Showing posts from 2020

My Scripts To Try Out The Mist API

I recently spent some time looking at the Mist API after completing some of their online training to learn more about their service offering. I experimented with a few Python scripts I created to understand how I could retrieve information about my mini "free AP" network. I dumped the scripts in to a GitHub repository so that others could take a look at them and either use them or analyze them and perhaps write scripts of their own. I started writing a "ReadMe" page about the scripts and how to use them. The page soon grew to be a lot more detailed than I originally indended, but ended up containing many of the lessions I had learned when trying to figure out how to use the API with Python scripts. You can see the full GitHub repository and the ReadMe at on my Git Hub site at : I've copy and pasted much of the content from the ReadMe below, as I thought it makes a pretty good blog article in its own right and there are pro

Wi-Fi For Beginners Podcast

I was recently invited to take part in the WLAN Pros Podcast for a short interview about my Wi-Fi For Beginners podcast series that I did a few years ago. Keith Parsons is looking at a number of resources for newcomers to the Wi-Fi industry and thought that my series might be a useful place for people to dip their toes in to the world of Wi-Fi. You can hear the podcast interview I did here: Don't forget, you can check out my podcast series via the following links: Wi-Fi For Beginners Site Wi-Fi For Beginners YouTube playlist

Wi-Fi For Beginners Podcast on Youtube

A few years back, I created a podcast series called "Wi-Fi For Beginners". It was aimed at networking profesisonals who already have general networking skills, but were looking to expand their Wireless LAN knowledge. The series was very popular and has had many tens of thousands of downloads to date. After speaking recently with Keith Parsons about the series, I thought it might be useful to post the 21 episodes of the series on YouTube to make it accessible to a whole new audience who aren't perhaps so familiar with subscribing to podcasts etc. Although created between 2015-2017, the majority of the content is still applicable to current wireless networking practices. In fact, many of the fundamentals of wireless and networking theory never change. Knowledge of wireless LAN networking requires an understanding of all of the legacy 802.11 ammendments that have gone before and still need to be understood today. The main area missing from this series when considering wirel

The WLAN Pi: How Do I Get In To This Thing?

I thought it would be worth recording a video showing how to get on to the CLI of the WLAN Pi. I've been asked a few times how people can get in to the WLAN Pi that they've just purchased, so thought that a demonstration of a few different ways of gaining access to it would be a worthwhile exercise. You can access the video here or using the embedded video widget below: In the video, I discuss how to access the WLAN Pi using:  USB/OTG from a local laptop Via a network connection using the WLAN Pi Ethernet port By configuring the WLAN Pi as a wireless client to join a Wi-Fi network Using the WLAN Pi's Hostpot feature I hope you enjoy the video!

10 Easy Things To Do With a WLAN Pi

The WLAN Pi is a community project that has created and pulled together a number of networking tools in a single, small-form-factor Linux-based device. It contains many industry-standard tools such as iperf, includes open source networking toolsets such as Kismet and has a small number of home-grown utilities. The tools available may accessed via a variety of methods. Services such as iperf are always available, as they are activated at boot time. Others are activated via the front panel menu system that is operated via the 3 buttons on the front panel of the unit. Others require a little more of a deep dive in to the world of Linux and are accessed via the command line of the WLAN Pi's OS. This variety of tools is both a benefit and a curse to those trying to use the WLAN Pi for the first time. While the range of tools is very interesting, it can be overwhelming. For those less familiar with Linux, it can be difficult to access some of the CLI-based tools or configuration req

Client Offsets: The Six Inch Square Challenge

Designing WLAN's is a pretty tricky business at the best of times, but trying to design a WLAN that works well for all clients is hard as they vary so wildly in terms of form-factor, wireless chip-sets, antenna counts and a plethora of other factors that mean they all see the wireless world in their own annoyingly unique way. The upshot of this is that when designing a WLAN we have to spend time trying to figure out how well (or badly) each client-type we need to support in our design sees our proposed wireless network. In simple terms, some will "hear" it more clearly than others due to their better antennas, build and sensitivity. A wise man once said that we should design our networks for our "most important, least capable" devices (...don't let him hug you, he WILL squish you). Once we've figured this device out, we have to work out the offset between our client of choice and our survey equipment or RF modelling software. To get this "offs

Wiperf: A wireless client performance probe mode on the WLAN Pi

I've had a number of occasions when it would have been really useful to deploy a wireless client device on a WLAN to monitor performance over time from a client perspective. Too often, when troubleshooting a wireless network, everything looks fine from the data provided by your infrastructure kit, but the user experience is a whole different story. Unfortunately, when this requirement has arisen, persuading anyone in the organization in which I was working to invest in a wireless probe-type solution has been an uphill battle. Around 18 months ago I got to the point when working on an issue that I could not progress and had no choice but to roll my own rudimentary client probe solution. It was a Python script installed on a Raspberry Pi acting as a client on a particular SSID that was having issues. It reported wireless connectivity data and a few client tests (e.g. speedtest & ping) to a Google spreadsheet. The same code also ran on a WLAN Pi, so that I could have two pro

How to Burn a New Image on Your WLAN Pi

I'm often asked how to burn a new image on to the WLAN Pi, so thought a video might be useful for anyone who wants to update their WLAN Pi image. When we release new code for the WLAN Pi, it's released as a single image file that needs to be burned on to the micro-SD card of the WLAN Pi. This video provides a practical demonstration of the process.  Here are the links for the web sites shown in the video: Direct link to Youtube video: WLAN Pi image repo: balena Etcher web site: Get the micro-SD to USB adapter:

How to blog, win friends and influence people...

I was very fortunate to receive an award for my blog recently from the Cisco-sponsored IT Blog Awards . I also recently remembered an article I wrote quite some time ago for publication elsewhere that never made it to the presses. I thought it would be kind of appropriate to publish it myself to share what I've learned over the past 9 years or so of blogging. It will hopefully encourage others to sharpen their virtual pencils, helping them to learn, get their name "out there" and contribute to the wider community. Apologies for the length of the article, but I can't help myself when it comes to detail...sorry!   I was originally motivated to set up my own blog in 2011 after reading the articles of people like Andrew Von Nagy, Devin Akin and Keith Parsons. I was in awe of their depth of knowledge, and the fact they were performing such a valuable altruistic act, freely sharing their valuable knowledge and content. I was also starting to gain more real-w