The What: Pakedge is releasing a suite of software visualization tools to help simplify wireless network deployments for resellers. These tools include the Pakedge WAP Map and the Pakedge Visual Site Survey.
The What Else: The first tool, the Pakedge WAP Map, is an interactive web-based “heat map” planning tool that lets installers estimate the number of wireless access points (WAPs) they need, the approximate coverage area of each WAP, and target placement locations. This feature is similar in function and operation as the heat map feature currently on the Pakedge C36 WAP controller. Designed for ease of use, it utilizes a graphical user interface employing “drag and drop” functionality as well as visual representation of the WAPs and coverage zones.
See a video demonstration of the Pakedge WAP Map tool here.
The second visualization feature is implemented in the latest firmware version (version 2.00-70) of the Pakedge C36 WAP controller. This feature displays the results of the radio frequency (RF) environment site survey in the form of a visual chart, showing nearby RF sources, its signal strength, and what channels within the frequency band that they are occupying. The visual aspect of the site survey simplifies installer understanding of the wireless environment at the project site and enables them to adjust the Pakedge WAP settings, including channel and signal strength, in a manner to eliminate potential interference issues. Earlier versions of the firmware on the C36 WAP controller displayed the site survey results in the form of numerical data in a table format, and was more difficult for installers to interpret and translate into corrective actions.
The Pakedge C36 WAP controller firmware version 2.00-70 has been released on August 4, 2014. The firmware is available free of charge to current C36 owners. Installers and technicians can update the firmware to the latest version by utilizing the firmware update function on the C36.
The Bottom Line: These two software visualization tools are part of a continuing initiative by Pakedge to remove the complexity from networking. This ongoing multi-part initiative comprises of education and training for installers, user interface design, and automation through software.