This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) lifts up its skinny arms like antennas to heaven – it’s the Taoglas family of Wide Band Antennas, featuring the Taoglas WARRIORX PA.760.A with a chonky 600MHz-6000MHz range of functionality, for use with almost any kind of IoT wireless protocol.
Wide band antennas are needed these days because we’ve moved from simple cellular devices like 2G/GSM that use at most a ‘quad band’ of 850/900/1800/1900MHz (which you’ll note has two narrow bands that are 2x the frequency) in order to cover the globe, to multi-band and multi-protocol modules. If you have something with LTE which has close to 100 different bands that span from 700 MHz up to 2.6GHz depending on the LTE Category they cover.
Lower categories carry data slower like simple machine IoT signals but farther, higher categories carry faster data like video but cant reach very far.
You could also use this sort of antenna for multi-protocol IoT devices. Let’s say you have a horse farm in Ireland you want to monitor. You’ve got 50 horses, roaming your property. You want to know their location so you can locate them, maybe some details like their temperature and recent activity (e.g. an accelerometer). Since you’re a ways out from the city, you may want to use a combination of WiFi if they are within a couple miles of the farm, cellular if they’re a few miles away but still within LTE Cat 1M range, and LoRaWan if they’re a good ways out. (In this particular case we aren’t outfitting the horses with satellite connectivity). WiFi is free, LTE is fairly inexpensive but reliable if within range, LoRaWan is lower reliability but can be used in a meshing setup. Each one has a different frequency band: 2.4GHz for WiFi, maybe 1.9GHz for LTE, and 900MHz for LoRa.
Let’s say you invent such a thing, and now horse lovers around the world are clamoring, nay, DEMANDING you sell them your ingenious invention. With GSM, you can easily deploy worldwide with a single design. But with LTE you’ll need to make sure each country you ship to can support the cellular module you’ve chosen. You may end up swapping similar-package-but-different-frequency-band modules for Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, etc. However, you can stick with that same Taoglas antenna!
These antennas are SMT, pick-and-place friendly, so you can use them in plastic enclosures without knobbly external antennas that catch on things. This allows for very slim, compact designs like this Taoglas EDGE module or waterproof/weatherproof cases. Picking the right antenna will get you better battery life, better range, and faster response times for ‘free’, so its important to give one with the best gain you can get.
Best of all, the full range of different Taoglas antennas, including the Taoglas WARRIORX PA.760.A, are available on Digi-Key for immediate shipment. Order today and you can be blasting with a bandwidth wider than a horse’s butt by tomorrow afternoon!
Also see the Taoglas video below: