Optimizing a wireless setup

Topics about other hardware products, questions, features, functionality.

Optimizing a wireless setup

Postby samiam » Tue May 29, 2018 2:04 pm

I find when I setup my wireless system in various locations, the wireless signal may vary and I end up moving things around to adjust for the environment. Not that it is not expected since my cell phone drops signals at times too.

Any suggestions or tips for a wireless setup that moves around to different locations?
User avatar
samiam
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 1:49 pm

Re: Optimizing a wireless setup

Postby raceamerica » Tue May 29, 2018 2:06 pm

Since RF signals are pretty much invisible, we all need a little help to maximize signal strength. Knowing the environment cell phones operate in, cell phone company had to develop solutions so antennas are positioned very high on towers and in locations where signal will be blocked by other objects. Same rules apply to any wireless setup, we just need more practical solutions than lug a 50 foot tower around.

Remember, every setup is different with different environmental obstacles. In most cases, the wireless setup will just work but as distances increase and race spaces are invaded with structures, here are a few simple and hopefully logical things to look for:

- Lots of race tracks have tall chain link fences along the race track. To RF, these chain link fences are big solid metal reflectors. Signals will bounce off and the receiver will receive multiple reflections of the same signal confusing the receiver. Best suggestion here is to mount antennas above the top of the chain link fence to minimize reflections.

- Large structures and buildings are often at race facilities. To RF these structures act as big reflectors or deflectors. Signals will bounce off in the direction of the receiver or signal will be deflected away from the receiver causing a low received signal. Best suggestion is to position antennas away from these structures or select the racing area farthest from these structures to minimize their effects.

- Many parking lots and race surfaces, especially airports, have large amounts of steel rebar as reinforcement. Placing the T-Links on the ground cause the steel rebar to act as large antennas and ground out RF signals. Best suggestion here is to leave the T-Link on the ground and raise the antenna itself using coaxial cable. The antenna can easily be positioned 6 feet above ground level for short distance wireless communications or 10 feet and greater for longer distances.

- Adding High Gain Yagi antennas or High Gain Flat Panel antennas help focus the signal in the direction of the receiver reducing the amount of signal from being reflected in the direction of the receiver.

- Use the RF Integrity test available with many RaceAmerica wireless systems. This helps us humans 'see' the RF signal. When the RF Integrity bounces around, it is an indication of reflected signals received. When the RF Integrity is low, it indicates the RF signal is being absorbed or deflected by large metal objects.

Remember the signal between two antennas is like placing a football between antennas. The closer to the ground the antennas are positioned, the more it cuts off the football and the total amount of signal.

Hope this explanation helps visualize what the RF signal 'looks' like.
User avatar
raceamerica
Site Admin
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 11:24 am

Re: Optimizing a wireless setup

Postby lazdee » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:25 pm

Also, check out the Technical Article on Wireless Communications on our website at:

*** RIGHT CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO OPEN IN A NEW TAB ***

http://www.raceamerica.com/articles/art002.pdf
User avatar
lazdee
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 1:56 pm

Re: Optimizing a wireless setup

Postby GaryTweet » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:17 pm

This is really helpful and now things make a lot more sense. Our setup has the timer in an elevated tower with the timer sitting on a table in front of a window facing the track. Seems like we need to place the timer close to the window to get enough RF.
GaryTweet
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:54 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Optimizing a wireless setup

Postby raceamerica » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:33 pm

GaryTweet wrote:Seems like we need to place the timer close to the window to get enough RF.

For best performance from inside a structure, add one of the RaceAmerica Antenna Extension Kits. This kit relocates the antenna outside of the structure with a 10 foot coaxial cable. Kit includes the building mount and 10ft cable. You will notice a big RF signal increase with the antenna outside compared to inside on the timer. Placing the antenna outside also allows the timer to be located in the tower to a location where it works best for you.
User avatar
raceamerica
Site Admin
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 11:24 am


Return to Other Hardware Products

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron