Berkeley Varitronics Systems, a developer and manufacturer of wireless test equipment, has developed two handheld instruments to help deploy IEEE 802.11b networks. They’re called the Grasshopper and the Locust and operate at 2.400 to 2.485GHz.
IEEE 802.11b is an industry standard for wireless networking products. Apple has been a pioneer in its adoption with the development of AirPort cards and base stations.
Locust is a wireless receiver designed specifically for sweeping and optimizing 2.4GHz Local Area Networks. The instrument measures coverage of direct sequence CDMA networks which operate on the IEEE 802.11b standard allowing the user to determine the AP (Access Point), PER (Packet Error Rate), and RSSI signal levels aiding in locating the hub and access points of neighboring WLANs. Locust provides measurements in real-time and also logs data for further post processing analysis. Users can detect and differentiate from narrowband multipath interferences using a drive-test vehicle, GPS antenna and a laptop computer, according to Gary Schober of BVS.
Grasshopper is a handheld, wireless receiver designed specifically for sweeping and optimizing LANs. The instrument measures coverage of direct sequence CDMA networks which operate on the IEEE 802.11b standard allowing the user to measure and determine the AP (Access Point), PER (Packet Error Rate) and RSSI signal levels aiding in locating the hub and access points throughout a building. Grasshopper detects and differentiates from narrow-band multipath interferences such as microwave ovens and frequency hopping systems and features a built-in display, keypad and removable battery pack for true portability, Schober said.
“Apple computer has been buying them and giving out our URL for others to obtain these instruments directly from the manufacturer,” Schober said.
The Grasshopper sells for US$2,800. The Locust sells for $3,800 and ships with two battery packs and smart charger.