Article: Passive Antenna

Two way radios are a great way for businesses to improve safety, increase efficiency and boost productivity. However walls and other obstacles can sometimes prevent clear radio communications throughout a facility.

Consider the passive antenna. A passive antenna is a coaxial cable with an antenna on both ends. Think about 2 antennas that are connected by a cable. The purpose of a passive antenna is to provide a path way for radio signals.

For example, a hospital has an Xray room that is equipped with lead lined walls. Two way radio signals have difficulty penetrating these walls. One end of a passive antenna (the 1st antenna) is placed outside the room where radio signals can reach it. The other end of the passive antenna (the 2nd antenna) is placed inside the room. These antennas and cable provide a path way so radio users can communicate inside and outside the room.

If a radio user can receive and send signals outside a building but not from inside to outside: a passive antenna maybe the solution.

A passive antenna does not require any power. A passive antenna usually cost between $100 – $200. Passive antennas can not be connected by a cable longer than ten feet. Passive antennas can be used with either UHF or VHF equipment.

VHF radio signals are prone to poor penetration through building walls and other solid objects. A passive antenna can be an inexpensive solution to this problem.

If penetration is a problem in a large facility more than one passive antenna can be used.

Typically hand held two way radios have a range of one to two miles. If you are having difficulty in attaining these distances for select or specific areas a passive antenna may be your best answer.

Manzie R Lawfer is President of 2 Way Radio Express, a full service two way radio and radio equipment dealer. He can be reached at manzie@2wayradioexpress.com or by phone 239-601-1969.

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