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    Sam Drazin
    Using the Frequency Plot
    Topic posted November 29, 2011 by Sam DrazinExpert, last edited November 26, 2013 by AdminProficient, tagged how-to 
    3073 Views, 7 Comments
    Title:
    Using the Frequency Plot
    Description:

    Overview

    The Frequency Plot is a plotting tool which allows you to view scan data over a period of time. This can use a Shure wireless scanning device and continuously scan the spectrum, or view a file saved of a multi-pass scan. This tool is helpful when a real-time knowledge of the RF environment is desired over a long period of time.

    Related Links

    Access

    To access the Frequency Plot, select the "Frequency Plot" button from the global menu bar. The Frequency Plot will open.

    0c320b730c_01.png

    The Frequency Plot allows you to perform two primary functions:

    • Run continuous live scans with capable Shure devices
    • View saved scan files with multiple passes (over a duration)

    To run continuous scans, select the "Live" tab in the left sidebar. To open a saved scan file, select the "Files" tab in the left sidebar.

    0c320b730c_02.png

    Running a Live Continuous Scan

    Select the "Live" tab from the left sidebar. You will first need to select device(s) to perform scans. Select "Scanner Setup..." to browse available devices.

    0c320b730c_03.png

    The Scan Selection dialog is displayed. Select all devices which you would like to use to scan.

    0c320b730c_04.png

    By default, each device is configured to scan it's entire available tuning capability. This can be adjusted by modifying the Start/Stop frequency values, as well as Band Preset.

    Some important points to keep in mind:

    • Ensure that you have proper antenna setup connected to any devices that will be used to scan
    • Both channel of the same receiver cannot be scanning at the same time
    • Use the "Band Preset" column to choose a specific band to scan with an AXT400 receiver
    • Consult the Full Band Scan with AXT400 Receiver page for instructions on how to use a single receiver to scan from 470-698 MHz in one pass

    NOTE: Any devices that have started scanning will continue to scan until stopped. These devices will not be available to function as normal (receivers receiving audio, Spectrum Managers monitoring and dispatching backup frequencies, etc) until they are no longer scanning.

    Once you have selected your devices, press "Save". Added devices will be shown on the left sidebar of the Frequency Plot in the "Scanners" box.

    To start a scan, select the device from the drop-down, and press "Start".

    0c320b730c_05.png

    The device will begin to scan. Devices will scan the spectrum once with each antenna, and then proceed to the next scan pass. You will notice that the new passes will overwrite the existing pass of the scan.

    0c320b730c_06.png

    To stop a scan, ensure that the device scanning is selected in the drop-down on the left sidebar, and press "Stop".

    0c320b730c_07.png

    You have successfully run a continuous scan. To save this file, right-click on the device within the Scanners box and select "Save...". Follow the prompt to save the scan file.

    0c320b730c_08.png

    NOTE: Multiple files can be viewed simultaneously or hidden from this interface. Select the device from the Scanners box such that it is highlighted green to display it's data. Deselect it such that there is no green highlighting to hide the data.

    Viewing a Scan File

    Select the "Files" tab from the left sidebar. Scan files can be imported from both your computer, or a device on the network that has stored scans.

    0c320b730c_09.png

    To import a scan file from your computer, press the folder button underneath the "Files" box. Follow the prompt to open your saved scan file.

    0c320b730c_10.png

    To import a scan file from a device on the network, press the folder button underneath the "Hardware Imports" box. Follow the prompt to open your saved scan file.

    0c320b730c_11.png

    The Hardware Imports dialog will open. Press the first folder button to select a piece of hardware to import data from. The Import Scan window will open. Select a device which you would like to import scan data from.

    Press "Import" to import the scan data.

    0c320b730c_12.png

    NOTE: Currently, scan data can only be imported from AXT600 Spectrum Managers, and PSM1000 Transmitters.

    Once the file has successfully imported, close both the Import Scan and Hardware Imports dialogs. Notice that your scan file is now listed in the Hardware Imports section of the left sidebar. Select it such that it is highlighted in green to display the data.

    0c320b730c_13.png

    Other Features

    There are a few other features of the Frequency Plot which ease the navigation and analysis of large scan datasets. These features are available on both the Live and Files tabs.

    Overlays

    Overlays are scan files that can be overlaid on top of other data. This might be helpful when comparing 2 scan files of the same venue taken several hours/days/weeks apart.

