From Silicon Labs: Estimate the Range of Your Wireless Application

Aug 20, 2017
 

Written by llooper from Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs provides RF range calculators for customers to help estimate the actual range of their wireless applications. Simple RF Range Calculator is available to download here.

Basics

RF range depends on the following parameters

  • Conducted TX output power, the power driven to the antenna input [dBm]
  • TX antenna gain [dBi]
  • Conducted receiver sensitivity [dBm]
  • RX antenna gain [dBi]
  • Frequency [MHz]

Propagation factor, depends on the environment

  • n = 2 for ideal free space propagation
  • n = 2.8-3 for typical line of sight propagation
  • n = 4 for outdoor wet soil
  • For multi-path propagation (indoor or outdoor with several buildings/objects) “n” can vary between 4 and 6 based on the actual environment

 

Simple RF Range Calculator

This simple RF range calculator is for those customers who don’t want to deal with difficult RF questions just simply would like to get fast and reasonable results for both outdoor and indoor environments.

Key Features:

  • Fast and simple while accurate
  • Built in propagation factors, based on field measurements
  • Antenna height fixed to 1 to 1.2 meters
  • Supports all the unlicensed bands and custom frequency channels as well

Usage:

Simple RF Range Calculator provides fast and accurate result as the customer selected the frequency band and set TX and RX parameters:

RC1 copy.png

Simple RF Range Calculator with frequency band selection

 

Frequency bands and custom frequency channels also can be selected:

RC2 copy.png

Simple RF Range Calculator with custom frequency channel set up

TX Output Power and RX Sensitivity need to set up based on the radio device’s actual link parameters based on the data sheet. If the exact antenna parameters are unknown notes at the right side can help to determine the closest values:

RC3 copy.png

 Simple RF Range Calculator with notes

 

Source: http://community.silabs.com/t5/Official-Blog-of-Silicon-Labs/Estimate-the-Range-of-Your-Wireless-Application/ba-p/207476



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