Site Survey Question

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I'd like to do my own site survey. I have a device that reads the db signal. However, I don't want to plug and unplug an Enterasys AP to transmit signal all over the site. Any suggestions for a transmitter for this type of scenario?
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Jim Seaman

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Posted 5 years ago

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Hartmut Sachse

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Hello Jim,

if you use an PoE midspan module as power source for the AP you could simply use a USV, so you can unplug the AP form jack with outservice interuption and then move the location or you use a special site survey battery back (search for vendor Terrawave) to power the AP.

If you have an actual Enterasys AP like AP3705i or AP3715i/e (only controller-based APs) you have to prepare a static configuration of transmit power settings and enable the feature "restart service in absence of controller" in the advanced settings using the webgui of the wireless controller.

If you have an old AP3630 (standalone AP) no controller is needed for initial AP setup, but its better to use the AP model you like to use in the deployment (different antennas).
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Hartmut Sachse

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Update: If my informations are right the transmit power settings for AP3700 series APs do not include the antenna gain. Be sure you don't violate the maximum transmit power settings of you local regulatory domain (FCC, ETSI etc.). Best practice is to use lower power settings and not the maximum allowed transmit power.
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Jim Seaman

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Enabled "restart service in absence of controller" and it's not broadcasting the SSID as hoped.
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Hartmut Sachse

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Sounds like you also enaled the option called something like "suppress ssid". This would disable sending the ssid name in the beacon. Tomorrow I could provide you a screenshot with the right settings as example.
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Hartmut Sachse

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Hello Jim,

you have to create a VNS which use a topology bridged@AP and configure the wireless service with privacy = none to create an open SSID. Per default the a ssid broadcasting is enabled. But you can check these setting in the advanced setting dialog of the wireless service:


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Tamera Rousseau-Vesta, Extreme Alumna

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Hi Jim and Hartmut. This is some great information you are sharing!  I know we have a few other customers that have faced this challenge with conducting a site survey.  Looking forward to hearing some suggestions from the rest of the group.  
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Jon Linton

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Hi Jim
Good for you I always encourage engineers to do their own surveys it is your network after all. We do all our surveys and it pays off. For big jobs we use the Terrawave type of PoE injectors. They have a sealed lead acid battery powering a PoE injector. If you are doing a lot of surveying this is a necessity. If you are thinking of making your own, buy an 802.3af compliant PoE injector. On the AP side use an autonomous (fat) AP like the 3630/3640. I don't believe there is an explicit autonomous AP for the 3700 simply click convert to autonomous mode in access approval. I could be wrong on this as we have not migrated over to the 3700 series for our survey kit yet. Good luck on the surveying, it is an artful science.
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Hartmut Sachse

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Hey Jim,

just tried out to convert an AP3715i, but it isn't supported (see screenshot follow-up posting).
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Hartmut Sachse

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Error message appearing if you try to convert a 3700 series AP:


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Doug Hyde, Technical Support Manager

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You cannot convert an ap to standalone mode unless the model number was standalone to start with (example 3630/40).

Doug Hyde
Sr Support Engineer
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Hartmut Sachse

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Are there any plans bring back an autonomous AP firmware for the 3700 series? Only practical solution i know is to use the "restart service in absence of controller" feature as workaround.
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Jim Seaman

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I have a 3610. It doesn't support it. But the AP is still great though. Since I don't have a 3630 or 3700 model. Any alternatives if you don't have any of those models?
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Hartmut Sachse

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@Jon I do have a offtopic question. I will start a conversation on twitter, please check out next time.
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Tamera Rousseau-Vesta, Extreme Alumna

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Might I suggest you start a new topic in the community?  :-)  We do have a Chatter category specifically for other topics.  Would be great to see you there! 
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Hartmut Sachse

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Sure Tamera, i think its an interesting topic :-) But tomorrow is just another day and its late in Germany now.
(Edited)
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Tamera Rousseau-Vesta, Extreme Alumna

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I'm looking forward to it!  Thanks again for the help with Jim's original question.  :-)  
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Jim Seaman

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Hey Jon,

I tried the first command

setenv MODEL AP3630-NAM 


But no luck.
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Hartmut Sachse

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I've tried my first solution with a AP3715i and it worked well. Could be only a misconfiguration in your test setup

I disconnected the network interfaces of my controller and the access point still worked. Then I disconnect the ap from network/power and reconnected it. After the boot finished the site survey ssid service started working again:



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Doug Hyde, Technical Support Manager

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Due to compliance reasons any model that has been certified for "thin" mode (where it talks to a controller) cannot be moved to standalone mode. The FCC certifications are done on the exact model number so any changes to the model type is not supported unless the unit is stamped standalone to begin with (example: sticker will say 3630/3640).

