Conducting Wireless Site Surveys with the Ekahau Sidekick 2

Demand and performance expectations for WiFi are pretty simple: it has to work, it has to be fast, and it has to be reliable. 

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. You may not realize how much is going on behind the curtain to ensure smooth, uniform WiFi connectivity across an office location or warehouse space. 

At CORE, we conduct a thorough wireless site survey for your location. We need to do this so we know how many Access Points to install and where they need to go. Sometimes there are concrete walls, radio interference, heck there’s all kinds of surprises we’ve encountered. We have to know what we’re dealing with before we recommend a solution. 

To do this, we have invested in the proper training and skills for our wireless technicians, as well as the right tools. 

One tool that we’re proud to say we use consistently is the Ekahau Sidekick 2

What is the Ekahau Sidekick 2?

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 is a hardware device that is used to perform site surveys for wireless networking installations. It is a portable device that can be carried around a facility to measure the coverage and performance of a wireless network. 

The Sidekick 2 is equipped with a high-gain antenna and a range of other features that allow it to accurately measure the strength and quality of the wireless signal at various locations throughout a facility.

One of the key features of the Ekahau SideKick 2 is its ability to display real-time information about the wireless network, including signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, and data rates. This feature can be used to identify areas of poor coverage or interference, and to determine the best location for access points or other wireless devices.

The device also has the ability to conduct site surveys, which are used to plan and design wireless networks. Site surveys involve walking around a building or area while the device scans for wireless signals and records information about them. This data can be used to identify the optimal location for access points, as well as to predict how the network will perform under different conditions.

In addition, the Ekahau Sidekick 2 can also be used to detect and locate wireless devices and access points, which can be useful for troubleshooting connectivity issues or identifying rogue devices on the network.

Can’t You Add An Adapter to Improve Signal Strength?

Sometimes people try to troubleshoot a WiFi coverage issue by adding adapters and dongles. However, people don’t realize that adding dongles or WiFi adapters adds layers of variance that can impede the performance of your network. Basically, if you’re not well-informed about the characteristics of your network, you may be causing more problems. 

It’s important to use a professional tool like the Sidekick 2 to ensure you get an accurate reading of performance and uniformity across the entire space. 

How Does the Ekahau Sidekick 2 Work?

To use the device, wireless technicians typically connect it to a laptop or tablet and use the accompanying software to control and display the data. The software allows wireless technicians to view the data in various forms, such as real-time graphs and heat maps, and to analyze the data to identify and solve problems with the wireless network.

Customarily, CORE will conduct a Pre-Deployment Survey as well as a Post-Deployment Survey of your space to ensure we have accounted for all the possible variables. 

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 assists with a Pre-Deployment Survey because it allows wireless technicians to assess the network from a mobile device (AP on a stick). In other words, the wireless technician can gather real-time information about network performance as they move about the physical space. 

The Ekahau Sidekick 2 can also assist with Post-Deployment Surveys by allowing wireless technicians to validate the models they create in the Pre-Deployment Survey phase. With its visualization functionality, technicians are able to conduct a thorough assessment of their models and validate their proposed solutions. 

For those who wish to learn more about the technicalities of the device, check out this great post on the Ekahau websiteIs your office space or warehouse in need of a proper Wireless Site Survey? CORE is ready to help you.

Contact us today to get started!

Renovating Your Office: Relocating and Installing new CAT6 Cabling

Renovating an office can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to relocating and installing new CAT6 cables. These cables are essential for providing high-speed internet and network connectivity, and it’s important to get the installation process right the first time.

If you’re planning to renovate your office and need to relocate and install new CAT6 cables, it’s important to plan ahead. Before you start any renovations, plan out where you want your cables to go. This will help you determine how much cable you need and how it should be routed.

If you need help mapping out the cable plan for your space, it’s a good idea to work with a professional cable installer, like CORE Cabling, to ensure that your cables are installed properly and meet industry standards.

What To Have Ready Before Your Cable Installation Project

Here are some things you should consider having in place before working with your installer:

Floor plans: Providing the cable installation company with detailed floor plans of your office space will help them estimate the cost and plan the best route for the cables to ensure that they are installed in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Specifications: If you have specific requirements or specifications for your cable installation, be sure to provide these to the cable installation company. This may include details about the type of cables you want to use, the desired speed of your network, or any other specific needs.

Access to the space: Make sure the cable installation company has access to the areas where the cables will be installed. This may include providing keys or access codes, or arranging for someone to be present during the installation process.

Scheduling: Coordinating the installation process with the cable installation company will ensure that the work is completed efficiently and without disruption to your business. Be sure to provide the company with your schedule and any potential conflicts or constraints.

Payment: Have a plan in place for payment before the installation process begins. This may include a deposit or advance payment, as well as arrangements for final payment once the work is complete.

