Microwave Antenna Selection…Let’s Make it Simple!

Jim Syme--cropped Jim Syme June 24, 2020

Antenna selection simpleAre you often confused when attempting to select the most appropriate microwave antennas for a backhaul network? Are you constantly bombarded by so many choices, tradeoffs and questions that you simply don’t know where to start? These typically include:

  • Do I need good radiation pattern performance?
  • Is cross-polar discrimination (XPD) my most important consideration?
  • Do I need a single or dual polarised antenna?
  • Do I require standard performance, high performance or even ultra-high-performance antennas?
  • There are three variants of high-performance antenna. Where do I start?
  • Which models do I stock? For example, should I stock several different permutations of each antenna?

CLICK TO TWEET: Did you know CommScope simplified the microwave antenna selection process by creating two comprehensive product families and four product ranges? Jim Syme explains in this blog.

You shouldn’t have to wade through a 500-page catalog or 100 clicks on a website to see a choice of 20 different and confusing product ranges. Rather, an antenna vendor should group the key RF and mechanical characteristics in as few distinct product families as possible. Doing so helps significantly simplify and streamline the selection process.

This is exactly what we at CommScope have done over the past few years with the most recent change being to our large diameter, long haul antenna range. With the introduction of the latest antenna design and manufacturing techniques, we selected the most sought-after antennas characteristics and brought them together in fewer models to make the decision-making process far easier.

An example of this is the new USX and HX range of CommScope antennas. The USX antennas combine the radiation pattern performance of legacy UHX antennas and the high XPD performance of the old HSX antennas in a single antenna package. Additionally, the USX and HX antennas are now supplied as dual polarised antennas (as standard), with a blanking plate fitted to one port to enable one polarization. This halves the amount of permutations you need to cycle through.

Put simply, we now have two comprehensive families of microwave antenna to cover all of your backhaul needs: ValuLine® and Sentinel®.

  • ValuLine – These are low side lobe antennas typically meeting ETSI Class 3 patterns:
    • VHLP(X) antennas – 0.2m (0.67ft) -1.8m (6ft), 6GHz-80GHz
    • HX antennas – 1.8m (6ft)-3.7m (12ft), 4GHz-13GHz, typically 33dB XPD
  • Sentinel – These are ultra-low side lobe antennas typically meeting ETSI class patterns or similar:
    • SHP(X) antennas – 0.2m (0.67ft)-1.2m (4ft), 4-42GHz)
    • USX antennas - 1.8m (6ft)-3.7m (12ft), 3GHz-15GHz, typically 40dB XPD

In summary, CommScope has simplified the microwave antenna selection process by creating two comprehensive product families and four product ranges. These offer all the performance choices you need to build and maintain a modern, interference free backhaul network.

About the Author

Jim Syme--cropped

Jim Syme

Jim Syme is product line manager for CommScope’s Microwave Systems division, responsible for business development in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions with additional global management responsibility for several major OEM customers. Jim began his 27-year career with Andrew Corporation in the microwave antenna design engineering group and is a regular participant at conferences on all matters related to microwave antenna systems. Prior to joining Andrew Corporation, Jim was a design engineer for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.