Wireless Access

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Regular Contributor I
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎05-04-2011

Antenna allignment

Seems like we are deploying more and more outdoor mesh p2p lately. In the past, we've been able to just "eyeball" the antenna allignment and get a pretty good RSSI value. With more and more deployments and the distances getting longer and longer we are now looking at purchasing some equipment (lazer or otherwise) that we could use to better allign the antennas and establish a more reliable link.

 

I've done some research online and have read everything from using mirrors (not much help in the dark) to using lazer gun scopes. What have any of you used to allign antennas? Please post any recommendations or what you have found useful in the past here.

 

Thanks !!!

Frequent Contributor II
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎02-26-2010

Re: Antenna allignment

with MSR product you can try to move the antenna in various position and check the signal quality and strenght

 

  show mesh links
Radio 0 Wireless mode:na-ht40minus, Wireless channel:161
InterfaceName       PeerMAC           PeerHostName     PeerRadio State Time      LinkQuality DataRate RSSI SNR InputRate  OutputRate
dot11radio 0/wds 7  00:17:7b:2c:ae:9e Root_X   0         up    1w4d      70%         270M     43   43  521.08 Kbps 64.18 Kbps

Andrea Consadori
ACMP 5.0 and 6.3


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MVP
Posts: 1,404
Registered: ‎11-07-2008

Re: Antenna allignment

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the coolest tools to do alignments that we miss the most basic. A good GPS tool (garmin handheld, etc), a calibrated compass, and a declinomenter (from Home Depot or Lowes) are as good as I've ever really needed to align antennas out to a few miles. The antennas we're working with have 10-30deg beam widths, and when stretched out over a mile have pretty good leeway. If you are trying to the absolute edge and trying to find that last bit of max gain between the 3dB spread,  then you can look at purchasing some of those digial laser/reflective solutions that cost thousands of dollars, that are used to align laser comms systems and the like.

I know some of our (Aruba's) guys have built some laser-rigged contraptions. The trick is to make sure that your laser system is adjustable with regard to the mechanical source plane, since many antennas have some degree of electrical downtilt or uptilt. So if you make something with a flat back to clamp on to an antenna and make your laser 90deg perpendicular to the plane of the physical antennas, your laser may not be at the actual max peak. It may be 2-7 deg above or below the plane.

Just something to keep in mind.

Jerrod Howard
Sr. Techical Marketing Engineer
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