Site Survey Tool - TamoGraph

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System Requirements
Differences between the Windows and macOS Versions
Driver Installation - Microsoft Windows
Wi-Fi Capture Engine Installation - macOS
Licensing and Trial Version Limitations
Interface Overview
Access Point List
Floor Plan / Site Map
Plans and Surveys, Properties, and Options Panel
Main Menu
Spectrum and Networks Panel
Performing a Site Survey
New Project Wizard
Adapter Signal Level Correction
Data Collection
Understanding Survey Types: Passive, Active, and Predictive
Active Survey Configuration
Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks
Survey Job Splitting
RF Predictive Modeling
Drawing Walls and Other Obstructions
Drawing Attenuation Zones
Copying, Pasting, and Deleting Multiple Objects
Undo and Redo
Virtual APs Placement Methods
Manual Placing and Configuring Virtual APs
Antenna Selection
Adjusting Horizontal Antenna Orientation
Creating Vendor-Specific AP Presets
Automatic Placing and Configuring Virtual APs
Reconfiguring Virtual APs
Applying Visualizations
Working with Multi-floor Sites
Mixing Real and Virtual Data
Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks
Analyzing Data – Passive Surveys and Predictive Models
Selecting Data for Analysis
Adjusting AP Locations After Passive Surveys
Splitting an AP into Multiple Unique APs
Working with Multi-SSID APs
AP Rank and Secondary Coverage
Visualization Types
Signal Level
Signal-to-Noise Ratio
AP Coverage Areas
Signal-to-Interference Ratio
Number of APs
Expected PHY Rate
Frame Format
Channel Bandwidth
Channel Map
Analyzing Data – Active Surveys
Selecting Data for Analysis
Visualization Types
Actual PHY Rate
TCP Upstream and Downstream Rate
UDP Upstream and Downstream Rate
UDP Upstream and Downstream Loss
Round-trip Time
Associated AP
Spectrum Analysis
Hardware Requirements
Spectrum Data Graphs
Performing Spectrum Analysis Surveys
Viewing Collected Spectrum Data
Exporting Spectrum Data
Reporting and Printing
Customizing Reports
Google Earth Integration
Configuring TamoGraph
Plans and Surveys
Plan / Map
Client Capabilities
Colors and Value Ranges
AP Detection and Placement
Visualization Settings
Tips Panel
Configuring GPS Receiver
Using GPS Configuration Dialog
Finding the GPS Receiver Port Number
Taking Photographs
Voice Control
Using TamoGraph in a Virtual Machine
Command-Line Options and Configuration Settings
Frequently Asked Questions
Sales and Support

Automatic Placing and Configuring Virtual APs

Note that currently automatic AP placement functionality is implemented on a per-floor basis only. If you are working with a multi-floor project, APs from adjacent floors will not be taken into account when you run the auto-placement wizard. The wizard should be run for each floor.

Before you can auto-place virtual APs on the floor plan, you need to draw one or several areas where you plan to deploy the APs and where you want to have Wi-Fi coverage; this will determine future AP positions. You can also optionally define the number and types of WLAN clients for each area, and, finally, run the auto-placement wizard.

Drawing Deployment and Coverage Areas

To draw a deployment or coverage area on the floor plan, press the deployment or coverage drawing tool button on the RF Planner toolbar:

RF Planner

Select one of the pre-defined types:

  • Deployment Area – the area that can be used for deploying APs. Some areas in your office might not be suitable for AP mounting, in which case you may want to draw one or several deployment areas that do not cover the areas where AP mounting is undesirable.
  • Coverage Area – refers to the area where you need Wi-Fi coverage. Some areas in your office, such as bathrooms or staircases, might not need Wi-Fi coverage. In such cases, you can draw coverage areas that do not include bathrooms or staircases. If the coverage area does not overlap the deployment area, the automatic planner avoids placing APs in such “coverage-only” areas and tries to provide coverage using the APs located in the nearest deployment areas.
  • Deployment and Coverage Area – when deployment and coverage areas fully overlap, you can draw the combined “deployment + coverage” area.

You can also select one of the two drawing modes: Rectangle mode or Polygon mode. A rectangle is defined by its top left and bottom right corners; it is aligned vertically/horizontally and cannot be rotated. Polygons consist of multiple line segments, allowing more complex shapes to be created. If you selected the Rectangle mode, left-click on the floor plan to start a new area, drag the mouse to form a rectangle, and release the left mouse button to finish. If you selected the Polygon mode, left-click on the floor plan to start a new area and left-click every time you need to start a new line segment. This will draw a connected series of line segments. If you hold the Ctrl key (on Windows computers) or the Shift key (on macOS computers) while drawing, the line is drawn in orthogonal mode (0, 90, 180, or 270 degrees). If you need to cancel the previous move, right-click on the shape and select Undo Last Segment in the context menu. To finish the area, click on the last point, or press the ESC key, or click Done on the info panel below the floor plan. You can move or resize the area borders that you have drawn. To move an area, select it and drag it with the left mouse button to a new position. To resize an area or area segment, select it, move the mouse over the vertex (shown as a circle), click on it, and drag it with the left mouse button to a new position.

Configuring WLAN Clients

After the area(s) have been drawn, you may want to configure the number and types of WLAN client devices that you plan to service. This step is optional. When you run the auto-placement wizard (overviewed below), you will be prompted to select one of the three WLAN planning methods: for Coverage, for Capacity (simple), and for Capacity (advanced). The number and types of WLAN client devices will be taken into account only if you use the Capacity (advanced) method. To add clients, right-click on a coverage or deployment + coverage area and select Properties or simply double-click on the area.

