Site Survey Tips & Techniques

  1. Make a General Annoucement
  2. Before you begin performing the wireless site survey, suggest that a general announcement is made to all employees in the survey area telling them to expect someone walking the halls and entering all rooms and offices taking measurements for a 802.11 wireless network site survey. This simple email or voice mail message will ease your way through the building and save you time.

  3. Be Prepared for Questions
  4. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from employees about what you are doing. While performing a wireless site survey in an office building, factory, warehouse, campus, or hospital, you will inevitably get a lot of stares and questions. Many times the people that inhabit these spaces aren't even aware they have a wireless network. Politely answer their questions, ask their permission to enter their offices to, "take a few quick measurements of your wireless network coverage."

  5. Wear Comfortable Shoes
  6. Wear comfortable shoes and take several short breaks. Doing a site survey on a 25,000 square foot facility can cause you to walk more than two miles. In a large facility over the course of a complete day, you might walk 10 miles or more.

  7. Can You Hear Me Now?
  8. Be prepared for one or two people (or three, or four, ...) to make a joke by saying, "Can you hear me now?" Of course, using this universally known slogan to help explain what you are doing might also be useful.

  9. Keep Batteries Charged
  10. If you are using a device such as a Pocket PC, be prepared to recharge your batteries when doing large site surveys. Depending on the Pocket PC model you are using and how bright you have your screen's display set, you may need to either recharge your Pocket PC's batteries or swap in fresh batteries during the middle of the site survey. In well-lit facilities, you should consider setting your Pocket PC's backlight to either off or to its lowest setting to preserve battery life.

  11. Expect an Escort
  12. If you are doing a site survey at a customer's site, many companies will want to escort you through the facility. This is usually done for a couple reasons. One is for security reasons. Having an escort along allows you to gain access to areas you might not normally be able to enter and prevents you from having to justify your presence to security personnel or other employees. The other main reason is to be there to assist you with any questions you have about the facility including access to some locations and what areas the customer actually wants surveyed.

  13. Follow the Building's Rules
  14. Many facilities have special rules that apply either to the entire facility or to certain areas of the facility. Go over any of these rules with the facility manager before starting the site survey. And be aware of the areas with special requirements and obey these rules while performing the site survey. Some facilities require special attire such as hard hats, lab coats, or safety glasses. Also, some locations do not allow electronic equipment that may cause sparks, some areas do not allow cell phones or computers for security reasons, and some areas require special permission to enter.

  15. Survey Outside the Building
  16. If you are doing a site survey of an entire building, you may want to walk around the outside perimeter of the building to get a measurement of the signal loss that occurs due to the buildings outer-shell.

  17. Use VisiWave Site Survey
  18. For the most effective site surveys, use VisiWave Site Survey for your next site survey assignment.

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