Don’t Plan a WLAN Until You Read Our WiFi Antenna White Paper

April 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

Why? Let me ask you this.

 

Do you know how to choose the correct antenna for a better wireless connection?

 

With all of the various antenna options out there, it can get confusing as to which antenna to use and how they work. After reading this white paper, you’ll have the information you need to get started on planning your network. 

 

Our white paper - Choosing the right WiFi antenna for your applicationcovers common wireless network application examples and details the basic types of WiFi antennas that are available today. From choosing an antenna for a campus, to planning for an office environment, we give you a rundown of what antenna is best for your application and how-to tips for proper network design.

 


Here are just a few highlights from this free white paper:

 


There are two main types of WiFi antennas, Omni directional and directional

 

Omni directional antennas provide a 360° donut shaped radiation pattern to provide the widest possible signal coverage in indoor and outdoor wireless applications. An analogy for the radiation pattern would be how an un-shaded incandescent light bulb illuminates a room. Types of omni directional antennas include "rubber duck" antennas often found on access points and routers, omni antennas found outdoors, and antenna arrays used on cellular towers. ... (read more)

 

Outdoor Omni Antenna

Rubber Duck Antenna

Omni Antenna Array

I want to add WiFi to my office building (inside)

 

To provide wireless coverage to an inside office space, use omni directional antennas that provide 360° wireless coverage. The style of antenna typically used is the ceiling mount omni directional antenna. The antenna gain pattern for the ... (read more)

 

 


I want to install WiFi in a campus environment (outside)

 

In this case you can use several directional antennas with an omni directional antenna at the central building to connect the buildings in the campus. This is called a point to multipoint network. As with any outdoor WiFi network, clear ... (read more)

 


 

to download this free white paper 

 

802.11ac: What’s all the buzz about?

March 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

Amidst the bustling and overpopulated race to find better, faster WiFi, there now exists a new wireless standard that will help you get there. You may even come in first place.

 

The latest IEEE standard for wireless networking, 802.11ac, is bringing high speed gigabit wireless connectivity to business, home, and government communications systems everywhere. 802.11ac offers up to 1 Gbps wireless transmissions and the ability to support up to eight MIMO spatial streams as well as 80 MHz channel bandwidth. This new advancement in wireless technology promises flawless voice, video, and data transmission to multiple end users at the same time.

 

If slow WiFi has you feeling down, 802.11ac is worth looking into.

 

802.11ac delivers faster throughput and better range than the previous 802.11n standard. 802.11n can deliver up to 600 Mbps with four spatial streams using one 40 MHz-wide channel. 802.11ac is engineered to deliver up to 1Gbps which translates to higher data rates and happier end users.

 

The new amendment’s ultimate intention is to achieve higher multi-user throughput in wireless local area networks (WLANs) and improve WLAN user experience especially for bandwidth intensive applications such as streaming voice and video.

Here at L-com, we continue to support the latest standardized technologies by offering high quality, high performance products, including those for 802.11ac applications.

 

Our series of 802.11ac indoor and outdoor WiFi antennas feature 2.4-5.8 GHz operation for a variety of applications. L-com currently offers 802.11ac ceiling antennas, panel antennas, rubber duck antennas, and Omni antennas.

 

Access Point (AP) Antenna Replacements

August 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

 

Upgrading the antennas on your WiFi access point: How to determine the correct AP connector

 

Our technical support department often answers questions like: "How do I upgrade my access points' antennas?" or "How do I identify the type of connector on my WiFi access point or router?" There are a few simple steps to adding or replacing the antenna on your wireless product.

 

First you must check to see if the antennas on your access point are removable.

 

                               Front of an EnGenius wireless access point (AP) showing antennas behindBack of an EnGenius wireless access point (AP) showing antennas

Front and back of a WiFi Access Point showing removable rubber duck antennas installed

 

Back of an EnGenius wireless access point (AP) showing antennas removed

Back of a WiFi Access Point showing rubber duck antennas removed.

