Choosing the Right Cellular Antenna for your Application

Customers frequently inquire as to antenna options for our cellular routers. To help answer that question, we have created this document to assist you in choosing the best antenna for your application.   At the bottom of the page, we have a hyperlink to our antenna providers selection guide for specific B+B SmartWorx cellular products.

There are several different variables to keep in mind, such as mounting, generation supported, connectors and length.   For the purposes of this article, we are going to look at the different solutions by their mounting options. Lastly, we will close with the discussion of high gain antennas.

Adhesive Mount

This type of antenna is commonly used in automotive applications, as it is easy to mount in a vehicle and offers a low profile. These antennas can be mounted on glass or plastic using 3M adhesive to secure the antenna for your automotive or telematics applications.

Adhesive Mount

Supported Cellular Generations Antenna Type &Connector Description Product Model Number
2G/3G/4G 1M[3.28′] RG-174 with SMA Male Phoenix 2G/3G/4G I-Bar GSA.8827.A.101111
2G/3G/4G 1M[3.28′] NFC-200 with SMA Male I-Bar 2G/3G/4G GSA.8841.A.105111

Magnetic Mount

The magnetic mountable antenna can also be used for automobile applications, as they can be mounted indoors or outdoors. Many customers like the magnetic mount antenna because it is a versatile and flexible solution, as it can attach to any metal surface both indoors and outdoors. The magnetic mount antenna includes a cable where one end connects directly to the router and the other end has the antenna. The cable gives the customer added installation flexibility because the cable can be ran to the outside of a device/machine to allow for greater cellular reception.

Magnetic Mount

Supported Cellular Generations Antenna Type & Connector Description Product Model Number
2G/3G 2M[6.56′] RG-174/NFC-200 to SMA Male Cellular Mini Magnetic Mount Antenna GA.107.201111
2G/3G/4G 1M[3.28′] RG-174 to SMA Male Flexible Magnetic Whip Antenna GA.110.101111

Terminal Mount

The terminal mount antennas are primarily used indoors as they are directly connected to the cellular router. Terminal mounted antennas are used in applications that require the highest possible efficiency and peak gain to deliver best in class throughput on all major cellular bands (2G/3G/4G). The swivel and hinge feature of the antenna is essential because it allows itself to be orientated in different directions and helps to avoid other antennas or objects nearby.

Terminal Mount

Supported Cellular Generations Antenna Type & Connector Description Product Model Number
2G/3G/4G Hinged with SMA Male Apex 2G/3G/4G Black TG.30.8113
2G/3G/4G Hinged with SMA Male Apex 2G/3G/4G White TG.30.8113W
4G Hinged with SMA Male Apex 4G LTE Black TG.35.8113
4G Hinged with SMA Male Apex 4G LTE White TG.35.8113W

Thru Hole Mount

Thru Hole mount antennas offer a permanent mounting option for the customer’s application. They are waterproof and support all major cellular bands and GPS. This type of antenna can be found not only in fixed applications, but also mobile solutions. Public Safety, HD Video Streaming, Utilities and Smart Cities, Fleet Management, Agricultural and Industrial are just some of the applications customers have successfully used the Thru Hole mount antenna.

Thru Hole Mount

Supported Cellular Generations Antenna Type & Connector Description Product Model Number
2G/3G/4G N Type Male to N Type Male Shockwave 2G/3G/4G TLS.01.1F11
2G/3G/4G N Type Male to N Type Female Shockwave 2G/3G/4G TLS.01.1F21
2G/3G/4G 3M[9.84′] CFD-200 to SMA Male Shockwave 2G/3G/4G TLS.01.305111
2G/3G/4G 1M[3.28′] RG-316 to SMA Male Olympian 2G/3G/4G G30.B.10811

High Gain Antennas

Most high gain antennas fall into two categories, directional (Yagi) or omni-directional. Each type of antenna’s use can be explained by its’ name. More specifically, the directional or Yagi antenna is used when a directional antenna is needed. One would usually use this type of antenna when they needed a stronger antenna and they know where the nearest cellular tower is located. The customer could point the antenna directly towards the cellular tower for the best reception possible. A Yagi antenna is best utilized in a fixed, permanent location as the direction to the closest cellular tower would change with the movement of the device in question. Please see the example of the Yagi antenna below.

High Gain Antennas

The omni-directional antenna would be used when one needs a higher gain antenna to obtain a better cellular signal for their application, but is unaware of where the closest cellular tower is located. This type of antenna could also be used on a device that moves, such as forklift that needs to move around a certain area.   As the name states, the antenna would be able to pick up a cellular signal from all directions. Please see the example of the LTE omni-directional antenna below/

Omni Directional Antenna

Supported Cellular Generations Antenna Type & Connector Description Product Model Number
4G N Female to SMA Male Digital Antenna 700 MHz Yagi Directional Antenna 477-YB
2G/3G/4G N Female to SMA Male Full-Band AWS/Cellular/LTE/PCS/WiMax Omni Directional Antenna SC-288W

Considerations

Please note that although each of the antennas listed above should work with our cellular routers, it is always important to make sure that the antenna supports your cellular provider’s frequency. You cellular provider should be able to supply you with this information. If not, it is readily available online.

Another thing to remember or keep in mind is the supported generation of the antenna. More specifically, if you have a LTE cellular router and data plan, then you will need to make sure that your antenna supports LTE.   Also, as you may have noticed while reading this article, many of the antennas listed above support 2G/3G/4G. Purchasing this type of antenna may be a good option if you currently have a 3G router and plan to move to a LTE router in the future. This will future-ready your antenna, so you will not have to worry about purchasing another antenna when you upgrade your cellular router.

As mentioned at the beginning of the page, here is the link to selection guide and supporting information provided for us by our antenna supplier.

http://www.taoglas.com/advantech-reference-page/

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