Buggy WLAN Maintenance Tools Released

By Matthew Peretz

February 27, 2002

Get a Scorpion and a Beetle if you are serious about installing and maintaining your 802.11b WLAN.

Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. (BVS) today announced the release of two devices, called Scorpion and Beetle, for installing, configuring, and troubleshooting 802.11b WLANs.

Scorpion is an analysis tool for what the company calls "sweeping, analyzing, and optimizing 2.4 GHz Wireless Local Area Networks." According to BVS, the unit measures coverage of direct sequence CDMA networks which operate on the 802.11b standard. The device allows the user to determine the access point (AP), SSID, PER (packet error rate), Multipath (Ec/Io), and RSSI signal levels aiding in locating the hub and APs of neighboring WLANs.

Scorpion features include:

  • Measure 2.4 GHz coverage for direct sequence (DSSS) wireless networks (IF wideband 22 MHz) within the IEEE 802.11b standard
  • Measures Packet Error Rate, Multipath and RSSI; narrow band & total channel power
  • Receive, filter and process complex DSSS studies all in Windows CE. environment
  • 256 color backlit display for real-time color-coded signal analysis
  • Touch screen, Windows. PDA-like interface using a stylus pen
  • Connection to a PC via USB and serial interfaces
  • 64MB internal RAM memory

Scorpion device Complete Scorpion specs are available at the BVS Web site.

Beetle, the second device, is a wireless receiver designed for installing and maintaining 802.11b WLANs. It also measures coverage of direct sequence CDMA 802.11b networks. Beetle measures and displays signal strength for all APs on all 14 DSSS channels as well as PERs and WEP encryption detection. Beetle detects and differentiates from narrow-band interferences such as microwave ovens and frequency hopping systems and features a built-in display, menu navigation keypad and removable, rechargeable batteries.

Beetle features include:

    Measure coverage for direct sequence (DSSS) wireless networks (wideband IF 22 MHz)
  • Tests 2.4 GHz DSSS networks operating within the IEEE 802.11b standard
  • Scans all 14 channels
  • Low-cost instrument that any field technician can afford
  • Measures Packet Error Rate
  • WEP security encryption detection
  • Measures and displays power across 22 MHz channel of individual stations total channel power
  • Removable rechargeable batteries included (4 AA Ni-MH)
  • Light-weight, portable and rugged design ideal for realtime network analysis
  • Built-in 128 x 64 Graphic backlit LCD with simple menu interface and navigation
Beetle Complete Beetle specs are available at the BVS Web site.

BVS did not disclose pricing information, but did state that it offers quantity discounts. More information about purchasing the units can be found at the BVS Web site, which also lists reseller information.

Matthew A. Peretz is managing editor of 802.11-Planet



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