Below you’ll find a listing of the most frequently asked questions that Linx receives. Should you have any questions that are not found here, or need help with any of Linx’s products, please reach out to one of our technical service representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to check out our Wireless Made Simple blog for answers and updates to the latest innovations in the world of wireless.
Quarter-wave antennas are only half of the antenna structure. The ground plane, PCB layout and implementation are all critical to proper antenna performance, especially for embedded antennas.
If the ground plane is smaller than what the antenna was designed with, the resonant frequency will shift higher. The frequency can be shifted down using a PI network between the radio and the antenna, but only to a certain extent. These are generally used for fine tuning an antenna to the board. If the shift is very large, it may be possible to use an antenna at a lower frequency and have it get pulled into the correct band.
Depending on the application, it could also be possible to design a custom antenna that works with the specific product.
Both of these options are not ideal solutions. It is best to pay close attention to the layout and implementation requirements of the desired antenna.
When using the MAG Series magnetic bases with the ELE Series antenna elements, does the metal mounting surface serve as part of the ground plane?
Yes, the mag base antennas are designed to work when applied to a large conductive surface (such as a car roof or trunk). We test them internally on a 24 x 24 inch (609.6 x 609.6 mm) ground plane.
The size of the magnetic base is not sufficient to provide an adequate ground plane, particularly for the lower frequency band of the antenna elements. Using the antenna and base without sufficient ground plane will affect the radiation pattern and performance.
An IP rating specifies how well an enclosure resists intrusion by solids and liquids. Antennas that are installed into a product can achieve high ratings depending on how they are installed. Since this installation is outside of our control, we cannot guarantee this with designs in general. However, customers have achieved ratings as high as IP67 with certain antennas when they are installed correctly.
Stand-alone antennas that are installed remotely and connected to the product with a cable, like the ID Series, HDP Series, SH2 Series and VDP Series, do have IP ratings since they do not depend on the installation in the enclosure.
AM and FM broadcast radio operates at a frequency under 108MHz. Linx does not make antennas below 300MHz, so we do not make or support any antennas for AM/FM broadcast radio.
Linx antennas have colored bands that denote the frequency.
We are often asked whether or not you can put your company’s logo on your antennas, the answer is yes. Our antennas can be produced in custom colors and marked to your custom requirements. There is a one-time NRE charge for setup and tooling and a minimum order quantity. We can assist with your artwork if needed. Pricing depends on the product and the customization, so it is quoted on a case-by-case basis.
In the case of a 1/4-wave antenna, the ground plane acts as the counterpoise to form, in essence, a centered 1/2-wave dipole. Since this plane is the other half of the antenna, its size and proximity are essential. Often an antenna can appear smaller than its specified wavelength. This is due to internal mechanical tricks such as helical windings that can dramatically reduce the antenna’s physical size. This does not mean that the same size is appropriate for the ground plane. A compromised ground plane can affect antenna stability and operational frequency. Review AN-00501: Understanding Antenna Specifications and Operation for a greater understanding of antenna issues.
The antenna is just one of several factors that affect the range of an RF system. Other factors within the system include transmitter output power, receiver sensitivity, and system losses. Outside the system, the propagation path between the two antennas (specifically what is between the antennas) has a big impact. It is not possible to estimate the range of a system knowing the antennas alone. For more information, please see the Considerations for Wireless Range article in our blog.