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  • CWNP

802.11s Whitepaper with Jerome Henry

A good friend of mine and real-deal wireless expert, Jerome Henry, just completed a new whitepaper on 802.11s. 802.11s covers mesh networking protocols within the 802.11 wireless standard. You should read this paper.

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  • CWNP

Benefits of Newer WLAN Products (Other than Speed)

Because wireless networking speeds are usually lame when compared with wired networking speeds, we often celebrate and focus primarily on speed enhancements when new Wi-Fi products and standards hit the market. 802.11g is 5x faster than 802.11b. The 802.11n spec offers more than 10x the data rate of 802.11a/g. But, if we’re too narrow, we miss a number of other important features that come with hardware upgrades.

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Review of CCIE Wireless v2 Written BETA

I sat for the CCIE Wireless v2 Written BETA exam last Thursday (10/6). I went in cold turkey, no studying. For me, the exam had a twofold purpose; the first was to do a bit of recon on the exam itself for my own future study prep, and the second was to evaluate and learn from the exam quality since I am in the exam and content business.

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Interesting Wi-Fi Use Case: Trail Cameras

I just had to write this blog because I’m an outdoorsman (hunt, fish, camp, etc.) and Wi-Fi is showing up there. I spend many mornings and evenings in the fall season up in a tree, bow hunting. If you’re not familiar with the practice, bow hunting season begins in the fall (October 1, in Michigan), but if you’re really avid, you spend time in the spring and summer scouting likely deer trails, bedding and feeding areas, scrapes, rubs, transitions, etc. Given my interest in the wild places, I also subscribe to Field & Stream magazine, which recently featured a “Gear Tip” highlighting the use of Wi-Fi enabled trail cameras.

A lot of hunters get worked up about deer, so they mount trail cameras in strategic locations in the woods trying to catch a glimpse (and hopefully understand the patterns) of a big buck. The trail cameras use infrared and heat sensors to detect an animal and trigger a snapshot or short video of the animal. In the past, hunters had to periodically check on the physical camera and download the pictures from the memory card. But in our modern era, who wants to travel all the way to each trail camera in the woods when radio waves can travel for us?

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  • CWNP

Upgrading to Intel Ultimate-N 6300

Last week, I swapped my old-ish Intel 4965 802.11n PCIe mini adapter for a hot new Intel 6300 PCIe half mini card. Good news. My update was a success…so far. I learned a few things along the way that could be helpful to someone else out there running Windows on a Lenovo laptop.

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Video with Matthew Gast: The Value of High Quality Radio Components

Radio technologies are probably the least understood aspect of Wi-Fi networking. Since I’m not a EE, I spend a good bit of my spare time trying to educate myself on topics like FFT, modulation and coding, radio components and architectures, etc. I’ve found that most online materials are a bit like Goldilocks’ experience…some are too much; others are too little. But if you keep looking, you’ll find one that is just right. Continue reading...

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Healthcare: The Most Challenging Wi-Fi Environment?

Is healthcare the most challenging vertical market for Wi-Fi design? Many engineers could make a strong case that it is, and I would probably agree. A few weeks ago, I spent the day with Jon Linton and Doug McDonald (both CWSPs) at Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, MI) for a first-hand tour of their environment, challenges, and deployment strategies. Like most healthcare environments, they have their hands full.

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Making Sense of Meru Decodes

Let’s face it: Meru does some creative stuff with the 802.11 protocol. By concentrating all users on the same channel, they give up some of the capacity of the available Wi-Fi frequencies. As a tradeoff, they gain some client control. Centering all WLAN operations on a single channel allows (or forces, depending on how you see it) them to do some interesting things with the protocol to make up for some of that sacrificed capacity.

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A Salute to Wireless Broadband [With my Middle Finger]

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” -- Chuck Dickens
I share mixed feelings today. On the one hand, I am glad to finally have Internet service that is both reliable and fast (faster than 2/3 of the US, says speedtest.net). Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of replacing wireless with wires. I’m happy. I’m sad.

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The Things People Say During a Survey

I spent the better part of last week in the Southwest US with George “I eat Pad Thai every day” Stefanick (@wirelesssguru), doing a WLAN controller install, cutover, and validation. The good pleasure of post-install surveying belonged to me, and I had fun doing it. I got a bit of exercise and found myself often entertained—and occasionally frightened—by the office folk and their curious looks, comments, and questions.

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