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reply to tomb13

Re: [Equipment] Antenna/cable testing

said by tomb13:

I probably would ask for a quote for LMR-600 if I could start over, maybe next time.

I was considering relocating the equipment and removing most of the slack to reduce the cable length, but when I did my test with the 100' ft of cable and the attenuators, I came to the conclusion that it should be working despite the large amount of attenuation.

I want to know what tests the installer should run before declaring the cable as good when they come back. If they say the cable is not faulty, they are going to charge me a service call fee.

In the future, I'd suggest when doing these sorts of things depending on if you are using a BDA device inside the building or not, to spec 1/2-inch coax if your run exceeds 100 feet. I'd feel more comfortable saying 50-feet and longer use 1/2-inch. I really hate LMR400 type cabling to begin with as it is so lossy. For 2-way radio type work, it is good but microwave eh, not so much. Even in the VHF or UHF world, we make it a rule if the run is longer than 100 feet, do not use LMR400, go to LMR600 or larger.

I'd tell them or SHOW them what you did with your mock setup. If they are professionals they should comprehend what you are showing them.

A simple continuity check would entail: center pin to center pin, center pin to shield. You can do this with a digital multimeter on the "ohms" setting. The whole thing should read as close to zero as possible. This is really not a good test to do but it does show you the chances of a short between center and shield are basically zero.

The test they need to do or SHOULD have done if they were 100% serious professionals in the RF world, would be:

VSWR measurement at 1.9GHz

Reading: 1.5:1 or less


RLOSS: I like 30dB or better. You should expect someting less than 30dB to be possibly problematic.

DTF: I wouldn't worry about a DTF or TDR test with these guys.

Ask them if they have an Anritsu Sitemaster for antenna line testing, or an Agilent Fieldfox, same purpose.

I guess they could use something like a traditional watt meter like a Bird 43 with the correct slugs, but how they would generate the CW 1.9-2GHz signal for testing is, well, good luck doing this outside the lab. That's not the way it is to be done by a field crew.
"Above all, I would teach him to tell the truth. Truth-telling, I have found, is the key to responsible citizenship. The thousands of criminals I have seen in 40 years of law enforcement have had one thing in common: Every single one was a liar."

John Galt
Forward, March
Happy Camp
Ask them if they have an Anritsu Sitemaster for antenna line testing, or an Agilent Fieldfox, same purpose.