Antenna Installations are mandatory for a product to connect via radio frequency like cell phones, satellite communication, etc. When it comes to modern devices, and device manufacturers like Apple have made an art form of hiding antenna.
They created an art form of hiding such critical components to the point where they have largely disappeared from the view. The antenna is often the most confusing and a common failure point in wireless design; it is an overlooked component.
Read on to know more about the most common myths surrounding antenna installation.
Design of Antenna
Antenna design can be pit off after the industrial or mechanical design. The only option for improving the performance of the antenna is to create more space for antenna installation.
Think of antenna implementation from the beginning of a particular project. It should not be taken casually as it is an essential component of your wireless device.
Chip antennas perform well regardless of PCB size. The performance of the chip antenna depends a lot on ground plane size. Antenna installation is very important for a project.
It is important to follow the datasheet or application note carefully while using the chip antenna. Always use a PCB size similar to the antenna evaluation board.
Dipole Antennas and Monopole Antennas
Dipole antennas are always better than monopole antennas for antenna installation. Dipole antennas are balanced structures. This balanced structure has fewer radiating currents on the coaxial cable shield that results in inconsistent performance. While monopolies are smaller than dipoles since they can be utilized PCB ground plane.
A well-matched antenna will definitely perform well. Total antenna efficiency depends on radiation efficiency, mismatch losses, and matching network resistive losses.
It is very essential to perform far-field testing at a calibrated antenna range. This determines total antenna efficiency and thereby ensuring good radiation characteristics.
The matching network should be avoided for antenna installation. If the option for impedance matching network is not provided, it may lead to PCB spins adding the required matching network or changing the antenna. Some applications are better off without matching network options.
Lower frequency generally propagates through materials more easily than higher frequency waves. Frequency does not mean less path loss and antenna gain must capture the same amount of power.
High-Q wire-wound inductors
These inductors should always be used in matching networks. A small change in antenna dimensions could detune the antenna. Use a ceramic or a thin film inductor for more consistent performance.
Antenna efficiency is paramount regardless of the technology or application. Cellular requires high antenna efficiency to get network operator approval. On the other hand, FCC does not impose antenna efficiency requirements.
Antenna gain is the measure of how much energy is being radiated in any given direction. An antenna with a higher gain is said to be more directional. A directional antenna like a satellite dish might have a gain of 30 DBi.
The wearable application should use loop antennas that are inherently less susceptible to dielectric loss. Loop antenna requires more space than monopoles that translates into performance tradeoffs.
Nowadays, more and more products are becoming wirelessly enabled. Decisions regarding antenna installation have been changed increasingly. Antenna designers must have to create enough antenna gain to close the link.
It is becoming an increasingly important implication for PCB industrial design. However, on the other hand, it is also important to be aware of the most common myths of antenna installation. Not being aware of the common myths can negatively impact the market and development cost.
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