Devry NETW360 Week 3 iLab: RF Behavior Calculations

| October 22, 2018

NETW360 Week 3 iLab: Observing RF
Activities
Wireless signals are invisible to the human eye. To
observe these signals, tools such as a spectrum analyzer are required. Displaying
wireless signal strength with respect to its frequency, a spectrum analyzer
typically captures activities in a pre-defined range of frequencies. It is
often used for layer 1 site survey in WLAN monitoring and planning.
In this lab, students learn how to use a spectrum
analyzer to identify potential RF interferences on a wireless LAN. Notice that
the analyzer operates on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands; students will observe RF
activities across the 11 WLAN channels of the 2.4 GHz band.

Task 1: Tutorial
Review Tutorial:
Using Spectrum Analyzer Wi-Spy located in Appendix A.
1.
Name the three default views of
Chanalyzer 3.4 that display RF activities from different perspectives.

____________________________________

2.
Explain what hardware and software
are required in this iLab to capture and visualize RF activities.
____________________________________

Task 2: Observing RF Activities
Students
are not required to capture RF activities on the spectrum in this iLab. Four
capture files are provided for students to observe and identify RF activities
instead.

1.
Go to.devry.edu”>http://lab.devry.edu. Enter “Chanalyzer” in the search field on
the top right corner to locate and select the Chanalyzer program.

2.
Click on the Chanalyzer icon in the window, and launch
the program in the Citrix environment. Click on the Cancel button to close the
Chanalyzer 3.4 registration window.

3.
In the Chanalyzer window, click File and Open
Recording… to navigate to G: drive. In the NETW360 folder, locate and open the
first capture file: Capture1.wsr. Let
the recording run for at least five minutes, and answer the following questions
in your lab report.

4.
There are three non-overlapping channels on the 2.4
GHz band: 1, 6, and 11. Move the cursor over each of the 11 channels shown on
the horizontal axis. What channel(s) currently in use overlap with other
channels?

_______________________________________

5.
To rectify the problem in Step 4, to which channel
would you move that overlapping device or access point to?

________________________________________

6.
In the Chanalyzer window, open the second capture
file: Capture2.wsr. Let the
recording run for at least 5 minutes, and answer the following questions in
your lab report.

7.
Move the cursor over each of the 11 channels shown
on the horizontal axis. What channels are being used?

________________________________________

8.
Cross-reference the information in the Spectral
View, Topographic View, and Planar View windows. Which channel is being used
the most?

________________________________________

9.
In the Chanalyzer window, open the second capture
file: Capture3.wsr. Let the
recording run for at least 5 minutes, and answer the following questions in
your lab report.

10. Click on the
vertical SIGNATURES tab on the right of the Chanalyzer window. Scroll down the
list, and compare the signatures to the pattern shown in the Topographic View
window. What device most likely generated the RF activities across channels 8
and 9 in the capture file?

________________________________________

11. Click on the
vertical INSPECTOR tab on the right of the Chanalyzer window. Move the cursor
over the center frequency of the RF pattern in the Topographic View window. Double-click
the mouse in any of the three views to generate a vertical referencing line.
Double-click again to remove it. What frequency (not channel!) is being used by
this device?
________________________________________

12. In the
Chanalyzer window, open the fourth capture file: Capture4.wsr.Let the recording run for a few seconds, and answer
the following questions in your lab report.

13. Click on the
vertical SIGNATURES tab on the right of the Chanalyzer window. Scroll down the
list, and compare the signatures to the pattern shown in the Topographic View
window. What device most likely generated the RF activities around channel 6 in
the capture file?

________________________________________

14. Wait until the
capture file stops running. Click on the vertical INSPECTOR tab on the right of
the Chanalyzer window. Switch on both the Max and Average formats in the Planar
View window. Move the cursor over to the center frequency (i.e., channel 6) of
the RF pattern in the Topographic View window. What are the maximum signal
strength and average signal strength in dBm recorded in this capture,
respectively?

_________________________________________

15.
In the Chanalyzer window, click File and Exit to
close the program.

Appendix A

Tutorial: Using the Spectrum Analyzer Wi-Spy

The hardware used to capture and record
the activities on the 2.4 GHz band in this lab is a USB-based spectrum analyzer:
Wi-Spy from Metageek (.metageek.net”>www.metageek.net).

The device itself looks like this:

.jpg” alt=”Description: tabbed_dbx.jpg”>

As demonstrated in the following
diagram, Chanalyzer is the program that displays what is captured by Wi-Spy and
helps visualize the RF activities.

.jpg”>

Observing data (required in this iLab)

The red line at the bottom of the
diagram indicates the time line of a data capture. In this particular case, the
capture has lasted for 29 seconds.

