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  • I was on a job yesterday where the client was having issues with his wireless, they have already engaged someone to do a spectrum analysis of the site which I find weird as the problems are coverage related and obviously coverage related. Howeve thats what they were negaged to do so thats what they did.

    Howvever the problems come from the report.

    There are sveral fundamental areas that are fundmentally wrong.

    1 Suggesting the architecture is the issue, well the building was there first so its a poorly planned and implemented WLAN not the other way around,

    2 Suggesting that there is a correlation between radios and SSIDs, stating 36 SSIDs seen means 16 radios?

    3 Saying an access point can cover 4 rooms, well its all relative, may be 4 may be 40.

    4 Suggesting using less access points rather than Tx management of power and channel to mitigate interference

    5 Telling the client there are only 4 802.11a channels

    6 Stating 5.0GHz spectrum has better penetration, less scatter and no abnormal absorption by water?

    Geez these guys actually got paid for this aswell.

  • Sounds like the answers I put on my CWNA exam...if I was DRUNK! haha.

    Seriously, Pete, that is ridiculous!! BS like that is EXACTLY why people should be CWNA certified, and I'm not trumping up the certification itself, but there are so many fundamentals wrong with that survey that even someone just starting to study would pick it apart.

    Thanks for a good laugh but then a good cry when I realized how sad it is and just how many of these "site surveyors" are out there...ugh.

  • Thanks Keith

    That is the tip of the icberg, the client is quite challenging and the unfortunate thing is that he has to decide who is telling the truth. I always maintain my intgrity as I sont and never will know everything I know when to say I dont know. However if this client decides I am not right I hope I see him agaig in 6 months when the implementation still isnt working.

    Even more unfortunate the individual that done this works for a vendor as a Senior Technical Consultant.

    It would be funny if it were not true.

    The sad thing is wireless is still new and you only start to see issues when you load the network, unless its really poor which this is.

    We have these snake oil salesmen for a few more years yet

  • Some time ago I got an order from a customer for a wireless network to cover a warehouse (>6000 square meters, no idea what that equals in sq feet). I made a simulation in Cisco WCS and then performed a thorough site survey at the location. The building was challenging with several walls consisting of reinforced concrete, corrugated steel, drywalls and metal armoured tempered glass surfaces. Installed 11 accesspoints (Cisco AIR-LAP1142n) and performed an after installation site survey which confirmed my estimates. Considered it a job well done and everybody was happy.

    Later I happened to overhear a conversation between the customer and a janitor. The janitor claimed that only 2-3 accesspoints would?ve been sufficient to do the job and that the customer had paid too much for the overworked wireless network solution. The grounds for his statement was that he only had one single accesspoint at home and it covered his entire house AND the back garden! At the time I felt that I didn?t have the time or inclination to argue with him over this, later I wish I had.

    So much for wireless engineer skills... and for wannabees...

  • By (Deleted User)

    Pete, thanks for posting this. As you work your way up the CWNP steps, you will see things like this more and more and more. Because Wi-Fi went from the consumer to the enterprise, enterprise network engineers think it's plug and play, and have very little understanding of how RF really functions. Furthermore, there are quite a few WLAN consultants who make a living as 'cleaners', meaning their only job is to come in after the folks you worked with and fix what they did wrong.

    This is why we love our jobs here at CWNP. There is much to do.

  • Ha ha put the two posts together .

    Not Janitor cleaner but getting it working ie the company out of the doodah cleaners, or cleaning up the dead bodies.

    I find half my job is simply education, now I have done this for a number of years but rarely do I see such GUFF in writing so posted.

    However as I get more involved and looked at formalising my experience I realised I had some bigger knowledge gaps than I thought.

    First and foremost I am an engineer, that meeans to me that I fix stuff and make stuff work, by trade I am an Electrical and Electronics Engineer with a degree so I get alot of the RF stuff real quick.

    Second I am a Wireless Engineer, that means rather than electrical like I used to be I do wireles, I understand it, fix it and make it work, it frustrates me when I see people who either

    1 Havent got a clue and see it as a nice little earner.

    2 Dont know how to be an engineer and say "I dont know let me get back to you on that"

    3 Just dont care as its jsut another job not about relationships.

    I get frustrated quite alot in wireless.

    Like today a client conversation about QoS, I explained wireless QoS then askedif they had end to end QoS, the answer was no, I asked how is the QoS meant to work and he just thought he needed it on his wireless.

    Its so easy.

  • By (Deleted User)

    This is why I'm working on my wireless. Nothing like the blind leading the blind. Anyway - CWNA or Bust! Then on to the CWSP and others... CWNE in its own good time of course. Other Wireless quals along the path.

    Better to have and not need than to need and not have.

    Hmm.... I tend to leave people to their specialties until for some reason I feel inclined to take up those specialties.

  • Kevin summed up what I was going to say. The majority of people and even IT professionals just think that wireless is plug it in, select a WEP passphrase and it should just work. The general public I can kind of understand but enterprise CIOs no way. Over time though as wireless continues to be more prevalent I think (and I certainly hope) that what it takes to implement and manage a finely tuned wireless environment is given its due and educational funding for IT staff so I can stop explaining why it is I had to actually study wireless, what getting a CWNA entailed, and no, " You can't just get an AP at Best Buy and plug it in?" haha.

  • By (Deleted User)

    I don't know about everyone (I'm sure everyone else here is doing the same) but I encourage and mentor everyone I work with (co-workers, business partners and their staff, and the world in general) the benefits of being both professionally trained and then attaining industry certifications the good old fashioned way.

    1. Reading (I do the writing part part too and arithmetic when called for).

    2. Understanding what you read (re-read as many times as necessary, ask dumb questions, and don't give up till you understand what you asked).

    3. Practicing what you are are asking until you understand it. (Wax-on, Wax-off).

  • Wow, just wow. That would be sad if it wasn't so common and so wrong. Unfortunately its so common as well. I agree that people assume often wireless is plug and play and should work pretty much the same as at home with no understanding of how RF works. I've been on several clean up jobs now coming in after people like this consultant and often the customer is so burned by the experience he doesn't know who to believe he just wants it to work properly. I'm kind of glad CWNP is about so I can point to it with customers and say 'this is why I know what I am doing, because I'm a certified engineer and not just some random person who never even studied RF.

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