Radio Configurations and Antenna Selection


There are many radio configurations, and no two types are the same. Their formats depend on the frequencies that you use, the country or countries where you communicate, and the vendor that made the radio. When a radio doesn’t work properly, users tend to increase the transmit power regardless of the radio’s configuration. Sometimes, they increase antenna gain instead. Yet these approaches won’t improve performance. They can also cause additional problems for commercial operators.

Radio Power and Antenna Gain

Let’s say your Wi-Fi network supports 6 GHz but you’re operating at 5 GHZ. You want more speed (megabits per second), so you raise the transmit power from 20 dBm to 35 dBm. Even if you’re within 10 ft. of the radio, the change you’ve made won’t work for some modulations. With commercial operations, there’s also FCC governance to consider. If you exceed your maximum transmit power in a large network deployment, your neighbors won’t be able to use their equipment.

Using a high-gain antenna might seem like the solution, but you won’t enjoy broad coverage. That’s a problem for mobile deployments like mining operations and public safety. Of course, the transmission matters, too. Let’s say you’re using 900 MHz indoors for autonomous forklifts and looking for live-stream video links. Neither the antenna nor the radio will work, no matter what a radio manufacturer might say. 900 MHz might be able to penetrate walls, but it can’t handle the amount of data in a video link. 

Spectrum Expectations and EIRP

Consider the spectrum that you’re using and your expectations for it. For example, let’s say you’re trying to create a link between an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a 2.5 GHz ground station outside of Chicago. At 2.5 GHz, the radio traffic there is so saturated that you won’t be able to set up a five-mile link. What you can do, however, is try 5 GHz instead. Don’t just increase the power. Along with performance issues, you may find that your radio’s actual transmit power exceeds your legal transmit power.

Effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) is used to estimate the radiated output power of an isotropic antenna, a theoretical half-wave dipole antenna that radiates perfectly in all directions. It takes into account transmitter output power, cable loss, and antenna gain. Importantly, EIRP is associated with your radio configuration and is frequency-specific, radio-specific, and antenna-specific. If you don’t adhere to EIRP, you can affect other networks or make people sick, as with some Havana syndrome cases

Ask MP Antenna for Assistance

MP Antenna of Elyria, Ohio (USA) designs and manufactures multi-polarized antennas that transmit and receive signals on more than just the vertical and horizontal plane. In fact, these devices can leverage the infinite number of planes in three-dimensional space. This makes them ideal for non-line-of-sight conditions (NLOS), but MP can provide you with more than just great antennas. Talk to our engineers about what you’re trying to achieve, and we’ll do more than just tell which antenna you need.

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