10 steps for best results with Helium / IoT antenna setup
To get the best possible performance of your Helium hotspot, antenna setup is the single most critical step. While it can be overwhelming navigating over the many online articles describing different options for Helium antennas, this simplified article describes easily what you need to do in one single page.
1 - Install antenna outdoors as high as possible
Case A - Poor
Case B - Better
Case C - Best
2 - Use the right antenna gain for your location
Different antenna gains to choose from
Understanding your location and how to deal with nearby and far away hotspot is critical for good Helium HNT return with optimal investment
Case A - 3dB indoors
Case B - 3-5.8dBi outdoors
Case C - 8dBi outdoors
3 - Select a quality, high efficiency and robust outdoor antenna
Not only about antenna gain
Low efficiency hurts
Best in class
4 - Use quality, correct length cables to connect Helium hotspot to your antenna
Different cable lenghts and connectors available
Connecting the right cables in daisy chain helps to drive your antenna at any distance with low loss
Cables to help get your antenna outdoors
Use correct cable length
Avoid low quality cables
Must work long term
5 - Monitor performance and adjust location if needed
Adapt to changes
Compare Helium performance nearby
6 - Setup the antenna correctly
Assembling the antenna usually requires a mast and some good practices to get best results
Vertical Antenna assembly
Far from metallic surfaces
Note in this setup a mast of several meters is required to get distance from metallic objects.
Oblique Antenna assembly
If required use additional mast hardware and antenna support to overcome obstacles and setup totally vertical polarization antenna.
Incorrect antenna distance
7 - Use a location with free open view in 360 degrees
Increase antenna height assembly
Even if the antenna is placed in a high position above roof, it may have nearby buildings or obstacles preventing a clean 360 degrees coverage.
You may need to install a mast to place your antenna above these obstacles to get a clearer view
Avoid obstacles and walls
In this example the antenna is poorly located in a garden where house walls, trees and other obstacles will prevent any significant performance.