Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Reviews

What it is

ASA is essentially a repacked / rebranded version of Cognio's ISMS Mobile 1.0 product, which provides the core technology. The family jewels come in the form of a CardBus card (AirMagnet calls it the Spectrum PC card) that contains the hardware guts of a miniature spectrum analyzer that covers the 2.4 and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g spectra, as well as the 4.94 - 4.99 GHz U.S. Public Safety Band.

The little wonder itself

Figure 1: The little wonder itself

Here's what's inside the card (from the ASA User Guide):

  • Radio - The radio transceiver detects the RF spectrum and feeds this data to Spectrum Analysis Engine, SAgE
  • SAgE - Spectrum Analysis Engine performs a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the RF spectrum, and provides the feed of low-level data concerning the behavior of the RF spectrum. Low-level data includes basic information on the power vs. frequency in the spectrum at a given instant, and information on individual pulses in the RF spectrum. SAgE also performs on-board statistical analysis of the spectrum, and statistical analysis of RF pulses (which relieves CPUs of this processor intensive task)
  • MCU - A programmable MicroController Unit (MCU), running proprietary software, provides low-level analysis of the data stream. The analysis engines include:
    • Measurement Engine - Aggregates SAgE data, and normalizes it into meaningful units.
    • Classification Engine - Identifies specific types of interferers (Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, cordless phones and headsets, radar, etc.).

The card represents some pretty impressive engineering, especially considering that the ASA's closest competitor - Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) Bumblebee - requires a PocketPC-sized "sled" to hold its RF circuitry. Specs (Figure 2)are pretty impressive too, most notably a noise level of only -124dBm and amplitude accuracy of +/- 2.5dBm.

Spectrum Analyzer Specs

Figure 2: Spectrum Analyzer Specs

The card can be used with any notebook or tablet PC running Windows XP SP1 or SP2 that has a Type II CardBus slot. Note that the card cannot function as an 802.11a/b/g WLAN card, so can neither be used to connect to a wireless LAN nor run any of the other AirMagnet products. Note also that if the notebook or tablet that you run the ASA on has built-in Wi-Fi, you'll need to turn it off - for obvious reasons!

The card has an MMCX style connector - same as used on the old ORiNOCO and many current Buffalo Technology WLAN cards - for external antenna attachment. AirMagnet also includes a simple 2dBi dipole with short cable and clip for mounting the antenna on a notebook display.

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

Hello, I am a novice internet user/gamer and I am experiencing some issues with my upload/download speeds, especially with the upload speeds. I have e...
I have been using the RT-AC87 for about 5 years now, and it has always been a rock solid router in my opinion. My friend has the opportunity to purcha...
Im getting agitated with the constant deletion of disgruntled members complaints and one of my own recently as well with no response yet again to the ...
I found a foible in the "Wireless MAC Filter" capability. I would call it a bug but perhaps it was done on purpose. I have only tested this in the "re...
Hi all,Im having an issue with pixteltls, I live in the netherlands an Im using the Rabobank as bankingwith my phone I can not use the app from my ban...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3