Monday, 22 April 2013

4G/3G/GSM Dual Polarised MIMO Directional Panel introduced.

EAD has just introduced a new 4G, 3G and GSM multiband, dual polarised, MIMO directional panel antenna, the LPM8270.

The LPM8270 has two radiating nelements, one vertically polarised and one horizontally polarised, operating from 800-960, 1710-2170 and 2500-2700 MHz. Terminated with dual N-Female connectors on the back of the antenna, the LPM8270 is primarily designed for outdoor access applications using 4G with fall-back to 3G and GSM frequency bands.

LPM8270 Dual Pol MIMO 4G Multiband Antenna
With gain figures of 9 dBi on the low band and 7 dBi on the higher bands, the LPM8270 is a high performing, compact directional antenna to complement 4G routers, modems and terminals, but also fully supporting 3G devices so 3G users do not have to change the antenna in the event they decide to upgrade to 4G. The radome measures 200x200x40mm and the antenna is supplied with pole/wall-mount brackets.

Customised jumper cables using low loss coaxial cable including BWL195 and BWL400 can be assembled to your requirements with customer-specified length and connectors.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Omni antenna options for 4G and 3G/GSM frequencies

For 4G and 3G/GSM access, external antennas can be used to improve signal strength and improve stability/quality of the network connection. Directional antennas typically offer higher gain than omni-directional (omni) antennas, but they have to pointed directly at the local network mast which may be inconvenient for temporary or mobile applications. Omni antennas will offer less gain, but should radiate equally in each direction, making them more flexible for applications such as mobile broadcast or boating as well as security or CCTV applications where the omni antenna may be able to communicate with multiple network masts thereby introducing an element of network redundancy i.e. if one local mast fails, the antenna communicates with another.

There are a number of options when considering omni antennas for 4G, 3G and GSM applications. Here are a selection of omni antennas to think about:

High Gain Multiband Omni - Offering approx. 5 dBi gain across the bands, the high gain omni is especially useful for deployment in weaker signal areas or when the antenna will be located quite some distance from the router/modem and a long low loss cable run is required. Typically, available as wall or pole mount, the high gain omni is mounted outdoors with jumper cable connecting to the router/modem. This antenna should support all bands where possible i.e. 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz for 4G and 900, 1800 and 2100 Mhz for GSM and 3G connectivity. The FGO antenna from EAD is a good example of a outdoor high gain omni with a robust design and good performance figures. It can be purchased here.

Access Multiband Omni - Where a cost-effective access solution is required, an omni for access can be used where the signal at the antenna is good, but at the router is poor and the cable distances are not too long. Typical examples, a temporary site offices (effectively a metal box!) and basements where the network signal cannot penetrate, but just outside the network is good.  In these cases, a omni antenna with a gain of approx. 2 dBi and a cable run of up to 5M is more than adequate. Multiband support is also advantageous to offer 4G with fall-back to 3G/GSM. This antenna can also be pole or wall-mounted. A good example of that is the OC69721 from Laird which can be purchased as part of a bundle from Connex.

Low Profile High Gain Omni - Another option is to consider a low profile high gain omni antenna which can be used when something more discrete is required. Antennas such as the LTE-HIGAIN-MAG based on the Multiband Phantom antenna from Laird or the BMLPVDB/LTE from PCTEL (contact SAS for more details). The LTE-HIGAIN can be magnetic or permanent mounted, but must be mounted onto a metal surface (or groudnplane) for optimal operation. However these types of antennas can offer execeptional performance in a low-profile package and can be very useful for mobile or height-restricted applications - some examples include library vans, narrowboards and utility cabinets.

Window-Mount Omni - Designed for mobile applications, window-mount antennas can offer a flexible, non-permanent external antenna solution for 4G/3G applications, especially if external/outdoor antennas are not practical or cannot be used in the application. Antennas such as the WA_700/2700 are MIMO ready meaning that they can connect to 2 antenna ports on your 4G router if available otherwise one cable can be connected to a single router antenna connector. The WA_700/2700 datasheet can be downloaded from SAS here. Typical applications for this type of antenna include narrowboats, caravans, vehicles and site offices.

For more information on omni antennas for 4G, LTE, 3G and GSM, please feel free to contact us.

Monday, 8 April 2013

How to move GPS signals inside and why bother?

If you have ever used a GPS-enabled device, you will have encountered the scenario that location-based services using GPS tend not to work inside buildings. For the individual user that might not pose too much of a problem, but there are certain environments where having a GPS signal indoors would be extremely helpful.

