Sunday, 9 December 2012

New multiband TETRA, GSM, WLAN and GPS antennas for roof mount applications

Two new All-in-One TETRA(380-430MHz), GSM/3G/LTE (690-2,500MHz), WiFi (2.4GHz) and GPSL1 (28 dB gain) antennas have been introduced by PCTEL and are distributed by Specialist Antennas. The first model (GPSHP-UWB) has 1 GPS antenna and the second model (DGPSHP-UWB) has 2 GPS antennas to address the multitude of devices in vehicles today.


These two antennas provide multiband and wideband wiresless capabilities to public safety/blue light services, utility vehicles, buses, security organisations etc.
            With these antennas the following features are enabled:
-    Combining multiple antennas into one unit
-    Provide an single external antenna option to multiple devices inside a vehicle
-    Drill the vehicle roof only once
-    Improved ease of installation
-    Provide flexibility into the number of devices the user can attach

The dual-GPS version was created based on customer feedback as more and more vehicles have more than one GPS receiver for multiple applications (Navigation, synchronization, radar detection, etc.).

We believe that the dual GPS version will prove to be very interesting for the increasing number of vehicle deployments that require multiple GPS antennas. As far as we are aware this is the first off-the-shelf professional grade roof-mount antenna that provides connectivity for 2 GPS devices simultaneously whilst operating alongside TETRA (wideband 380-430 MHz), GSM/3G and Wireless LAN.

For more information please contact Specialist Antennas.

EAD introduces LTE 4G and multiband internal PCB antenna

EAD is pleased to introduce a new multi-band, groundplane independent internal antenna optimised for 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE frequencies. With compact dimensions of 110x21mm (length by width) and thickness of 1.6mm, the SQ7 antenna is typically used internally in a communications product such as an access device, router or fixed or mobile terminal. Supporting worldwide 4G/LTE frequency bands including 700 MHz for North America and 800/2600 MHz for Europe, it is a versatile solution for wireless products.

SQ7 Internal PCB Antenna - 2G, 3G and 4G frequency bands

The SQ7 offers a typical gain of 1.5 dBi across the bands with a maximum VSWR of just over 2:1. As it has its own groundplane, this antenna can operate without the need for additional proximity groundplane, but will need some keep away space inside terminals to ensure it radiates effectively. The SQ7 can be specified with a range of cable/connector configutations including U.FL, SMA, MMCX, GSC and more.

Further information on the SQ7 can be found on the product page.

Monday, 3 December 2012

4G/LTE antennas for access applications

The advent of 4G/LTE wireless services (we'll use the term 4G for the purposes of this article) is an opportunity for many users, who find themselves too far from a local exchange for a decent DSL broadband connection, to access the internet at high speeds.

Armed with a suitable 4G dongle, modem or router, the only thing required to access the 4G network is strong and stable signal. In more urban areas, this may be quite straightforward, however on the edges or fringes of the network, the 4G dongle or router may require more than the standard rubber terminal antenna supplied with the router (or the internal antenna inside the dongle) to faciliate a reliable high speed connection.

Doing a search for external antennas may well bring up a high number of results offering a range of products from low cost, low quality antennas to very expensive, all singing,all dancing solutions. Once you understand the frequency your 4G service is operating at (see my earlier post about 4G frequencies), it is time to look at what options are available to you to improve the signal strength to your 4G device. Here are some of the solutions that we would suggest you consider.

High Gain Directional Panel Antenna - Typically, a multiband (2G/3G/4G) antenna, a directional panel antenna should be compact with a directional radiation pattern. In simple terms, this means the antenna works very much like a TV antenna whereby the panel antenna must be pointed in the direction of the nearest 4G mast to pick up the signal. A popular 2G/3G panel antenna is the SMP-918-9 which is discrete, compact and offers good gain figures (9 dBi) across the band). A wideband 2G/3G/4G panel antenna will be a big bigger as it has to cover more frequencies, but will offer similar gain and performance. An example of this is the LPP7270 from EAD.

