Bolt – Teradek – Knowledg – Using Bolts in areas with interference
Bolt sets can sometimes have trouble communicating in locations where there is a high amount of wireless inteference in the same vicinity
Unlicensed 5 GHz Frequency Usage by Bolt
With the exception of the Bolt 3000 which has 20 MHz channels available (https://support.teradek.com/hc/en-us/articles/226344328-What-are-the-limitations-in-using-20-MHz-channels-on-the-Bolt-3000- ), each Bolt set will use 40 MHz in the unlicensed 5 GHz frequency range in order to send their uncompressed video; since the video is uncompressed, the bandwidth requirements are higher than with other wireless methods such as Wi-Fi which compress the video down and less of the spectrum.
The channels available will vary based on the region setting on the Bolt (USA, Europe, or Japan).
For reference, you can download a list of the channels and center frequencies used by Bolt in this PDF file.
Note that the table lists center frequencies, so the 40 MHz channel width is calculated at 20 MHz above and 20 MHz below each listed center frequency.
Manual channel selection on Bolt 600 / 1000 / 2000 / 3000
Our 2nd generation 600 and 2000 units and 3rd generation 1000 and 3000 units allow you to manually select which channels should be used by the device instead of allowing the full range. This type of channel exclusion is not possible on the 1st gen Bolt Standard/Pro, 2nd gen Bolt 300, or 3rd gen Bolt 500 -- only on the 600 / 1000 / 2000 / 3000 models.
Manual channel selection / exclusion can help in scenarios where you know that certain equipment will always occupy certain frequency ranges since you can have the Bolt exclude those channels from its channel scan/jumping behavior. It can also help to isolate different Bolt sets to specific channels so that they're not trying to use frequencies that other Bolt sets will be using.
Scanning for interference in the 5 GHz frequency range
Strictly to scan from a computer for Wi-Fi networks, you can use software like Metageek's insider ( http://www.metageek.com/products/inssider/ ) or other tools such as those below:
- Mac : http://www.letstalk-tech.com/how-to-access-the-wifi-scanner-in-mac-os-x-yosemite/
- Windows WiFi scanner: https://www.acrylicwifi.com/en/wlan-software/wlan-scanner-acrylic-wifi-free/
- Android WiFi scanner: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer
- iOS : Apple Airport Utility, using the instructions shown here: http://community.arubanetworks.com/t5/Technology-Blog/Apple-iOS-8-WiFi-Scanning-Returns/ba-p/203015
Our third generation Bolts (original and XT models *not our LT series) have a Spectrum Analyzer tool that can be very helpful.
However, using just a Wi-Fi scanner that looks for visible wireless networks isn't likely to be sufficient (especially if traveling between locations) since there can be many other sources of interference in the unlicensed frequency range used by Bolt.
Tools which analyze spectrum (not just Wi-Fi) include Fluke's AirCheck, or Metageek's Wi-Spy and Chanalyzer software ( http://www.metageek.com/products/wi-spy/ ).
This type of device can be very important for setups with known interference, it will show you not only wireless networks that are present, but other sources of interference in those same frequency ranges (e.g. wireless audio systems, noisy lighting ballasts dumping out waste RF, etc.).
Bolt, Interference, communication, trouble linking, 5 GHz, 5GHz, wireless, noise, channels