Build Your Spider™ Test-bed

Spider - Build a Test Bed

1. Choose a Topology: Select a Star, Mesh, or Standalone

Depending on your test scenarios, a star, mesh or standalone might be the optimal topology for you. These topologies differ from in (a) the control they offer over which nodes see each other and at what power level and (b) the link budget.

A star topology is typically used for handover and roaming tests; a mesh topology is useful for coexistence and other tests involving multiple nodes with different path loss relative to each other; and the standalone topology is useful for any custom test needs that don’t fall into either one of these.

While the hardware modules aren’t specific to a topology, you can find the optimal fit as follows:

  • RF Channel Module: RFCM-B for instances where you need a low condition number and high rank channel; RFCM-C for other instances
  • Combiner Module: Star Combiner Module (SCM) for star topologies; Mesh Combiner Module (MCM) for mesh topologies
  • Shielded Enclosure:
    • RPE-401 to isolate small device(s)
    • RPE-401L to isolate large form factor devices (such as access points, small cells); RPE-401L/AC for a large chamber with AC power
    • RPE-402 to isolate multiple small devices individually

2. Decide the Size of the Test-bed: Decide the size of the test-bed and the number of modules

Depending on how many nodes you want to connect and the exact topology, you might want to choose either a SCM-5 or a SCM-9 (in the case of a star topology) or multiple MCM-4s (in the case of a Mesh topology). The number of RFCMs you require will depend on which paths you want to control.

While the number of Near Field Adapters depends on the number of devices (without an exposed connector) and the number of antennas on each device, a rule of thumb is to have 2 NFAs for every handset, and 4 for other devices.

3. Choose the Additional Software Options You Need: 

Director II’s Test Builder includes modules to control Spider™, along with basic programming logic modules and modules for notifications. Depending on the test cases you want to run, you can add on options for:

  • Devices (smartphones, tablets): data sessions, calling (e.g., VoIP, E911), messaging, web browsing, video streaming, device control
  • Laptops: data sessions, web browsing
  • Access points (e.g., Cisco 3700): configure channels, security, frame parameters, AMPDU mode, etc.
  • Small cells: configure cell configuration, logging
  • Traffic sources (e.g., Ixia Chariot, iPerf): data sessions, VoIP sessions/streams, etc.
  • Diagnostic monitors (e.g., Qualcomm QXDM, Wireshark): collect logs, obtain basic KPIs
  • Network probes (e.g., JDSU SART): collect logs, obtain basic KPIs
  • Graphing and reporting: pass/fail, master reports, detailed reports, graphs/charts, result archiving

Note that the standard configurations include the Director II Test Executive, traffic source (iPerf) automation module, and accessories such as cables, Near Field Adapters etc. These will have to be added by you explicitly when you are building your own configuration.

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