A note from Jake
A note from Jake:
I didn’t write this program. I don’t know who wrote this program, but I still get lots of eMail about it. Dennis Rex sent me this program a while back. He informed me that the author no longer wanted to host it, and that it would disappear off the internet otherwise.
Hence its hosted here. I cannot really help you with this, for several reasons. First, I don’t run Win9x. This program need Win9x to run. Second, I don’t have a Linksys client card. I use an old-style Lucent WaveLAN card (now called Orinoco, but mine’s circa 1999-2000, and still says Lucent).
Good luck, use this if you like, but do so at your own risk. I’m told it works, but I have no way to know. Have fun.
Jake: Thanks to Dennis Rex again for sending me WLANexpert to host, and doing this great write up!
WLAN Expert is a wireless client utility designed to work with the PRISM chipset by Intersil. The Linksys WPC11 is the only client card I’ve tested, although many manufacturers use this silicon. Intersil counts Alcatel, Cisco, Compaq, Nokia, Nortel, Samsung and Siemens among its OEMs.
The main screen offers signal strength, errors, interference (all in dBm) as well as channel, SSID and speed indicators:
You are also given the option to attenuate the transmit power of the client via the Tx Power tab. Usage? Testing, improving security, reducing interference. Attenuation is in 10mW increments (decrements?). Default setting is full power.
There is also an antenna test, measuring the standing wave ratio of the antenna, 1.0 VSWR is perfect. Higher is poorer. Nice feature if you’re rolling your own. The values change as the distance from the base unit changes, so I’m not sure of the accuracy. Output is graphed and the antenna rated nice, good, poor.
Additional detail can be view on the Information screen.
You can scan the available channels for a graph of the signal strength, again in dBm. Good for finding the sweet spot in your location.
- I have no way to corroborate the measurements, so cannot vouch for their accuracy.
- The signal level meter is very sketchy. It’s hard to get a solid reading as it fluctuates widely and quickly. Jake: this could mean its inaccurate, or hyper accurate. I dunno.
- After running the Antenna or Air scans, the WLAN Expert reports that the Tx rate has dropped to 2Mbps. Accessing the LAN immediately returns it to 11Mbps.
WLanExpert – Download