airMAX - How to Aim a NanoBeam 19AC for the best AC performance

Written by ClaudeSS

Overview


Readers will learn how to properly aim a NanoBeam 19 AC to get the best airMax AC performance. Many people try to roughly aim the NanoBeams. Unless you aim precisely, you can end up missing out on a lot of the AC performance boost. These methods also apply to the regular NanoBeam 19's and 16's.

 

Best data modulation


In order to get the speed improvements of AC, your link will need to be able to achieve the best data rate modulation.  The fastest modulations can only be achieved with strongest signals and the best aim. 

 

Aiming the NanoBeam M5 AC 19


I use two aiming methods with the NanoBeam 19AC's.  I get the best results visually aiming with a small carpenter's square: 

 

Place the square flat against the back of the NanoBeam AC and sight down the top ruler with your eye towards your tower or other end of the link.  Get the side to side aim close, but with the square in this position you're mainly worried about the up and down adjustment.  Try to get the up and down elevation aim as close to perfect as possible.

 

Then reposition the square to do the side to side aim: 

 

With the square in this position, you're going to mainly adjust the side to side aim to make sure its directly towards your tower.  Begin to snug down the clamp and keep adjusting and checking to make sure the aim hasn't drifted off.  Once the aim is perfect, twist the clamp tight.

If you have good eyes and carefully aim this way, you'll have a perfect aim every time when done.

Aiming with Signal Lights. 

Not everyone has the eyes for using the above visual method to align the NanoBeams.

Another method is carefully adjusting the blue LED lights displayed at the edge of the radio to give you the best aim information.

 

Use the factory default LED setting to get started.  Once you've aimed the best you can, log into the radio and got to the Wireless Tab.

 

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Notice how you can adjust the signal LEDs on this Tab.  Look at your current reception signal level on the Main Tab.  Lets say its -61.  Enter -61 on LED1, and they go down by two's for the rest of the LEDs as shown above.  Now go back and aim again, going for the most lights you can get.  If all the lights light up, go back and adjust the lights even stronger.   And now start spacing them by -1 increment.  Do the final aiming with -1 increments and spend the time to peak the number of lights.

With the regular NanoBeams, the lights are adjusted on the Advanced Tab:

 

Conclusion


Careful aiming is very important for attaining maximum AC throughput.  Guessing the aim seldom works. Once you and your installers learn to aim the NanoBeams correctly, you'll be surprised by the improved results. 

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