Friday, December 23, 2011

White Spaces - new wireless space launched

Remember the death of analog TV? Those unused analog TV channels are now approved for use as wireless White Spaces. White spaces operate at lower frequencies, and are able to travel great distances just as analog TV signals did when they were in use. Supporters of white spaces say that use of these regions of  licensed spectrum offer the same benefits of WiFi spectrum with the added advantages of the signals traveling greater distances, and the ability to assign spectrum to avoid wireless interference.

Spectrum Bridge has been been given the green light to become the database administrator for all allocated white spaces.

KTS Wireless is the first manufacturer of a wireless device to take advantage of the white spaces spectrum re-allocation for wireless communications. They have participated in city wide trials of white space usage in Claudeville, VA and Wilmington, NC.

It will be interesting to see how usage of the white space advances. Currently, the FCC is working through how to address the issues of wireless microphones using the same frequencies as white spaces. Once those issues are resolved, the nationwide roll out of white space usage will be possible.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Technology crops up in the strangest places

Recently I've come across a lot of great out of print or public domain Film Noir movies shared on YouTube. Being able to watch these films is great in itself, but I really love it when technology figures into a critical character development or plot twist in a new way than in any of the other films I've seen.

The plot of
711 Ocean Drive (1950) had a considerable amount of technology featured in it, and many of the scenarios are still relevant today even though our technology has improved vastly since 1950. The main character Mal Granger works for the phone company, and he's a pretty smart cookie.

He sets up an analog multicast delivery system to improve the efficiency of the bookie's business transactions:

He rigs up a contraption to use a chain link fence as an aerial antenna to transmit racing scores:

He gets a big idea to hold the network hostage so he can get a bigger cut of the bookie's business:
(sound familiar?)

Finally he stages a Man-in-the-middle attack on a horse race in order to win big:

One other great bit of technology cropped up in 
The Mob (1951). The police rigged up a contraption to fit under the wheel well of the suspect's car. The contraption produced drops a liquid that glowed when exposed to ultraviolet light at regular intervals onto the rear tire of the car. In order for the cops to find the suspect's car, they just had to shine a UV spotlight on the ground and follow the dotted line.

Using Adobe Acrobat to Find the Square Footage of a Floor Plan

I made this recording back in 2009 to show how you could use Adobe Acrobat Pro to scale a floor plan, and ultimately find the square footage of a given area.

More often than not, I'm faced with figuring out the square footage of a building layout with no scale indicated on the drawing. Adobe Acrobat Pro has a measuring tool built into the application. You can take any image file, find the scale ratio of the drawing, set the scale, then calculate the square footage of the floor area.

The measurement tool line in newer versions of Adobe Acrobat Pro is a red line, instead of black, and it is easier to see the perimeter area you're drawing. Other than that, the video should help you get more out of an application you already have, but maybe weren't using for this task.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wireless Field Day II

I'm very excited to inform you (if you haven't already heard) of the second Wireless Field Day that'll be taking place in San Jose on January 25th - 27th 2012. Assuming that the Mayans are wrong, we will be gathering in San Jose to hear presentation from a great group of wireless companies.

The majority of my career I've been focused on Cisco's wireless hardware line, so I'm looking forward to hearing about the wireless solutions offered by Aruba, Meraki, Ruckus and refreshing my knowledge of AeroHive. I've used troubleshooting tools by MetaGeek and Ekahau, but I'm sure I'll still learn lots from their presentations.

The final list of delegates are: 
Daniel Cybulskie, Sam Clements, Rocky Gregory, Andrew vonNagy, Chris Lyttle, me, Tom Hollingsworth, Matthew NorwoodBlake Krone, Marcus BurtonGeorge Stefanik and Jeremy Gaddis!