Examples include the following (though this is by no means an exhaustive list):
  • Electronic manufacturing and test laboratories: perform all GPS receiver tasks indoors.
  •  Any equipment that has a GPS receiver within that needs to be built, tested, calibrated or repaired at certain stages of its life-cycle. It would be helpful if the manufacturing, testing, calibration, repair and operation of GPS-enabled equipment could be carried out indoors, instead of stepping outside or hanging by fingernails out of the nearest window! It has been known for each bench, area or department within a facility to have its own outdoor GPS antenna and feeder cable.
  • Fire stations: on-board command and control equipment maintain contact with satellites while safely locked up in the station, so there is no need for an agonising wait for satellite acquisition upon exiting the station during a callout.
  • Retail outlets: provide GPS signal in the store so that technology can be demonstrated with live satellite signals - think of the array of satnav systems in your local electrical store that display a message that says "signal lost 5 days, 24 hours, 12 minutes and 8 seconds ago".
  • Vehicle manufacturing plants: on-board GPS systems can be tested indoors - no need to sit outside waiting for the satnav systems to acquire a satellite fix.
  • Aircraft servicing hangars: it may be inconvenient to take a smartphone outside to test the GPS functionality, but it's even harder to push an Airbus jet out of the hangar.
Thanks to recent changes in licensing policy in the UK and the new “light licensing” approach, GPS repeaters can now be deployed to address in-building GPS requirements and as such, the list of applications for GPS repeater technology is not quite endless, but it is ever-increasing.

A repeater offers an easier, more convenient, less time-consuming way to work with a wide range of GPS-enabled systems, but what does a GPS repeater system consist of?

In general terms, a repeater is a device that relays GPS signals to any indoor location that isn't normally reachable and will typically include the following components:

  • Outdoor GPS antenna
  • Antenna mounting bracket
  • Coaxial feeder cable
  • Indoor GPS repeater unit
  • AC/DC power adapter
The outdoor antenna should be installed in a location where it has a good view of the sky, preferably at or above roof level, in order to pick up signals from as many satellites as possible. The Outdoor antenna can vary – from medium gain to high gain units – take a look at the GPS-TMG antenna range as examples of quality GPS antennas for fixed applications. These GPS antennas are designed for precision performance and are used not only in GPS repeater systems, but also in timing and synchronisation applications.
The received satellite signal travels down the coaxial cable and into the repeater unit, which in turn boosts the signal and transmits it to the indoor space

In terms of coaxial cable to be used, this would depend on the gain of the outdoor antenna and the length of cable required from the outdoor antenna to the repeater. Typical examples of coaxial cable for these applications include BWL195 and BWL400 low loss RF cables. The cables can be pre-terminated and customised for each application. For extremely long cable runs (underground installations, mines etc.), then the coaxial cable can be replaced by Fibre Optics due to the extremely low latency of Fibre. For more information on GPS repeaters using Fibre links, please contact Phil at FaltchGPS.

The indoor repeater unit has an internal re-radiating antenna that emits signals in a beam approximately 140 degrees wide, giving a coverage radius of up to 18 metres. A good example of fully approved GPS repeater can be found here.

If one repeater unit isn't enough to cover the required area, extra repeaters connected together by a signal splitter can be connected together to increase the effective coverage area up to a nominal 60M by 60M (depending on the shape and layout of the space).

Overall, the major benefit of this technology is that a GPS signal can now be accessed where previously it couldn’t be, making applications more efficient and more reliable for organisations ranging from electronics manufacturers to emergency services. Using high gain outdoor GPS antennas, quality low loss cables and GPS repeater technology, many organisations can now take advantage of cost-effective solutions to solve GPS voids indoors.

For more information GPS antenna products, feel free to take a look at the offering from SAS. For fully custom GPS repeater solutions, please visit Faltech GPS.

A big thank you to Phil at FaltechGPS  for assistance with the content on this post.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

High Performance Multi-Band Mobile MIMO Antenna for professional WLAN applications

The new PCTHP-MIMO antenna offers multi-band coverage of 2.3-2.8 GHz and 4.9-5.9 GHz broadband wireless frequencies.  Its three-port dual band integrated elements are terminated with high performance, low loss RG-58/U stranded cable. Mounting via a metal 3/4-inch stud mount with slotted jam nut, the antenna provides a single cable exit for easier installation and/or antenna replacement.

PCTHP-MIMO 2.4/5GHz Mobile Antenna

Environmentally, the IP67 compliant design with custom overmolded gasket provides maximum protection against water or dust ingress under severe environmental conditions when properly installed on a vehicle's surface making an ideal solution for professional mobile applications requiring MIMO WLAN access. The radome is UV resistant and can be supplied in black or white.

For more information, please contact us.

New MIMO 2.4 Omni antennas from PCTEL

PCTEL has recently introduced a range of dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) MIMO omnidirectional antennas. These antennas are designed for outdoor or indoor installation and support MIMO radios from any vendor


The main features of the MPMI antennas are:

•    Each port is dual band 2.4/5GHz, regardless of location
•    Support 3 port, 4 port or 6 port 802.11n radios (Cisco, Aruba, Motorola Solutions, HP, etc.)
•    Designed for outdoor installations, but hardware for ceiling mount indoor installations is also included
•    Plenum rated cable and UL 94V0 materials
•    OEM grade, optimized radiation patterns for optimal MIMO performance
•    Offered with RP TNC or RP SMA depending on the model, but other connector options available

The antennas offer the ultimate in flexibility when deploying indoor wireless applications using 2.4 or 5 GHz bands. Offering superior RF performance and rugged build quality, the MPMI antennas are ideal for demanding WiFi and wireless LAN applications.

Please contact us for more information and availability.