Hello, and welcome to this video on Access Point on a Stick surveys. In this video, we’re going to be discussing how to do an Access Point on a Stick survey and everything you need to have with you for doing Access Point on a Stick surveys.
So, first of all, why do we perform Access Point on a Stick surveys? Well, Access Point on a Stick surveys provide us with a way to validate our RF model. We can take positions where we’ve got access points in our RF model and we can put a tripod up with an access point on top of it, powered by a PoE battery. And then we can use wireless survey software to measure the coverage from that access point. And then we can compare that to our RF model and make sure that our wall attenuation values are accurate and that our RF model and our AP on a Stick survey both give the same coverage. So it’s a way of validating our wireless land design and RF model.
So, let’s now take a look at the sort of kit you need when performing an AP on a Stick survey. So, let’s take a look at what equipment you need if you’re going to perform an Access Point on a Stick survey. Now, I’ve got a survey kit here, which I often use. This is a pre-built kit from wifisurveykit.com. So you could buy a pre-built kit or you could put your own kit together. But let’s take a look at some of the equipment that you may take with you.
We’ll have a look at what equipment I often take to surveys. We’ve obviously got a tripod here for putting our access point up and also some casters so we can put the tripod on wheels. That’s really useful should we want to be taking lots of AP on a Stick measurements on the same floor. And instead of having to take the tripod and the access point down and put it up in each location, we can just wheel the tripod built to the new locations. Other things we’ve got in here, we’ve got the wifi stand that just goes on top of my tripod with the access point attached to it. It’s got a bar similar to a drop ceiling mount bar, so the AP can just clip onto that using its ceiling mount bracket.
I’ve got my survey adapter. In mine case it’s the AKA house sidekick, which I’m going to use to survey with. And then we’ve also got our access point, which we’re going to be putting up on the tripod. In this case, it’s AP43 from Mist. Now, I would recommend having spare access points with you if you do in-site surveys, because if it gets damaged or something happens to it in transport, you’ve got a spare one in case you need it. It’s also potentially possible to take more than one AP on a Stick kit review so you can survey two access point locations at the same time. But obviously we need our access points.
What else is in this kit? Well, we have a few other tools which are useful to carry around when doing a survey. You may want to have a laser measure with you. This is for measuring the building so you can scale your building plans. So, we’ve got a little laser measure. Again, make sure you’ve got a laser measure which can measure a long enough distance for the building. So if you’re doing a lot of surveys of, say, warehouses where there may be 300 meters and one [inaudible] might be 150 meters, you may want to get a laser measure that can do those sort of distances.
Other things we’ve got in here, a flashlight can be useful if we’re looking above a drop seal and tile, like cable runs, or we’re trying to look maybe in wiring closets which are dark. Always useful to have on you. We’ve also got power supply so that we can power our PoE battery that’s inside here. Now, in this kit, it comes built in with an AxleTech accelerator battery. And the nice thing about that PoE battery is it’s wired to sockets on the outside of the case, so I can literally just plug my AP into this case and it’s connected to the battery. But you could just carry a separate battery with you.
Other useful [inaudible]. This is an attachment for the wifi stand to connect to a painter’s pole. And you may say, “Well, why do I want to connect it to a painter’s pole?” Well, sometimes you’re trying to put an AP on a Stick up somewhere where you just can get the base off a tripod, or you want to get it particularly high. So, I’ve got a painter’s pole here. Now, this painter’s pole can go up seven meters, so with my smaller tripods, especially this one, isn’t going to go seven meters, so I could have someone holding it if I wanted particularly to look at mountain something up seven meters. And again, with this attachment, this wifi stand just fit very nicely onto here, which I’m failing to do here, but you will see. There we go. Once we get it threaded on correctly. I now have the wifi stand on the painters pole [inaudible] I can put that up seven meters in the air should I need to.
So, there’s some updated equipment we may have. Now, of course, you could use different tripods, different PoE batteries, lots of different things we can use. So I’ve got here another tripod I sometimes use, as you can see, already built in with my Mist access point on the wifi stand. I’ve got another PoE battery here ready to connect it up, and I can put that up to whichever height I need to. One thing that’s worth remembering when doing AP on a Stick surveys with Mist is that we want to configure configuration persistence in the Mist UI. Let me show you how to do that.
