Interface Overview

The application main window includes the following elements:

You can hide and show the left and right panels using the vertical splitter or through the menu commands View => Left Panel and View => Right Panel.

In addition to the three main elements, the application contains the main toolbar (provides quick access to frequently used commands), the RF Planner toolbar (used in predictive modeling for drawing virtual objects; not shown by default), and the status bar (provides information on the wireless adapter and scanner status, current floor plan dimensions, coordinates, and zoom level, as well as the legend for the currently selected visualization).

Picture 17

The following chapters describe the functionality of these elements in detail.

Access Point List

The left application panel is used to display the list of APs detected by the application (if you have a compatible adapter installed.) It also displays virtual APs if you perform predictive modeling. You can use the Group by button to group APs by band, channel, SSID, name, or custom group. Grouping by SSID is the best method in a corporate WLAN environment, where all the WLAN's APs share the same SSID.

Picture 45

The AP list displays key AP parameters in the corresponding columns: SSID, vendor, channel, current signal level in dBm, supported encryption type(s), maximum data rate in Mbps, the number of 802.11n, 802.11ac, or 802.11ax spatial streams, and MAC address. If the vendor is unknown, the AP name is preceded by “Unknown.” If the vendor name is known, the AP name is preceded by the vendor name followed by the AP type. Additionally, for Cisco APs, TamoGraph will try to find and use AP names assigned by the administrator. You can rename APs by right-clicking on them and selecting Rename. To restore the original name, simply delete a user-assigned name by hitting the backspace key. If the AP uses channel bonding (several 20 MHz channels), the channel set is shown in parentheses after the primary channel number. For 802.11ac and 802.11ax APs, several channel sets might be shown, e.g., for the 40 MHz and 80 MHz modes. You can customize the columns by right-clicking on the list header or change their order by dragging them. The APs that are not currently audible are shown in grey font, and their signal level is shown as “N/A.”

The AP icons are color-coded to reflect the 802.11 bands and standards they use:

AP Blue 2.4 GHz 802.11b
AP Green 2.4 GHz 802.11g
AP Violet 2.4 GHz 802.11n
AP Yellow 5 GHz 802.11a
AP Black 5 GHz 802.11na
AP Red 5 GHz 802.11ac
AP Light Green 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz 802.11ax

The check boxes next to the APs play a very important role: They should be used for selecting the APs you want TamoGraph to analyze. When the Selected APs mode is enabled on the toolbar, data visualizations for passive surveys include only the APs that have checked boxes next to them.

Right-clicking on the AP list allows you to Select All, Select 2.4 GHz, Select 5 GHz or Select 6 GHz APs or Deselect All APs, as well as to disable or enable the Ignore APs if max. signal is below option (see AP Detection and Placement for more information.) If the list of APs becomes too long and you prefer to not see the APs that are currently outside the range, select Advanced => Remove Inactive APs. This will remove the APs that have been outside the range for longer than two minutes. The Advanced => Re-link Multi-SSID command may be useful when working with linking multi-SSID APs; for more information, see the corresponding chapter.

If the AP signal is strong enough and if a sufficient number of readings has been recorded, TamoGraph computes the AP location and places the corresponding icon on the site map. Those APs that are present on the site map have a small blue plus (+) sign in the lower right corner of their icons. The Auto-locate Access Points command allows you to reset the original estimated AP location(s) of either all or only the highlighted AP if you changed them by moving AP icons with the mouse. If an AP was not automatically placed on the site map and you want to place it there, you can drag the AP icon from the AP list to the site map. To remove it from the site map, drag the AP icon outside or use the Clear Access Point Locations command. See Adjusting AP Locations for more information. Virtual APs that were created by the user for predictive modeling have a small blue “V” sign in the lower right corner of their icons; such APs cannot be auto-located or dragged off the site map.