High Gain Directional Log Periodic Antenna - A Log Periodic antenna with similar multiband capabilities to the panel antenna will typically offer higher gain than the panel antenna (perhaps 10-11 dBi gain) and will be more lightweight, but is less discrete than the panel. Usually housed in a longer, but thinner radome a 2G/3G/4G LP antenna might have an overall length of approximately 20cm, but can be quite small in terms of width or diameter. Like the panel above, this antenna should be directed at the local 4G mast.

High Gain Omni-Directional Antenna - A high gain omni antenna is usually specified with 4-6 dBi gain across the bands. The best options are antennas that can be either wall or pole-mounted such as the OMNI-3G-GSM or the HGO-3G (4G versions of the antennas will be available soon). The gain of an "omni" antenna is less than a directional antenna, but because the antenna radiates in every direction, it doesn't have to be "aimed" at one 4G mast thereby offering a level of redundancy if there is more than one mast in your area (if one local mast should stop transmitting, then the omni antenna could receive a signal from another local mast).

The three antennas above would usually be mounted outside and fed by low loss RF coaxial cable that is run inside to the 4G device.

High Gain Magnetic Mount  - Suitable for mobile applications or fixed applications, a high gain magnetic antenna should be mounted onto a metal surface i.e. car roof or similar. Such antenna will offer typically a minimum of 4 dBi across the bands and support 2G/3G and 4G frequency bands. Usually terminated with a 3M or 4M cable, this antenna can be supplied with various connector options to mate with 4G popular dongles and routers.

A number of antennas are available to buy online, some with pre-terminated low loss cables and adapter cables, supplied as bundles. Check out for more information. For more technical data, you can check out as a useful reference point for the specification sheets on many multiband 2G, 3G and 4G antennas.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

3G, 4G, ISM antennas and more available online

Connex Technologies Ltd is an online retailer of antennas, RF cables, RF connectors and access for 3G/4G access, M2M, WLAN and VHF/UHF wireless applications. A sister company of Embedded Antenna Design Ltd and Specialist Antenna Solutions, Connex has a range of products available for purchase online.

Historically, Connex has focused on external high gain antennas for 3G wireless broadband applications offering antennas for Huawei, Sierra Wireless and Option datacards, modems and dongles. With quality products including high gain omni blade antennas and high gain compact directional panel antennas, being able to call-upon in-house assembled cables and pigtails terminated in dongle-specific connectors such as TS9 and CRC9, enables Connex to offer rapid delivery of suitable 3G access antenna bundles.

More recently, Connex has broadened its ranage of antennas to offer a number of clearance antennas i.e. quality antenna products from excess stock now to be sold off at attractive prices. This include mobile antennas for GPS and Multiband applications, VHF/UHF antennas and much more from leading antenna vendors. Clearance antennas include products from EAD, Laird, Smarteq, PCTEL, Sirio and Pulse.

In addition, there is an increasing range of clearance cables and pigtails - popular connectors and connectors on cables available at clearance pricing whilst stock lasts. Included are Murata GSC connectors and pigtails, W.FL to SMA pigtails and single piece adapters.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Introducing a new LTE/4G, 3G, GSM High Gain Magnetic Mobile Antenna

A new magnetic mount, high gain, mobile antenna covering LTE, 4G, 3G and 2G frequency bands is now available. Initally on offer with a CRC9, TS9 connector or simply terminated in a SMA-Male connector, the LTE-HIGAIN-MAG is a robust, low profile antenna based on the Laird Phantom Wideband Cellular antenna the TRA6927M3NW-001. The antenna covers the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands therefore covering worldwide cellular frequencies.

The antenna is supplied with a heavy duty magnetic mount and 4M (12') cable.


Offering up to 5 dBi peak gain (band dependent), this antenna is ideal for mobile applications where network signal strength is variable or indeed fixed applications where a metal surface is available on which the antenna can be mounted.

The LTE-HIGAIN-MAG can be ordered online from Connex Technologies here.

If you have any questions on this antenna, please contact us. E-mail.

