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I have a kit of TI-designed antenna designs, a small flatflex from the NXP Warp kit and a set of rod antennas I got from shabaz.

Just recently Project14 sent a box of Molex antenna samples as a present. A short overview:

 

pcb and rod antennas

This image is 500 KB. I've kept it fairly high-resolution to allow zoom. Click to enlarge

 

Molex kit

 

The sample kit is a set of commercially available antennas from Molex. You find several types: pcb, flatflex, (ceramic) resonators - for different uses.

The compilation is done by AVNET. They grouped them in functional bins:

  • Bluetooth / Wi-Fi Antennas
  • GNSS Antennas
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) Antennas
  • Cellular Antennas
  • Ultra Wide Band (UWB) Antennas
  • Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) Antennas
  • Combo Antennas (Wi-Fi, GPS, ISM, Cellular)

 

AVNET has a portfolio document that gives the specifications of each antenna in the kit - grouped along the same categories as the kit.

The guide has a coss-reference that helps to choose the possibilities for a particular application.

For each of the antennas there's detailed info on the Molex site.

The specification (frequency range, gain, loss, impedance, efficiency ...)  is given in the product specification.

There's an application specification document that explain how the antenna is best integrated in your design, behaviour and trade-offs.

Example: GPS and Wi-Fi 2.4GHz / 5GHz Combo Flex Antenna.

 

source: Molex GPS/WIFI (2.4/5GHz) COMBO BALANCE FLEX ANTENNA Application Specification

 

When looking for an off-the-shelve antenna for a product, this kit with 23 designs can help evaluating the Molex designs.

 

TI kit

 

This is a different product. TI isn't an antenna vendor. They made this kit as an academic tool and as a product that helps evaluating their radio microcontrollers/launchpads.

The antennas are break-out boards on a single large PCB.

Most are designs that can be etched on your device's final PCB. There are a few special ones with folded aliminium or multilayer fractal.

There are also some filters, splitters and callibration breakouts.

 

A subset of designs and ranges:

  • PCB and Fractus Chip antennas 868 or 915 / 920 & 2440
  • PCB Helical Antenna 433 or 470-510 / 868
  • Dual-band PCB Antenna1 868 / 915 / 920 & 2440
  • Single-Sided Compact PCB Antenna 868 or 915 / 920

 

None of these are commercially available. The designs are published and you can integrate them in your application.

The documentation is - like the Molex ones - extensive. Each antenna is specified and the document has theory of operation.

 

source: TI application report CC-Antenna-DK2 and Antenna Measurements Summary

 

When looking for pre-specified designs you can integrate on your PCB, this kit can help decide what best fits the size and performance requirements.

They aren't commercially available as a product.

 

Odds and ends

 

I have 2 pair of sub-1 GHz rod antennas. they are in the for the 868 - 915 range.

One pair is a flexible antenna, hardened for outside.

The other pair is meant to be used inside. It is hinged and can be turned/twisted any position in a half sphere area.

 

The last antenna is the WiFi flex antenna from the ill-fated NXP Warp 7 kit. I don't have the specifications of that one.

edit: its an NFC antenna

 

I've ordered converters for the different coax connections on these kits, so that I can fit them on the Arduinos, LaunchPads and MBED boards I have.

Then I can do some low-tech comparisons on how the antennas behave for the Project14 RF month.

I'll be using the strengths and efficiencies as reported by these devices, depending on what antenna is mounted. I have no RF measurement tools at all in the lab.