In the world of Wi-Fi engineering and support, there are definite crowd favorites when it comes to tools. Not every WLAN Pro sees the world exactly the same when it comes to tools, and usually what we pick to use in our daily duties comes down to ease-of-use (which can be subjective), cost, and effectiveness. That equation shakes out a little bit different for each of us, yet the same tools tend to show up often in what is a fairly limited market. I’m not talking apps here, as there are lots of those. Here, I’m more getting at handheld wireless tools, or if you want to stretch it a bit, ones that plug into a USB (or Lightning) port to turn the host device into a handheld tester. Before you yawn and click away, let me get right to the point: chances are that almost all of us have at least one tool from MetaGeek, or AirMagnet/Fluke Networks, or maybe Oscium. You know… the usual stuff. (Again, no slight to the software/app toolmakers in the crowd.) But this blog is about the slightly exotic. Of late, I’ve stumbled across some funky looking brands of hand-held testers/spectrum analyzers that I’d like to share. If you know of others that are off the beaten path, please let us know in the comments.
I’ll ease you into this with one from a company that’s actually been around a long time, and used to be more mainstream among wireless tools- the Yellow Jacket BANG, primarily a spectrum analyzer from Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS).
Everything BVS has ever put out just looks cool. Here’s the specs on the Yellow Jacket BANG.
Next- get an eyeful of this thing:
From Test Um, with more info here. Needless to say, it’s underwhelming… yet interesting to look at, no?
Next up- the RF Explorer. (I wish I could say that in a Darth Vader voice with reverb effect.)
(With handsome carrying case!) Details and specifications here.
Moving on to the 802 AWE from Trilithic Broadband Instruments, I have to say that this one looks like it could be for real, and a possible competitor to the Fluke Networks AirCheck.
I’d love to take the 802 AWE for a test drive. Check out this whitepaper, and see what you think.
We’ll finish with an interesting offering from the UK.
The Vonaq Artisan Wi-Fi Tester also looks like a for-real tester, and that snazzy orange case means it should be safe in the woods during deer hunting season.
How many of these have YOU seen before? Ever laid hands on any of them? Do any of them interest you? There *may* be life beyond MetaGeek and Fluke Networks here… Please add your thoughts.