Friday, 2 November 2012

4G/LTE Antenna Headaches!!??

4G and LTE antennas are suddenly becoming a hot potato! Customers are increasingly asking for 4G/LTE (we will use the term 4G for the purposes of this article) frequency band support for many 2G and 3G only antenna requirements. As 4G is topical, they see the 4G support as a must. In many cases it is not required and can simply compromise the antenna solution.

Let's look at the issues from an antenna perspective:

1. Size - Wideband antennas with frequency support for 2G, 3G and 4G are much more complex to design than quad band GSM or GSM/3G antennas. Often to increase the bandwidth for wideband antennas such as blade antennas, terminal antennas, low profile antennas, there is no alternative but to increase the size of the antenna from the normal form factors seen the GSM/3G market. Small stubby antennas covering 700/800-2700 MHz are unlikely to perform across the band completely to a satisfactory level (despite what the manufacturer may claim).

2. Performance - It is a typical trade-off situation, a very wideband antenna by its nature will have compromises. Mechanically if you keep the antenna small, you will forfeit performance. By having a larger antenna (see point 1 above) you have opportunities for better performance. So to keep the same form factors as GSM/3G antennas, antenna performance will generally suffer when designing 2G/3G/4G wideband antennas.

3. Frequency - Unfortunately for us antenna suppliers, 4G does not operate at a single frequency. Unlike Euro 3G at 2100 MHz, 4G networks are already operating at 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz across Europe and LTE is operating at 700 MHz in North America. Not only does this confuse customers, it makes antenna solutions more complicated as customers and suppliers have to be very sure of the correct operational frequencies before committing to an antenna of choice.

We should realise there are going to be some technical challenges for everyone while we all acclimatise to the 4G applications and perhaps we should be prepared to accommodate our thinking in terms of form factors as we embrace wideband cellular antenna solutions.

EAD and Specialist Antennas are happy to work with customers through the maze of antenna options for multiband 2G/3G/4G applications. You can visit our websites at or or contact us on +44 1280 824055. Some select 4G applications can be purchased online via our Connex Technologies website.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

3G/4G antennas for boating and waterways

We often get asked about antenna solutions to enable 3G broadband for boats used on rivers and waterways. Due to the very nature of the application, fixed line access is just not possible unless the vessel is moored up in one place permanently. Therefore using mobile or wireless broadband makes perfect sense for users who need high speed internet on the move.

From an antenna perspective, there are some challenges especially when the nearest 3G base station may be in a different direction every day/night and where signal strengths and network availability may not be all they might. Therefore antennas that radiate in every direction (known as omni-directional antennas) are most appropriate.

So here is our take on three useful high-gain 3G/4G antenna options for waterways applications:

The first option is a high gain low profile magnetic mount antenna. It requires a reasonable-sized metal surface on which to mount, but supplied with typically 4M of cable which can be routed below deck, it can be flexible enough to provide a significant performance improvement over the antenna built-in to the dongle. With an optimum groundplane, peak gain before cable loss can be up to 4-5 dBi. An example of such antennas can be found here.

A low profile omni antenna is the second option. Whilst not offering as much gain as the magnetic antenna above, it can sit pretty much flush to the deck or roof of the boat. With a 2.5M cable and 3 dBi gain, the low profile can help "move" the signal to enable a dongle to be used inside the boat or below deck. The low profile antenna can be stud-mount or tape-mount. Examples can be found here and here.

The high gain omni-directional antenna option is a more traditional type antenna offering 4-5 dBi gain across the bands. A neat technique is to mount the bracket permanently somewhere on the boat (as high up as possible) and the antenna can be fitted and removed in a matter of seconds so if you are going to have height clearance issues on your travels then this will not cause to much hassle. To go with a high gain omni you would typically need some low loss cable to reduce losses down the cable run, but cables could be run up to 10M if required. An example of the antenna can be found here. A 5M compatible jumper cable looks like this.

