CTS 039: When and How To Use Spectrum Analysis

Interference

Thank you for joining us on another great episode. The topic of episode 39 is when and how to use spectrum analysis.

Spectrum analysis is a crucial part of wireless site surveys and for troubleshooting. When performing spectrum analysis as part of a wireless site survey, an engineer can determine which areas contain sources of interference that can greatly degrade the performance of a wireless network.

Some interference is non-802.11 traffic. Wireless NICs within devices cannot demodulate these signals. If a transmission occurs with interference present, the frames are corrupted.

It’s important to know the different kinds of interferences that can exist.

  • Sporadic (happens only at specific times). An example is bluetooth
  • Constant (the interference is there all the time). Example: Wireless Video Camera
    — Both can be disruptive to the Wi-Fi if the duty cycle is high
    — There is also the width of the interference to validate.
  • Do not forget to watch out for interference from other Wi-Fi networks (even yours…)
  • Duty cycle
  • ACI

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About the Author
Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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