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atomicduck
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What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:38 pm

I have some issues in one wlan, and was trying to do spectral scan on MT. However, the ROS politely informed me that both of my wlan interfaces (2.4 and 5) do not support spectral scan or spectral history as per manual --> https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Spectral_scan (this is all the same on cAP AC, cAP lite and cAP devices).

Could someone please ping me which MT boxes support spectral scan? -- Or maybe I would need to build a specific MT custom box with a specific card to do a scan?

The other option is stand alone spectral analysis scanner, from what I have seen they tend to be on expensive side (I do smaller networks), starting at 1000 USD --> https://www.metageek.com/products/wi-spy/#buy

I did find cheaper options on ebay, like RF Explorer, but that is still some 400 USD in total + software.

There is also this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-2-4GHz-US ... 3192786830 which is about 100 USD.

Any suggestions and comments appreciated.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?  [SOLVED]

Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:59 pm

Cheapest solution is to buy used ubiquity gear and use that. Something like M5 bullet with airview sw does everything you need and can be had very cheaply.
As for these spectrum analyzers you linked, they are pretty much useless. Sweep rates are bad and sensitivity sucks. None of these is worth money they are selling for.
Proper specan is $1000+ used and probably $10k new, but that's also total overkill for what you need. So $10 for used ubiquity M5 is quite a good deal...
Sad that Mikrotik doesn't care about spectrum scan anymore, it's hopeless...
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:36 pm

Cheapest solution is to buy used ubiquity gear and use that. Something like M5 bullet with airview sw does everything you need and can be had very cheaply.
As for these spectrum analyzers you linked, they are pretty much useless. Sweep rates are bad and sensitivity sucks. None of these is worth money they are selling for.
Proper specan is $1000+ used and probably $10k new, but that's also total overkill for what you need. So $10 for used ubiquity M5 is quite a good deal...
Sad that Mikrotik doesn't care about spectrum scan anymore, it's hopeless...
Wow, thanks a lot for this tip. I think you saved my bacon.

I just checked Ubiquity M5 Bullet, scan abilities seem fantastic. https://www.ui.com/airmax/bulletm/ They even include the software with the device.
Nano Beam also seems fine :-) https://www.ui.com/airmax/nanobeamm/

If I get you correctly, I need one bullet, an omni (stick) antenna to screw on it and a USB PoE injector and that's it? Software is included / inside and off I go. 😎 I can get bullet for some 100-200 USD. Nanobeam is the same, but it has antenna inside. - The software is built in? I access the device thru management and see RF analysis on device OS.


As for MT, what's the deal with RF scanning? I mean, ROS supports it, it is just that it doesn't work. Is this a glitch of some kind?
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:36 am

yes, connect the omni antenna or you can get some model with integrated antenna etc. Then POE injector and short cable and you are set. I haven't tried this myself, but there are 5V->12V boost modules, so it might be possible to even run it from power from single USB 3.0 port (probably not 500mA from usb 2.0). Or if you need a portable solution, get one of powerbanks with QC 3.0 or USB type-c that can do 12 or 18V (again there are modules available to trigger these higher voltages, available for cheap) on output.
Airview is java applet (.jar) you can download and run on any OS. It connects to device in special air-view mode that's activated when clicking on air-view link in web interface. Not sure about more recent models, maybe they can even do it in HTML interface directly now - I use old M5 gear I got almost for free.

As for the Mikrotik, they are "dead in the water" regarding spectral scan. Only older 802.11n hardware supports it, so no newer hardware can do it. And it's only available in text mode console, there is no GUI for it. It's usable, but really, gets nowhere near airview in usability. It's yet another field where Mikrotik is seriously behind the competition and they doesn't seems to care...
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:37 pm

For all those interested
I got myself a used NanoStation Loco M2 -- you need M series. I got quite some troubles to get the AirView to run. I managed to do it running XM.v5.6.15 firmware (old), as the newer was throwing exceptions. I set this up in VM XP SP2 and Java 7 update 5. I tried several different javas, and none worked.
(I also tried running this on a Mac, and it didn't work. I think the issue was with firmware. Will try again later, but will not post update as VM works.)

Here is how this looks like:
Image

EDIT: If you want to play with this a bit more, the supported frequencies on this particular model are 2312-2732. It is really fun to look around nd see how your RF neighbourhood looks like. :D

One other thing to say about Ubiquity: their software looks and behaves like it is a toy.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:58 pm

Using the Dude tools and a Groove A-52HPn you can do this as well.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:11 pm

Using the Dude tools and a Groove A-52HPn you can do this as well.
Is there a list of mikrotiks that can do that?

Can you screenshot me how does analysis look?
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:26 pm

For the wireless pro and Spectral Scanning my suggestion is The Chanalyzer Essential Bundle - Professional Spectrum Analysis $900.00
https://shop.metageek.com/products/chanalyzer-essential
Chanalyzer Essential is a deep dive into spectrum analysis. Monitor your 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi networks in real time, visualize radio frequency (RF) congestion, locate sources of WiFi and non-WiFi interference, monitor WiFi channel saturation, and detect intermittent WiFi interferers. Create visually compelling reports of dead spots, saturation, and rogue APs.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:45 am

Using the Dude tools and a Groove A-52HPn you can do this as well.
Is there a list of mikrotiks that can do that?

Can you screenshot me how does analysis look?
.
https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Spectral_scan
https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Spectral_scan
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:29 am


Thanks. From what I see, Dude more or less corresponds with what Ubiquity provides. Do you happen to know what MikroTik devices support spectral scan? I have tried scanning on on RB2011, cap lite, cap and cap AC, RB951Ui-2HnD and RB951G-2HnD.