Let’s look at how to configure a MIST AP for an AP on a Stick survey. The first thing you’re going to want to do is probably create a AP on a Stick site within your organization to hold your AP on a Stick access points. So we do that by coming to Organization and then Site Configuration. From here, we can create a new site, and I’m going to call mine APoS, for AP on a Stick. And we’ll just give it a location because they all need locations, so I’m going to pick London in the UK.
And then the important setting here in site settings is if we need to scroll all the way down to the bottom to where we see something called AP Config Persistence, and we want to make sure this is enabled. What this setting does means that any APs in this site will store and hold our config on the access point. So they will need to be connected to the Mist Cloud to get their config every time they’ve boot up. Once they’ve connected initially to the Mist Cloud and downloaded their config, they will store it on the access point itself. And that’s important because when we’re doing our AP on a Stick surveys, our access points will be on a tripod connected to a PoE battery, but that PoE battery will probably not have any network connectivity, so they won’t be able to communicate with a Mist Cloud while surveying. So, we’ll do that and create our site, and we’re then going to just make sure we’ve saved that site. And then we’ve created a new site.
The next thing we’re going to do, I’m just going to hit the refresh button. You can see the site’s now appeared. So, next, we’re going to do is probably want to move, create some wireless LANS on that site. I’m going to go to network and wireless LANS. I am just going to do that again, then go to my AP on a Stick site. And I’m going to click add wireless LAN, so I’m going to call [inaudible].
Now, I like to have a five gigahertz survey SSID and a 2.4, so I can see the difference between the two, so I’m going to call it, it’s 5Survey, and I’m going to make this on the five gigahertz band only. So you’ll set up your five gig SSID, and you may want to match the data rates to whatever you’re going to have configured while surveying. And again, we’re going to just put pre-shared key in there. From a security point of view, I don’t want people connecting to the AP while I’m surveying. So I’m going to create that SSID. Then I’m going to create one more SSID here. I’m going to call it 24Survey for 2.4. And I am going to make that just on a 2.4 gig band. And again, just give it a pre-shared key, and click create.
I now have my two SSIDs set up for my survey, so I can then go to my access points and I can find my survey AP, which is this one here, and I’m just going to move it into my new site. So AP on a Stick assigned to site, and I’ve now moved that AP into the new site. It will show as disconnected when you initially move it, but eventually that will come up online. Once that’s been configured and moved over to the new site, we are then ready to unplug that AP and it can go into our survey kit, ready for doing some site survey work. So, it will take a little bit of time just to move over to the new site, but once it’s done that, you should be ready to do your survey. Once the AP shows online and has been configured by the Mist Cloud, you are then ready to unplug the AP and add it to your survey kit.
The next thing we’re going to do is connect up our AP to our PoE battery, and we can plug it in like that. We may show it is turned on and that will power up our Mist access point, and then we can put that up to whatever height is necessary for our survey. Having done that, we can take our survey equipment, surveying with whatever equipment we may use. I prefer using the Sidekick and an iPad, but different people will use different equipment, and we can start doing our AP on a Stick survey.
Mist APoS configuration
When pre-staging your APoS configuration, don't forget to enable "AP Config Persistence" in the site settings of the Mist UI to ensure your Mist AP retains it's configuration while onsite and not connected the Mist Cloud.
Access Point on a Stick (APoS) measurements
Access Point on a Stick (APoS) measurements can be used to validate an RF model.
APoS equipment list may include the follow:
Access Points. Make sure you use the same access point model as in your RF modelling. It is always a good idea to carry a spare access point in your APoS kit.
Tripod. Prior to an onsite trip ensure your tripod is high enough to reach the desired AP mounting location. Consider casters for the tripod when performing several measurements.
PoE battery. Know the life of your chosen battery and pack spare batteries and chargers as appropriate.
Access Point mounting. Mounting the access point to the tripod should be done in such a way as to not impair the RF signal. Consider dedicated AoS mounts, such as the Wi-Fi Stand
Camera. A camera provides a quick and easy to way to document each APoS location. Your design software may allow these pictures to be stored in the project file as a note for each AP location.
Ethernet Cables. Make sure you have enough length to connect everything up
Laser measure. Take an accurate measurement of the area, so the floor plans can be scaled correctly. Try and find a long area to measure: such as a corridor. Short measurements such as doorways should be avoided to minimize inaccuracy.
Survey Software and adapters. Make sure you know the APoS procedure for your given solution. The software should have a way of using the same AP for multiple measurements.