AccessAgility Blog

Four Types of Wireless Site Survey Kits #APoaS

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 5, 2017 4:48:21 PM / by Zaib Kaleem

Zaib Kaleem

Wireless Site Survey Shoulder Strap

As part of our WiFi/wireless design process we typically conduct an onsite RF survey to understand the RF characteristics of the location and to validate our design for access point locations.

This setup involves measurement/survey software running on a laptop or tablet that can collect information about WiFi and non WiFi devices in the environment. This data is compared with WiFi signals from a temporary access point deployed for this survey process positioned at locations we believe would meet the requirements of the deployment.

The temporary access point is attached to a pole and is moved to different locations as the survey engineer walks all areas that require WiFi coverage. This type of survey setup is typically called an AP on a Stick (APoaS) survey, pre-deployment site survey, or simply a wireless site survey.

 

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Below are the four most common types of Wireless Site Survey Kits.  Note that these pictures show the basic set up, other equipment such as wires and batteries have to also be accounted for when building your own wireless site survey kit.

 


Tripod

Wireless Site Survey Kit - Tripod Rig

A tripod based wireless site survey kit typically uses a camera or speaker stand as the pole for access points. For surveys requiring AP to be higher than 8-12 feet commercial telescoping tripods readily available.

  • Many tripod and pole options make this type very easy to build with just addition of access point mounting hardware
  • A wheeled tripod is easy to move around during surveys to reposition AP at planned design locations
  • Requires case/bag for shipping or as baggage/carry on
  • Accessories must be secured to pole or carried around during survey

 


Platform Kit

Wireless Site Survey Kit - Flat Cart Rig

A platform based wireless site survey kit typically has a wheeled flat surface where the pole is attached. We have seen furniture dollies, custom metal carts, and wooden boards with wheels used for this type of setup. Some characteristics of this setup are below.

  • Easy to build with supplies sourced from local stores
  • Minimal parts and tends to be low cost option
  • Has flat surface for battery and other equipment that can be transported during survey.
  • Commercial versions of this type of setup are available
  • Variations of this could be a scissor lift or forklift setup

 


Cart 

Wireless Site Survey Kit - Cart Rig

A cart based wireless site survey kit typically uses a multi-shelf cart where the pole inserted into the setup through a hole in top most shelves. This type of setup was one of our first designs and served us well for many large surveys.

  • Easy to build with supplies sourced from local stores
  • Minimal parts and can be low cost option based on cart selection
  • Has flat surface for battery and other equipment that can be transported during survey
  • Top shelf can be used as a work surface for laptop or equipment
  • We have not seen commercial versions of this solution
  • If cart can be unassembled, setup is transportable but air transportation would require special case for all equipment

 


Rolling Case 

Wireless Site Survey Kit - Rolling Case Rig

A case based wireless site survey kit typically uses a hard case/pelican case or luggage for pole base. This type of setup is what we use currently and has been used for hundreds of site surveys checked in as baggage an equal number of times.

  • Can be built with supplies sourced from local stores or online
  • Depending on case type is typically most expensive option
  • Case can be used for storing/shipping items
  • Depending on size of case and weight can be checked in or carried on
  • Commercial versions of this setup are available from HiveRadar

 



Out of the four options above we have had great success with a pelican case based wireless site survey kit. We have surveyed 10+ million square feet at hundreds of locations without any major issues. For all of the setups above the most difficult item to source tends to be the telescoping pole that will be meet your height and stability requirements. We recommend experimenting with several options to understand what works best for your requirements.

 

Webinar Recording: Wireless Site Survey Kit - Build or Buy?

 

Real World Examples

wireless-site-survey-rig: Tripod by AccessAgility

 Tripod by AccessAgility

 

Wireless-site-survey-rig: Case by AccessAgility

Rolling Case by AccessAgility

 

Wireless-site-survey-rig: Cart AccessAgility

Cart by AccessAgility

 

Wireless-site-survey-rig-HiveRadar.jpeg

Roll Case by HiveRadar @HiveRadar

 

Wireless site survey rig: Platform by John Delhotal

Platform by John Delhotal @JohnDelhotal

 


 

Topics: WiFi Scanning, Wireless, Site Survey, AP on a Stick

Zaib Kaleem

Written by Zaib Kaleem