When working with dozens of APs, it might be difficult to find the corresponding entry on the AP list for a given icon on the site map and vice versa. To help you with this task, two visual feedback mechanisms exist:

AP Ignore List

Sometimes, a surveyor might need to ignore one or several APs completely. This might be the case when APs do not have a fixed location, e.g., APs that are installed in elevators, or when APs are used temporarily, e.g., a laptop that is used as a hot spot. To ignore such an AP, select it on the AP list, right-click on it, and then select Advanced => Ignore this AP. The AP's MAC address (also known as BSSID) will be added to the ignore-list and any packets from this AP will be discarded. The ignore-list can be accessed via the Settings => AP Ignore List command of the main application menu. You can review the list and add or remove one or multiple MAC addresses.

Custom Groups

One of the possible AP grouping methods is by “Custom Group”. This method might be used if you have a grouping criterion that is not covered by the standard grouping methods, such as by SSID or by band. For example, you may want group APs by their location. Initially, APs are not assigned to any group. To create groups and assign APs to them, use the Custom Group menu. Under this menu, you can Add selected APs to an existing or new group (by “selected,” we mean the APs that are currently checked in the AP list) or Clear grouping for all or selected APs. You can also Manage all groups. When you use the Manage command, the application displays a dialog listing all APs and their membership in the groups. Initially, all APs are marked as Ungrouped. You can create new groups, rename them, delete them, and move one or several APs to any group via drag-and-drop. Note that an AP cannot be assigned to multiple groups; it can be assigned either to one group or to no group. Groups are project specific, which means that they exist only within a given project. You cannot create or manage groups when no project is open.

Floor Plan / Site Map

This central area of the application window is used for displaying the floor plan or site map. When you perform a passive or active site survey, you use the floor plan to mark your current location. As you move and click on the plan, TamoGraph will show your walkabout path and the area you have covered, as shown on the illustration below:

walkpath large.png

The application status bar displays the map dimensions and your current coordinates when you hover the mouse over the map. To zoom in our out, use the mouse scroll wheel or the Zoom button on the status bar. To pan the map, use the vertical and horizontal scroll bars or press and hold the space bar and drag the map while holding the left mouse button. If you are using a computer with a multitouch display, you can use the two-finger pinch zoom gesture to zoom in or out and the two-finger pan gesture to pan.

When you are through surveying the site, you can use the Visualization drop-down list on the toolbar to have TamoGraph display data visualizations for your site (e.g., signal level or AP coverage areas).

Plans and Surveys, Properties, and Options Panel

This panel gives you access to virtually all the application and project settings. Using this panel, you can manage floor plans or conducted surveys, configure requirements for your wireless network, change the scanner settings, select color schemes for your visualizations, etc. For a detailed description of these functions, refer to the Configuring TamoGraph chapter.

Main Menu

The application menu commands are described below. Some menu items are located in different places in the Windows and macOS versions.

Project

Survey

RF Planner

View

Settings

Help

Dashboard

The Dashboard panel provides users with a real-time snapshot of the current Wi-Fi environment. You can show or hide the dashboard and change its location (left or right) using the View => Dashboard menu item.

Picture 55

If TamoGraph detects a Wi-Fi adapter that can be used for passive surveys, the dashboard includes the following indicators:

While performing active surveys, the dashboard panel is automatically expanded to include more data related to the active survey being conducted. This includes the associated AP name, channel number, PHY rate, noise, SNR levels (if available), and a chart that displays the metrics being measured: throughout, loss, round-trip time, PHY rate, and signal level. The speaker icon allows you to enable or disable signal level vocalization; when the button is pressed, the computerized voice will periodically pronounce the current signal strength as you conduct the active survey. Double-clicking on the AP name toggles the text between the AP name, its MAC address (a.k.a BSSID), and SSID.

Both charts can be customized by using the context menu that is displayed when you right-click on the charts.

Spectrum and Networks Panel

This panel provides a live view of the RF environment by displaying currently active APs on the spectrum chart. To display this panel, click View => Spectrum and Networks. APs are displayed taking into consideration their channel number(s), channel bandwidth, and signal level. Using the context menu, you can show one or two frequency bands (due to space constraints, displaying three bands at the same time is not possible), and enable or disable SSID labels and gradients. Checking the Networks => Highlight selected menu item allows you to highlight the network that is currently selected in the AP list on the left panel.

Note that the same panel is used to display spectrum data when you conduct spectrum surveys. See Spectrum Analysis for more information.