by Christian Barbu
Mobile Antenna Placement
When selecting a mobile antenna, there are a number of factors which significantly affect the ultimate performance of the antenna. Gain requirements, electrical type, ground plane availability, mounting style and placement, coaxial type and loss ratings, physical size, appearance and surrounding environment are issues to be addressed to ensure the maximum performance from a mobile antenna installation.
The electrical type or design of the mobile antenna is commonly referred to in terms of its wavelength: 1/4 wave, 1/2 wave, 5/8 wave, etc. Each electrical type has a specific radiating pattern to be considered when selecting a mobile antenna. For example, the signal radiating from a 1/4 wave antenna is directed more vertically, thus making it ideal in urban environments where buildings might obstruct the signal. A 5 dB collinear mobile antenna is designed to direct the signal more towards the horizon. This type of antenna is ideal for geographically flat regions where signal coverage is sparse.
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