Ideal antenna alignment would ensure compliance with regulatory and frequency coordination rules, maximize your system performance, and provide predictable system reliability.
There are different factors that can affect the alignment of various types of antennas. Some examples include:
Proper antenna construction and installation – If you need to assemble the antenna or dish and are able to, construct it a controlled environment instead of onsite. This will minimize any likelihood of misplacing any small parts – i.e. screws.
Proper Mounting Hardware – A source of alignment issues often stems from issues with the mounting hardware. Whether it is not appropriately sized, the wrong tools are used, there is no level used, or laziness is involved.
Installer Hurry, Fatigue, or Inexperience– Often times, when there is no proper alignment and all other possibilities have been eliminated – it is time to consider that it may be the installer that could be the issue. Installing and adjusting antennas can be a physically and mentally demanding job spending up on a tower performing the same duties over and over again. The installer may be tired, frustrated, or the possibility that there is a lack of experience that is affecting their work.
Weather – It’s very difficult to install antennas in various types of weather (i.e. wind) as it can impact the alignment.
It is important that installers be trained properly to understand the functionality of different types antennas, how to install them properly, and the proper tools to use.
Accessories can be useful for installation and maintaining the alignment of various types of antennas. Let’s take a look at some of the most utilized accessories for antennas and their main functions.
An antenna alignment tool is useful during equipment installation or antenna position audits. The tool measures the alignment of the antenna in tilt, roll, and azimuth while also indicating how high the antenna is above the ground. The position you desire for the equipment can be entered on-site or prior to climb. Records can be later downloaded by CSV or PDF at a later date to be utilized by contracting companies to certify that the installation was competed as required.
If you have a microwave antenna, kits are available for fast alignment of wireless backhaul links. The system is easily and quickly able to accurately align point-to-point, short-haul and long-haul links.
An antenna attitude sensor ensures that your antenna alignment does not change over time, and is able to do its job by being permanently mounted. Sensors take measurements on a daily basis, letting you know the exact tilt, roll, and azimuth of each sector antenna.