Audio Solutions Question of the Week: What is Antenna Power?

What is Antenna Power? An option on many wireless receivers and antenna distribution systems

Question: What is antenna power?

Answer: Wireless microphone systems can be difficult to design, set up and operate. There are many things to take into consideration. For example, one has to determine the right system to match the intended use and budget. Also, it is important to determine the proper frequency/frequencies to use, which in this day of ever-shrinking spectrum can be a challenge, especially when using multiple systems. In many applications it may be necessary to remote-mount the antenna some distance away from the receiver as well as split or combine antenna signals to create a more stable RF link. Due to the complexity of some setups it is often a good idea to seek the expertise of an experienced systems integrator or audio sound professional.

On many wireless receivers and antenna distribution systems is a feature called “Antenna Power.” Antenna power is 12V DC that travels up the coax antenna cable to power integrated circuits built into certain devices like powered antennas, such as the ATW-A54P, in-line RF boosters, such as the ATW-B80WB, antenna splitters, such as the ATW-49SP, and combiners, such as the ATW-49CB. These devices utilize active electronics to compensate for cable loss in receive applications. Please note that a radio frequency signal attenuates as it passes through coaxial cables. Devices such as signal amplifiers, antenna splitters and combiners are designed to compensate for that loss.

Quite often, two or more of these devices may be used together. For example, a pair of powered antennas may be split using an antenna splitter to serve two wireless receivers. It is important to know the current requirements for each device in the chain and make sure the receiver or distribution amplifier can supply the required current. For example the 2000 Series Wireless System can provide 12V DC, 60 mA, at each BNC connector, so you need to ensure that the combined current draw does not exceed 60 mA. Most often antenna power can be defeated by either a switch or a menu option. When using only passive devices it is a good idea to turn off antenna power.

If you have further questions, feel free to contact the Audio Solutions Department for assistance.

Audio-Technica

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