Viewing the 5 GHz band in Cisco Spectrum Expert

31 Jul, 2015

00 CSE first launch
CSE first launch

In a previous article I described a method to connect Cisco Spectrum Expert to an Autonomous Access Point operating in Spectrum Mode. This article addresses how to configure Spectrum Expert to display the data, primarily wrangling the plots to display the entire 5 GHz band on one screen.On first launch Spectrum Expert looks like this:

Paste the Remote Sensor NSI Key, select "a/n" Radio, click OK

01 CSE 5 GHz default
CSE 5 GHz default

It is possible to add and remove plots from this screen. Doing so alters the position and size of the plots. For now the focus is viewing the Real Time FFT (strength of signal, this moment) and Duty Cycle Swept Spectrogram (Historical / Waterfall View) for the entire 5 GHz band.

To do this, first clear the screen of all the default plots, using the "X" to remove each plot one by one.

02 click x to remove the plot
click x to remove the plot

Once all the default plots have been removed, add three Real Time FFT plots, from the menu heading Spectrum

03 spectrum-add plot
spectrum-add plot

Once three Real Time FFT plots have been added, add three Swept Spectrogram plots

04 add 3 real time FFT
add 3 real time FFT
05 3 FFT & 3 swept spectrograms
3 FFT & 3 swept spectrograms

To make a selection click anywhere within the plot and the surrounding box will become a different colour

06 plot IDs
plot IDs

Once selected it is possible to view and change details specific to Plot 1 from the Control Panel in the bottom left corner

07 the control panel
the control panel

The fields in the control panel are selectable, though you must click on them first to reveal the drop down arrow

Selecting Band: 5.16 - 5.34 GHz configures Plot 1 to display both UNII-1 and UNII-2

Selecting Band: 5.16 - 5.34 GHz configures Plot 1 to display both UNII-1 and UNII-2

It is possible to tweak the display further, adjusting the scale, adding additional traces, what they represent, addition of markers etc. Under Channels it is possible to select which channel markers appear in the Plot or disable them.

For now the only setting that requires attention is Band. On to Plot 2.

09 Plot 2 Band selection
Plot 2 Band selection
10 Plot 3 Band selection
Plot 3 Band selection

This completes the Real Time FFT configuration, next, the Swept Spectrogram Plots.

11 Plot 4 Band selection
Plot 4 Band selection
12 Plot 4 Trace Type
Plot 4 Trace Type

This is now applied to the remaining Plots 5 and 6.

13 All plots configured
All plots configured

Once You have played around and configured the plots to your liking, save the layout so you can retrieve it next time.

14 CSE save Spectrum View Configuration
CSE save Spectrum View Configuration
15 save as
save as
16 Tab labelled
Tab labelled

It is easy to open up an alternative view from that same menu.

If you use Spectrum Expert and would like to share any comments regarding how you use or configure CSE, please leave comments or Tweet me @nickjvturner