Since the last Wireless Field Day I've gone pro on
Flickr & Vimeo, so there's no limits to how much digital content I can record and upload. Consider this fair warning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Configuring a 3500 series Access Point as an OfficeExtend Access Point

There are a couple of great how-to guides for configuring Office Extend APs on the web. Once upon a time, documentation for the OfficeExtend feature was a rarity. Back then the only guidance was from this great post from Blake: Cisco OfficeExtend AP600. Now we have the config guide from Cisco: Aironet 600 Series OfficeExtend Access Point Configuration Guide

I used
Blake's post about OfficeExtend when I setting up my first OfficeExtend access points, since the configuration guide from Cisco didn't exist at the time. Today, I made a quick little video showing how and where the configuration changes are made. I also included how to see what your AP has configured for the controller name and IP address it is going to look for when the AP is powered on.

Sniffapalooza Barcelona 2011

Recently I spent a week in Barcelona at a Sniffapalooza event. What’s a Sniffapalooza event you ask? Sniffapalooza is a scent focused event for the fragrance enthusiast. This means the two main ladies behind Sniffapalooza are Karen Adams and Karen Dubin arranged for the group to visit with several perfumiers in Barcelona, talk about their creations and experience a slew of other fabulous fragrances while we were there. We also visited TablaoCordobés and saw a Flamenco show, Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, the Dali Museum and San Pedro Church in Figueres, Girona Cathedral in Girona, Montserrat, and some of us took a tour of Gaudi’s La Pedrera. This Sniffapalooza trip to Barcelona had 18 attendees, which according to Karen D. was one of the smaller Sniffapalooza events.

walking away
The first day on the ground in Barcelona was cold and rainy. The wet streets just added to the atmosphere of the city. I wandered around and shot a pack of NOS Polaroid film instead of going to sleep. 

Each of us received a wonderful gift bag of goodies from Jordi Cabezas from JC Apotecari. My bag had samples of Carner Barcelona’s Tardes, Cuirs and D600, samples from Sepai and a agua de colonia fresca from Hierbas de Ibizia!

BarcelonaOur hotel for the week was the Hotel Colon. The Hotel Colon was constructed in 1951, and is well placed in front of the Cathedral of the city, just a few steps away from Las Ramblas and the Port of Barcelona. All this being said; the wireless connectivity in the hotel was useless so I picked up a Vodafone k3806 USB stick so I could upload photos from the trip each day. I was glad for the good weather in Barcelona that week, I didn’t need the heat/air to work in the hotel room (it didn’t anyway).

Tablao CordobesFor our first evening in town, the group was bussed over to TablaoCordobés in Las Ramblas for a surprisingly good buffet dinner and Flamenco show. We probably could have walked, since it wasn’t that far – but it was nice to kick back and be driven around. The Flamenco show smacked heavily of ‘tourist attraction’, but the singers and dancers seemed to be enjoying themselves, and this helped neutralize the ‘tourist attraction’ feel I had at first.

DSC01832_1024x681For day two, we all piled into the bus for the twenty minute drive out to Park Guell, followed by a tour of La Sagrada Familia. Everything our tour guide Ines told the group about Gaudi, Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia was news to me, and I enjoyed her explanations and historical anecdotes. I resisted my natural urge to research every angle of the trip and what we’d be seeing while we were there, and instead let the events and experiences unfurl at a natural pace.

Our guide Ines had a great personality, and I loved listening to her accent while she explained the history of Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. I shot a couple of videos of her and put them up on YouTube:


Park Güell 01 of 03
Park Güell 02 of 03
Park Güell 03 of 03
La Sagrada Familia 01 of 03
La Sagrada Familia 02 of 03
La Sagrada Familia 03 of 03

Later that afternoon we took taxis over to JC Apotecario in the Sarria neighborhood of Barcelona. The proprietor of JC Apotecario, Jordi Cabezas took us on a walking tour of his neighborhood (Sarria) before we began the presentations by Sara Carner, Paola Gugliotti for Sepai and Deborah presenting Hierbas de Ibiza at JC Apotecario

Sara Carner told us about her perfume line ‘CARNER BARCELONA’ and the imagery and emotions behind each perfume in her line (TARDES, CUIRS, D600). 

