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Learning About WiFi Antennas

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Amateur radio operators used to say that if you require a bigger, more powerful signal, you need to put up some more metal components to your antenna, and have it held higher. The same can be said to be true for WiFi antennas. It is not an exception.

The strength and dependability of WiFi communications will largely depend on radio-frequency energy. They can be efficiently transmitted and they can be received as well over antennas. The use of a better quality of antenna will provide users with better coverage. Choosing the right kind of antenna should be easy and seamless, that is if you know and understand the fundamentals.

Antennas in General

Generally speaking, antennas are mechanical devices that are designed to radiate radio waves and carry out this function when you supply them with electric power. Sometimes another device can be used for this purpose, converting radio waves so they become electric power.

There are occasions that antennas are purposefully designed to work as antennas, much like the ones we have in a wireless router. We can also use them for some other purposes, those wires you see on your earbuds. They incidentally work like an antenna.

wifi antennas

We classify WiFi antennas as directional, always. This signifies that they can either receive or transmit radio waves in particular directions but may not be as efficient in other directions. Antenna systems that are not structured to work as directional are referred to as “omnidirectional” or “nondirectional”. This is regardless if we can’t qualify them as perfectly nondirectional.

WiFi Frequencies

At least 5 different bands have been reserved for the exclusive use of Wi-Fi transmissions,  3.6GHz, 5GHz, 2.4GHz, 5.9GHz, and 4.9GHz. How these bands are utilized will vary, depending upon the country where they are applied. 2.4GHz band is considered as the most widely used, even the majority of the general principles can be substantially applied to all bands.

The 2.4 GHz band can extend and this can go approximately from 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz. This makes the approximate center band at 2.45 GHz. This frequency is used in the calculations below.

Summing up the formula we have above:

wavelength in meters = 300 / MHz frequency

We will convert this to the following:

Wavelength in millimeters =  300 / GHz frequency

Thus, this computation above is making the 2.45 GHz wavelength signal into 122.45 mm. A 2.45 GHz dipole is 61.22 mm end to end. As for these two halves, each will be 30.61 mm. If you are most familiar working in inches, it would be 2.41” for a dipole of 2.45 GHz from end to end.

Each of those two halves is going to be 1.205”.

Regardless of the units, you want to utilize, the elements in the 2.4 GHz band are quite small. This goes even much smaller with the other 4 bands.

Antenna Polarization

Polarization refers to the orientation of the antenna with regard to the surface of the earth. The ones that are structured for their radio waves and are oriented in such a way that they are parallel to the surface of the earth are classified as “horizontal”. As for the antennas that are created for their radio waves are intentionally oriented at a right angle with respect to the surface of the earth are classified as “vertical”.

Dipole WiFi antennas can be taken advantage of either in polarization and can be done by making relevant changes to its position. The element of a dipole is parallel to the surface of the earth. For this reason, the antenna is polarized horizontally. Dipole reorientation will render its element tips to point up and down, which is what makes it polarized vertically.