Antennas have been the symbol of contemporary technology for quite a while. In some old movies, you can see that any object with an antenna is being shown as a hi-tech device such as a remote control with antenna or a robot with an antenna.
Today, technology is more than just a metal rod. Antennas seem ordinary for everyone as it can be normally found in every home, on WiFi devices, remote control devices, and more. There are even many people now who know how to build a simple antenna.
In spite of this, there are a few things that many people are still unaware about antennas. Today, we will be going over three surprising facts about antennas.
Do you know that the field of energy being emitted by a transmitting antenna and being processed by the receiving antenna has different shapes? They are called patterns. The shapes can be like shapes of insects or simple round or oval shapes surrounding the axis of the wire. It could be a half-wave, a long wire, or a doublet.
The elevation pattern is called in various ways such as launch angle, maximum amplitude elevation, takeoff angle, or a radiation angle. There are also factors that affect patterns such as the presence of nearby metal, length of the antenna elements, and height above ground.
Sunsight Alignment Solutions said, “If there are trees, buildings, hills, and bigger structures nearby, antenna performance is greatly affected.” It is not just about the signal. It is the level of obstruction that really affects it. This is the reason why a basement is the worst location for antenna. Signals usually come from overhead instead of horizontally.
- Mobile Antennas
Mobile antennas are commonly found with a remote control device, radio, and vehicles. The place where the antenna is mounted has significant influence over reception, radiation and signal patterns. A roof-mounted whip, for example, has omnidirectional pattern while a rear-bumper mount is more favorable for a forward motion of the vehicle.
Frequencies beyond 10 MHz are still considered practical. As frequencies become lower, the antenna receives less and less resistance to radiation and becomes more and more reactive to induction. Some experts suggest that the best location of a mobile antenna in a vehicle is with roof top. Rear bumpers are also good. There are some good places as well aside from that such as rear window, rear and front cowls, and trunk lid.
A poorly-designed mobile antenna can become a factor, too. Whether or not the antenna is in the correct place but the design is poor, it is as good as having no antenna at all.
- Invisible Antennas
Analog mobile phones in the past were commonly with antennas that could be hidden when not in use. It’s funny to remember how people would pull up the antenna whenever there was a call. In the end, people realized that a call could still be completed even if the antenna was hidden. Nowadays, smart phones are running on hidden antennas.
New cars today don’t literally have any antenna above the surface. It is virtually hidden on rear windows along with defogger.
In this age of wireless devices, it is now becoming rare to see a traditional antenna. At a glance, it seems as though antennas are already a thing of the past. However, it is the other way around. Antenna systems nowadays have developed quickly to the point that they are able to hide themselves. In other words, antennas are still around. They still work in the same principles. They disappear, but they are still working behind many devices.
Many people know what an antenna is, but most people may not be aware that this simple metal rod is utilizing a lot of scientific ideas. If we are going to appreciate its value, we can say that this metal rod is the magic wand of our modern lives.