In the Wi-Fi Designer tool, the E700 has a significantly reduced 5 GHz coverage compared to the E510. On the spec sheet, however, their antenna gain is only different by 1 dBi. This is with both radios set to 20 dBm for power. I was expecting the E700 to have improved coverage with 4x4 MIMO even though it had a 1 dBi reduction. The image is set to show 5 GHz coverage only.
Am I doing something wrong, is coverage really this different, or is it possible there is a problem with the tool?
Is this an error, or is it just showing something like a single chain for coverage (i.e., is the pattern correct, just the magnitude off and I can manipulate that myself)? Can you confirm if the 2.4 GHz coverage shows correctly in WiFi Designer?
I look forward to the update. Since the WiFi Designer is hosted, how will we be able to tell when the update is in place?
when we measured the antenna pattern in our chamber what we see is the peak gain points are not at 0deg azimuth\0deg elevation which we normally use for vertically mounted devices for showing the composite 2D Azimuth and Elevation patterns. So the data conversion is being updated as this is an Omni type pattern with 4 elements for 5G and two for 2.4G for the 2.4G it is closer to what it should show but 5G is the one that needs more work.
@jim When you say, “please get the latest version”, how do I do that? Mine currently shows “wfdc-2.1.1-902” in the lower left corner. I tried logging out and logging back in - but the E700 still shows the old 5 GHz coverage pattern.
did you get this resolved? we updated the e700 antenna pattern details in our Wifi Designer as well as with Ekahau, iBwave, and Air Magnet (Net Ally) but the update may not have yet propagated into their latest releases yet.
In the WiFi Designer, I still see much larger 5 GHz coverage on an E510 than an E700. The coverage for the E700 in 5 GHz is different than it was before, but it is not nearly as significant as the E510. It doesn’t appear to have been resolved yet.
WiFi designer assumes the same TX power (I believe 20) regardless. the e700 can go higher in TX power on the 5G band. The antenna gain of the e510 antenna is about 4dBi higher than the e700 but the e700 will give a bit better coverage out the back of the AP vs the e510. So if you increase the e700 TX power to maximum which is 28dBm vs 25dBm for e510 they should become close to equal in terms of best case range.
when we create the composite antenna patterns we take the raw measured data and for two chain devices like e510\e505\e500 we combine them constructively since we generally assume that the client device will “see” the “ideal” composite pattern (not necessarily true but we need some reference to use) but for a four chain device like e700 at 5GHz we cannot always assume that the client will see perfect composite patterns of all four transmissions perfectly combined so we made some assumptions that all 6dB improvement would not be seen by the client so the e700 pattern is a bit “conservative”. I would expect e700 range to be better overall since it can do higher power and has four elements vs. two on e510. e510 has less max power capability as I noted.
I would also point out that the radiation efficiency out the backside of the e510 is not as good as out the front-side while on the e700 it is more uniform around the device. This is shown in WiFi Designer.
@jim the radiation patterns still seem off significantly, but I think I see the reason. The specified 5 GHz gain on the E510 is only 1 dB higher than the E700; but looking more closely at the antenna patterns in the datasheet, the E700 does have higher downtilt than the E510, and the E700 seems to have a peak (or peaks) representing its antenna spec. It makes sense that even with matching gain, the E700 would show reduced or similar coverage when looking at the horizontal plane as the maximum gain has a certain amount of downtilt.
I am going to test the E700 and E510 with 2.4 GHz turned off and see how they compare for range.
The average gain for the e700 is around 0dBi (Azimuth and Elevation) while the e510 average is about 2.4dBi for the Azimuth and -5.2dBi for the Elevation. These numbers as I note are measured and combined chains radiation values. The e700 is a bit trickier to do the combining since it is four elements vs two so the real-world performance might be better than the pattern shows.