The iVision+ Connect (IVPC) is the latest offering of OPTEX's iVision series of wireless video doorbell intercoms. The biggest change has been the switch to using Wi-Fi as the backbone of the communication. Adopting Wi-Fi has enabled the company’s customers to adjust their coverage area to their needs using readily available networking devices.
The tradeoff is an increase in complexity as the system must now integrate or co-exist with existing networks in a crowded 2.4GHz world. This article will go over some information on how to assess a site for installation. The first step is knowing what kind of environment an installer is dealing with. The 2.4GHz band is crowded by both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi devices such as BlueTooth.
Wi-Fi analyser tool
As such, everyone should always assume a fairly high ambient noise level in any office environment. It is safe to assume a noise floor of about -85dBm for most cases. What this means can be explored later. If the installation location includes offices or apartments sharing common walls it is likely that there will be conflicting networks at some point. Although it is possible to share the airspace it isn't always feasible to coordinate with neighbours.
Even with these obstacles, knowing how to read the situation will lead to a solution
Even with these obstacles, knowing how to read the situation will lead to a solution. Take a look at a general Wi-Fi analyser tool. WiFi Analyzer (open source) by VREM Software Development is freely available on the Google Play Store and similar apps are also available on the Apple Store (though Apple limits the information the apps can provide).
Slightly different frequency
There are options for computers such as Netspot if a laptop can be brought to the site. The target information is the signal strength, channel, and MAC addresses (XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX). The signal strength will be in negative dBm's, meaning a larger value is actually weaker. For example, -55dBm is stronger than -85dBm. The channel information is best shown as a graph. Each channel, 1-11, represents a slightly different frequency in the 2.4GHz band.
This would seem to indicate that there are 11 channels that networks can use; however, it should be noted that each network spans 5 channels. For example, Channel 6 extends between 4 and 8. So it is highly recommended to only use the 1, 6, and 11 channels.
Same transmitting power
It is better to stack networks (co-channel) instead of overlapping (adjacent) due to how routers treat co-channel interference as a queue while adjacent interference is seen as noise. The MAC addresses can be very important if there is network security or if trying to figure out if a mesh network is causing roaming issues.
By the end of the assessment, it should be clear where there may be deficiencies in the network
Using these tools, a site assessment can be done. By the end of the assessment, it should be clear where there may be deficiencies in the network. The IVPC MS and DS have about the same transmitting power which can be measured using the WiFi analysers. By placing the MS into its hotspot mode, through the connectivity menu, and placing the DS into its pairing mode, through factory reset, it is possible to see their respective SSID's, "AndroidAP" and "RVDP-XXXX".
Streaming uncompressed audio
Since the IVPC has a low transmitting power compared to the typical consumer router it is necessary to check its reach back to the router. The IVPC is live streaming uncompressed audio and video so the best performance is achieved when the router has little difficulty receiving the signals. This is typically at the -55dBm average reading. It has enough difference from the noise floor; good being 25-40 difference.
If there are other networks present, try to find a channel where the installer can at least get 20dBm difference from a co-channel network. The DS has a switch located on the back of the unit near the power terminals. This switch is meant to be used with the antenna port, meaning switching between the internal and external antennas.
Allows wireless connection
If not using the IVPC-ANT, the switch should be kept on INT. The external antenna should not be altered, as it is matched to work with the DS and any changes may result in worse performance. It may help to utilise the 5GHz band between the router and access points to act as an additional path for traffic if the network devices have that option.
It is common to have a repeater or range extender for the DS and in the area where the MS will be deployed
Although the DS only allows for a wireless connection, the connection between the router, access points, and even the IVPC-MS can be hardwired. For the network, either standard Ethernet or powerline Ethernet adapters can be used. For the MS, an OTG connection is available above its power connection. It is common to have a repeater or range extender for the DS and in the area where the MS will be deployed.
Resolving channel conflicts
Resolving channel conflicts and checking that there is adequate signal strength will resolve many issues with performance. If there are problems getting the IVPC to connect even after addressing these concerns, then there may be something else at play. Network settings such as security filters and guest time limits can be a factor
The IVPC uses UDP ports 10000-30000. If a smartphone is having difficulty connecting to the network, that may indicate a security filter. To speed up the troubleshooting process, it would help to have IT support join a call to OPTEX technical support.