How to align 5G and Wireless Microwave Antennas Like A Boss

We live in a world where technology advances faster than most of us can keep up with and with so many of these tech improvements it has accelerated our ability to deliver better services and processes. The 5G and wireless microwave 3Z RF Vision antennas are market leaders when it comes to innovation. Their compact user-friendly design has paved the way for the future of antenna alignment.

When companies are spending millions of dollars to plan, design and build wireless and microwave networks, antenna alignment is critical. Carriers use 5G new radio modelling software to develop network plans, but they aren't perfect when it comes to identifying near field RF obstacles -making them a challenge to set up. That’s where the RF vision antenna alignment tool comes in with a line-of-sight target camera. The 3Z tool provides instant on-site surveys that identifies and records potential obstructions of the antenna. Antenna alignment is an important part of planning coverage to avoid gaps in coverage, deterioration in network performance, and revenue loss.

For decades we relied on the time-consuming method of using a compass, GPS or rangefinder to perform antenna alignment, which was not always 100% accurate. The 3Z RF Vision Antenna Alignment tool changed that tedious process for good.

The 3Z RF Tool is a valuable tool for installers to confidently and accurately manage antenna alignment. The units' simple design and navigation helps you to align point to point microwave antennas and panel antennas with surgical precision even if you’re not tech savvy. We explain just how easy it is to use the 3Z RF Vision antenna alignment tool making you look like a seasoned pro!

The 3Z RF Tool is Simple Accurate and Efficient

As soon as you turn on the unit you will notice on the 5’ touch screen display; there are 2 operating modes 1-the antenna mode and 2-the microwave dish mode.

Antenna Mode

If you select the antenna mode you will be able to enter your site ID, your sector ID and your antenna's position. Your customer will let you know what the target azimuth has to be for that specific antenna and the unit will tell you what the actual Azimuth of the antenna is. Lastly, you will see the delta reading which is going to tell you the difference between the target Azimuth where you want to be and where you are at. Once this delta reading reaches 0 and the target reading is the same as the Azimuth reading you have aligned properly. It’s really as simple as that.

Additional information includes on screen data such as the GPS information which will be populated for you as soon as the satellites are tracked generating information such as the date, time, the latitude, longitude, the datum and the height.

On the screen you will also see a lightning Bolt icon. This is a GPS boost feature allowing you to increase your GPS reception by up to 30% particularly if you're working with live antennae or if your line of sight is obstructed in any way. Thanks to this device high level of accuracy, using the 3Z RF aligner to align antennas reduces both churn and operating expenses.

When your clients expect high service levels, and you need to ensure you’re meeting the RF design specifications on each job site then the 3Z RF Antenna Alignment Tool is the most reliable aligner on the market. This tool can not only align an antenna, but it can also show you where it is pointing with the built in HD Camera, quickly and effectively.

Microwave Dish Mode

In the microwave dish mode, you will notice the GPS information is automatically populated for you once satellites are connected providing you with the current location of the dish that you're on. All the user needs to do is enter the target microwave path information including the latitude and longitude in height and the RF alignment tool is going to calculate the target data for you. Once you have the target data you will be able to match the target azimuth and tilt with the actual azimuth and tilt -now that you have been able to align properly you will be able to go ahead and save your result with the built-in camera feature.

Great Features That Are Actually Useful

The 3Z RF Vision Antenna Alignment Tool is packed with a range of handy features. It is durable, compact and weather resistant making this device capable of withstanding some of the toughest environments. The display is impact resistant for added durability and features a 5-inch touchscreen display, multiple frequency technology and embedded augmented reality.

Features such as the ability to take a screenshot and save all these downloadable files via USB (without needing to purchase software) is just another reason why this is considered a practical and preferred tool of choice for many professional installers.

Why getting alignment right is important

As technology advances the rollout of 5G networks has highlighted a few new challenges, in particular the installation of 5G in high density areas will need to be mounted on light posts, buildings or any structure that can be used to position an antenna where it needs to be. Accurate alignment of 5G small cell antennas maximises high band millimetre wave frequencies so getting this right is vital.

While small cell antennas are known to provide powerful signal strengths capable of 5G transmission, the distance they cover is not as impressive and that’s where the RF vision tool proves invaluable. The GNSS dual frequency technology delivers accurate antenna alignment readings and it fits most antenna types, helping you make the connection quickly and effectively.

Watch the video below to learn more.

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