CTS 153: Recap of 2018 & Starting 2019

We made it to the end of 2018! In our final episode of the year, we wanted to recap the show and its top episodes. There are some good episodes to listen to or if you already have, listen to them again!

Additionally, we wanted to share some brief stats about the show and how we’ve grown. Then we’ll share about what’s to come in 2019 for Clear To Send.

Top 10 Episodes of 2018

1 – CTS 137: MIMO
2 – CTS 106: 802.11ax with Broadcom
3 – CTS 108: Useful Wi-Fi Metrics To Track
4 – CTS 109: Ekahau Sidekick, Spectrum Analysis, & Finnish Rap
5 – CTS 123: Design Principles for Stadium Wi-Fi
6 – CTS 130: RF Characteristics
7 – CTS 107: What’s The Purpose of Cisco CleanAir
8 – CTS 138: CWNA with Coleman and Wescott
9 – CTS 134: Understanding the 4-Way Handshake
10 – CTS 125: 802.11 Frame Captures for Windows

Some stats:

  • 52 episodes for this year!
  • Now over 14k downloads per month
  • 4900 downloads in January 2018

Top countries:

  • 1 – US
  • 2 – UK
  • 3 – Australia
  • 4 – Portugal
  • 5 – Canada

Looking into 2019:

We are looking at providing some sort of Deep Dive into topics. Some of the content involved would include examples from real world data, how tests were performed, and the results we learned from the Deep Dive.

Additionally, we will look at including some video content to supplement the audio podcast.

When it comes to video, we may plan on doing a few webinars to answer questions from the listeners.

Links & Resources

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CTS 145: 6 Tips for Creating Ekahau Reports

François and Rowell discuss tips to creating Ekahau reports.

6 Tips for Creating Ekahau Reports

Download the Free CTS Ekahau Report Templates

Here are two free CTS Ekahau report templates to get you started with using reports for your surveys.

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1 – Use testing files

If you have worked on any programming project before, you will easily understand this tip. Working on a report template is kind of working on a programming project. Here is a summary of the work flow:

    1. You create your template file including your JSON tags
    2. You run it against your Ekahau project
    3. You debug the JSON errors you have
    4. Once you don’t have errors anymore, you can analyze the final generated
    5. You fix your template
    6. You run the updated template against you Ekahau project
    7. You rinse and repeat steps 2 to 6 until you are satisfied with the overall generated report

In the process of testing and debugging, it is much easier and faster to get it done if you work on smaller portions of the report, one at a time.

So here is how you could do it to speed up the process:

    1. Create one master template. This will be the template that you will use at the end to generate the final report.
    2. Create a second template (I call this one my testing template). You will use this one to fine tune your report, section per section. Use this template to do your testing. Once you are happy with the result, copy and paste the section into the master template and start working on the next section.

This is ease the overall process of debugging, fine tuning a custom report template.

Also, when working on loops, I also sometimes create an Ekahau testing file (.esx). I would have a little version of my Ekahau project with maybe 2 or 3 of the elements I am looping on. This way, the testing and tuning process is also much faster.

So if you want to loop on APs, you could have an Ekahau testing project with 3 APs and only loop on these 3 APs.

2 – Put as much information as you can in the Ekahau project

One of the best advantage of using custom report templates is that it speeds up the process of generating reports. In order to maximize on this, you want to gather as much information as you can into the Ekahau project itself. If you do so, you could use the template to generate most of the report for you without adjusting it too much post generation.

Example of information you can configure directly into the Ekahau project:

    • Name of the project
    • Name of the customer
    • Name of the Engineer
    • Address of the location you are designingtroubleshootingvalidating
    • Cable length from AP to MDF/IDF (2D estimation)
    • Location of MDF/IDF
    • Name of APs
    • All the capacity details (number of devices, type of devices, distribution…)
    • Network configuration details (Min. Data rate, number of SSID)

You can also add notes to the following objects:

    • Areas (you could use this to specify specific requirements for specific areas)
    • Access Points (You could use this to add pictures, specify installation specifications…)

You can also add text notes and pictures notes on the floorplan itself. All these notes and information will be retrievable from the custom template report.

Yes it will take you more time to finish up your work in Ekahau. However, it will save you a bunch of time when you generate and produce the overall final report.

3 – Prepare your floor plans beforehand

Let me tell you, it is way easier to spend the time to prepare the floor plans before you import them into Ekahau rather than fixing the generated images in the final report.

A lot of cropping and fixing can be involved, after the final report is generated, if your floor plans are not the best to begin with.

One tip would be to make sure that you work on your floor plans before importing them into your Ekahau project. Here is what can be done at this stage:

    • Rotating the floor plans
    • Converting them into black and white images
    • Cropping the white space around the floor plan
    • Creating new view points (if using DWG files)
      • AutoCAD LT
      • DraftSight
      • FreeCAD – https://www.freecadweb.org/

If you take the time to work on your floor plans before importing them into your Ekahau project, it will save you a lot of time when the final report gets generated. Basically, you will not have to touch the pictures at all.

