A handheld wireless instrument dubbed Beetle from Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc., Metuchen, N.J., helps technicians install and maintain 802.11a Wi-Fi networks.

The calibrated receiver measures RF frequencies from 5.15 to 5.90 GHz (low, middle, and upper U-NII band). It measures and demodulates packets from any 802.11a orthogonal frequencydivision multiplexing (OFDM) access point, providing such stats as MAC, SSID, signal strength, Packet Error Rate, and WEP encryption status.

Beetle is passive so users may study all nearby 802.11a networks "invisibly" and accurately. It uses a built-in display with keypad button interface for portable, PC-independent operation and includes Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, charger, and SMA connection cable.

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