In this era of digital networking, the job that was previously done by a bunch of wires is now carried out through antennas and radio signals. But no matter how wireless our lives have become, device connectivity is still required at every other step.
Only now, that device connectivity is majorly enhanced through antennas. With this method of transmission gaining traction like never before, it is only prudent to feel curious about how it all actually works. To answer those burning questions, here’s how antenna alignment works and how you can get the most out of your own connected devices.
What is Antenna Alignment?
To understand what antenna alignment is, let’s first take a quick review of an antenna’s overall function.
As an apparatus to receive signals – and data – from a transmitting source, antennas have to be pointed in the right direction, with their main direction facing the source perfectly. This creates a wireless or radio connection that is strong enough to transmit data without issues.
If the antenna is not pointed in the right direction or if there are any other issues with its physical location, then that could result in poor connectivity. In turn, this means that your data could be received poorly, received with slower speeds, or not received at all. This could affect any devices connected through your main network, such as a Wi-Fi router that supports connectivity to other devices.
The goal of this exercise of setting the antenna in the right direction is to avoid these problems and ensure a smooth exchange of signals and data. This is also widely referred to as antenna alignment, and considered as the basic yet most important step of creating a radio signal connection.
With this concept cleared up, let’s see what makes it all work.
How Does Antenna Alignment Work?
While antenna alignment is all about pointing the antenna in the right direction, that is only the surface level definition.
At the background, the alignment is supplemented by a few aspects simultaneously.
• Radiation Pattern. This refers to the radio waves’ direction and their dependence. Knowing about this in relation to your specific antenna is very important. An antenna radiation diagram helps greatly in this aspect.
• Signal Strength. An exact direction is not the only thing that needs proper attention: signal strength is just as important. The transmitter may not be sending its signals past a certain point, which is why it is very important that you place the antenna in the right spot with ample radiation strength.
• Mechanical Adjustments. When you are dealing with equipment that is as sensitive as an antenna, even the most subtle changes such as tilting could mean a world of difference. That is why making use of mechanical adjustments to your antenna is very important.
• Electrical Adjustments. These adjustments could have an effect in the signal phase of your antenna. With methods such as electrical tilt, this has a very significant impact on the overall strength and transmission.
What Kind of Equipment Could Help?
While visual alignment had been the main method of adjustment over the past few decades, technological advancements have now made it possible for other equipment to come into the picture.
Signal meter strength identifiers are often used with physical adjustments, while smartphone and mobile device applications are used for physical, mechanical and electrical adjustments. The best method is often dependent on your use case and specific antenna.
Antenna alignment is quite an intricate process. But it could be easily conducted if you know what you are doing. That is why it is important to assess where you stand with your antenna adjustment. If you have any questions or need help with the process, then don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional today.