• I work on a retired warship and have 29 dual band APs deployed. Most of the APs were deployed prior to my employment. I want to do a RF Heat Map and am looking for a reliable utility.

    Can anyone recommend a good utility to perform a survey and help create a RF Heat Map?

    Thank you,


  • Regardless of the product you choose, the most important thing you'll need is a good, to-scale, floor plan that you can download to your computer.   After that there are several tools, some of which are free, which can be helpful.   It partly depends on the accuracy and the resolution you desire.

    Ekahau makes at least two tools, Heat Mapper which is free, and Site Survey.   I haven't used Site survey in a couple years, so I can't supply you details on it.   But I used recently Heat Mapper for making a small map for a Powerpoint presentation. 

    Like all free tools from commercial companies, Heat Mapper has a few limitations.   The first is an intentional accuracy limitation, which may or may not affect your plots.   I would suspect that interior space maps from it would look nonsensical compared to reality, due to all the steel bulkheads.   However, if you want to see how plot colors show up, it will give you a good demonstration.

    My biggest problem with Heat Mapper was the time/data-point limitation.   After a certain point, the data from the first part of your mapping trip gets overwritten.   No matter how fast you move data will be lost.   This was terribly frustrating.

    Because of you semi-unique work space, Ekahau may have a trial version that would work for you.  Give them a call.  Jussi doesn't work there anymore, but I'm sure they'll have someone glad to help you.

    Another product, which really impresses me, is  iBwave.   I have not personally used their products, but I have attended several of their webinars and been very impressed.   You should definitely look at them.

    There are others of course, but this is a start.

    Two things you will need to make good maps are Practice, and a consistent walking speed.   Each manufacturer has suggestions you must really take to heart to produce a good final product.   Especially practice - Don't expect to go out there on the first day and make "beautiful maps".

    Good luck.   I'm sure you'll learn a lot doing this.   It would be nice, if after you finish, you come back here and describe your results.   Talk to Tom Carpenter at CWNP and maybe they'll use your results in one of next years Wi-Fi Trek conference presentations.

    Good luck.


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