- How to orient the TR with integrated PCB antenna?
See the answer in chapter Antenna design.
- What is the actual RF range in a real environment?
In short: Tens of meters in buildings and hundreds of meters in open space, with small antennas.
The RF range depends on:
- Output power
- Input sensitivity (selectable RX filter level)
- Antenna type (style, dimensions, directionality, …). Antenna orientation should respect radiation patterns. Directional antennas provide several times higher ranges. However, max. output power allowed in given country must be observed.
- Arrangement of hardware, especially PCB layout
- Obstacles and terrain reflectivity. 1st Fresnel zone should be free for best results. E.g. avoid attenuation by placing antennas above the ground as much as possible (dependency is important especially up to 1.8 m).
- RF noise and interferences
The best way is to test the range in the given place with hardware in your intended configuration and example E09-LINK provided within the IQRF Startup package. In case of DK-EVAL-04A kit use an external antenna (this kit is optimized for space but not for the range).
For hints to extend the range, see Application note AN014 – RF Range of TR-7xDx transceivers.
- How to test RF range?
The range really accessible with your wireless equipment at given place should definitely be tested. To avoid possible issues in user software, the IQRF basic example E09-LINK is recommended for the first checks. To avoid possible issues in user hardware, the IQRF development kit DK-EVAL-04A is recommended as a reference. For details and hints to further extend the range, see Application note AN014 – RF Range of TR-7xDx transceivers.
- My RF range is lower than expected. What can I do?
Interferences and noise
Firstly, check whether it is caused by a noise, e.g. change the RF channel, use RF scanner or apply the test according the FAQ How to easily detect an RF noise?
To eliminate the application software as a possible cause of the problem, use E09-LINK.hex example in TR transceivers on both sides in all tests described below.
To evaluate the impact of your hardware, compare the ranges of your equipment with the reference system consisting of a pair of TR-72DA transceivers plugged in kits DK-EVAL-04A. If the range of your system is significanlty shorter, the cause is probably in your hardware. Then, to determine the impact of individual sides, you should perform similar test with your device on one side and DK-EVAL-04A kit on the other one, and then the same test with DK-EVAL-04A kit on the opposite side.
A noise generated by the user equipment itself can be detected by the method described in FAQ How to easily detect an RF noise?
Antenna orientation should meet the requirements according to the FAQ How to orient the TRs with integrated PCB antenna?
For hints to further extend the range, see Application note AN014 – RF Range of TR-7xDx transceivers.
- How to reach the longest possible RF range?
Refer to the application note AN014 – RF range.