    In the Live tab, there is also a "Peak Hold" overlay, which will plot the peak signal strength found for all live scans. This might be helpful to get a worst-case scenario look at potential interference.

    To add an overlay, click on the "Overlay..." button beneath the Overlays box. The Frequency Plot Overlays dialog will open.

    0c320b730c_14.png

    Similar to importing scan data from hardware, press the first folder button to select a scan file to import. Follow the prompt to open your saved scan file.

    NOTE: Any scan file can be imported as an Overlay. The differentiation is that overlays can be imported as a single data set from a multi-pass scan file, or the peak hold of the entire file.

    Select whether to import a single sweep, or to take the peak hold of the entire scan file. (If you select Single Sweep, you can use the Start/End Time fields to specify which pass of the scan you would like to import.)

    0c320b730c_15.png

    Press "Close" to return to the Frequency Plot. Notice that your overlay is now listed in the Overlays box.

    0c320b730c_16.png

    Colors of Scan Data

    You can modify the color of the scan data for each file. To change a dataset's color, click on the color swab (square) next to any scan file loaded in the left sidebar. A color picker will open.

    0c320b730c_17.png

    Select a new color using any of the tools provided. You can save colors in the "Custom colors" section by dragging a color from the preview box to one of the smaller squares, or by pressing "Add to Custom Colors" when your color is previewed.

    0c320b730c_18.png

    Press "OK" to close the color picker, and notice that your scan data is now shown in the newly selected color.

    0c320b730c_19.png

    Time Slider

    The primary difference between the Frequency Plot and the Coordination Plot is that the Frequency Plot can record and display datasets of scan data (multiple passes from the same scanner/file). The Time Slider allows you to scrub through these multi-pass scans/files.

    With a scan file loaded or a live scan completed and stopped, look at the right side of the Frequency Plot to see the Time Slider and its associated interface elements.

    0c320b730c_20.png

    The vertical slider represents the duration of the scan file, and the slider ball indicates where in time the data being shown on the plot is from. The top of the slider represents the beginning of the scan, and the bottom represents the end. Beginning, middle, and end times are shown in text to the right of the time slider.

    Once a scan in in the Frequency Plot, use the slider ball to scrub through the scan file and inspect how the scan changes over time. This functionality might be useful when trying to track down the cause of interference known at a particular time.

    Use the Play button at the bottom of the slider to progress automatically through the scan file. Use the Stop button to stop.

    Applications

    We have discussed how to use both the Live and Files tabs of the Frequency Plot. Let's touch on some applications where each of these modes might be useful.

    Pre-show Scanning

    You are a FOH/monitor engineer for a band playing at a large concert venue. You show up the morning of the gig, and want to get an idea of the RF environment in the venue. Use the live scan mode of the Frequency Plot to run a continuous scan for all portions of the spectrum which you plan on using (and surrounding spectrum, if possible). The longer you run this scan, the more datasets you'll have to inspect the change in RF levels.

    Scanning for an hour in the morning before the show might be all you need, but likely, with the addition of broadcasters and other RF events coming in later towards the show, taking multiple scans before the performance will give you the best picture of the state of the spectrum. Use Overlays to compare the peak hold of multiple scans, and export any relevant scan files to distribute to other colleagues who might need to be aware of the RF environment.

    Answer

     

    • Highwayhouston
      Is there a time limit for these scans on the frequency plot? I had a consultant today ask if it can scan for 24 hours or more at a time
    • claytonmills
      What formats are available for exporting these continuous scan files? are they only in a format that WWB6 can open?
    • Sam Drazin
      What formats are available for exporting these continuous scan files? are they only in a format that WWB6 can open?
      Currently, scans can only be exported in a format that is recognizable to Wireless Workbench 6.

      You can, however, import scans taken from WWB5 (including scans taken using WiNRADiO devices).
    • Lisa
      Which antenna is used in the scan A or B?
    • buhmanb
      Both antennas are used during the scan. The maximum of A and B is plotted and saved.
    • sharktooth
      Hi, is there a way to save the session with the scan files or overlays imported inside. Currently, I have to reload it at every start.
      Thanks
    • hautzir
      Hi Guillaume,

      Thanks for this feature request. Currently this is not doable.

      Thanks.

      Ron

     

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