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Cisco Meraki Documentation

Spectrum Analysis Overview

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Meraki APs with a dedicated security radio feature built-in visual spectrum analysis capabilities. The APs scan for both 802.11 (other APs) and non-802.11 sources of RF interference (eg. Bluetooth headsets, cordless phones, and microwaves).

All Meraki APs also scan for interference data, which is then fed into the Meraki Auto RF planning algorithms to determine optimal channel plan (if auto-channel selection is enabled) and transmit power settings. Auto-channel selection is enabled by default and can be changed on the Radio settings page under the Configure tab.

The RF Specturm page will give administrators both instantaneous (live data) and historical data about interference sources in the area of a particular AP. The RF Spectrum page will provide interference information on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels that the AP is broadcasting in:

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Automatic Network Scans

All Meraki APs perform automatic networks scans to collect information about the RF environment (e.g., channel utilization, channel interference, etc.) and to detect rogue APs. There are 2 types of network scans:

  • Opportunistic scans, which are performed when an individual AP has no clients associated with it.
  • Mandatory scans, which are performed at a user-defined time of day (on specific days of the week) by all APs in the network. Note that a mandatory scan disconnects any clients that may be associated to Meraki APs at the time a scan begins.

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Whether a network performs only opportunistic scans or performs both opportunistic and mandatory scans is configured under the Monitor tab on the Air Marshal page. The schedule for mandatory scans is also configured in this section.

Using Air Marshal (or APs with a dedicated security radio) for Fine-Grained RF Analysis

For customers who want more granular control of their radio channel planning, an AP running in Air Marshal can be used to track interference in real-time across channels. An AP running in Air Marshal mode will display interference information across all channels in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands in real-time in the 'Live tools' section.

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This information can be used in conjunction with the manual channel planning controls, enabling administrators to achieve fine-grained control over the RF settings of their APs.

Visual Spectrum Analysis

On APs with a dedicated security radio, visual spectrum analysis data can be seen under the "RF Spectrum" page under the Monitor tab:

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