The importance of the antenna in terrestrial television signal coverage drive testing

October 10, 2018.

The signal coverage analysis or drive test is essential in the process of locate shadowed areas in terrestrial television broadcasting, determine the cause of the problem and help technicians solving it or at least to minimize its effects as much as possible.

A measurement equipment is mounted in a vehicle, connected to a calibrated antenna and it goes through the entire or part of the area radiated from a terrestrial signal emitter. While the test is underway, as much data as possible about the reception through the geography is gathered.

Vehicle equipped to carry out a signal coverage analysis (drive test) of digital terrestrial signal
Vehicle equipped to carry out a signal coverage analysis (drive test) of digital terrestrial signal.

The RANGER Neo analyzers from PROMAX are the perfect tools for signal coverage analysis. A specific function for drive testing is available and a USB GPS can be connected to the analyzers to geolocate each measurement while the test is being executed. Data can be displayed in Google Earth, or exported to Excel or CSV. Moreover, their 4 hours of battery operation make unnecessary to use the car lighter as power source. [find out more]

Why is important using a suitable antenna?

The signal coverage analysis or drive tests are carried out in a vehicle in motion, therefore it is necessary to install a terrestrial television receiving antenna on it.

A signal coverage analysis in a vehicle in motion must be carried out using an omnidirectional antenna and, as far as possible, a compact size model.

This means that, for example, the classical Yagi antenna you commonly see in rooftops is not suitable. First, because Yagi antennas are directional; meaning they must “see” all the time the emitter and they must be accurately aimed to it. And that’s impossible in a vehicle in motion! And secondly, because a large antenna mounted on a vehicle is an obvious traffic hazard.

Did you know Yagi antennas are named after the surname of one of their inventors, the Japanese electrical engineer Hidetsugu Yagi?

What solution does PROMAX propose?

The antenna for drive test analysis model AM-060 from PROMAX is a fully plug-and-play device that is perfect to be mounted on a vehicle.

Antenna for drive test analysis model AM-060
Antenna for drive test analysis model AM-060
  • It does not require installation: Its magnetic base attaches to the vehicle body.
  • Efficient fixing: The powerful magnet of its base is strong enough to securely fix the antenna holding it still no matter the speed of the vehicle or the small impacts with tree branches. It can be mounted even in horizontal position.
  • Safe and extra compact design: Just 30 cm height and no sharp edges – It minimizes any risk to traffic circulation.

PROMAX antenna for signal coverage analysis does not require installation, it fixes firmly with a magnet and it is an extra compact design safe for driving.
  • Omnidirectional design: Optimum reception in all conditions.
  • Extends the battery life of the analyzer: It is a passive antenna that does not require RF power from the analyzer, extending its battery operation time.
  • K factor table available: Having the antenna correction factor is essential to carry out precise analysis. There is available for the professionals the K factor table from PROMAX (see the leaflet for AM-060 drive test antenna).
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PROMAX is a leading manufacturer of test and measurement systems, broadcast and TV signal distribution equipment. Our product lines include measuring instruments for cable TV, satellite TV, broadcast, wireless and fibre optics networks, FTTH and GPON analyzers. DVB-T modulators, IP streamers or IP converters (ASI, DVB-T) are among the company’s latest developments.