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.