Small Cellular Antennas

Compact and Easy to Deploy

So... you have a cellular application that operates in areas with good cellular coverage but your physical space is very limited.  What do you do for antennas?

Here is some background information, a summary of the typical categories of small cellular antennas and some solutions for your consideration.

What bands do they cover? Cellular carriers use multiple different frequency bands to provide their service.  It depends on your physical area and the exact tower you are communicating with to know what frequency bands are being used.  Antennas are very frequency sensitive so you need to select an antenna that gives you the gain you need in the frequency band your modem is operating in.  Now, it would be nice if we could get an antenna that covers all the frequency bands, provides good gain and is small.  The technology however has tradeoffs.  Typically the wider the frequency range you have, the lower the gain and the larger the size.

My modem has WiFi as well, how do I handle that? Some of the covert type antennas have a wide enough frequency range that they can be used for WiFi as well as cellular if an SMA to Reverse Polarity SMA adapter is used.  In addition, there are some medium sized paddle / omni antennas that are available that will cover both the 2.4 Ghz and 5.8 Ghz bands.

Odoo - Sample 2 for three columns

Traditional Paddle Antennas

These antennas give fairly good performance over all of the cellular frequency bands, but range in size from about 6" to 8" tall with RF gains in the range of 2 to 4 dBi

Odoo - Sample 2 for three columns

Stubby Antennas

The stubby cellular antennas are nice and compact but have lower gains and operate in a smaller range of frequencies.  They vary in size from about 1" to 2" tall with RF gains in the range of 0 to 2.5 dBi

Odoo - Sample 3 for three columns

Remote Mount Covert Antennas

The covert antennas are really handy because they allow mounting of the antenna in a different location or orientation than the cellular modem itself.  The little bit larger size allows for a wide frequency range and some decent gain for a small antenna.  The flat design and small coax cable enables mounting in small locations and has RF gains available from 1.7 to 6.4 dBi


Antenna Comparison Grid

DCI Part Number

Cellular Frequencies

Gain

Notes

 

[PB-Cell-1900] 

824-960, 1710-1990, 1920-2170

1dBi, 2.5dBi

Medium Size Right Angle Stubby 4.95cm

 

[PB-Cell-TS] 

824-1990

0dBi, 1.2dBi

Tiny Stubby 2.85cm

[PB-Cell-SS]

824-960, 1710-2170

1dBi, 2.5dBi

Medium Size Straight Stubby 4.9cm

 

[PB-Cell-Covert] 

698-960, 1575.42, 1710-2700

3.42dBi, 2.38dBi, 1.28dBi, 2.16dBi, 1.71dBi

Covert all Black

[PB-Cell-Covert-WB]

700-6000

6.4dBi

Can also cover Wifi, but requires a Reverse-Polarity Adapter to connect to WiFi Port. Has printing on the antenna

[PB-Cell-SP]

698-960/1710-2170/2500-2700

2 dBi

8” tall at right angle

 

[PB-Cell-WP] 

698-960/1710-2170/2400-2800

2dBi, 1.2dBi, 0.3dBi, 3dBi, 4.2dBi

6.25” tall at right angle

 

[PB-wifi-P] 

2.4 / 5.8

2.1 to 3.6 dBi

WiFi Only. Approx 3” tall at right angle.

Need some help with your antenna selection?

Remember that it's your application that will determine what the best antenna is.  No one antenna will work for all situations.  There are many factors to consider when making the choice..