In conjunction with these antennas, the correct connector for your 3G device is required. Typically, the following dongle and modem/router manufacturers lean towards the following connectors, though it is worth verifying before you purchase:

Huawei - Common connector CRC9 - CRC Adapters can be found here.
Sierra Wireless - Common connector TS9 - TS9 Adapters can be found here.
Option - Common connector MC-Card - MC-Card Adpaters can be found here.

Often 3G routers will have a SMA-Female Jack for the antenna port. A SMA-Female Jack looks like this:

That means that the antenna will require a SMA-Male connector. The SMA-Male plug looks like this:

For any questions, please feel free to contact us via our websites:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dongle frustration - why 3G dongles and modems need antenna connectors!

The vendors of 3G dongles are consistently missing the point. What's the use in bringing out a 3G dongle that doesn't have a connector for an external antenna i.e. so a high gain antenna can be reliably connected to the dongle?

Given that many 3G dongle/modem users are using cellular networks to access the internet because the leased line infrastructure can't support broadband, this often coincides with being on the fringes of the 3G network as well. In these cases, high gain 3G antennas provide the answer to overcoming weak signal enabling a stable and functional 3G connection for many users. The frustration comes when dongle vendors decide that they don't need to build-in an antenna connector - this makes connecting external antennas quite tricky.

An antenna coupler is often offered as a solution for dongles without antenna connectors, but while this type of solution can work, it can be unreliable and the coupler in itself will introduce losses and attenuation that can be ill-afforded by the dongle user.

It makes sense for users to insist on dongles/modems with 3G antenna connectors - the leading dongle suppliers do have models that use them, for example Huawei typically uses CRC9, Sierra Wireless TS9 and Option use MC connectors. If everybody starts insisting on models with antenna connectors, then it hopefully would make a lasting impression on the vendors.

We can only hope that when it comes to 4G/LTE modems and dongles, the vendors take a more enlightened approach moving forward especially for those customers in locations where network signal strength issues might pose a problem.

For high gain antennas for 3G dongles, visit

Thursday, 4 October 2012

New 169 MHz Wall-Mount Omni Antenna from EAD

Embedded Antenna Design Ltd (EAD) has today introduced the WMO-169, a new cost-effective and durable VHF antenna designed for wireless metering and related applications at the new 169 MHz EU harmonized frequency band.

 169 MHz Wall Mount Omni Antenna - WMO-169

The WMO-169 is a 169 MHz fibreglass omni antenna mounted onto a compact L-bracket for wall-mounting. Approximately 480mm in length, the antenna is terminated in a N-Female connector and is mounted securely onto the bracket and the bracket is affixed to the wall. The VSWR of the antenna at 169 MHz is better than 1.2:1 and offers 2 dBi gain at centre frequency.

The WCO-169 should be a fed by a jumper cable which can be customised to the appropriate length. Please contact EAD for jumper cable options.

169 MHz ISM band antennas - a reality check!

The introduction of the EU harmonized ISM band at 169 MHz offers utility businesses a viable alternative to higher frequencies for wireless metering. Using the 169 MHz VHF frequency band, wireless metering can be deployed for longer range applications at relatively low power. This has many advantages for operations and billing organisations.

The challenge however comes with specifying 169 MHz antennas to go with the wireless meters. There are already a number of ISM-band 169 MHz module vendors with released products on the market and I am sure there are many more in development. From a RF perspective the module is relatively straightforward, but to supply compact, discrete antennas is not as easy.

A wavelength at 169 MHz is approximately 1.8M in length and therein lies the problem, for even a 1/4 wave monopole would be half a metre in length once the antenna had been housed in a sheath and connectorized.

For metering applications in domestic environments, discrete, tamperproof antennas are desirable, but not only is making a very low profile 169 MHz hard to achieve, it would also need a large groundplane. This is not particularly achievable on a small-sized utility meter. The options really are to use 1/4 wave 169 MHz helical antenna either bulkhead mount with a RF connector or through-hole mount so the antenna cannot be unscrewed from the meter. Both options would be approximately 120mm in overall length and would ideally need a minimum groundplane size of 85mm x 85mm. This size of groundplane could be possible on most meters, but a larger groundplane required by lower profile antennas are just not going to be possible.