4 – Keep your layout simple

If you keep the layout of the Word document simple, it will be easier to re-use the template from one project to another without having to modify it.

Sometimes, complex Word templates will have pictures, objects and all sorts of complexe forms. These will not play well (and might disappear) when you run the template against the Ekahau project.

Once example: the crop feature does not work. You could crop a picture on the template document but when the final reports gets generated, it will show you the whole picture in the final report. So you can crop the picture before importing into your template document.

Simple layout does not mean ugly layout. You could produce very elegant and clean minimalist template layouts that will work very well when you run them against your Ekahau project.

5 – Don’t be afraid to use the landscape mode

Depending on the floor plans you receive from the customer, some of them will be best suited for a portrait layout, some others will be suited for a landscape layout.

Here is a tip, when you create a template report document, create 2 versions:

    • One using the portrait layout
    • One using the landscape layout

That way, when it is time to generate the report, depending on the project, you can choose from the more appropriate template!

6 – Dig into the Ekahau documentation

If you go to this page, you will find all the documentation related to the custom template reports: https://support.ekahau.com/hc/en-us/sections/115001529668-Template-Reporting

If you dig a little bit into these pages, you might find some interesting things.

Here are some examples of things I have discovered while digging into the documentation:

    • You can count objects using the counttag
    • You can fix the size of a visualization you generate using the following tags
      • width-in-millis
      • width-in-inches
      • height-in-millis
      • height-in-inches
    • You can retrieve the information related to the network configurations using the following tags
      • network-conf-min-rate-2
      • network-conf-min-rate-5
      • network-conf-band-steering-2
      • network-conf-band-steering-5
      • network-conf-ssid-count-2
      • network-conf-ssid-count-5
      • network-conf-max-clients
    • You can add a new line in your code by using the following tag nl
    • You can use a specific set of requirements using this code: <#”use-requirement”: {“identifier”: “CTS Requirements”}#>

Let us know if you find something else 🙂

Links and Resources

Download the Free CTS Ekahau Report Templates

Here are two free CTS Ekahau report templates to get you started with using reports for your surveys.

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CTS 142: Jussi Kiviniemi Discusses the Ekahau Acquisition

Ookla, makers behind Speedtest.net, have acquired Ekahau.


Announced October 10th, 2018 Ookla has acquired Ekahau. The makers behind Speedtest.net are getting their hands into the Wi-Fi world by acquiring the maker of Wi-Fi validation tools. It’s a headscratcher of an acquisition. Speedtest.net is Ookla’s flagship product. It’s used by many people around the world. So why an interest in Ekahau, a maker of Wi-Fi validation software and tools?

My first guess is Ookla sees the future of Wi-Fi. They could build their own set of “speedtest” tools for Wi-Fi networks with the help of Ekahau. In return, this provides Ekahau with more resources to put towards Ekahau Site Survey and the Sidekick. It’s a way to further development.

It’s only natural to have reservations when the company in which you use their tools so often gets acquired by someone else. We just don’t want to see our favorite products fall by the wayside.

As I discuss with Jussi Kiviniemi, that’s not the case. They will continue to operate as normal. Their plans for Ekahau Site Survey development are still on schedule, they continue to work on the Sidekick, and continue to work on other projects.

What was evident here was the culture match between Ookla and Ekahau. Jussi Kiviniemi speaks strongly of this and is one of the major decision makers for the approval of the acquisition.

Listen in on what Jussi has to say about the acquisition as we have breakfast at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto.

Security Improvements in Wi-Fi: An Ekahau Webinar

Recently, I had the pleasure of joining Joel and Jerry on an Ekahau webinar. The topic I presented was on Security Improvements in Wi-Fi.

In this webinar, I touch upon three different security improvements:

  • Device Provisioning Protocol
  • Opportunistic Wireless Encryption
  • WPA3

While I go over a general overview of the topics, OWE gets a little detailed because of the frame capture I was able to obtain from Aruba Networks’ live demo from MFD3.

Check out the webinar and let me know what you think in the comments:

The Story Behind the Ekahau Hat

During Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Florida we were able to meet up with Jussi Kiviniemi from Ekahau. We were enamored with the Ekahau hat which was being given out at their booth.

The quality of the hat is exceptional. There’s even a little detail inside the hat with reference to the Simpsons. If you’ve received a Sidekick then you know what I mean.

Minimalism is key. If you’ve used Ekahau, you know what the bar represents on the hat and I think it’s a genius idea.

Another great detail about the Ekahau hat is the reflective sticker on the top.

François asks Jussi about the hat and the story.. just check out the video for yourself.