Why Upgrade to the Ekahau Sidekick?


By | 03/11/2017


Why Upgrade to the Ekahau Sidekick?

During Ekahau’s “Why Upgrade to Ekahau Sidekick” webinar yesterday, Jerry Olla (Ekahau’s Technical Solutions Architect) provided the best demonstration of the power of the Ekahau Sidekick to date.

It’s quite obvious that a purpose built survey device with just one USB cable and an internal battery is going to make wireless site surveys loads easier. However after watching this 30 minute demo you can see just how much the Sidekick will revolutionise live and post-survey troubleshooting.

Live Troubleshooting

Jerry starts by exploring the wonderfully named Real Time Frequency Monitor (RTFM). He zooms in on the 5 GHz spectrum to show just how accurate the dual spectrum analyser in the Sidekick really is. He then switches to the ‘Channels’ and ‘Waterfall’ views to look at the active spectrum utilisation, both during and after a throughput test.

Finally Jerry enables a 5 Ghz video transmitter to see what that does to the spectrum, before moving the frequency of the transmitter to block an access point within his lab environment.

Ekahau Site Survey Frequency Spectrum View

Post Survey Analysis

Jerry loads up a previous survey to show how the data captured by the Sidekick can be used for post survey analysis. Ekahau have created two new visualisations specifically for the Sidekick, ‘Spectrum Utilisation’ and ‘Spectrum Channel Power’.

Spectrum Utilisation

The Spectrum Utilisation view is really useful at quickly identifying areas with particularly high spectrum utilisation. You can then use the tool tip to see if an individual channel is particularly affected. In Jerry’s example Channel 149 had 71% utilisation, yet the APs were operating on Channels 36 and 52. This underscores something that needs further investigation, which can be done using the Survey Inspector.

Ekahau Site Survey Spectrum Utilisation View

Spectrum Channel Power

This view is particularly useful at highlighting sources of interference which are very high powered, but very narrow in frequency. By adjusting the map legend values you can highlight where on the floor plan, and even which rooms these type of devices are in, before opening the Survey Inspector to see which channels are impacted.

Ekahau Site Survey Spectrum Channel Power View

Watch the webinar recording below to see the Sidekick in all its glory.

NB: We’ve set the video to start at the beginning of Jerry’s demonstration. If you haven’t seen the Sidekick before you may want to watch the webinar from the start.

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