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We're developing a product that communicates over wifi and LTE. I'm putting together a test plan for determining that these work, but also what sort of conditions we can expect them to work in.

The aim of the tests is to validate the hardware design (enclosure, antenna choice, etc), and to provide recommendations for the end-user about installation location.

I can make some headway in terms of how to test wifi e.g. set up a WAP transmitting at a known signal strength, and vary the distance to the WAP, or add or remove obstacles or interference, and measure performance and signal on both the WAP and the device. But even that might be subject to external interference at random points unless I find a Faraday cage. Any further suggestions on how to test this?

And for LTE (Cat-M1) connectivity - I don't really know where to start here. I can read the RSSI for the modem, but seeing as the transmitter is out of our control it seems a much harder task. Any pointers for how to test, or where to look for info?

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    $\begingroup$ you don’t really share much info about what you are intending to learn about your tests, or the kind of tests that you want to carry out; consider adding some of this detail (you’ll probably get better answers) $\endgroup$
    – webmarc
    Aug 8, 2023 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ Note that Wi-Fi and LTE transmitters are subject to EMC regulations, RF safety and therefore regulatory certification. There are also some carrier requirements for LTE (PTCRB in North America). You either have to follow the antenna choice, mounting instructions, shielding, etc. provided by the module manufacturer, or re-certify the whole device. In the former case, the manufacturer should provide instructions on what to do and hopefully provide some production test details. The latter sounds outside your capability and you'd need to hire a consultant or lab to guide you through it. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Aug 10, 2023 at 19:39

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you can simulate control of the transmitter by attenuating the signal at the receiver.

first, make sure that the body of the receiver is in a metal enclosure. You could even use some scrap copper flashing. The idea here is just to make sure that the only RF entering your receiver is coming from the antenna.

Second, you can build or buy an RF attenuator to simulate different signal strengths from the transmitter.

hopefully that’s helpful?

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