Antenna Options

The Radio Bonnets do not have a built-in antenna. Instead, they have three options for attaching an antenna - for most low cost radio nodes, a wire works great. If you need to put the radio into an enclosure. We also include a uFL connector, pre-soldered, so you can use a uFL to SMA adapter to let you attach an external antenna. You can also solder an SMA edge-mount connector directly

Wire Antenna

A wire antenna, aka "quarter wave whip antenna" is low cost and works very well! You just have to cut the wire down to the right length.

Cut a stranded or solid core wire the the proper length for the module/frequency

  • 433 MHz - 6.5 inches, or 16.5 cm
  • 868 MHz - 3.25 inches or 8.2 cm
  • 915 MHz - 3 inches or 7.8 cm

Strip a mm or two off the end of the wire, tin and solder into the ANT pad.

uFL Antenna

If you want an external antenna that is a few inches away from the radio, you'll want a uFL antenna. The radio bonnets have a uFL connector soldered on already - you'll also need a uFL to SMA adapter (or whatever adapter you need for the antenna you'll be using, SMA is the most common

Of course, you will also need an antenna of some sort, that matches your radio frequency. We have an antenna kit available which works well with the Radio Bonnet: 

900Mhz Antenna Kit - For LoPy, LoRa, etc

PRODUCT ID: 3340
This LoRa Antenna Kit is meant for use with the LoPy LoRa, WiFi and BLE board or the SiPy Sigfox,...
$12.75
IN STOCK
uFL connectors are rated for 30 connection cycles, but be careful when connecting/disconnecting to not rip the pads off the PCB. Once a uFL/SMA adapter is connected, use strain relief!

SMA Edge-Mount Antenna

These strong edge connectors are used for many 'duck' antennas, and can also be panel mounted

You'll need an SMA (or, if you need RP-SMA for some reason) Edge-Mount connector with 1.6mm spacing

The SMA connector 'slides on' the top of the PCB

You'll need an SMA (or, if you need RP-SMA for some reason) Edge-Mount connector with 1.6mm spacing

The SMA connector 'slides on' the top of the PCB

Use plenty of solder to make sure you have a good strong mechanical connection. The duck antennas are long and make great levers, so they could pry apart the solder joints if not soldered well

This guide was first published on Jan 23, 2019. It was last updated on Jan 23, 2019. This page (Antenna Options) was last updated on Nov 13, 2019.