GPS

How to Pick the Right Marine VHF Antenna?

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When trying to shop for a marine VHF antenna, it is crucial that you look into its gain, size, and cost if you want to find something with good value. 

The type of antenna you need to look for would be depending upon the cost, your physical requirements, and desired distance. It is important to find the right kind of marine antenna because it’s your only key to obtaining good VHF coverage. 

If you have a top-of-line radio, which is also expensive at the same time, it is of no use and no value if there is no way for you to use it with a good and functioning antenna. You also have to consider the antenna’s height above the water. The higher your antenna gets, the stronger, more powerful range of coverage that it has. 

VHF radio signal is known to travel in a straight, linear path. Hence, this kind of signal travel path is sometimes referred to as line-of-sight. 

With regard to its coverage, it tends to get affected by the natural curvature of the earth or if there is any kind of obstruction between the 2 radios, it tends to get in the way of the signal. Thus, causing signal interference or disruption. 

antenna

Efforts made by two stations that are trying to make a connection and communicate with each other will be in vain if one or both of them fall below the horizon. 

If that happens, then they can’t “see” each other, thus no connection would be established. Due to the natural curvature of the earth, VHF communications best scenario would be limited to 40-50 miles. 

When it comes to the VHF antenna range, height is a major consideration. With regard to sailboats, it is easy to obtain a better range for them and you are likely to achieve this when you mount your antenna at the topmost part of the mast, provided, of course, you are using a proper antenna.  

You can calculate the range of the antenna by using the following formula: 

Range in Miles = height above the water or its square root x 1.42

Consider taking into account the following antennas. Keep in mind that we consider range as an additive, and would be depending upon the other station’s antenna height. If you have a 3-foot antenna, you can anticipate that it is capable of yielding a 2.5-mile range. But if the station happens to have a minimum of the 3-foot antenna, then it is safe to say that it can yield 2.5 miles with a total communication range of 5 miles. 

Ant Height Range

  • 3 foot 5 miles
  • 5 foot 6.3 miles
  • 10 foot 9 miles
  • 20 foot 13 miles

Height = Immediate Height Above Water + Antenna Height

As of today, the center of concern is from ship to ship. Communication with a coastal station can be further enhanced and this is possible if you will make the antenna nestled at a very high location. 

antenna tower

Installing an antenna at around 1000 feet will probably fetch for it an average range of 45 miles sans any kind of obstacles but inclusive of the ship antenna’s height. 

The design of an antenna itself can be taken advantage of to provide gain to the radio since it can work both for transmitting and receiving. By law, a marine radio would be limited to a transmit power of 25 watts. In that case, how can range go to increase by virtue of gain?

The antenna does not have any capability to increase the power being fed into it. What it usually does is manipulate that power and focus it. 

The impact of which is that the marine antenna takes on the power that is heading itself straight up in the air. It will then be focused toward the horizon. Similar to a balloon, its natural tendency when you smash its side is to expand.  

 

Why the Use of GPS Antenna and Similar Technology is Favorable to Farming Lands?

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gpsThe farmland, in and of itself, is an investment. If you happen to be residing in a rural area as a farmer, it is of paramount importance that you commit a good amount of time as well as attention to protecting and securing your financial future. After all, the tools that will make your farmland good and operational for the entire year are not even expensive. 

Many people find this very baffling. If we begin to tell them that GPS antennas and other similar technologies can be advantageous to their farming activities, they tend to become apprehensive about it. They find it perplexing and will remain so until such time that we explain to them how then they will begin to see and understand why. Here are prime examples of how GPS can work to the advantage of rural farmlands.  

Minimizes the Need for Manual Labor for Manning Tractor

It is normal for the big names in the farming industry to manage scores to hundreds of acres of agricultural land. Needless to say, they require all the help they can get to efficiently manage the vast areas of land they have. This need has necessitated the use of efficient tracking and monitoring devices and this is where the application of GPS technologies comes into the picture. The technology itself can simplify various farming and agricultural tasks, and they include:

  • Cultivating 
  • Pest Control
  • Fertilizing 
  • Harvesting 

Agricultural centers can take advantage of GPS antenna tracking and monitoring systems to help them determine which routes their tractors will use. Hence, helping them save on their most valuable resource, which is time and money, by reducing fuel consumption costs. It also alleviates the need for additional manual labor.  

Focus on Regions That Require More Intensive Crop Dusting

When it comes to managing crops, there are a handful of essential elements that need to be in place such as crop dusting. Crop dusting will help farmers determine the amount of success or the gravity of failure that one can anticipate from planted crops. 

Taking into account the negative impact they can inflict on the surrounding environment and the crops themselves, it necessitates farmers to find ways they can minimize treating regions that have remained uninfected. 

With GPS antenna, tracking, and similar technology solutions in place, farmers/workers can have a seamless way of recording the exact geographic location of problem areas (regions infested by insects or pests.).  They can take advantage of this data to only treat the problem areas. Thus, taking away the need to treat the entire farm, which is unnecessary, sparing the health of uninfected plants. 

Crop Monitoring Through Landmarks and Geofencing 

GPS-based technologies can be taken advantage of in the creation of geofences and landmarks that may surround specific geographic locations. The information used here can be utilized in zoning specific regions of a farm, which significantly helps in providing information with regard to the possible crop yields. 

You can set up a dedicated landmark or geofence for each crop you have. And this can be used to establish things like: 

  • Soil sampling 
  • Crop yields
  • Feeding schedules

The information obtained here will help determine whether or not a particular crop is performing well or whatnot. All information that gives out a descriptive quality of the soil and its natural nutrients as well as the amount and concentration of fertilizer that a particular crop may consume or treatments it may need to go through can be taken into consideration for future planting.  

Precision Plowing

Before the popularity of GPS technology, tractor operators would usually rely on available visual cues just so they can keep their furrows aligned. Regardless if they are straight or in line with the contours of the field itself, making the most out of available land necessitates attention and focus to guide the plow. 

GPS antenna and other similar automatic steering systems can help farmworkers in creating furrows in their fields with millimeter precision.  

Efficiency

Like every other business, the efficient use of available resources is a top requisite for a successful and profitable farming method. GPS systems offer us a handful of cost-effective alternatives to traditional planting methods and harvesting crops, which yields to lower production costs. 

Lower production costs in farming translate to higher potential profits. A seasoned worker on a farm will agree with us in saying that a higher profit margin compensates for the difference between a bad farming year and a good farming year. For most farmers, this reason alone is enough for them to start pondering on this technology and eventually embrace it.