Where will the antenna be mounted?
While this question is easily answered, the real impact comes
when assessing the total environment and whether the antenna
will perform and survive once installed. Furthermore, don't underestimate
the impact of local zoning ordinances and regulations on installing
The next question is how will the antenna be mounted? If the
antenna is attached to a tower or mast, what is the diameter
of the pipe or mast? Will the antenna be rear or center mounted?
For an exterior mount, the integral strength of the design must
be considered such as its ability to withstand wind, ice, heat/cold
and other extremes. You should also assess the ability of the
major components such as the feed, the radome and connectors
to withstand stress. The materials and hardware used in the construction
of the antenna are also important. Outside mounted antennas should
use durable materials such as aluminum with stainless steel hardware.
Additionally, has the antenna been designed to properly operate
with 1/2" of radial ice encrusting on it, or will it stop
working until the ice melts?
The inside of buildings can also be torturous. Will a desk top
antenna survive constant handling and having books and coffee
cups dropped on it? Must the antenna be mounted to a wall or
a ceiling? Will the antenna have to be disguised? Will a wall
mount be used as a target? As wireless applications continue
to grow, the locations for antennas will multiply and challenge
the ingenuity of the designer.
Is a radome required?
Radomes serve two purposes, to protect and to hide the antenna.
Increasingly, the visual impact of an antenna is being considered
when making a choice. Does the antenna blend into its surroundings
or is it a sore thumb? Radomes can be colored and shaped to improve
aesthetics. This has proven very effective indoors as well as
for outdoor applications.
Panel antennas are usually enclosed within a radome to protect
the elements and/or any printed circuit boards. Yagi antennas
equipped with radomes usually are more of a detriment than a
value. The wind load on the antenna is significantly increased
and protection offered to the antenna itself can often be offset
with proper design of the feed system and the directors.
Dishes and vertical omnis all benefit from proper placement to
disguise them as well as selecting an appropriate color for either
the radome or the exterior coating.
|The system engineer should be as familiar
with the major attributes of the antenna as with the other
components of the system. To make it easier to specify the
right antenna for your application while taking full advantage
of the expertise of your antenna supplier, here is a list
Top Ten Questions you should have answered before you
make a final antenna selection
Astron Wireless Technologies, Inc.
and the author retain the rights to all intellectual property
contained herein. This information should be used as a guideline
only to help you in the appropriate selection of an antenna.
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