Antennas 101

Jim Palmer

This is a 6 hour deep dive designed to give the attendee the knowledge and background to fully understand what an antenna is, how antennas function, and the myriad of ways they can be done incorrectly, causing the RF part of the network to underperform. When it comes time to design a Wi-Fi network, having a better understanding of how antennas function and what goes into designing a good antenna allows the engineer to design the best network possible. This deep dive is not meant to replace ECSE Design or CWDP! Designing Wi-Fi with external antennas is not a topic.

At the end of this deep dive an attendee will have accomplished the following objectives:

  • Know the terminology used in external antennas.
  • Understand what resonance is.
  • Understand what VSWR is and how it impacts an antenna system.
  • Understand and know how to use an inline watt meter.
  • Know how to read the antenna charts seen in antenna specifications.
  • Understand the differences between different antennas and when/why to use them.
  • Experience with the advantages of a directional antenna over an omni antenna.

What the student receives as part of the Deep Dive:

(some parts may be swapped out due to availability)

  • Baofeng UV-5R Radio
  • Surecom SW-102 watt meter
  • SMA – BNC adapter
  • BNC – N Male cable
  • N-Male to SMA-Male
  • N Male Dummy Load
  • SMA Telescopic Antenna
  • AC600 USB Wireless Adapter
  • USB Extension
  • AccelTex ATS-DCP-245-6-1RPSP-1C
  • Odroid C4
  • Odroid C4 Power Supply
  • Odroid C4 Case
  • 32 GB Micro SD card
  • Ethernet jumper
  • Measuring Tape