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Antennas IRL: Data Monitoring Connectivity Issues

Posted by Kevin Laudenbach on

In the next edition of our Antennas IRL series, we want to take a look at a scenario involving data monitoring systems.

We were recently contacted by a company in the oil and gas industry regarding some connectivity issues they were having. The company has multiple sites with boxes that record data. These boxes contain routers, antennas, and cables. Each morning, a central computer sends a call to each box to get readings and recordings from each site. The company was starting to notice that they were unable to get data from some of the sites.

They informed us that they had been using the Honeywell Cloud Link 500/510 as their modem for transmitting data. See photo below:

One issue with this modem from a connectivity standpoint is that it only has one cellular (4G/LTE) line running from it. That means that if there are any issues with that line/connection, the data that they need to have transferred will not get transferred. 

The company decided they wanted to try changing routers. The new router that they chose was the Sierra Wireless RV50X. As you can see below, this router has two cellular lines (shown as Cellular and Diversity) as opposed to the old antenna that only had one cellular line:

Now that they found a more suitable router, there was the issue of finding an antenna for these new routers. One issue they faced in choosing a new antenna was that they had drilled holes into the boxes at each site for the old antennas to sit in. This means they would have to find an antenna that fits into that hole, or they would have to re-drill/re-size the holes. Having a team go out to do that kind of work would be very expensive and time consuming. So the logical and most cost effective option would be to find a new antenna that fits in the same hole.

This is an example of the boxes the company was using at their sites. As you can see, there is not much room inside of the box for an antenna, so the antenna has to sit on top. 

 

The antenna you see at the top of the box there is the final solution they chose: The RFMAX RFIND-44-2-SS. We found that our RFIND-44-2-SS fit perfectly in the 5/8" hole they had drilled for their previous antennas. Additionally, this antenna is slim (7.1" L x 1.6" W x 1.5" H) and therefore it would fit nicely on top of their boxes.

This antenna perfectly fits in any 5/8" hole, which is similar to N-Female permanent mount hole. These antennas are perfect for an environment where someone is upgrading from single cellular to dual cellular but does not want to adjust the space where the antenna fits, which was exactly the case here.

Another benefit of using the RFIND-44-2-SS is that it has dual cellular (4G/LTE) lines, which will help get the most out of their new Sierra Wireless routers. These antennas do not require a metallic ground plane, thus these can be mounted on non-metallic (polycarbonate) or metallic boxes. This antenna also uses flexible LMR100 cables, which can fit into small spaces and make it easy to route the cable to your 4G/LTE modems (e.g. inside a small box).

Here is a photo of their box in the field. Again, you can see how important saving space can be:

 

If you are currently using a singular cellular or shot glass style antenna, our RFIND can be easily substituted and will give you dual band cellular connection without any additional labor costs.

You can read more about the RFIND-44-2-SS-W here

Are you having connectivity issues with your current router/antenna setup?

Contact Us today and we will find a solution that works best for you.


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