WLAN link quality monitoring on Nokia devices
Connecting to the Internet via a WLAN access point from a WLAN capable Nokia device is a handy thing. It can be even more interesting to set up direct communication between the nearby devices via the built-in WiFi interface in an ad hoc manner. However, the wireless medium is error prone, the connection can be volatile, thus monitoring and adjusting the link properties sometimes can help a lot.
The tool called AdHocMonitor.sisx (link is currently not available, please update this with a current link) is a handy stuff to do that. This tool provides RX (received signal level) values on a per-BSSID basis. (The BSSID stands for 'Basic Service Set IDentifier' and it refers to the link between the device and the access point in infrastructure mode or the direct link between two communicating devices in ad hoc mode.) It should work on any S60 3rd edition device, basically all Nokia phones having WLAN support, except 9300i and 9500 communicators.
The application has three menu items:
- Connect: lists the available access points, and connects to one of them. Upon successful connection the IP address of the device appears in the title pane (one can try pinging the device from a PC)
- Describe: lists all currently up IP connections and their RX level in dBm
- List: lists RX level, BSSID and beacon interval of currently available WLAN links
Installing the application
- If PC Suite is installed (and the device attached to the PC, with PC Suite mode selected manually / pre-selected in Connection/Data cable) we can double-click or hit Enter on the sisx file to start the installation
- We can also copy the sisx file in Mass storage mode, and after disconnecting, use the Tools/File Manager to find it on the memory card (File Manager starts on the phone memory, press right arrow to browse the card)
Since the file is self-signed, an "untrusted" warning message will show up at the beginning, and an application access dialog a bit later (the application obviously needs network access). After installation, AdHocMonitor will appear in the "My Own" folder. If the installation fails, check the date and time of the device (since the signature file has been generated in February, it should not be a problem), and check Settings of Tools/Application Manager. Make sure that "Software installation" is set to "All" and not to something like "Signed only".
The WLAN settings can be configured under the Tools/Settings/Connection/Access points, New access point, etc.. Note, that there is a menu item under the Tools/Settings/Connection/Wireless LAN, where we can apparently set/unset scanning and showing WLAN availability, but it also has Advanced settings (in the menu), where - after a warning message - we can play a bit (Help is available from the menu) with radio settings. For example, setting transmit power to 10 or 4 mW instead of the default 100 mW (which provides good signal strength even 3 rooms away from the current location) can help in simulating volatile connections.