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Free relative signal strength tester?

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Hello everybody.

I’m new here so sorry if this has already been discussed on the board! <_<

I thought this worked well enough to share, and the program is free so it doesn’t cost anything to try if you have a wireless network.

I was thinking about buying a microwave leak detector to check the relative strength of my video TX signal when I remembered an old program I had used to test the signal of my wireless network.

It’s called NetStumbler and it’s a free download here:

NetStumbler download page

The old version of the program was very limited in the number of wireless cards it would work with, but the new version is reported to work with several different brands. Here is a thread that lists some of the cards people are having luck with.

NetStumbler compatible card forum

You do not even need two computers to use this because the access point is a stand-alone device and does not need to be connected to anything but a power supply to work.

The “client” card (the card used in the computer) is the important one and must be on the list of cards that will work with NetStumbler.

The access point can be any brand as long as it is capable of communicating with the card in the computer.

This is a graph done with NetStumbler.

The relative signal strength of the video transmitter shows up as a higher noise floor.

You need to position the computer and access point so you receive a strong network signal, and position the video TX in a location that it does not produce more interference than the network can handle. Otherwise the network will shut down and not give a reading when the video TX is turned on.

Anyway, I’ve found it to be an inexpensive way to test and log changes to transmitter antennas, amps and coax length.

802.11b network channels and a test graph are shown below, you can see how the noise floor rises when the wireless video TX is turned on.

Happy flying!


Channel______Central Frequency













Edited by IA-Flyer

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I've been using NetStumbler for over a year, but I can't figure out how you made that graph. I can get the green, but not the red parts by clicking on the channels that are active. Could you please elaborate? Thanks.

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