Monday, January 20, 2020

Wi-Spy Air

In September of last year I went to Wifi Trek in Nashville. I won a drawing for a bootcamp so I talked my director into letting me go to the conference also. I took the CWSP class from Phil Morgan and he was such a great instructor I was able to pass the test with flying colors. It was also my last test of the "Big Four" CWNP tests before I can apply for CWNE (in process). Anyway while walking through the vendor areas I stopped and talked to the Metageek guys and signed up for a drawing. A week later I received and email from them saying that I won a Wi-Fi Air!
Here's a quick video run through of how slick it is.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Lockhart Arena

Once I got my new toys I was anxious to try them out and flex my new wireless abilities. I wanted to try a high density deployment so I grabbed the floor plans for the Lockhart Arena. It is the smaller arena at UVU with seating for around 2000 and occasionally gets used for other functions like graduations where they have a stage at one end and fill the floor with chairs. Threw the plans into Ekahau and used my newfound skills. I used Cisco 3800's with external antennas and two different models of Terrawave antennas in the design. A limitation with Ekahau at the time was I couldn't use both 5 ghz radios on one AP so the ones I wanted to use dual 5 ghz radios on I ended up stacking two AP's in the design and disableing the 2.4 radio on each of them. They have since fixed that problem. The design included high density capability on the floor also for the times the space is used for functions beside sporting events. I ended up with 10 AP's and 17 antennas. I pitched the design to my director and got it OK'd by the powers that be and we started the project. The phone guys pulled the cables and we mounted to AP's
and antennas to the steel beams spanning the arena. We were also able to use a Catalyst 3850 Mgig switch for the access layer. After the install I did my very first validation survey, with a laptop in the days before Survey for iPad, to make sure the signal strength was correct and that devices would roam between cells. The first large scale function they had in there I was watching everything and noticed the AP's were balancing out evenly and thing seemed to be going well. Since we had a 10 gig uplink to the switch the most we ever did was 6% utilization on the uplink. Tha day I learned about overkill. Well at least I'm future proofed for a while.

First Wireless Cert DONE!

In January of 2018 UETN hosted an Ekahau training for any of the wireless admins in the Utah education space. I registered for the training not knowing exactly what Ekahau was. It was an eye opening experience and was taught by the great minds of Ferney Munoz and Keith Parsons. That week I began to understand not only how important good design is, but the actual reasons why, and how wireless actually works. After I acquired the ECSE certification I went back to work and started an active campaign to purchase Ekahau pro and of course a sidekick. Because what good is one without the other? 🌝 It was approved, we got it, and now I feel special.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Not in the Halls!

One thing UETN does to help the IT EDU community in Utah is to have a conference every year called UETN Tech Summit. We listen to keynotes, find out what UETN has been up to that year and attend classes on varying subjects. I went to all of the wireless classes I could because I was in the process of installing a brand spanking new controller based wireless system and I found out I installed it totally wrong. I put all the AP's in the hallways because that was much easier and I didn't understand things like channel utilization, airtime, and CCI. My project for the next summer was moving them all into the classrooms. I still go to all the wireless classes at Tech Summit because sometimes they even get famous people like Keith Parsons to speak.

Entry Level

In the early 90's I decided to take a Cisco class at the local Technical College since the CCNA cert was the hot certification to get at that time. I wanted to get out of the construction business and get a real job. Well after the class I took the test and got certified and it actually helped me get a job at a local software company in their call center fixing network problems. After a few months I was moved to a sys admin position and worked there for about 7 years. I then took a job at a K-12 Charter school with 1200 students as the IT "everything" guy. Here's where my professional wireless journey begins. Luckily when you work in IT in the education sector in Utah you have this wonderful organization called the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN). They have been instrumental in my learning of wireless technologies.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

In the Beginning

This will be a Blog about my journey from being a guy who knows a little bit about wireless networking to a guy who knows a little bit more about wireless. I come from humble beginnings of a geek who bought old broken 386's and 486's from a thrift store and learning how to get them working again and running coax network cable through the heat vents so I could play Warcraft and Command and Conquer with my sons. My first foray into wireless was with the venerable Linksys WAP 11 and all the goodness that came with 802.11b. As I was the only one in my neighborhood with a broadband connection (go figure) I decided to share and built my first point to multi-point network with some of my neighbors using WAP 11's ripped out of their cases and put in external enclosures and an omni antenna I built and installed on my roof and some cantennas at my neighbor's houses. I've since evolved but that was a learning experience.


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Wireless network engineer at Utah Valley University

Wi-Spy Air

In September of last year I went to Wifi Trek in Nashville. I won a drawing for a bootcamp so I talked my director into letting me go to the...

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