A software model to test your design approach
Keeping your costs to a minimum
To reduce the cost antenna simulation for our clients, we have used the results from our consultancy work for NeoCortec to develop a standard model for both an inverted F PCB antenna and an L PCB antenna.
The NeoCortec study
NeocCortec is a manufacturer of a unique Meshnet protocol stack with a battery-powered router and gateway. NeoCortec‘s stack operates at 2400 MHz and 868/915 MHz and complies with the European Duty Cycle.
Several of NeoCortec’s customers had complained that after completing designs, their products had suffered from a lack of range. In order to understand the reasons why this could be happening the company placed an order for a study of the designs and performance of their customers’ self-built PCB antennas. It turned out that the reason for this lack of range was more often than not due to faulty antenna design rather than any issue with the NeoCortec components.
To minimise NeoCortec’s support costs to their customers, the design of an L and F antenna was explored in great detail and documented in an 80 page study. The study outlines how a series of design changes can effect the final system performance and how to apply them effectively to allow NeoCortec’s customers a better chance of getting satisfactory results.
The study gives rise to a software simulation model
The hundreds of antenna simulations we conducted were recorded and summarised in the 80 page report. It concludes with a software model for a rectangular PCB with antenna, battery and housing in the size and shape of a US quarter. Key design parameters, such as PCB dimensions, antenna free space, the PCB to enclosure and antenna to enclosure gaps, the enclosure and PCB material impedence,/ PCB size and position of the battery in the enclosure can be all adjusted with a few mouse clicks.
This model is now available to Crout customers to perform antenna simulations for various bands including. 433, 868, 915 or 2400 MHz for a flat rate of Euro 480.
The end result is a PCB antenna with procurement cost of 0 Euro, manufacturing cost of 0 Euro, 0 components in the matching network and consequently 0 dB loss in the matching network, 0 days delivery time and no End of Life.
Broad support to all IoT designs
The most difficult band for a designer to optimise is 868 MHz in Europe and 915 MHz in the USA. This is because the lower the frequency, the more complex the antenna design becomes. Because LoRaWAN, Sigfox, Mioty, Z-Wave and other technologies operate in this band, IoT developers looking to use these technologies can also use the model to aid their designs. This capability covers NB-IoT because it is found above or below 868 MHz band in Europe.
To expand the model’s use still further the single F antenna was converted to a dual F antenna in order to cover LTE-M at 1800 MHz
Trust the experts. How Crout can help
The Crout team have many years of experience in design and testing antenna performance and understanding the effect of all system components on antenna performance.
The team offer a range of services to help you get the best possible performance from an antenna, contact us today find out how we can help.