Jordi treated us all to a wonderful tapas dinner at El Villano (upstairs) at El Canala. The food kept coming, the wine kept flowing, and everyone had a great time.

DSC03064_1024x681The bus ride on day three to Figueres to see the Dali museum was just over an hour and a half. It was interesting to take a highway tour of the areas between Barcelona and Figureres. The cemetery just off the highway in Barcelona looked really interesting, and I wished that had been part of our tour. Unfortunately, it wasn’t within walking distance of our hotel either. 

While Ines readied our admission tickets to the Dali museum, some of us ducked into the San Pedro Church just outside the museum entrance. Inside were some of the most pained religious statues I’ve ever seen. It was both very creepy and very cool at the same time. I wish that the lighting on a few of the statues hadn’t been quite so harsh, it detracted from the emotions shown on the statues faces.

DSC02283_1024x681 The Dali museum was great (naturally) and I was surprised to discover a theme in Dali’s later works that I did not know about. Dali had incorporated elements of computer technology into his later paintings and sculptures, and I liked seeing his use of circuit boards in creating a Japanese warrior statue, and art nouveau designs inspired by circuit board traces in his later paintings.

The craziest, coolest thing at the Dali museum had to be the beating heart brooch Dali designed. It was on display with all of Dali's other jewelry creations.

On the ride back from Figureres, we toured the city of Girona and the Girona Cathedral. Sadly to report, no photography was allowed inside the Girona Cathedral, but there are a few pictures of the cathedral online. We took a foot tour of the winding city streets of Girona led by Ines. She told us the history of Girona architecture and reminded us that the same streets were also used as settings for the filming of ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’.

Later a group of us went out walking in the city, and we happened to be at El Corte Ingles at closing time. They get the message across that the store is closed by counting out the cash drawers very loudly.

Day four was a quick forty-five minute trip to Montserrat to see The Black Virgin of Montserrat. There were no restrictions on photography inside the basilica and it was replete with colors, texture, sounds – too many experiences to record even though I tried.

After the tour of Montserrat, some of us regrouped and walked over to La Pedrera and took a tour of Gaudi’s building and one of the apartments inside the building. I think the rooftop would have been better without all the metal ‘don’t fall over the edge’ railings, but the apartment was very interesting because of all of the period furniture and belongings that the original apartment owners would have had. The best rooms were the bathroom and the children’s room.

On the afternoon of the fourth day of Sniffapalooza, Lisa from The Perfumed Court and I walked over to check out the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral in the Ribera district. Cathedrals start to look the same inside when you've toured one after another for a couple of days straight. When I looked down at my feet, it was a completely different story. The entire floor of the cathedral was a burial ground, and each of the tomb tops were engraved with dates or figures. 1699 was the earliest date I could find.

The only event I did not attend was at Amorino Gelato where the group's host Claudia Guinot gave everyone a private tour of the Gelato shop, and everyone was treated to samples of the gelato.


The morning of our fifth day of Sniffapalooza found us gathered in a meeting room of the Hotel Colon for a special presentation of the creation of ‘Lemon Cloud’ by Agusti Vidal and Pastry Chef Jordi Roca (of El Celler de Can Roca). Their original idea was not to create a perfume for sale, but as a side element to their pastry creations. Lemon Cloud was their first original scent. 

This is their presentation to the Sniffapalooza group, and I also found a YouTube video of Chef Jordi describing their creation 'Lemon Cloud'.

After Agusti and Jordi’s presentation, we all walked over to Regia to visit the Museu Del Perfum. The owner, Francesc Planas gave us a full tour of everything he's collected over the years. It is a wonderfully massive collection of vintage and ancient perfume bottles and accoutrements.

The key piece in my opinion was the flask that Marie Antoinette carried her perfume in when she traveled. I say this after reading 'The Emperor of Scent' and recalling the passage citing her perfume as the reason Marie Antoinette was captured while attempting to escape and ultimately, beheaded.