 

Next you should identify the type of connector the antenna jack is on the access point. One tip is to check with the manufacturer's website or user manual for your specific make and model listing for the antenna connector type. If you cannot find it on the manufacturer's web site, you can compare it with our common RF connector chart shown below.

 

Common RF Coaxial Connectors

 

Also, you may want to upgrade to a higher gain rubber duck antenna on your access point to increase the signal range and strength. View our 2.4 GHz Rubber Duck antenna selection.

 

Or you might want to connect your access point to an outside antenna. In this case you will need to connect a low loss coax pigtail cable to your access point and then to a longer antenna feeder cable to reach the outside antenna as illustrated below.

 

Illustration of low loss coax pigtail used to connect wireless AP to an antenna

Quick tip: If you need a new antenna, try L-com's Antenna Product Wizard to make your search easier. The wizard will walk you through three steps to identify antennas that match your criteria.

What Does MIMO Mean?

August 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Multiple-in/Multiple-out Antennas (MIMO) Explained

 

MIMO Panel Antenna Showing Multiple Coaxial Lines

Most antennas have worked very simply: a frequency transmitted from one antenna could be picked up by a antenna tuned to receive it a distance away without the need of cables between them. While this basic description of a wireless system works, today we have many ways to improve upon the basic concept to increase things like redundancy and coverage. One of those methods is MIMO, which stands for multiple-in multiple-out.

 

MIMO antennas are actually several antennas all within a single physical item or radome. They co-exist either by working in different bands (as the IEEE standard 802.11n works, in both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz) or different polarities, or both. By breaking the data into separate signals and broadcasting them over multiple antennas, MIMO systems can pick from the strongest signal no matter what the environmental conditions.

 

If you have a radio, access point, router or other wireless device that uses MIMO transmission, you will usually see separate jacks for the different signals. Likewise, a MIMO antenna will have multiple jacks or cables to hook up. Once they are plugged in, the antenna takes advantage of a phenomenon called "multipath", which refers to the way multiple signals bounce off of objects and arrive at the receiver at slightly different times.

 

Quick note: L-com's HyperLink® MIMO antenna product center includes options for many popular bands and antenna types.

How to Install Grid Antennas

July 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM


Grid Antenna Mounted on a Mast or Pole with Downward Angle

To make installation for your application easier, here’s a rundown of what to look for. First though, let’s decipher this: why use a Grid Antenna?

 

For point-to-point communications, a grid antenna has a lot of advantages that may make it the best choice for your application. First- since they are directional, they can provide better gain by focusing the beam in a particular direction. Second, though they are typically larger than other antenna types, they usually break down easily to fit in a box for easy transport to the installation site, or for storage while not being used.

 

Once assembled, the grid provides better wind loading than dish antennas. They are very also very easy to mount in either vertical or horizontal polarization and easy to tilt for precise aiming.

 

 

Assembly

 

We suggest double-checking the quality of the antenna before you purchase, especially if the installation is outdoors. The grid should have a UV protective coating and all of the hardware should be stainless steel.

 

When you order a grid antenna, it usually comes disassembled. Different manufacturers make grid antennas with slightly different installation instructions. When putting the grid antenna together, take all normal safety precautions to avoid coming into contact with dangerous electrical lines, etc., then go over the parts list. All grid antennas need the grid itself (often broken into two halves to reduce shipping costs), mounting "L" bracket, mast clamps, hardware such as screws, nuts and washers, and the feed horn. The feed horn is the long, protruding piece in the center of the grid that sends the actual signal. The below video (or this tutorial) demonstrates step by step assembly of the grid antenna. 

 

 

Where can you find a reliable antenna? L-com's HyperLink® line of grid antennas features tons of options for 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands, along with specialty versions for the 900 MHz, 1.9 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz. Many options are available in convenient 5-packs that save you time and money. There are also hardware packages for replacing or maintaining components of a grid antenna.
 
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