Wednesday, May 23, 2012

AirMagnet Laptop Analyzer Using Multiple Proxim USB Adapters with Spectrum XT Integration

I've recently had the ability to use multiple Proxim/Orinoco 8494-US  wireless adapters with the AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer Pro application with the AirMagnet Spectrum XT integrated into the same application interface.

When you use three Proxim/Orinoco 8494-US wireless adapters with WiFi Analyzer pro, you're able to capture data on channels 1, 6 and 11 simultaneously, as well as do roaming testing with the three adapter cards. What you cannot do, is test the 5GHz wireless frequencies when you're using the three adapter cards. I imagine this is because the application locks the cards into using 1, 6 and 11 only during the testing. It would be nice if you were able to use a fourth card to detect signals on the 5GHz frequencies while you were checking 1, 6 and 11 at the same time.

I made a video of my findings while using the application. In it I explain the information shown in the application when it is used in conjunction with the AirMagnet Spectrum XT card. It does make it simpler to use both tools at the same time, since you can walk the area you're surveying just once, and then analyze the data collected. Sometimes I still prefer to use just the Spectrum XT application by itself so that I can concentrate on the spectrum data being shown by the application. Blending the two applications is certainly a time saver.

I hope you find the video helpful, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on things I described, or let me know if I left things out that you think I should have covered.


  1. There are many different passive and active states of test you can do with each adapter. Similar to using survey. The adapter dual radio but not concurrent. Passive scans can do both bands but has to cycle through. Active tests have to pick one band or the other per adapter. I use 2 adapters built in and spectrum on the Optiview XG. Typically listening to everything on one w/ spectrum integration and using the other adapter for active type tests is usually sufficient. Very powerful and complex. Love the cross product integration. Analyzer has a little spectrum. Spectrum has a little Analyzer. Survey has some of Spectrum integration as well. Love interferer heat maps. Haven't even mentioned AirWise. One could spent forever with these tools. I learn something every day. Nice review.

    1. Hey Craig doing my first active survey todat with two proxim adaptors. It's really strange because once I got it running fine thenow suddenly it would say one of the adaptors unassociates and then I obviously lose one signal. I cannot seemake to get it past this, any ideas?

    2. I would recommend calling AirMagnet support and making sure that your licensing is valid and you're not having any software issues. I will say the second adapter is not going to be associated to the wifi environment - it will be in promiscuous mode scanning channels along with the primary adapter. I hope this helps.

    3. Hey Jennifer, unfortunately I am a one man show and can't afford Gold Support yet, especially if I can't get this job done! I know my stuff is 100% licensed and valid. I can do passive surveys no problem. This is my first Active survey...

    4. Does your survey data look as you expect it to once you've collected some data?

  2. Thanks for the information. I wasn't sure if you could do anything other than 1, 6 and 11 with the static configuration, but now I hear otherwise. It sounds interesting to pick other 5GHz channels as the continuous scans. I like the ability to integrate the Spectrum Analyzer with the survey tool, and with the Laptop/WiFi Analyzer. It saves me A LOT of walking!