Doug Hyde
Sr Support Engineer
Extreme Networks
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Patrick M

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Please don't violate your local regulations, but for a quick test you can run the following via ssh or the console, on at least a 3705 and probably the other the 37xx devices:

  cset thirdPartyApMode standalone
  capply
  csave
         // wait for "save config from cli shell" message
  reboot

The above is clearly not officially supported.


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Jon Linton

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Just a follow up on this thread. I did test on a 3710i running V8.21 code and found that Hartmut's instructions did work. The key is to enable "restart service in absence of controller". However, if you need to change the channel or more likely the power in the field you will need to SSH or console into the AP. There are two commands needed to change channel and power
- cset frequency
- cset power
radio 0 is the 5GHz and radio 1 is the 2.4 GHz

Here are some examples:
cset frequency 0 5805
cset frequency 1 2412
cset power 0 12
cset power 1 23
Unfortunately, you will need to know channel frequency. Here are the equations to calculate them:
5000 + (5 * channel) so the above example would be 5000 + (161 x 5) = 5805
2407 + (5 * channel) so the above example would be 2407 + (1 x 5 ) = 2412

Pardon my first answer I've been working with this product since version 3.0 and old habits die hard. I think the thin AP solution to the survey mode is much better.

By the way thirdPartyApMode command does work though I suspect this is a good idea.
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Nico Willamowski

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I also test the thirdPartyApMode. The AP also had his IP Settings after Reboot, but all Radio and WLAN Settings are missed. I also use the apply command, but nothing helps. Does somebody have an idea?
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Jim Seaman

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I haven't tried this yet. But I wonder if you B@AP instead of B@HWC for the VNS topology of the AP and then SSH into the AP with the commands provided Jon or Patrick, apply, reboot AP, and then unplug the AP from the network and just plug it into a PoE injector and see what happens...

I'll try doing this later today and let you know what I find. 
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Ronald Dvorak, Embassador

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It should work, it's the way we do our survey with all different APs like 3865, 3795, 3805...

Here the short version :-)
https://community.extremenetworks.com/extreme/topics/extreme-ap-configuration
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Jim Seaman

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Bazinga! I'll give it a try.
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Doug Hyde, Technical Support Manager

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Official Response for tracking:

Objective
  • Site Survey Mode
  • Wireless RF Survey 



Environment
IdentiFi Wireless Access Points - All Models
Firmware All


Procedure
  1. Attach the access point that will be used for survey mode.
  2. Configure the access point with a demo VNS, WLAN-Service, Default Role Allow All.
  3. Assign the Role to a Bridge at AP Topology untagged.
  4. Set both radios to a desired channel and max power.
  5. In the AP properties enable (with check mark) Maintain client sessions in the event of a poll failure and restart service in the absence of a controller. 
  6. Confirm the access point has the configuration and the SSID's are advertising out in the air.
  7. Power down the access point and bring it to the desired location for the survey, power the unit up (single PoE injector).

The access point will advertise out the last known good configuration it had before the power down. This should allow someone to use the access point to take survey readings. If any changes are needed, the access point should be booted back up where it can access the controller again to pull down any new changes. 
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Hartmut Sachse

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Thanks Ronald for your useful reply.
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Ronald Dvorak, Embassador

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always a pleasure - I still hope to get a free tshirt for 5000 points *LOL*
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Hartmut Sachse

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Remember: it would be a purple coloured t-shirt. Better you should get the original wifi detector t-shirt i wear sometimes for fun during site survey. They could custumize the backsize with "Extreme Community Champion" ;-)
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Doug Hyde, Technical Support Manager

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Looks like Ron beat me to it. Thanks Ron :-)
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Drew C., Community Manager

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Ron, when you get to 5000 points, I'll do what I can to get you a tshirt.

-Drew