Connecting an alternative antenna:
The BEEP base uses a patch antenna for the 868MHz lorawan connection. This antenna is glued to the inside of the PCB-enclosure and is connected to the PCB with a female u.FL-connector cable. To improve lorawan signal strength and thereby improving the wireless connection between your beep base and the lorawan gateway, replace this antenna with a higher-performance part such as (in ascending order of performance):
- A 1/2-wavelength monopole whip antenna (available at: https://www.digikey.nl/en/products/detail/linx-technologies-inc./ANT-868-PML-UFL/5592353)
- A ground-plane antenna (available at: https://www.conrad.com/p/aurel-650200599-gp-868-ground-plane-antenne-ground-plane-antenna-assembly-kit-na-190123)
- A full-wavelength (or longer) monopole fibreglass antenna: (available at: https://www.seeedstudio.com/Lora-Fiberglass-Antenna-858-878MHz-8dBi-1300mm-p-4928.html)
Other antenna types will also be suitable, as long as its center frequency is in the 863-868MHz range and its total radiated power does not exceed the limits of local regulations.
If the antenna does not have a female u.FL connector cable (also known as IPEX), you will need to purchase an adapter cable that ends in a female u.FL (IPEX) connector, as the beep base PCB has a male u.FL connector at its antenna port.
- Place the antenna as high up as possible, but try to minimize its cable length to avoid signal loss though the cable.
- Connect the antenna cable to the PCB at the ANT2 male u.FL connector, replacing the cable of the built-in antenna. ANT2 is located in the upper-right corner on the bottom side of the PCB:
- If the antenna cable is too thick to fit through any of the existing holes in the PCB-enclosure, then drill a hole in the bottom of the enclosure and waterproof it with a rubber grommet or with a cable gland.
- Avoid powering on the BEEP base when there is no antenna connected to the ANT2 port! Doing so can cause damage to the electronics.