Choosing Antenna for your Radio station
Understanding basics of antenna used in a radio station
An antenna is a transducer that is used to change incoming radio frequency electric current to signals for radiation into the space as electromagnetic signals.
A good antenna is very crucial for quality broadcasting. Thus if you plan to set up a radio station, you should know what features make for a good antenna and how to choose one for your purpose.
1. Antenna can be omni-directional or uni directional. An omni-directional antenna will send signals in all the directions all at once. A uni directional antenna will only send signals in one direction. For setting up a Fm radio station, you will need a omni directional antenna.
2. The antenna to be used must be either vertically, horizontally or even circularly polarized .Vertical polarization is generally preferred when the electro-magentic waves have to be sent in all directions spread over a range of short to medium range. Thus this is the most commonly used polarization in FM stations. Horizontal polarization on the other hand is used for longer distance signal radiation.
For keeping things simple we suggest you to initially use a vertically polarized omni directional for your FM station or as advised by your equipment vendor. Also ask your vendor to demonstrate the fading results (both long term and short terms) for the antenna. This is another vital factor that decides the quality of broadcast.
3.Impedance – Technically impedance for an antenna is the opposition to the flow of electromagnetic signals measured in ohms. You should ideally asked for a perfect matched antenna impedance which ideally exhibits a 1:1 or 1:1.5 VSWR. Ask your vendor to explain you about the impedance of your antenna. A 50 ohms or lesser impedance with a 1.1.5 VSWR would be reasonable choice for starting a radio station.
Additionally ask your vendor to give you an antenna that is unobtrusive, has low wind resistance and is weatherproof besides meeting the above technical specifications.
After all this, the antenna should be installed as high as possible for minimum obstructions for the radio signals.
Wireless transmission is a vast subject in itself and can be quite intimidating part for a non techie . But the best part is that it is better left for the equipment vendor to handle as because you would be seeking a total solution.
Moreover equipments are only a medium, quality content of broadcast and a sharp business acumen are the two most important things that you must possess to run a radio station.