Tom's Tech Talk (#11): Antenna Systems
I can’t tell you how many times we run across systems improperly designed based on their licensing requirements. Each FCC licensee is required to meet both height and power requirements for all of their fixed base station equipment that is indicated on their license.
Many times people take the approach that to reach their people in the field they need to increase the gain of their antenna’s and the power on their base stations. What they don’t realize is that they may become an interferer with an adjacent co-channel user and are therefore subjected to a fine by the FCC for exceeding their licensed effective radiated power. We had one instance where the combined antenna gain and power from their equipment was enough to reach Madison Wisconsin from the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
In many designs, antennas have specific radiating characteristics. Therefore a unity gain antenna pattern versus a dipole directed antenna creates different propagation patterns. By using the wrong pattern you will completely miss the intended units in the field.
Proper modeling and system design will allow you to maximize your base station or repeater equipment while minimizing costs and it helps in avoidance of license violations. By directing antenna patterns we can effectively cover poor coverage areas while not affecting other areas.
Chicago Communications has the capability to complete a potential review and propagation analysis. This keeps the guesswork out of: “I wonder how my radio system will cover”.
This article was written by Tom Treichler, Director of Sales & Service at Chicago Communications. Tom has over 30 years of experience in the industry with a background in engineering, system integration, and wireless broadband. If you have any questions for Tom, or another representative at ChiComm, please contact us.