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Showing posts from 2017

UK 5GHz WLAN Spectrum Allocation (August 2017)

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In August 2017, Ofcom in the UK made some additional channels available in the 5GHz band for license exempt usage.

The details can be found in the following Ofcom document: VNS – Voluntary National Specification 2030/8/3

This means that we have an additional 6 x 20Mhz channels available for use here in the UK for our Wi-Fi networks. This also translates in to a possible additional 3 x 40MHz channels and 2 x  80 MHz channels.

I have put together a cheat sheet showing the 5GHz channels now available in the UK, together with a few useful references.

You can download the sheet from here: link

Ekahau’s “Game Changer”: Your New Survey BFF

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The phrase “game changer” is banded around a great deal by our good friends in sales and marketing. It seems to accompany  just about every new product or service that they may introduce. Being a techie (and a rather reserved Brit), I’m not one for throwing around such emotional, bombastic language lightly. But after having been given early access to a new product from Ekahau, I’m going to say it: yes…this is a “game changer”. Read on to find out why…


(Download a PDF of this article here)

Background If you’re a current user of Ekahau Site Survey (or any wireless survey product come to think of it), you’ll be familiar with the ritual of assembling your survey dongle collection each time you need to perform a wireless survey.

To correctly survey, you’ll need at least two dongles gathering Wi-Fi RF data (one per band), together with one or two spectrum analysis dongles scanning both bands of the Wi-Fi spectrum.

In most cases, all of the dongles are invariably connected to USB ports of yo…

Odroid Based Speedtest

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Sometimes it would be great to have your own, independent speed-test service to test performance inside your network. In this article, I look at a free speed-test utility that can be installed onto an Odroid platform so you can have your very own network speed-test service.
Background
Back in February 2017, I attended the Wireless LAN Pros conference in Phoenix. Among the many interesting sessions provided was a“maker” session where we all got to build a whiz-bang gizmo based on an Odroid computer board. This is quite similar to a Raspberry Pi, that you may be more familiar with, but it has a bit more processing horsepower and, most importantly, a gigabit Ethernet connection, rather than being limited to the 100mbps of a Pi.
Among the many features that the Odroid provided for us was speed-test software from OpenSpeedtest.com. I’m sure you’ll be familiar with this type of service is you’ve used Speedtest.net or some other similar web-based speed testing utility. You simply browse to the …

Wireshark Custom Columns For Wireless Captures

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Inprevious articles, I’ve covered a few aspects of wireless frame capture using Wireshark, looking at subjects such asframe colourization andradio tap headers. In this article, I look at another way of improving the visualization of wireless frame captures by adding columns to our Wireshark frame summary, including customised columns that use 802.11 frame field values.
Background
By default, a typical 802.11 capture in Wireshark looks something like the screen-shot presented below (assuming you added thecolourization rules I previously blogged about):

Although we get a nice summary of the frame types that are whizzing by, it would be useful if we could get a little more summarized information, before we dive into the detail of each frame. In a wireless environment, there are many more considerations compared to the wired world when we’re looking at frame captures. In addition to the information around frame timings, addressing, types etc. I’m always interested to know wireless-specific …

Preserving Your Survey Gear: Hub Holster

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If you carry out wireless survey activities, you’ll be painfully aware how much your precious survey kit cost you. And, I’m pretty sure you want to keep it in pristine, working condition. Here is a great little add-on for your kit that can help preserve your survey laptop and your survey wireless NICs.
The Problem
Yes, I know it’s not fashionable to use the word “problem” anymore, but if you’ve ever been surveying on site and had a passing pedestrian or unexpected filing cabinet damage one of your wireless survey NICs, then you know that it’s a “problem”.

When performing on-site surveys to measure Wi-Fi network coverage or performance, there is generally a requirement to have one or more wireless NICS or dongles attached to a survey laptop. These cards gather data to feed into survey software as a survey engineer moves around a coverage area.
However, plugging the cards into the standard USB ports on your laptop can mean that they are protruding from the sides of your laptop, making them …