What I Did for the Super Bowl

I was asked what I did for the Super Bowl.

I carried this around, watched it and walked around a lot.


It’s called a spectrum analyzer.  It gives me a picture of the channel and strength of wireless signals.

The Super Bowl depends on a huge number of wireless devices that requires careful coordination of the channels so that two users don’t accidentally end up on the same channel.

Unfortunately, when a huge number of wireless devices are used in a small area (such as a stadium), the assignment of channels is as much an educated guess as it is skill.  The person who coordinates the channel assignments for all the devices is very smart, capable and clever.  Because this person is so good at doing this, 95% of things work out according to their plan.

I, and several others, deal with the 5% as they happen.  Because of “the educated guess” part involving channel assignments, there is no way of knowing exactly what won’t work until someone calls us over and tells us there’s a problem.   To make us easy to find, we all wear hats of a certain color and everyone working at the event is told “the secret hat color”.

So, we wait around the stadium, wearing our bright colored hats, until someone rushes over….and then using the spectrum analyzer and some other stuff, we fix their problem….and then we go back to waiting..

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