jim vajda

CTS 100: Retrospective – Episode 100!

A look back at the podcast all the way to the beginning! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

This episode is sponsored by Metageek

Sponsored by Metageek

We Made It To Episode 100!

100th episode giveaway

I never thought I’d make it to episode 100 of this podcast. The first episode was published in August of 2015. The reason for starting the podcast was to learn more about Wi-Fi. To get into the community and help others who were getting started.

At the time I was an IT Manager with a strong interest in Wi-Fi. I didn’t have many friends of colleagues specializing in Wi-Fi which led to this podcast being born.

At first it was difficult to produce an episode each week. It actually is still difficult but it comes natural now. Especially with François joining as a co-host.

François and I have known each other through Twitter. I’m not sure how we even connected but a fun fact is that we didn’t meet in person until October of 2017. We met in Toronto, Canada where our families had dinner together. With the addition of François the quality of the podcast has increased. So I thank him for all this efforts!

We both record at home and for me it is in my garage. We do it when we have spare time and often have enough time just to hit the publish button for the week 😉

CTS has had only one sponsor so far, Metageek, who help fund the podcast expenses. We greatly appreciate them as they are a product we use regularly.

What We’ve Learned with Podcasting

It’s difficult to release one episode per week! With the both of us working full time it’s easy to get busy. After a full days’ work we spend time with our families so we often have to juggle time to record. On top of that, there is a three hour difference between us. I am in California and François is near Toronto, Canada.

When it comes to recording we have to be very efficient. There is hardly any editing that goes into the recordings unless we really need to edit. We’re not audio professionals but we do our best to get the best audio quality recorded.

What equipment & software do we use?

Memorable Episodes

Our first Round Table was interesting to record. Getting a group of Wi-Fi professionals together can lead to all sorts of conversations. It’s also a challenge to keep those conversations on topic for a podcast.

Devin Akin’s recording on channel widths was highly informative and educational. I’d say we all learned a thing or too on using wider channels and also being aware of OBSS.

Learning how Ubiquiti used Andrew’s Capacity Planner to equip the FedEx Forum with their UniFi APs was inspiring. We enjoy hearing how others have solved an issue, encountered challenges, and deployed Wi-Fi.

Mist is another memorable episode because it’s what is new in our industry. They’ve included some eye opening metrics to our Wi-Fi systems which should help us all lower the amount of time to solve Wi-Fi issues.

What are the top 5 episodes?

What’s Next?

We want to increase the production quality of the podcast. We continue to work on the audio quality but we also want to improve the podcast overall. We will put more focus on the show notes so they can be just as valuable as the audio episodes. François will begin recording in French! Of course we will continue to bring in interviews as there are so many people to hear from. Even those who may not be active on social media.

Another improvement we will be focusing on is our newsletter. If you haven’t already, sign up for notification of published episodes, get industry news through This Week in Wireless, and more. There will be more relevant content communicated by François and I through the newsletter.

Let us know what you think! Please fill out our listener survey: http://cleartosend.net/survey

Giveaway

We want to thank all our listeners for supporting Clear To Send! Thank you for downloading and listening to our episodes and for giving us a review!

We have two great giveaways for you:

  • CWNP Study Guides
  • Ventev Venvolt

CWNP Study Guides

Thinking about getting your CWNE? CTS will be giving away the textbook version for each CWNP certification exam. All you have to do is fill out the form below.

Ventev Venvolt

The battery pack from Ventev.

One lucky person will be the owner of a brand new Venvolt! This is being released mid-December 2017. This is the battery every Wi-Fi professional needs to have. It will give you power all day long in a small package. This is an 802.3at PoE+ site survey battery pack. Perfect for all your site survey needs. To be the lucky winner of this Venvolt, please fill out the form below!

Giveaway Terms

The giveaway is open to all residents of the United States. Unfortunately, I cannot do international due to laws, regulations, and taxes in countries outside of the United States. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. The winner will be chosen randomly on December 17th, 2017. By submitting the form you agree to the giveaway terms and will also be subscribed to the CTS newsletter.

CTS 062: K12 Wi-Fi Deployments

Jim Vajda, CWNE #183, is our special guest who has done K12 Wi-Fi deployments. Jim provides insights into his requirements, challenges and design process.

Jim Vajda podcast image.

K12 Wi-Fi Deployments

Requirements in a K12?

A primary requirement for K12 involves a low cost solution. Many schools use tax dollars or E-Rate. When using tax dollars schools must be careful with their spending. E-Rate is a federal program which provides schools with discounts to obtain affordable IT equipment.

Getting to the technical requirements, it must be simple to use. Most IT departments are spread thin. A system that is easy to implement is ideal.

High density is important. Many classrooms are teaching with tablets, such as iPads, and Chromebooks. Each classroom does a 1-to-1 distribution of tablets or Chromebooks. With each classroom containing 20 or so students streaming video or performing online testing, we can see this becoming a high density classroom. This is especially so with Faculty carrying their own devices. Some students have their own devices as well.

Security requirements include Role Based Access Controller (RBAC). RBAC is used to control what network resources a user has access to. This is important in an environment where pre-shared key (PSK) is used heavily in K12 environments.

Content filtering is a must in order to protect children from content they should not be viewing. For simplicity of management, K12 would like to see this implemented in the wireless solution they select. In Jim’s experience, he has seen Meraki being used in the majority of K12 public schools in Ohio.

What is not a requirement is fast roaming, centralized data plane, and layer 3 roaming. Most devices are stationary.

A nice to have is layer 7 visibility and wireless client statistics.

Design Process

With older K12 schools, additions to buildings are common. Be sure to do a walk-through to catch any surprises such as a new concrete wall that was just put up.

Perform your own wall attenuation measurements to include in your predictive site surveys. You will create the most accurate results using this method.

Jim uses a D-Link DIR510 to get his wall measurements. To get the measurement, place the AP in the middle of the room or about 20 feet away from the wall. You can use a laser distance tool to measure the distance. Take your first measurement inside the room next to the wall. Then take your next measurement on the other side of the wall. The difference will be your wall dB loss.

The site survey application of choice for Jim is Ekahau Site Survey Pro. Within his surveys he ensures he is using an AP that will be deployed in the K12 school.

When it comes to channel planning, Jim used to start with 40 MHz channel widths but now starts with 20 MHz. This is because of the channel reuse he can get in 5 GHz spectrum for high density. Jim recommends using DFS channels if you can. Make sure to perform spectrum analysis to discover any radar in the area.

In K12 schools it is very rare to see external antennas used. If they are used, it is usually outdoors for coverage. Indoors, you will not see external antennas.

Challenges

The major challenges Jim sees in K12 schools:

  • Budget constraints
  • IT lacks clout
  • Limited IT staff
  • Poor RRM settings
  • Tx power set too high
  • Excessive Co-Channel Contention in 2.4 GHz
  • Too many SSIDs being broadcasted
  • 1 AP/Classroom

In regards to 1 AP per classroom, this is really a big marketing push. While many environments may not need 1 AP per classroom, some may push for it because it is easy. In some scenarios, 1 AP per classroom can be justified. This can be due to wall material attenuating signals significantly.

Thank You For Listening

You can learn more about Jim Vajda on his Wi-Fi blog, Frame By Frame Wi-Fi. You can also follow him on Twitter – @jimvajda