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    Sam Drazin
    How do I create and utilize zones?
    Topic posted November 9, 2011 by Sam DrazinExpert, last edited December 10, 2013 by AdminProficient, tagged how-to 
    How do I create and utilize zones?

    Overview - What is a "Zone"

    If you are setting up wireless devices in a large space, such as a campus with multiple rooms, you may be able to divide the environment into zones and increase the number of frequencies available.

    To maximize the number of frequencies available for larger venues such as corporate campuses, festival venues, and theaters, you may be able to divide the environment into zones. Creating zones in Wireless Workbench tells the frequency compatibility calculator to assume that systems in one zone will not create intermodulation distortion with systems in another zone.

    The key is to place the devices in different zones and provide enough RF separation between each zone to prevent intermodulation distortion (IMD). Factors that must be considered when creating zones are the physical distance between zones, occlusion by building materials, the volume of surrounding RF traffic, transmitter output power, antenna selection and placement, and overall quality of the wireless system.

    Ideally, devices assigned to separate zones should be physically separated by walls. Other factors that must be considered when creating zones are volume of surrounding RF traffic, transmitter output power, antenna placement, and overall quality of the wireless system.

    Related Links

    Zones and Intermodulation Products

    When multiple zones are present, Wireless Workbench will calculate a multi-zone compatible frequency list. When you create multiple zones, you are telling Wireless Workbench the equipment is far enough apart to avoid creating intermodulation products. Calculating compatible frequencies for zones with Wireless Workbench will ensure a solution with no channel-to-channel conflicts.

    Assigning Equipment to Zones

    A device cannot be in multiple zones. This means that a receiver with multiple channels must all use channels within the same zone. Additionally, any linked transmitter and receiver pairs must be within the same zone.

    Zones and Spectrum Managers

    Each zone created in Wireless Workbench requires an AXT600 Spectrum Manager to deploy frequencies to the equipment assigned to that zone. When Workbench calculates a frequency list, it will use the zone information to create and deploy a frequency solution to each zone.

    Saving Zones Across Sessions

    The zone parameter is not stored on devices. To save the zones in Wireless Workbench, you must save your show file. Otherwise, when the equipment goes offline and then comes back live on the network, all equipment will be shown in the same zone.

    Creating a Zone in Wireless Workbench

    Zones can be created in Wireless Workbench from several locations in the application. First, we'll discuss creating zones from the Add New Device dialog.

    While populating your inventory with offline devices and backups, you can specify to add these channels to specific zones. To choose from existing zones, this is done by selecting a particular value from the Zone drop-down in the Device Properties section.


    You can also create new zone by selecting the "Edit Zone..." drop-down and choosing "New Zone."


    The New Zone dialog will prompt you to name a new zone, which can then be used to contain devices.


    Zones can also be created and assigned from the Inventory tab. In the right sidebar of the Inventory tab, the bottom section, entitled "By Zone", shows a list of all available zones. The check boxes next to each zone allow you to filter your inventory by zone assignment.

    To create a zone from this view, right-click within the By Zone box, and select "New...". The New Zone dialog prompts you to name a new zone.


    Make sure the Zone column is displayed to easily view and edit the zone of a given device from the Inventory view. Right-click in the header section of the inventory view, and ensure that "Zone" is checked.


    To assign devices to a zone from the Inventory view, you can do one of several actions:

    • Drag and drop the zone from the sidebar area on to the Zone area of a device's row.


    • Double click the Zone area of a device's row to select its zone from a drop-down of all available zones


    Assigning Spectrum Managers to Zones

    Once your zones are created and devices are assigned to the zones of your liking, you can begin to take advantage of the efficiencies that come with zone coordination.

    If you have one or more Spectrum Managers, frequencies can be deployed to them such that they constantly monitor backup frequencies for those devices. This is configured after calculation in the RF Coordination Results dialog.

    For full details on Frequency Coordination and how to navigate the workflow, consult the Frequency Coordination tutorial video.

    After a solution has been calculated, you will have the opportunity to assign each zone a Spectrum Manager, assuming each zone has a Spectrum Manager within it (Spectrum Managers are assigned to zones in the Inventory view, as described above).

    At the top of the summary section of the RF Coordination Results dialog, a table of all zones is displayed.


    Each zone can be assigned one of two options:

    • A valid Spectrum Manager within it's zone that is not managing another zone
    • "None"

    When you select a specific Spectrum Manager for a given zone, upon deployment, all of that zone's frequencies will be sent to the Spectrum Manager, and it will monitor those frequencies in real time.

    When you select "None", Wireless Workbench will keep a list of all frequencies deployed to that zone, but no live monitoring of the quality of those frequencies will be performed.

    Viewing Deployed Frequencies

    Frequency lists for all zones, regardless of where they were deployed to (Spectrum Manager or Wireless Workbench, eg: "None") can be viewed post-deployment in the Frequency List window.

    From the global menu bar, select "Frequency List".


    This will show a full listing of all deployed frequencies for each established zone. Zones with managing Spectrum Managers will show updating strengths of frequencies within their lists.


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