9.4 The Simple Tools and Tips
I am a big fan of simple, straightforward tools. In radio planning, as in so many other cases, some of the best tool and tips are often the simplest ones.
9.4.1 Use a Digital Camera
A digital camera is a must for the radio survey, but also for installation documentation. It is recommended to document all antenna and equipment locations with digital pictures. Name the files accordingly, so the picture of the proposed installation location of antenna ‘A1’ is saved as ‘A-1.jpeg’, etc. It is also useful to use a laser pointer to pinpoint the exact antenna location when recording the picture; then there will be no debate with the installer as to where the agreed antenna location is.
9.4.2 Use the World Wide Web
Prior to the survey it can be useful to visit the homepage of the company who owns the building where you are implementing the DAS. Often you can find site plans, photos and other useful information that can help you prepare the draft design concept.
9.4.3 Traffic Calculations
Obviously the Erlang table is one of the main tools when calculating voice capacity (see Section 6.1.3), and you will find a copy in the Appendix. Excel is a useful tool for the basic traffic calculations. It is very easy to produce a dedicated calculator for a specific need. The example in Table 9.1 is a typical easily made tool for calculating the traffic profile of an indoor cell, by adding the various users.