Browse Prior Art Database

Method for Easier, Better, and Faster Site Surveys for Wireless Networks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118401D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 6 page(s) / 205K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cato, RT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This method takes advantage of the fact that the locations within a building where Radio Frequency (RF) communications will be difficult are fairly predictable. Remote wireless stations are located where it is predicted that communication will be most difficult. A portable computer is moved around the area where it is anticipated that the base station or access point will be. (This will be the approximate geographical midpoint between all the remote stations.) Special software is created that enables a portable computer to continuously gather information on the quality of RF links to multiple strategically placed remote wireless network stations. The software will also guide the user through the procedure detailed below.

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Method for Easier, Better, and Faster Site Surveys for Wireless Networks

      This method takes advantage of the fact that the locations
within a building where Radio Frequency (RF) communications will be
difficult are fairly predictable.  Remote wireless stations are
located where it is predicted that communication will be most
difficult.  A portable computer is moved around the area where it is
anticipated that  the base station or access point will be.  (This
will be the approximate  geographical midpoint between all the remote
stations.)  Special software  is created that enables a portable
computer to continuously gather information on the quality of RF
links to multiple strategically placed  remote wireless network
stations.  The software will also guide the user  through the
procedure detailed below.

      The software running in the portable computer presents to the
user continuous information about the quality of the radio links to
the various remote stations.  Graphical representations of the data
can convey the information effectively.

      A base station or access point is then set up at the selected
location and the portable computer is used to confirm that the
coverage is adequate in all required locations.

      Locations where the RF link will be stressed are fairly
predictable.  Experience has shown that the following situations
stress RF links.  A remote test station should be placed at each of
these locations.
  o  Locations far from the base station or access point.  These
      are typically the inside corners of the building.  For a
      non-rectangular floor space, more than four remote test
      stations will probably be required.
  o  Locations behind obstructions.  Walls, steel columns,
      shelves packed with merchandise, elevator shafts, and
      escalators are some typical obstructions.  If there are
      a lot of similar obstructions, such as individual hospital
      room walls, the remote test station should be placed behind
      the most distant such obstruction.
  o  Locations near sources of RF interference.  Microwave ovens
      are the most typical source of RF interference.  Alien
      wireless LANs may also be present.  A remote test station
      should be placed as close to the microwave oven as the
      customer wants to use the wireless network.  Obviously,
      the microwave must be operated when the actual data
      gathering starts.
  o  Locations on a different floor.

      Portable Computer Program: The portable computer would
essentially act as a portable base station or access point.  Prior to
starting the test, the addresses of all the remote test stations
would be entered into the portable computer.  The program
continuously polls  the remote test stations and evaluates the
quality of the RF link from  the test station.  The link quality data
will be...