For our sixth day of Sniffapalooza we visited Puig, Firmenich, Cosmeticoh! and Santa Eulalia. Our guide for the day was the lovely and charming Nouriel. I'm fairly certain she'd never been a tour guide for a tour group such as ours. She seemed to enjoy herself during this day's sniffing events (with a little encouragement to go ahead and take part!)

Puig is the number 5 perfume house internationally. They have different operational segments within the company, and the one we were learning about that day works with celebrities to craft fragrances for the mass market.

Photo by Karen Adams

Puig gave everyone a 2GB storage bracelet containing all the presentation information for all the fragrances shown that day.

 The best thing I smelled that at Puig was the perfume Diavolo. It was launched in 1997 by Puig and Antonio Banderas. It isn't available commercially to the US Market, but you can still buy it on Amazon.

Unfortunately, I don't have the names of the ladies that spoke to us that morning, but hopefully I will be able to include this information later.

Firmenich is a private Swiss company in the perfume and flavor business, it is the largest privately-owned company in the perfume and flavor business, and ranks number two worldwide. They producing perfumes for Carolina Herrera, Comme Des Garcon, Paco Rabanne, Gaultier and Prada to name a few.

The ladies at Firmenich provided us with a light tapas lunch. It was very nice of them to provide refreshments and snacks for all of us. There were all kinds of tapas laid out in their kitchen, sodas and coffee were also provided.

 Paola Zanni and Ina Mexia presented us with the Firmenich scentorial experience. It is a showcase of their perfumers’ creations when they are given carte blanche to make whatever scents they are inspired to create, based on four different concepts presented to them by Firmenich.

We toured the new Cosmeticoh! Shop with the owner Oriol Blanch and learned about the new Oliver & Co. perfume and candle line from the creator himself - Oliver Valverde. This was his first English speaking presentation and he was very nervous. I think he did wonderfully!

I fell in love with M.O.U.S.S.E and Dunard, and bought a bottle of each! Oliver uses the tried but true tactic to get you to buy a bottle of what you like *now*, because each perfume is created in limited, numbered runs and once the supply is exhausted, that’s *it*.

Our last stop of the day was at Santa Eulalia. The store was built in 1843 and offers a selection of luxury brands for men and women in addition to a tailoring service. We toured the perfume counter and sampled fragrances by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Grossmith’s Hasu-no-Hana, Byredo Parfums, Nasomatto, and Eight and Bob by Albert Fouquet. 

Mar Jordan of the perfume department at Santa Eulalia gave us a specialized tour of the perfumes they carry.

The scents that appealed to me most were APOM Pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Gypsy Water by Byredo Parfums.

DSC03832_1024x681The hidden secret of the Santa Eulalia department store is where you’d expect to find a hidden secret - in the basement! Our tour of the store concluded in the men's department downstairs. We were shown the area of the shop where the tailoring magic happens. 


They had displays for the bespoke styles of shirt collars, cuffs, suiting fabrics and the pattern pieces they've used for generations were all neatly labeled and hanging in the tailoring room.

Barcelona was great, I met a lot of great people, saw a lot of interesting things, but the most marked difference between the states and Barcelona was the shoes!




Saturday, October 29, 2011

WaveDeploy Pro - Throughput Testing a Wireless Infrastructure

Downstream Speed Test
Recently I had the opportunity to test out WaveDeploy Pro on a fully installed wireless network. Normally the wireless projects I'm assigned aren't ones where I'm given security credentials to authenticate to the wireless network, but recently I had an exception.

MOS Upstream

WaveDeploy is an application that gives you the ability to do end-to-end TCP and UDP throughput testing from a wired workstation to wireless devices running the WaveDeploy application.

MOS Downstream
Initially I found the application quite confusing to configure, since it is so different from every other application I've used to test a wireless network. I had a short talk with someone from the WaveDeploy tech support, and they explained what I needed to do in order to get the application running as designed.

