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airFiber - Tips and steps for airFiber antenna alignment

Overview


Readers will learn how to properly align any airFiber antenna.

Antenna alignment is extremely important in order to get a successful link because AirFiber has a very narrow antenna beamwidth. Mis-alignment can cause serious performance issues or even loss of connectivity.

 

Tips


  • Use a pair of installers in constant communication because in the fine-tuning stage, one installer makes azimuth and elevation adjustments on one airFiber radio while the other installer reports the received signal level at the other airFiber radio.
  • Fine-tuning is necessary because the main lobe of the receiver is more narrow than that of the transmitter, in both azimuth and elevation.
  • To accurately align the airFiber radios for best performance, you MUST align only one end of the link at a time.
  • For more convenient alignment, you may consider using long-range scopes (not included) temporarily attached to your airFiber radios. 
  • When testing the units in close proximity, use caution to not overload the receivers since the minimum link distance is 10m for AirFiber5/5U/11FX/2X/3X/4X/5X, 25m for AF24 and 50m for AF24HD.
  • It's recommended that all users read the airFiber design guide.

 

Steps


If this is your first time installing airFiber radios, the entire process of alignment could take an hour or longer!

 

  1. Mount master and slave radios with installers at both sides.
  2. Check the signal strength of unit #2 and then move a few degrees the antenna of unit #1, using the AZ (Azimuth) and EL (Elevation) bolts.
  3. Check signal in unit #2 again.
  4. Repeat step 2-3 until you achieve the best possible signal.
  5. After you get the best signal strength in unit #2, repeat steps 2-4 for unit #1.
  6. Make there is a 1dB or less difference in signal between both chains.

- UBNT-Salvador