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 (!).


  1. Hi expert, i'm going to buy cisco spectrum expert. but what my problem is I can not buy any laptop with cardbus slot on the market.
    I saw you work with an adapter, is it work fine? and what is the windows version in your laptop? I read the doc, cisco spectrum only support 32bit OS. I afraid I have to downgrade the OS from 64 bit to 32bit.

  2. The adapter I have works fine, and I'm running the 32bit version of Windows 7.

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    Would you be able to post your capture files so I can also have a look at it?

  4. Hi Jennifer,

    Would you be able to post the ccp files so I can have a look myself?

  5. Hi Jennifer,

    May I ask which adapter you use? I can't seem to find one out there.


  6. This is the Addonics adapter I use with the Cisco SpectrumExpert card. I run Win7 32bit.

  7. I uploaded a few of the *.ccf files into this folder:

    Let me know if there is another capture you'd like to see.

  8. Jennifer,

    I realize this is an "old" post but I need to ask what type of rig you are using now? I still have AirMagnet/Cisco survey (PCMCIA) cards that I use with Dell D630s and I fear that I will soon not be able to find systems (used) that have the necessary slot. I know that new systems don't offer the slots any longer.

    I too have looked at the Addonics converters that are used for 54 PCMCIA card slot to 34 PC Express slot cards.
    I am specifically looking to move directly to a USB/eSATA solution that could be used with a PCMCIA card - like this addonics device. (Addonics AEPUDDU9 PCMCIA Card Reader).

    My question is.. do you or any of your colleagues use a PCMCIA survey card with any type of USB or eSATA converter?

    I would move to USB survey cards but it is a real shame to "waste" money that has been spent on PCMCIA cards that are still working well.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. I'm using a Dell E4200 (refurb from a local shop) and the Proxim 8494 USB card for the Survey Pro/Planner/Laptop Analyzer portions of the AirMagnet software. I'm doing the spectrum analysis with the Spectrum XT card (also USB) or the Metageek Wi-Spy card (USB also). Windows 7 64bit doesn't support the Cisco Spectrum PCMCIA card so I've had to shelve that unless I want to install Windows XP on the laptop (which I haven't wanted to do).