Downstream Speed Test

I installed the WaveDeploy application on my laptop (Lenovo X201 Win7 32) and downloaded the WaveAgent from iTunes onto my iPhone. I then loaded the floor plan for the area into WaveDeploy, scaled the drawing using a standard 3 foot doorway and then added my iPhone as a Mobile Client under Agents & Devices. The iPhone was added as a Mobile Client by using the IP address my iPhone received as an associated client device on the wireless network.

HTTP Upload

Once the Stationary Server (my laptop) and Mobile Clients (my iPhone) were added and their status was 'connected' I started the assessment. The Stationary Server then began to upload and download data to the Mobile Client each time I recorded another data point (to use the WCS calibration terminology). 

HTTP Download

It didn't take too long to complete the assessment for the small office area with just the iPhone as the only Mobile Client, but I can see that it might take some time to calibrate a large area with several different Mobile Clients.

AeroScout System Manager
The calibration process reminded me of the AeroScout System Manager method of recording data points from a central console by using client devices placed in a given location out in the area of the building to be calibrated. Of course, the major difference is that the AeroScout calibration is to increase location accuracy, and the WaveDeploy assessment is to perform bi-directional throughput testing of a wireless infrastructure.

The assessment provided interesting information about the wireless infrastructure, and I've include images of the data I collected for references. The WaveDeploy website has a lot of useful information on how to use their product, as well as white papers and archived webinar recordings.

The WaveAgent app is available for iPad, iTouch and iPhone from iTunes. When WaveDeploy is installed on a Win7 machine (like mine) the WaveAgent installers for other devices is kept in the folder: "C:\Program Files\VeriWave\WaveDeploy\agents".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Public Speaking - Embrace the Fear

I don't get the opportunity to speak in public very often, but when I do have an opportunity come my way, I try to embrace the natural fear of public speaking and make a video recording of my presentation. There have been a couple of times where I've presented and I was so nervous, I forgot to hit the record button!

Making a video of the session allows me to see what I'm doing right or wrong, since while I'm speaking I'm concentrating more on covering the ins and outs of the topic instead of paying attention to how I'm standing, or am I speaking clearly.

When I present on a topic I'm knowledgeable about, I never script exactly what I'm going to say. I've seen the official presentation of the Cisco CleanAir information enough times to be able to put it into my own words. I find it is easier to speak to what I know, and in doing that the presentation seems much easier since I'm not trying to remember exactly what I'm supposed to be saying according to the script.

I'm not a member of The Rotary Club, and I've never taken any public speaking classes (I'm sure it shows!). I can say the more times I get to practice at speaking in front of a group of people, the less nervous I am.

I recommend video recording yourself the next time you're presenting to a group, it breaks the ice with the audience and it can help you become a better speaker when you see yourself from the audience's perspective afterwards.

First recording: 5/22/2011

Second recording: 10/20/2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rogue access points wired into your LAN - how afraid should you be?

I've been thinking about the fear that some enterprises have about the possibility of someone bringing an access point from home and connecting it into the LAN at work with no security enabled.

Most wireless vendors have a way to determine if rogue access points are actually connected into the wired LAN. Cisco's WCS has the ability to track a rogue access point on the LAN via RLDP, but it has been problematic for quite some time. Kicking off the RLDP search is a manual task for every rogue SSID that is detected by WCS.  There simply isn't a way for WCS to auto scan the rogue SSID to ensure it isn't cabled into the LAN. This makes it hard to determine if rogue access points are wired into the LAN or not. Unfortunately enterprises where PCI compliance is mandated, the manual scan will have to be run on every rogue SSID..
PCI DSS version 1.2 places special emphasis on WLAN security. It requires Cardholder Data Environments (CDE) change wireless defaults (passwords, SSIDs, keys, etc.), use strong encryption, eliminate rogue/unauthorized wireless devices, restrict physical access to wireless devices, log wireless activity, define wireless usage policies, etc.
For all other enterprise deployments not requiring PCI compliance, the fear of rogue access points being connected to your LAN may be overblown. Today there are a multitude of choices for personal hot-spot devices. Most Wi-Fi  power users have their own MiFi, Clear, Cradlepoint or hot-spot functionality enabled on their smart phone (or all four!). I think it would be very unlikely for an employee wanting unsecured/unfiltered Wi-Fi to bring/buy a Linksys/D-Link AP and plug it in at work. It is more likely that they would just use the web browser on their smart phone, or use a personal hot-spot Wi-Fi device to connect laptops to their personal, unfiltered Wi-Fi network. I think that the days of people bringing an access point from home and plugging it in at work are over