Communication: Good communication is essential when working with a cable installation company. Be sure to establish clear lines of communication and provide them with any necessary contact information.

Cabling Plan for A New Office versus an Existing Office Renovation

Here are some considerations for office managers that are planning an existing office renovation versus a new office installation.

Existing infrastructure: In an existing office renovation, you’ll need to consider the existing infrastructure, such as the location of power outlets and existing cables. This may impact the way that your new cables are installed and routed.

Downtime: An office renovation can result in some disruption to your business, so it’s important to plan for downtime and consider ways to minimize it. This may involve scheduling the renovation during non-business hours or setting up temporary workspace.

Budget: Renovating an existing office may be more cost-effective than building a new office from scratch. However, it’s important to carefully consider the budget for your renovation and ensure that you have the necessary resources to complete the project.

Existing features: When renovating an existing office, you’ll need to consider the existing features of the space and how they can be incorporated into your new design. This may include things like windows, doors, and built-in storage.

Environmental impact: Renovating an existing office can be more environmentally friendly than building a new one, as it reduces the use of new materials and reduces waste. Consider ways to make your renovation as sustainable as possible, such as using recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances.

Timeframe: A new office installation will typically take longer to complete than an office renovation, as it involves building the office from scratch. Be sure to consider the time it will take to complete your project and plan accordingly.

Location: If you’re planning a new office installation, you’ll need to consider the location of your office and how it will impact your business. This may include things like access to transportation, proximity to suppliers and customers, and local zoning laws.

Customization: Building a new office allows you to customize the space to meet your specific needs and requirements. This can be a major advantage, but it also requires careful planning and attention to detail.

If you’re renovating your office and need to relocate and install new CAT6 cables, CORE Cabling can assist you with the installation process. Our team of experienced professionals is equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure that your cables are installed correctly and meet industry standards. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your office renovation project.

Embracing Change at CORE Cabling


I want to bring you up to speed with a development here at CORE Cabling.

As many of you know, our company has grown incredibly since our inception in 2009. It has been a wonderful journey so far. We’re very thankful to have the opportunity to work with so many incredible organizations on so many fascinating projects. Having said that, we’re ready to take the next step in our evolution and tackle our new path forward with confidence and open communication with the same continued CORE professionalism and proven workmanship.

Everyone in the communications industry knows how quickly things can shift and how important it is to adapt to change.

One of the most significant recent changes that I’d like to announce: CORE Cabling has joined with the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 353.

I strongly feel that by making this transition, we are opening a whole new chapter in CORE’s successful development.

So, what are some of the advantages of this decision?

Employee Training and Certification

The communications industry is not regulated by training and certifications in the same way as other trades. In other words, you don’t need to be “certified” to be a network technician. However, the complexity of communications projects continues to intensify, along with the expectations and requirements of staff. And, given that Information and Communication Technologies are deemed as essential services by the Federal Government, a baseline of staff education and certification makes complete sense.

CORE technicians are already well-trained and have years of collective experience to draw from. By joining the IBEW, CORE technicians are ensured to expand on this expertise with the most up-to-date and essential training.

We also see the increased education in the market by way of technician up-skilling as an advantage to the entire industry. The more we all collectively know, the more everyone will benefit. This includes wider adoption of safety protocols, adherence to technical standards, and increased awareness of product innovations and developments.

Additional High-Profile Projects

This move opens CORE up to projects with organizations that will only hire unionized contractors. This gives CORE the chance to bid on projects that would otherwise have not been available.

CORE Staff Will Have Additional Perks

By being part of the IBEW, CORE team members will have access to more perks. They will have access to top-tier industry training materials. They will have representation for pay increases. They will have consolidated benefits packages. They will also be able to work on additional high-profile projects that broaden their skill sets and push their career development forward.

For everyone in the CORE family, this move is a win-win.

What this means to CORE Clients

Nothing is changing. You will still have the same exceptional quality of service you have come to rely on over the years. In addition, we do not intend to change our very competitive labour rate at least for the time being, which keeps us well-positioned for bids on projects today and into the future.

What may change, if anything, will be the increased scope of work we can offer our new and existing clients.

This Evens the Playing Field

With CORE joining the IBEW, we are evening out the playing field when it comes to hiring quality professionals for important communications work.

Electrical companies that are mandated to sub work to union companies will have CORE Cabling as an option now, which gives the market more flexibility when bidding on work.

The Bigger Picture

Our mission is to help companies that don’t have communications divisions succeed. Now that mission includes companies that are mandated to work with union companies.

This is a big step for us, and we are extremely excited about what’s to come. Thanks for being here on the journey with us, we look forward to connecting with you soon.

Edwin Darlington – President; CORE Cabling Inc.