridge
rap-operation always

which ensures the AP broadcasts the SSID even when it can't talk to the controller.

For batteries we've had good luck with this battery: http://www.bixnet.com/5v7libapa.html, but I'm sure there are others out there that will work as well. Having the flexibility of moving the AP wherever you want and being able to leave it on as you move it around has really sped up our surveys. (It's also a lot lighter than 50 feet of RJ45 :)).

(For survey software we also use the AirMagnet Survey package.)
Super Contributor II
mike.j.gallagher
Posts: 508
Registered: ‎07-03-2008

Re: Best FREE tools for site survey?

Honestly, we just use Airwave but the free Aruba planner is good as well (but not great). Airwave gets us really close to what we need, and honestly, if we're a little unsure of a coverage area, we purchase a few extra APs.

The cost (man hours and travel) of performing walkthroughs at our sites to get 100% accurate coverage picture would be far more than the cost of a few extra APs.

If you're concerned about containing your signal, forget it, 802.11n is going to thwart you anyway. Comply with 802.11i or WPA2 Enterprise and forget about your signal leakage. Easier said than done, I know.
Frequent Contributor I
m0bov
Posts: 120
Registered: ‎08-08-2007

Re: Best FREE tools for site survey?

I use the planner to start me off, then I just turn up at the site and walk round with the printout and pencil. I use an AP61 on a tripod and PoE battery pack. Its totally cordless and I use that to work out the best locations. After a while (around 30 sites!) I can pretty much guess where the APs will go!
Frequent Contributor I
sabretigers
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎11-01-2010

Re: Best FREE tools for site survey?


, but I'm sure there are others out there that will work as well. Having the flexibility of moving the AP wherever you want and being able to leave it on as you move it around has really sped up our surveys. (It's also a lot lighter than 50 feet of RJ45 :)).




What tip did you use for the AP's with the battery pack? did you have to purchase a special tip or use one meant for another device?
Aruba
jfernyc
Posts: 759
Registered: ‎05-31-2007

Favorite Battery Pack

On the topic of battery packs for AP operation.

I highly recommend the 3450 model from Tekkeon.

http://www.tekkeon.com/products-mypowerall.html

This device provides both +5V and +12V operation (at the same time if you want as well ;)) which means it is versatile to use with any Aruba AP. Keep in mind some Aruba APs take +5VDC and some take +12VDC.
Frequent Contributor I
sabretigers
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎11-01-2010

Re: Best FREE tools for site survey?


On the topic of battery packs for AP operation.

I highly recommend the 3450 model from Tekkeon.

http://www.tekkeon.com/products-mypowerall.html

This device provides both +5V and +12V operation (at the same time if you want as well ;)) which means it is versatile to use with any Aruba AP. Keep in mind some Aruba APs take +5VDC and some take +12VDC.




Thanks for the heads-up. I will have to check that one out. Did the standard tips pack that came with it have the correct tip for the AP's you use?

I also found this: http://www.energizerpowerpacks.com/my/products/xp8000/
The Energizer one can do both voltages at the same time too. Though I am uncertain if they come with the right tips for an AP-105(12v) or AP-124(5v)
Aruba
clembo
Posts: 1,207
Registered: ‎04-13-2009

Re: Best FREE tools for site survey?


On the topic of battery packs for AP operation.

I highly recommend the 3450 model from Tekkeon.




What kind of time can you get of this; assuming powering an AP-105?
------------------------------------------------
Systems Engineer, Northeast USA
Email: clembo@arubanetworks.com

Aruba
jfernyc
Posts: 759
Registered: ‎05-31-2007

4-6 hours of operation

I have been able to get routinely around 4 hours of operation with a dual-radio AP (AP-105), and when using a single radio AP (RAP-5) can achieve almost 6 hours.

If you need more 'time' you can either buy two batteries (I have two) or Tekkeon makes a 'stacked' model to daisy chain two power packs together. Great to have on hand.
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