A Coverage Area Properties dialog will be displayed:

WLAN Clients

On the right side, you can see the list and number of clients that are currently configured for the given area. When you open this dialog for the first time, this list is empty. To add clients to the area, use the list on the left side: select one of the available client types and use the arrow button to move it to the right side or simply drag it to the right side. Once the new client type appears on the left side, select the item and change the Quantity value to reflect the actual number of clients that you want to service in this area.

Each pre-defined client type is associated with a number of typical applications. For example, Generic smartphone/tablet may use an e-mail client and VoIP client, but not Web browsing with access to heavy media content. To edit the applications associated with a client type, double-click on the client type or click the Edit client template button. To add a new client type, click the New client template button. The following dialog will be displayed:

Client presets

In this dialog, you can configure the Name for the client type being edited, as well as the 802.11 characteristics of the client adapter, namely Supported standards, Channel width, and the number of Spatial streams. On the right side of the dialog, you can configure typical associated Applications by checking or unchecking the corresponding check boxes. Each application has a set of requirements that you can edit by double-clicking on the application item or by clicking the Edit application template button. To add a new application type, click the New application template button. The following dialog will be displayed:

App properties

Use this dialog to configure the requirements for the selected application, or, if you are creating a new application, for a new one.

Once you have configured WLAN clients for all of your coverage areas, you can run the auto-placement wizard to place access points automatically.

Using the Auto-Placement Wizard

The auto-placement wizard is a tool for the automatic placement of access points in the predictive modeling process. It is an alternative to manual AP placement. The difference between the two is overviewed in the Virtual AP Placement Methods chapter. To run the wizard, click on the Auto-place APs button on the RF Planner toolbar. You will be prompted to select one of the three WLAN planning methods:

  • Coverage – Use this option to optimize your WLAN for coverage. It is assumed that the APs' capacity is adequate for the number of clients connected to the WLAN. The wizard will try to make sure that the entire area is covered by Wi-Fi without considering the number and type of clients that will be using the WLAN. Such planning may be used for warehouses or other areas where client devices do not generate much network traffic.
  • Capacity (simple) – Use this option to optimize your WLAN for capacity to provide sufficient resources for client servicing and load balancing on a site-wide basis. To proceed, you need to estimate the number of APs that will service your site and enter the estimated value into the Total number of APs to deploy field.
  • Capacity (advanced) – Use this option to optimize your WLAN for capacity to provide sufficient resources for client servicing and load balancing on a per-zone basis. The wizard will try to make sure that each coverage area is covered by Wi-Fi taking into consideration the number and type of clients that you have assigned to each area. This option is most useful when you specify several coverage areas with different requirements on the same floor, such as high-density areas with applications that require high throughput and low RTT vs. areas with few clients, etc.

After clicking Next, you will be prompted to select the type of APs to be deployed. You can select from one of the presets by clicking Load Preset or use the configuration options on that page. Be sure to use the parameters, such as Power, Spatial streams, and Antenna type, that best match the actual APs that you plan to deploy. If you check Some 2.4 GHz radios can be disabled, the algorithm may turn off 2.4 GHz radios of some of your dual-band virtual APs to reduce co-channel interference while still meeting the requirements for coverage and redundancy.

One of the most important parameters to configure is the Channel width. In virtually all high-density enterprise deployments, you should use 20 MHz channels. There are very few use cases for 40 MHz channels in the 5 GHz band. Unless the use case is a small branch office or home, with clean spectrum, do not use channels wider than 20 MHz in the 5 GHz band. In the 2.4 GHz band, the rule of thumb is to never use 40 MHz channels; there is simply no room left for channel re-use in the 2.4 GHz band if you use 40 MHz channels.

The next page allows you to select specific channel plans for your 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios.

Automatic placing

For 2.4 GHz, we recommend channels 1-6-11 in the regulatory domains where 11 channels are allowed, or 1-7-13 in the regulatory domains where 13 channels are allowed. As a backup option, you may want to use 1-4-7-11 and 1-5-9-13, respectively; however, these setups are by no means recommended, because if you use four 20 MHz channels, a channel overlap is inevitable. For 5 GHz, your choice of channels is dictated by two key factors: the regulatory domain and the set of channels supported by your APs and clients. Before you select channels, first verify which of them are allowed in your regulatory domain. Second, if you want to use DFS channels, verify that hardware supports them; in some APs and clients, DFS channels are disabled.

On the next page of the wizard, you need to specify two key Coverage requirements (note that this page is not shown if you have selected Capacity (advanced) as the WLAN planning method). The Minimum number of APs that must provide coverage in each point value is used to determine the number of APs used for redundancy and seamless roaming. The With the signal level of at least field is used to determine the minimum signal level in dBm provided by the APs in each point of the coverage area. It is important to note that the requirements may or may not be the same for the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. For example, you may want to require -67 dBm in the 5 GHz band for your modern VoIP-enabled smartphones and tablets, but only -75 dBm for legacy 2.4 GHz devices. If you want to have the same requirements for both bands, use the chain-link button to make the requirements interlocked.

On the final page, you need to select the Computation method to be used: Standard or High precision. The first method uses a standard mathematical model for a quick AP placement computation. It is recommended for large WLANs with dozens of APs. The second method uses a much more complex model for a very detailed and precise AP placement computation. Because of the amount and complexity of mathematical computations being used in this method, the process might take a long time, especially if you are not running the program on a high-end, multi-core CPU.

Click Done to begin the automatic AP placement computations. If you do not like the result, press Ctrl + Z (on Windows computers) or CMD + Z (on macOS computers) to revert to the previous state.