What antenna types are supported by Notecard?

version 20201130.1

Cellular

Select antennas that support the full range of bands supported by the Notecard modem.

Notecard SKU Description Modem Datasheet Link
NOTE-NBGL-* Narrow-band global coverage: LTE Cat-M, NB-IoT, GSM Quectel BG95-M3
NOTE-NBNA-* Narrowband North America coverage: LTE Cat-M Quectel BG95-M1
NOTE-WBEX-* Wideband Europe, Middle East, Asia coverage: LTE Cat-1, WCDMA, GSM Quectel EG91-EX
NOTE-WBNA-* Wideband North America coverage: LTE Cat-1, WCDMA Quectel EG91-NAX
* designates all SKU of that type

Antennas we have used successfully across our product line

LTE CAT-1 / CAT-M / Nb-IoT / GSM
Vendor/Part Number Description
Pulse W3796 surface mount component
Maximus FXUB66 flexible printed circuit single-channel
Molex 2091420180 flexible printed circuit single-channel
Taoglas MFX3.07.0150C flexible printed circuit single-channel
Pulse W6112B0100 flexible printed circuit dual-channel
Taoglas MA256.A.LBI.001 dual channel + active GPS

Diversity Antenna for Wideband Notecards

NOTE-WBEX and NOTE-WBNA have two U.FL cellular antenna connectors. You must connect an antenna to the MAIN connector. The purpose of the DIV connector is to use LTE Cat1 antenna diversity to improve reception in applications where the antennas see reflected copies of the received signal, such as in a basement. A connection to the DIV connector is optional and is only necessary when a single MAIN antenna does not perform adequately.

GPS

We recommend the use of an active GPS antenna for adequate performance. You should select an active antenna with 50 Ohm impedance which accepts voltages in the 3.3V-4.0V range, for compatibility with current (3.9V) and future Notecards. Notecard supports the use of a passive GPS antenna, but performance will be significantly degraded.

GPS Antennas we have used successfully:

Type Vendor/Part Number
Active Taoglas MA256.A.LBI.001 (dual channel + active GPS)
Passive Pulse W3010 (surface mount component)

See also:

GPS Antenna on Notecard Datasheet

Using GPS Antennas with Notecarriers

If the Notecard is mounted on a

  • Notecarrier-A* : Use the built-in active GPS antenna. An external active antenna connected to Notecard will not be powered by Notecard. An external passive antenna connected to Notecard will work, but not as well as the built-in active antenna.

  • Notecarrier-B : Select an active GPS antenna only. DO NOT connect a passive antenna to a Notecard mounted in Notecarrier-B. It will permanently damage the Notecard by presenting a DC short circuit to the GPS antenna connector which has a 3.9V DC bias.

  • Notecarrier-Pi : We recommend that you select an active GPS antenna and set the ACTIVE DIP switch to the ON position. If you wish to use a passive antenna, you MUST set the ACTIVE DIP switch to the OFF position. Otherwise, the passive antenna will permanently damage the Notecard by presenting a DC short circuit to the GPS antenna connector which has a 3.9V DC bias.

1 Like

Antennas represent a substantial cost compared to the Notecard.

  1. So choosing one of those four flexible antennas is based on price vs. gain?
    Maximus FXUB66 --> $11.83 for 5.5dBi
    Molex 2091420180 --> $1.57 for 2.7dBi
    Taoglas MFX3.07.0150C --> $9.63 for 5dBi
    Pulse W6112B0100 --> $7.13 for 4dBi

  2. Could you please provide more examples of scenarios where we should expect a reflected signal (besides basements)?

  3. In a LTE Cat1 scenario requiring DIV, it is a better strategy to use two lower cost antennas (second on DIV) or one top-of-the-line?

  4. If using two antenna, do they need to be identical?

1 Like