This is a small freeware program that I've written
to simplify deploying an RF network. It features a simple, easy
to use graphical interface for calculating some of the most common
figures used in pointtopoint links, broadcast engineering, wireless
networks such as WiFi, cellular, and WiMAx, and even amateur radio.
Features
Path Loss and Received Signal Level;
Enter
the frequency and distance and Foxwave will calculate the free space
path loss in dB. Distance can be expressed in miles, kilometers,
meters, or feet, and frequency may be specified in gigahertz or
megahertz. The free space path loss equation assumes a clear line of
sight.
Fill in the rest of the fields for transmitter and
receiver side antenna gains and transmission line losses, which can be
found in the equipment manufacturer's datasheets, and transmitter
power, and it will also calculate the total system gain, total system
losses, and the received signal level in dBm.
Antenna Gain
Useful
for calculating the gain of an antenna. The program uses the standard
formula for calculating the gain of a parabolic dish antenna at a given
frequency, as well as the half power (3dB beamwidth) and null
beamwidth based on the diameter of the reflector in feet, inches,
meters, or centimeters, and its efficiency. For more on the efficiency
input see the help file by clicking Help > Instructions.
The calculations on this page are useful for
estimating the gain of an antenna you don't have the documentation for
or determining the size of antenna needed for a given link. Inputs can
be in imperial or metric units and the gain figure can be expressed as
dBi or dBd.
Conversions
As
a convenience, a converter feature is included which can convert
between wavelength and frequency and vice versa. Inputs and outputs for
frequency can be in gigahertz or megahertz; inputs and outputs for
wavelength can be in feet, inches, centimeters, or meters.
This feature is useful for designing an antenna or
transmission line, determining the cutoff frequency of a waveguide, and
other applications where the wavelength of a given frequency carrier
must be known. The frequency to wavelength converter also includes an
input for velocity factor, which is used to specify the percentage of
the speed of the wave in free space that the wave travels in a
transmission line.
The power conversion feature allows you convert
between milliwatts and watts, as well as the logarithmic measure dBm:
decibels over one millivolt. This is useful in other calculations and
for evaluating the transmit power or antenna gain necessary for a link
where the power output is given only in watts.
Link Budget
This
tab is used to calculate an unknown parameter to give a full picture of
the link, end to end. You must enter the signal level your receiver
needs, and total system losses, which would include the free space path
loss, as well as any transmission line losses, and can be calculated on
the first tab. Enter two of these three variables, transmitter side
antenna gain, receiver side antenna gain, and transmitter power, and
Foxwave will calculate the third value: the gain of an antenna or power
level of the transmitter.
An example of when to use this feature would be
when you have an existing signal path with two antennas, and need to
set your transmitter's power level so that it will provide the receiver
enough RF power to operate at a a given data rate, or when only one
side
of a link is setup and you need to calculate the antenna that will be
needed at the other end.
Save and Print Reports
Once the data has been calculated it can be
printed, or saved as a neatly formatted HTML
file, with the name of the values given and the calculated results
given in a table format. You can add notes to the report, such as the
location of the link or a technical note regarding equipment. The date,
as well as the username of the person who printed the report are added
as a footer.
Download
License
The Foxwave Microwave Link Planner is ©2015
Planet Fox and
Revenstar. Use of this program is free and conditional
to your acceptance of the license agreement given in the help file. This program is free for
noncommercial use. If you're going to be using this program for a
commercial/for profit business please consider buying a license so I
can afford to keep making cool programs like this.