I've seen many an end user in their cubicle using the unfiltered internet connection on their smart phone to surf Facebook or Twitter, while their work PC is connected to the locked down LAN or WLAN network connection. The idea that the regular end user would bring an access point from home is increasingly unlikely. Physical security to your LAN is always the first step towards securing your network, but the average enterprise wireless user will just use their smart phone to surf the web.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sony NEX5 Lens Fun

I'd been waiting to see when the Sony NEX macro lens would be available, but I found a modular kit of tubes on eBay & ordered them to see what it was all about. The shipment of macro lens and lens adapter fun arrived yesterday and I put the macro rings and Pentax 110 adapter to the test this afternoon.

The Macro Extension Tube Ring is essentially a series of threaded rings that allow you to increase the distance between your existing NEX mount lenses and the NEX sensor. I've uploaded the sample pictures to Flickr so that you can see the differing focal lengths.

The Pentax 110 Lens to Sony NEX adapter is exactly what it sounds like. I have three different Pentax 110 lenses (18mm, 24mm & 50mm) and it was interesting to combine them with the macro rings to see how close up I could get.

I took two different batches of photos and uploaded them to Flickr. I haven't yet picked a favorite Macro ring & lens yet, but there are a bazillion possible combinations.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to use Cisco Spectrum Expert (or at least how I use it)

I was chatting with @the_wifi_guy the other day and he asked me if I had any videos on how to use the Cisco Spectrum Expert application. I found an ancient video I recorded back in 2008 when it was called AirMagnet Spectrum Analyzer. I edited out the customer specific information and posted it to YouTube. The video quality was bad and I barely covered the ins and outs of the application but I thought other people might get some use out of it.

Today I finally got around to making a video on how I use the Cisco Spectrum Expert application to find sources of interference, and how to tweak the settings in the application. I had to break the video into two parts since it ran 30 minutes long (!).

Gestalt IT - Wireless Tech Field Day #2 - a call for delegates!

If you've already put your name in to be considered as a delegate for the upcoming Wireless Tech Field Day #2, or you were a delegate at the first Wireless Tech Field Day you don't need to do anything at all.

If you're interested in becoming a delegate for the2nd Wireless Tech Field Day make sure you do put your name in the hat.

I sent out a survey just to my twitter followers hoping to pick up a few more wireless people that maybe I haven't heard from in a while. This goes for anyone reading this too!

If you'd like to attend - let me know who you are, where to find you on the web etc:

Also make sure to fill out the official delegate entry over at

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you in SJC in January 2012!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

AirMagnet Site Survey Pro Comparison to TamoGraph Site Survey

TamoGraph Site Survey

Back in June I received a license for the TamoGraph Site Survey application courtesy of Michael Berg from @TamoSoft. I told them I'd give the application a try and see how it compared to the features I was familiar with in AirMagnet Survey Pro.

I had done a previous compare/contrast with the Ekahau Survey application, but I did not have the TamoGraph software at the time to do a three way comparison.

Several months went by before I had a good indoor survey opportunity to use for the comparison of TamoGraph against AirMagnet. It has then taken me a couple of weeks to find the time to edit the Camtasia video and add a narration audio track to accompany the visual demonstration.