What is the updating? I get some 1-2 fps on Ubiquity.

Here is a measurement I obtained yesterday when I tested during the evening:

Image
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:37 am

Thanks. From what I see, Dude more or less corresponds with what Ubiquity provides. Do you happen to know what MikroTik devices support spectral scan? I have tried scanning on on RB2011, cap lite, cap and cap AC, RB951Ui-2HnD and RB951G-2HnD.
.
The RB951 devices should support scanning. Ensure you select the Wireless interface otherwise it will look like the device doesn't support scanning. The ac devices don't all support scanning.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:09 pm

The RB951 devices should support scanning. Ensure you select the Wireless interface otherwise it will look like the device doesn't support scanning. The ac devices don't all support scanning.
Will try tomorrow.
Thanks.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:23 am

The RB951 devices should support scanning. Ensure you select the Wireless interface otherwise it will look like the device doesn't support scanning. The ac devices don't all support scanning.
Bingo! Scanning on 951 worked. Resolution seems quite good, tho the scanning is a bit on the slow side. I think Ubiquity if faster and has better algorithms - patters there seem more nicely shaped. It is another environment tho and I will have to put a device by device to check and compare. On this scan below I think I have some weird devices laying around as not all signals seem to come from WiFi.

Image

This said, is there a *list* of MikroTik devices that _DO_ support spectral scanning? I am looking for something, cheap, PoE and portable. You mentioned GrooveA 52 which seems as a great choice. Anything else?

I ordered a 12V battery (8 AA batteries there) pack as a portable power, tho crude. Any better idea to feed this from USB? I haven'T found anything handy.

Also, do you happen to know of a site with various common RF transmitters patterns in 2.4 ghz spectrum? Like BT, headphones, alarms, etc.

Thanks!
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:10 pm

UPDATE: I tried spectral scan on RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT and it works only on 2 GHz. - Is 5 Gz spectral scan supposed to work at all on this device?

As for Grove 52, would 5 GHz work on that device? - I feel it makes more sense to get ubiquity on 2 and 5 GHz for spectral scanning than MT, however better (more precise) the Dude scanning is.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:34 pm

As for Grove 52, would 5 GHz work on that device? - I feel it makes more sense to get ubiquity on 2 and 5 GHz for spectral scanning than MT, however better (more precise) the Dude scanning is.
Scanning of 5GHz works on a Groove A-52HPn that I have.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:52 pm


Scanning of 5GHz works on a Groove A-52HPn that I have.
Thanks a lot. I will probably confirm order for it today.

Do you use it with the stock Omni antena for measurements?

How fast is the scan speed?
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:52 am

Do you use it with the stock Omni antena for measurements?
How fast is the scan speed?
.
Yes I use the omni antenna sometimes, depends on the requirement at the time. It's slow but anything that scans a large spectrum will be slow. It can do 4910-6000MHz which is a large amount requiring a lot of sampling.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:37 am


Yes I use the omni antenna sometimes, depends on the requirement at the time. It's slow but anything that scans a large spectrum will be slow. It can do 4910-6000MHz which is a large amount requiring a lot of sampling.
I intend to use it for scanning in warehouses mainly, and was thinking that antenna that is omni would be a better go than a directed one as it replicates the modules I put on the ceilings?
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:33 am

How about hackRF with sweep mode and gr-fosphor ?

It's a while since I did it, but even my old Thinkpad X1 Carbon with 5th-gen Intel-core could do the 'realtime spectrum analyzer' style stuff thanks to the basic OpenCL in the GPU of this old laptop.

I had been hoping to put an LimeSDR or XTRX into a laptop one day for better results.

Google gr-fosphor
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:21 am

How about hackRF with sweep mode and gr-fosphor ?

It's a while since I did it, but even my old Thinkpad X1 Carbon with 5th-gen Intel-core could do the 'realtime spectrum analyzer' style stuff thanks to the basic OpenCL in the GPU of this old laptop.

I had been hoping to put an LimeSDR or XTRX into a laptop one day for better results.

Google gr-fosphor
I haven't heard about these, I will take a look into it.

Thanks!
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:17 am

Do you use it with the stock Omni antena for measurements?
How fast is the scan speed?
.
Yes I use the omni antenna sometimes, depends on the requirement at the time. It's slow but anything that scans a large spectrum will be slow. It can do 4910-6000MHz which is a large amount requiring a lot of sampling.
In the meantime I have ordered the MT box. Will report back how it worked for me.

I did some testing on problem location and it seems that I have some RF motion detectors at play on 2.4 GHz. Only clear channel seems to be nr. 5. 5GHz seems better tho, but I couldn't test there, yet.
 
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Re: What MT boxes can support spectral scan? - Cheap spectrum analyzer instead?

Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:23 pm

UPDATE:

Got the Groove, and it seems it works fine. Scanning seems fairly high resolution, albeit it is *very* slow on 5-6 GHz, but that is understandable. Interestingly the card is dual-band, and it supports up to N standard (which is mostly irrelevant for scanning alone).

Great ting about Groove is that you get a nice (and substantial) omni stick with it. - No need for additional antenna.

To run the scan on Groove there are prerequisites:

1. Dude client - if on Mac, just run it inside a VM. I am using a Win XP VM.
2. Dude server - Groove can't run Dude. You need a Dude VM, and luckily MikroTik provides one for free. It is called CHR: https://mikrotik.com/download/#chr There are guides online how to make it work
3. Put router and VMs on same subnet, so they can talk, connect to Dude, add the device to Dude, and let it rip.

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