Here are two images of the 169 MHz Helical with SMA and the 169 MHz through-hole mount:

169 MHz helical with SMA-Male connector
169 MHz permanent mount with N-Female connector

For concentrator applications (where a number of remote meters communicate with a hub using VHF communications), a wall-mount 169 MHz antenna might come in useful. Designed for outdoor use, ideally these will be of fibreglass construcion to withstand the elements. Here below is an image of the 169 MHz wall-mount antenna:

 169 MHz fibreglass wall-mount omni with bracket

It is also important to be wary of very small 169 MHz antennas as invariably some parameter will be compromised, for example small 169 MHz PCB antennas with a gain of -17.6 dB. It is useful to remember that the laws of physics are not going to change and that the wavelength is always going to be 1.8M. Very small antennas are going to massively compromise RF performance, defeating the very object of the exercise.

In conclusion, the 169 MHz band is a real opportunity for wireless metering and related applications, however the antenna selection and design-in for the meter must be considered early and with the appropriate level of planning to ensure that a suitable antenna design can be accommodated by the meter in terms of available groundplane etc. without comprising performance or aesthetics.

Related links:

An offering of 169 MHz antennas can be found here:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Selecting 4G antennas

Interestingly, selecting a 4G antenna in Europe is not going to be as straightforward as selecting a 3G antenna has been. Due to 4G services being offered on a variety of frequency bands, customers will need to be aware at what frequency their 4G service is operating and what frequencies their antenna supports. Broadly speaking, 3G operates at the 2100 MHz across the whole of Europe which has made antenna selection quite straightforward.

For example, quite a number of operators across Europe have licences to run 4G services between 2500-2700 MHz otherwise known as the 2600 MHz band (countries such as Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden for example).  Not many 2G/3G antennas operate at 2600 MHz meaning that new antennas are required for customers migrating to 2600 MHz 4G services and antenna manufacturers have to otpimise their antennas to cover 2G/3G/ and 4G in one antenna. Currently, 2600 MHz antenna options for SOHO (small office/home office) are quite limited though vendors are moving quickly to plug this gap.

Alternatively in the UK, Everything Everywhere (formerly Orange & T-Mobile) has been given the go ahead by Ofcom to offer 4G services at 1800 MHz. This means that current European 2G/3G antennas already support the required frequency band for this 4G service. So customers have a wide choice of antenna solutions available to them.

Other frequency bands being considered for European 4G services include 800 MHz whilst the USA has LTE services operating in the 700 MHz.

In conclusion, customers will need to be sure of their frequencies or purchase a very wideband antenna to facilitate operation of their devices with 4G antennas.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Images of cables assembled by EAD/SAS

Here are couple of marketing images of RG58 RF cables with SMA-Male and TNC assembled by EAD.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

New images of the WCO Waterproof Compact Omni Antenna

Here are some new images of EAD's waterproof compact omni antenna the WCO.

Family shot including the original connectors in the family:

We have since added TNC-Male RA, RP-TNC RA, RP-SMA Straight and RP-SMA Right Angle.

Here is a new marketing shot of the WCO bracket mounted.

The WCO antenna can support Pentaband Cellular/GSM/3G frequencies, 2.4 GHz, 868 MHz or 915 MHz frequencies and there are options to mount on metal or non-metal surfaces.

We can also offer a 433 MHz groundplane dependent WCO to mount either on a wall bracket or on a groundplane.

For more information, please contact us.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Antennas for GPS repeaters

Ofcom has recently opted for light licensing approach on GPS repeaters to provide indoor coverage for GPS applications. Specialist Antennas has a range of high quality, low noise permanent mount GPS antennas to complement GPS repeater applications.

The application looks as follows:

For environments such as aircraft hangars, emergency services locations, underground garaging, GPS repeaters enable GPS devices to maintain a satellite lock and keep location-based applications running.