I used the TamoGraph Site Survey application to survey a smaller section of a much larger building  - just large enough to get some good survey data. Using the TamoGraph application was pretty straight forward. The first step was to load the correct driver for my Proxim 8494 USB card for the TamoGraph application. This was as easy as clicking Help > Driver Installation Guide, and then choosing which wireless card I wanted to use with the TamoGraph application.

I did have some problems when trying to use the Intel 6200 AGN card, so I opted to do the comparison by using the same Proxim USB wireless card for both site survey applications.

Starting a new survey is done by clicking 'New Project', defining where you want to store your files, (next), choosing the environment type, choosing measurements in feet or meters and choosing to extrapolate the data beyond the guess range of _X_ feet/meters. Then you choose the scan settings for the 2.4 & 5GHz frequencies (next), then load the floor plan image. The last thing you do before you begin surveying is to scale the drawing to a known distance. For this small demonstration I used a three foot doorway. It is advisable to use a longer known distance than a mere three feet. Using Google Earth can give you the outer dimensions of the building, or you can use a laser tool to measure an wall span within the building.
TamoGraph Site Survey Project Wizard - Environment Type
TamoGraph Site Survey Project Wizard - Scanner Settings

There are several requirements presets that you can choose from in order to determine if the current wireless deployment meets certain 'success metrics'. Each of these requirement presets can be edited and saved as custom presets.

The display options in TamoGraph site survey were very similar to those of AirMagnet. I am including screen captures for each of the applications' drop down menus below.
TamoGraph Visualizations
AirMagnet Menu
AirMagnet Menu (expanded)
AirMagnet Menu (expanded)
There is the ability to change the AP detection and placement on the map. By default TamoGraph will approximate the AP installation location based upon the RSSI detected by the application. This location information is not always accurate since RSSI can fluctuate a bit.

The version of TamoGraph I was using (ver 2.0 Build 44) has a known issue with displaying the manufacturer name of newer Cisco access points. The non-identification problem was caused by the fact that their MACs begin with 88:F0:77, an OUI assigned by IEEE to Cisco very recently. This OUI was missing from the list of OUIs that comes with TamoGraph. The new file will also be included in the next TamoGraph release. Also, the ability to list the AP name will be included in the next release of the TamoGraph Site Survey application.

In order to work around this - I placed the APs exactly where they were located by standing directly under an AP and watching the AP list to see which AP had the strongest signal strength. Then I could place the location of that AP exactly.

Pausing the survey is not possible, instead you simply stop collecting data by clicking the stop button, and then begin collecting data again when you're ready to do so. This is essentially the same as pausing the survey, but just going about it in a different manner.

The survey data looked different from AirMagnet (naturally), but the actual RSSI and SNR values that were detected by each application were the same. There were some things I would have to get used to that the TamoGraph survey accomplished differently. Such as pausing/stopping the survey, having to select the APs you want included in the reporting, and the inaccurate auto placement.  I think if I were to use TamoGraph as my main site survey tool it would suffice for collecting RSSI and SNR data, but I would most likely turn off the auto AP placement.

The display option of  'AP Coverage Areas' looked a little strange to me, and perhaps it would make more sense if the area I was surveying wasn't covered by so many different APs. It seems that the coverage cell for a given AP is indicated as a colored line on the map. I'm not sure if this display would be useful in a densely populated RF environment, but it was an interesting RF display map. It reminded me of some Visios I had to create for a customer once upon a time.

The new features that will be available in TamoGraph Site Survey 2.1 are listed here. According to this information the ability to do predictive planning will be available in a few months.

The YouTube video I uploaded showing the differences between AirMagnet and TamoGraph is here:

The TamoGraph Site Survey application without GPS support is priced at $749 and with GPS support is $999. By comparison, the AirMagnet Site Survey Pro application is priced at $3995 including the Planner module and $1990 without the Planner module.

All in all, I was impressed by the features present in the version of TamoGraph that I worked with. I think that the RSSI/SNR data that was recorded within TamoGraph was just as accurate as that within AirMagnet. For companies on a budget, the TamoGraph application would be a worthy investment.