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How do I Choose the Best RF Antenna?

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  • Written By: Dulce Corazon
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To choose the best radio frequency (RF) antenna for your needs, you must first determine what you need it for. You then survey the area where you will be installing it, including the obstructions present such as walls and heavy equipment. It is also important to check the capabilities of an RF antenna. Specifically, check its power transmission, pattern of radiation, and if it can be tuned to match a specific radio frequency. Your budget is another thing to consider before making an RF antenna purchase.

There are varying types of RF antennas, such as the outdoor RF antenna and the indoor RF antenna. These general types may include specialized antennas for businesses, basic antennas for households, and antennas that are perfect for customization. It is therefore necessary to make sure that you choose the right type of antenna. If your needs are too specialized and cannot be supported by RF antennas available in the market, you can also opt to create your own home-made RF antenna.

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The area where you will be installing the antenna is the most critical consideration of all because its effectiveness often depends on its ability to catch radio frequency signals. This ability can be greatly hindered by obstructions like walls and huge equipment, like heavy machinery. These obstructions, however, can also be used to boost the strength of your antenna. For instance, if you're getting an indoor RF antenna for your office local area network (LAN), consider placing the antenna in a corner between walls. This will usually deflect signals on the walls, thereby enhancing the strength of the signal heading towards the rest of the room.

It is often better to know if the antenna you choose is capable of transmitting a strong signal. The size of the RF antenna frequently factors in when dealing with interfering signals. A large antenna can generally fight off any interference, but it reduces its efficiency. A small antenna is often efficient, but is less tolerant to interference. You can get the most benefit if you choose the right size of RF antenna and place it in an area where optimum signal can be achieved.

If you have the budget, it is recommended that you purchase multiple RF antennas to compensate for the changing surroundings of your installation area. You can also experiment with home-made RF antennas, if you have the skills. There are several resources online that can help you with this kind of project.

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