The most recent version of the Ofcom Statement on Authorisation Regime for GNSS Repeaters describes the following headlines:

·         Licence fee set at £75

·         Licence applies to any of the three frequency bands: 1164-1215MHz, 1215-1300MHz, 1559-1610MHz

·         Permit the inclusion of multiple installations for GNSS repeater radiating elements at one address provided they are set out on the licence

·         Allow GNSS repeater installations in defined fixed locations only (mobile use will not be authorised)

·         Only permit GNSS repeater use indoors (as defined in the licence)

·         Use the ETSI standard as the compliance assessment baseline for GNSS repeater devices manufactured or assembled from component parts.

·         Allow licences to be traded on an outright or concurrent basis (partial trades split geographically or by frequency will not be permitted)

·         Set an indefinite licence term and ensure we have an archive database of all sites that are or have been licensed

For more information about the licensing situation, it is worth taking a look at the latest news and article sections at for more information.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

WCO antennas now offer RP-TNC and TNC-Male connectors

EAD - - now offers its WCO (waterproof compact omni) antennas for Pentaband Cellular/GSM/3G or 2.4 GHz frequency bands with RP-TNC or TNC-Male connectors.

RP-TNC is commonly used for WLAN/WiFi applications. TNC-Male is often used on cellular terminals and routers.

For more information, please contact EAD.

Statement on Authorisation regime for GNSS repeaters

In a statement published on this date Ofcom sets out its conclusions on the proposal to implement a light licence regime to authorise the use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) repeaters in the UK.
As described in the earlier bulletin on 6 April 2012 (below) there is a need to keep track of the whereabouts of GPS repeater installations in case of any reported cases of wireless interference.
Initially it was thought that the license regime would be implemented in the September time-frame, but the latest estimate from Ofcom brings this forward to the end of July, once the relevant documentation is finalised and in place.
The official statement can be viewed here.
Our partner company Faltech offers a range of GNSS repeaters in the UK -

Sunday, 22 April 2012

433 MHz Wall Mount Omni Antenna

A new 433 MHz wall-mount omnidirection antenna is now available from EAD/Specialist Antennas.

Mounted on a right-angled bracket, the WCO-433-WM is a fully waterproof and robust ISM-band antenna for wall-mounting both outdoors and indoors. Terminated in a N-Female connector, the WCO-433-WM allows for RF cables to be customised to the application. The antenna is ideal for security and telemetry applications where the antenna is mounted away from the radio.

Other UHF frequencies in the 380-512 MHz band are possible including TETRA, 450 MHz and 459 MHz.

The WCO-433-WMB will be commercially launched towards the end of Q2 2012. In the meantime, if you have a specific application please contact us.

Friday, 20 April 2012

New Product releases from EAD

Embedded Antenna Design Ltd has released a number of new products for M2M (machine to machine) and GPS applications.

Included in the release are the GPS-Stubby - an active GPS Stubby antenna terminated in SMA-Male straight or right-angle connectors for applications where GPS antennas with cables are unsuitable or undesirable.

The WCO-433-WMB is a 433 MHz wall-mount antenna designed for ISM-band applications. Based on EAD's waterproof compact omni antenna, the WCO-433-WMB is a compact, durable and waterproof wall-mounted antenna solution. The design is scalable and can be customised to support any frequency in the 380-512 MHz frequency band.

The CPW-Dual is a dual band low profile puck antenna with one element operating at 2.4 GHz and the other element operating at 4.9-5.8 GHz. Each element is fed by a separate cable and is designed for WiFi applications where two radios need to be supported by two radiating elements.

3G, 4G and Wideband Antenna from SAS

SAS is pleased to introduce the SPH antenna from Sirio. Covering a frequency band from 1500 MHz through to 6 GHz, the SPH is truly wideband directional antenna. With gain figures ranging from 9 dBi at 1500 MHz to 17 dBi at 6 GHz, the SPH offers exceptional peformance in a small, discrete radome.

The SPH antenna comes with mounting hardware and is terminated in a SMA-Female connector.

SAS offer custom-made, low-loss, jumper cables to go with the SPH, please contact us for more details.