AP On Stick Survey Using Eakahau

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for proper planning, preparation, and identification of the key items required for the three types of surveys: Passive, Active, and Predictive Surveys.

AP-On-Stick Survey

Pre-Deployment Site Surveys (AP on a Stick Surveys) are performed with the survey client associated to the APs used throughout the survey. Pre-Deployment Site Surveys (AP on a Stick Surveys) are commonly used for new WLAN deployments because they provide the most details upon which to base a design.

An Active Survey / AP on Stick Survey is used to validate the Predictive survey design, and to confirm all requirements are met (e.g., signal strength and a minimum of 3 APs at any given location).

There are two main methods used in a Pre-Deployment Site Survey (AP on a Stick Survey):

  1. Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID) Method: This method locks a client into an AP’s radio MAC address and prevents the client from roaming.
  2. Service Set Identifier (SSID) Method: This is more commonly used for post-deployment scenarios and used to survey multiple APs. It enables the survey client to associate to an SSID where the client roams between multiple APs.

Conducting Pre-Deployment Site Surveys for Standard Indoor Coverage

  • se a new project file for the onsite Pre-Deployment Site Survey (AP on a Stick), to eliminate issues related to large file size when combining multiple site survey types.
  •  Disable the built-in Wireless NIC on the survey laptop or through ESS under the NIC settings.
  • Connect NIC-300, SA-1 or Ekahau Sidekick adapter to the laptop
  • Start Ekahau ESS project and verify that the floor plan is scaled/calibrated, using measuring tape or laser measuring device to measure the width of a hallway or a room wall (the calibration or distance should be identical to the predictive and passive survey configuration)
  • Select the appropriate channel from the configuration tool. (See example below: in this case Channel 1 and 36 were selected), you can login to the AP or use ESS to find the channels the Access Point is operating in.

  • Place the survey AP using the location from the Predictive Site Survey
    • Place the AP as close to the ceiling as possible in a parallel position to the floor/ceiling (for standard indoor height of 8-10 feet)
    • Access Point should be at a safe distance (3 feet away) from lights, sprinklers, vents, doorways and signs. Avoid placing the AP in the middle of the hallway
    • Note the location of the AP during the survey if different from the predictive survey design

  • Start the survey walk-through around the Access Point to build a cell edge of -80 dBm (for the 5 GHz band) as this will validate the cell boundary for -65 dBm. Access as many areas as possible for a more accurate RF signal propagation
    • Continuous surveys is the preferred mode and Stop and Go mode can also be used if you are more comfortable with that approach.

  • Walk at a steady speed and left click on the floor when you are making a turn (Going in and out of rooms, changing direction) and right mouse click when the survey is completed or when taking a break due to room access issues or anything else that could interrupt the survey walk through. Walk in both direction when surveying the Hallways.

  • Use the “Undo “Button to backtrack the survey path during active site survey if you made a mistake following the floor plan.

  • Select the Survey Access Point as follow

  • Review “TestSSID” SSID signal strength with -80 dBm seen around the AP before moving to the next step
  • For the next survey point planned in the predictive survey.
    • Select and freeze the location of the first AP on the survey tool (Green Circle)
    • All Surveyed AP locations need to remain in the “Freeze” status after moving the AP to a new location.
  • Start surveying the second AP following the steps in section 4
  • Repeat the above steps to survey the remaining Access Points 

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