Frequently asked questions

Beginners

Where do I start?

1. Create a free user account
2. Order some credits or test with a free 30 day plan
3. Login to the web interface to start planning
4. Read the user guide for the web interface

We've written a generic beginner's guide to RF planning which will give you enough knowledge to navigate the various interfaces with confidence.

My account

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions are here.

I can't login?

Use your email not your username and your Password will be what you used to use as a PIN for the interfaces, which you are encouraged to update. The shop password you used to use is no more.

My password doesn't work?

You can reset your password here.

How come I needed a PIN and a Password before?

We've just consolidated our hosted shop and servers to address the issue of having an account on each which was tedious. The PIN you used to use is now your password for everything. If it wasn't very strong or you've forgot it, please reset it.

Where's the plan I bought!

We've just consolidated our hosted shop and servers to address the issue of having an account on each which was extra work. If you bought plans or credits through the other shop they still apply on the server where it matters - see them listed here. You can also see your balance or credits in the bottom right corner within the web interface. Future orders will be listed under your account on the new shop. If you require an invoice for your records of legacy orders this can be arranged as we hold copies of all orders.

System capabilities

Can you model the coverage of the BFG-9000?

If you know your system's frequency, RF power, heights then yes. You can find this information in the documentation or on the FCC ID lookup website. The more you know about the system and the environment, the more accurate a prediction you will get. What the (generic) system cannot help you with are system specific parameters such as channel capacity within LTE.

Can you model LTE, TETRA, WiMAX, 802.11?

Yes. See answer above.

How can I process lots of sites from a spreadsheet?

Use the API and Python client we made for this purpose. It's been proven against 44,000 GSM sites at once AKA a big spreadsheet.

How can I download my data?

Login to your private archive and use the download buttons on the right. You can choose what GIS format you would like your data in or receive HTML embed code to put it on your blog.

What gain value do the antenna patterns use?

The 3D antenna patterns use relative field strength between zero and one, relative to the main lobe (1.00). Therefore a relative field strength of 0.5 will have 50% maximum power.

You can set whatever antenna gain you like for the main lobe using the gain field in dBi (relative to isotropic antenna) eg. 24dBi. If you have additional losses or gains in your link budget you want to factor in you can do that with through the gain value.

What clutter data do you use?

The system has two clutter types to enhance accuracy:
Random clutter, used to represent unpredictable or complex clutter at a similar height eg. 6m.
User defined clutter, used to depict precise obstacles through the import of Google earth KML overlays which may not exist eg. a future windfarm.

Can CloudRF use the 3D buildings in Google earth/maps to increase accuracy?

No. Those models belong to Google and are not licensed for reuse. For urban planning CloudRF supports LIDAR data which can represent buildings with high accuracy. For example, New York is modelled at 1m accuracy.

What happened to the Android app RFSignal?

Back in 2011, we launched the first mobile radio planning app for Android which allowed users to perform 100km area calculations, powered by a dedicated server. The app was popular and received excellent reviews but eventually was pirated. Aside from impacting sales it meant that valuable server resources were being taken away by pirates from paying customers.

To combat the piracy, an update to the app was released which required customers to enter a lengthy Google Play order number which could be checked against orders. This proved unpopular and took time away from the app's development.

Regretfully we retired RFSignal. Users who purchased the app after 20th March 2014 may request a refund via the contact form or Google Play.

In it's place, we'd like to encourage RFSignal users to install the free 'Keyhole Radio' app for Android which looks a lot like RFSignal only it integrates with your CloudRF account so anything you do on the app can be recovered in the other interfaces and your central archive.

Web interface

How do I set the precise location? That moving cursor drives me nuts

You can type in a GPS accurate grid reference in either decimal degrees, degrees minutes seconds or MGRS into the location input box and ignore the moving cursor.


Keyhole Radio for Google earth

Where's the login box!?

Sometimes the discrete login popup appears behind the active Google earth on Windows. Look on your taskbar for a second Google earth application and click it to bring the login box to the front or use Alt-Tab to find it in your active apps.

How do I set the precise location? That moving cursor drives me nuts

With the input form open in a browser, uncheck the Google earth sync button next to latitude/longitude and adjust the location manually.

My cursor isn't in the middle, it's offset near the edge of my view?

Straighten up your view so you are looking directly down at the earth, not at an angle. Within settings, check the box to not automatically tilt the view when zooming.

All my saved layers have stopped working! All I get are big red crosses?

Google earth >=7.3 has a bug with saving KMZ files. The workaround is to download your KMZ files with a browser NOT inside Google earth. Keyhole Radio has been redesigned to work around this issue which you can see in action here:

Any layers that aren't working should be re-downloaded from your CloudRF archive at https://cloudrf.com/API/archive/.

What's going on with the pop up web browser? The old one used to just let you open a little form inside Google earth?

See the bug above and blog post here. It's not as integrated as it was before but given where Google earth is going lately isn't such a bad thing. The new form has more input features since its the web interface form and if you associate the .kmz filetype to automatically open with Google earth is only one more click.

Legal

How can you do this with open source? Shouldn't it all be free!?

The open source software that powers this is available for free here. Not only have we modified and supported it ourselves for years, we've actually employed experts, at our cost, to improve it like multi-threading for example.
The service is hosted on expensive servers and maintained 24/7. This needs paying for.

Can I take your layers and pass them off as my own bespoke work for a huge markup?

You can try but your clients will find out sooner or later. Honesty is the best policy and under section 3.3 of our terms, we require attribution or an email requesting exemption for a good reason.