.jpg”>

In the Spectral View window on
the top of the diagram, a color bar is used to represents signal strength. The colors
towards the left side represent weaker signals, with the weakest being -110
dBm. The colors towards the right side represent stronger signals, with the
strongest at -54.5 dBm. Vertical stripes in the Spectral View window indicate steady
signals around a particular WLAN channel. For instance, a weak but constant
signal (i.e., a blue-colored stripe) near channel 8 is shown in the diagram
below.

.jpg”>

The Topographic View
window is in the middle of
the diagram; it shows the RF signal patterns with a color coding system similar
to that of the Spectral View. The cooler the color, the less often that
particular frequency and signal strength pair occurred. The actual signal
strength in dBm is shown on the vertical axis.

.jpg”>

The Planar View window is on the bottom of the diagram. It
illustrates the relationship between the signal strength and frequency in one,
two, or all of the three formats: the current signal strength in yellow, the
average signal strength in green, and the maximum signal strength in blue. The actual
signal strength in dBm is shown on the vertical axis.

.jpg”>

In the Planar View window, each of
these three formats can be turned on or off by clicking its name in the upper
right corner. When looking for RF interferences, it is recommended to turn off the
maximum and average signal strength formats and only display the current signal
strength in yellow.

.jpg”>
Common signal signatures can be
accessed by clicking on the vertical SIGNATURES tab on the right side of the
diagram. As show in the second diagram below, a selected signature will follow
the mouse over to the Topographic View window for one to match/ identify a RF
activity pattern.

.jpg”>

.jpg”>

Capturing data (not required in this iLab)

Capturing data requires a wireless NIC
be present in the same system that the USB spectrum analyzer Wi-Spy is
connected to. After the hardware is ready, select the vertical Wi-Fi tab in the
Chanalyzer window and then click Start Scanning as shown in the diagram below.
Once the network list in the SIDE BAR pane is complete, select the ones to be shown
in the spectrum display windows.

.jpg”>.jpg”>NETW360 Week 3 iLab: Observing RF Activities
Date:
Student’s Name:
Professor’s Name:

Task 1: Tutorial
Review Tutorial:
Using Spectrum Analyzer Wi-Spy, located in Appendix A.
1.
Name the three default views of
Chanalyzer 3.4 that display RF activities from different perspectives.

2.
Explain what hardware and software
are required in this iLab to capture and
visualize RF activities.

Task 2: Observing RF Activities
Students
are not required to capture RF activities on the spectrum in this iLab. Four
capture files are provided for students to observe and identify RF activities
instead.

1.
From the Course Shell, download
Week3iLabCaptureFiles.zip to a working directory of a computer. Right click on
the .zip file, click Extract All to
unzip its contents into a directory with the same name.

2.
Go to.devry.edu”>http://lab.devry.edu, and launch the Chanalyzer program in the
Citrix environment.

3.
In the Chanalyzer window, click File and Open Recording to locate/open the first capture file: Capture1.wsr. Let the recording run for
at least five minutes, and answer the following questions in your lab report.

4.
There are three non-overlapping channels on the 2.4
GHz band: 1, 6, and 11. Move the cursor over each of the 11 channels shown on
the horizontal axis. What channel(s) currently in use overlap with other
channels?

5.
To rectify the problem in Step 4, to which channel
would you move that overlapping device or access point?

6.
In the Chanalyzer window, open the second capture
file: Capture2.wsr. Let the
recording run for at least five minutes, and answer the following questions in
your lab report.

7.
Move the cursor over each of the 11 channels shown
on the horizontal axis. What channels are being used?

8.
Cross-reference the information in the spectral
view, topographic view, and planar view windows. Which channel is being used
the most?

________________________________________

9.
In the Chanalyzer window, open the second capture
file: Capture3.wsr. Let the
recording run for at least five minutes, and answer the following questions in
your lab report.

10. Click on the
vertical signatures tab on the right
of the Chanalyzer window. Scroll down the list, and compare the signatures to
the pattern shown in the topographic view window. What device most likely
generated the RF activities across channels 8 and 9 in the capture file?

11. Click on the
vertical inspector tab on the right
of the Chanalyzer window. Move the cursor over the center frequency of the RF
pattern in the topographic view window. Double-click the mouse in any of the
three views to generate a vertical referencing line. Double-click again to
remove it. What frequency (not channel!) is being used by this device?

12. In the
Chanalyzer window, open the fourth capture file: Capture4.wsr. Let the recording run for a few seconds, and answer
the following questions in your lab report.

13. Click on the
vertical signatures tab on the right
of the Chanalyzer window. Scroll down the list, and compare the signatures to
the pattern shown in the topographic view window. What device most likely
generated the RF activities around channel 6 in the capture file?

14. Wait until the
capture file stops running. Click on the vertical inspector tab on the right of the Chanalyzer window. Switch on both
the max and average formats in the planar view window. Move the cursor over to
the center frequency (i.e., channel 6) of the RF pattern in the topographic
view window. What are the maximum signal strength and average signal strength
in dBm recorded in this capture, respectively?

15.
In the Chanalyzer window, click File and Exit to close the program.

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