Site Survey: Tracer Lithium Polymer Battery

The Terrawave battery pack has served me well performing site surveys. However it is a heavy beast, coming in at 3.82 kg.

I would like to introduce the Tracer Lithium Polymer battery that I am currently using for site surveys and share how I use it.

Left: Terrawave survey battery pack Middle: Tracer battery Right: iPhone 5C (for scale)

Left: Terrawave survey battery pack
Middle: Tracer battery
Right: iPhone 5C (for scale)

The Tracer battery is a 12v battery with a charge indicator and it weighs 680g, this is great for an access point that will accept 12v, a Ruckus 7372 for example.

Tracer battery Tracer battery

However this is not so good for a Cisco AP which requires will require 48v DC input or PoE. This is where the Ligowave 12v PoE injector comes in.

LigoWave 12v PoE Photo 20-10-2014 13 29 37 LigoWave 12v PoE

When it is all connected together it looks like this:

 Photo 20-10-2014 15 35 38

When doing a survey I would place the battery and PoE injector into a soft camera bag and run the ethernet cable up the tripod to the AP.

I have performed two endurance tests so far:


Ruckus 7363 Survey AP // Both radios set to full power // powered using 12v jack

DURATION: 30 hours


Cisco 3600 // Autonomous SE-CONNECT mode // powered via 12v LigoWave PoE injector

DURATION: 12 hours


I intend to perform more endurance tests and I will post the results in a separate article. The PoE injector does get warm and introduces loss into the system but so far I have found the endurance to be better than that of the Terrawave.

This battery has also proven to be very useful as a portable power source for keeping smaller devices topped up. Although many trains provide power, this battery pack has allowed me to sit wherever I want to and not have to worry about running out of power.

Please leave comments below or on twitter @nickjvturner

Data sheet for the LigoWave 12v PoE injector: Ligowave.com

Web page for the Tracer: deben.com these can also be ordered from Amazon

Data sheet for the Terrawave: terra-wave.com

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this article in any way, shape or form.

10 thoughts on “Site Survey: Tracer Lithium Polymer Battery

  1. Pingback: Spectrum Analysis using Cisco Spectrum Expert, Autonomous AP with CleanAir | WLANs, WiFi & Technical musings

  2. Hi Nick. Have you ever noticed that the channel utilization in Cisco Prime does not match up with what you get on the spectrum analyzer? I find it being off as much as 40%. Just wondering if you’ve seen that or possibly I am doing something wrong in my SE mode setup. For example SE graphs show CH utilization at 4 to 6 % and when I use the PI maps and select channel utilization I get something like 50%

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  3. Pingback: Spectrum Analysis using Cisco Spectrum Expert, Autonomous AP with CleanAir | Empowered

  4. A thorough and interesting read nick! I will be researching these products online and purchase as I need one of these to overcome my survey kit woes. Just out of interest, the ligowave Poe shown isn’t a standard one is it? It has electrical connectors at one end. What model of ligowave is it from?

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    • Hey Dom, the PoE adaptor is simply a 12-24v input PoE adaptor. The PoE standard is 802.3at. I don’t believe it comes as standard with any particular LigoWave unit. This box would be suitable in remote locations, powered by solar and battery, removing the need to use an inverter to provide PoE.

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  5. Hi Nick, nice work on the survey kit. One question. The connection from the battery to the PoE, is that something you made or purchased from tracer?
    thanks

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    • Hello Colum, thank you for getting in touch. The connector into the battery came from Tracer, this leads to a positive and a negative wire.
      The connector I am using between the battery and the PoE is currently a solderless jack (pair). I purchased this from Maplin, (Radio shack).

      A friend of mine uses a similar setup, though he has used “Radio-controlled car” battery connectors.

      I hope this has been of some assistance.

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  6. Hi Nick

    Have you got anything for 802.11af power needs yet for example Cisco 3800 4×4. I’m using the terraware lump at the moment but believe I need 18v not the 15v to operate at full spec.

    Keep up the good work, we surveyors need these problems resolving 👍

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    • Hello Michael,

      The LigoWave PoE injector is capable of providing 802.3at power. The 3800 series lists PoE+ as one of the acceptable power sources.

      Have you tried the AP powered via an 802.3at injector?
      Would be interested to know if that provides full functionality.

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  7. Please be aware that (at least in my case) The Tracer battery came with a proprietary connector to car adapter and a car to 12V plug. the 12V plug was only suited for 12V 1A currents so I had a considerable drop of the circuit. The ultimate result was, that my PoE powered APs did not work, as they rebooted as soon as they tried to power-up the radios. So to avoid this, consider buying the appropriate bullet to bare-ends/ 12V plugs altogether with your power-pack.

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