Texas Instruments | DN023 -- 868 MHz, 915 MHz and 955 MHz Inverted F Antenna (Rev. C) | Application notes | Texas Instruments DN023 -- 868 MHz, 915 MHz and 955 MHz Inverted F Antenna (Rev. C) Application notes

Texas Instruments DN023 -- 868 MHz, 915 MHz and 955 MHz Inverted F Antenna (Rev. C) Application notes
Design Note DN023
868 MHz, 915 MHz and 955 MHz Inverted F Antenna
By Fredrik Kervel
Keywords
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1
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
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
CC10xx
CC110x
CC111x
CC112x
CC1150
CC1175
CC1100E
CC11xL
PCB Antenna
868 MHz
915 MHz
955 MHz
Inverted F Antenna
IFA
Introduction
This document describes a PCB antenna
designed for operation in the 868 MHz,
915 MHz and 955 MHz ISM bands. This
antenna can be used with all transceivers
and transmitters from Texas Instruments,
which operates in these frequency bands.
Maximum gain is measured to be
−0.12 dB and overall size requirements for
this antenna are 43 x 20 mm. Thus this is
a medium size, low cost antenna solution.
Figure 1 shows a picture of the board
being used to develop and characterize
this antenna. The board is pin compatible
with CC1110 EM and is equipped with two
LEDs, a push button, a 10-pin debug
connector and a 2-pin power connector for
test and characterization purpose.
Figure 1. Prototype Board for 868 MHz, 915 MHz, and 955 MHz PCB Antenna
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Design Note DN023
Table of Contents
KEYWORDS.............................................................................................................................. 1
1
INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 1
2
ABBREVIATIONS........................................................................................................... 2
3
DESCRIPTION OF THE PCB ANTENNA ...................................................................... 3
3.1
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INVERTED F ANTENNA .......................................................... 3
4
RESULTS........................................................................................................................ 5
4.1
RADIATION PATTERN .................................................................................................. 5
4.2
REFLECTION .............................................................................................................. 9
4.3
BANDWIDTH ............................................................................................................. 10
4.4
HARMONIC EMISSION ............................................................................................... 11
4.5
RANGE .................................................................................................................... 12
5
CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................. 12
6
REFERENCES.............................................................................................................. 13
7
GENERAL INFORMATION .......................................................................................... 13
7.1
DOCUMENT HISTORY................................................................................................ 13
2
Abbreviations
CAD
CF
dB
EB
EM
ETSI
FCC
FR-4
GHz
IFA
I/O
ISM
kBaud
LED
MHz
mm
PA
PCB
PER
RF
Computer Aided Design
Correction Factor
decibel
Evaluation Board
Evaluation Module
European Telecommunications Standards Institute
Federal Communications Commission
Flame Retardant 4
Giga Hertz
Inverted F Antenna
Input/Output
Industrial, Scientific, Medical
kilo Baud
Light Emitting Diode
Mega Hertz
millimeter
Power Amplifier
Printed Circuit Board
Packet Error Rate
Radio Frequency
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Design Note DN023
3
Description of the PCB Antenna
The antenna described in this document is an inverted F antenna. Since the impedance of
this antenna is approximately matched to 50 ohm, no external matching components are
needed. The size of the ground plane affects the impedance of the antenna. This PCB
antenna reference design has included the option for one series and two shunt components
at the feed point of the antenna. These can be used to compensate for detuning caused by
plastic encapsulation and other object in the vicinity of the antenna. For further information on
impedance matching and impedance measurements, see AN058 Antenna Selection Guide
[1].
For test purpose the antenna has been implemented on an evaluation module equipped with
two LEDs and a push button for running small test programs. The evaluation module can be
connected to SmartRF04EB via a 10-pin debug cable for programming. The module is also
equipped with a two pin power connector (3 volt) and soldering points for the chip’s I/O-ports.
The external power must be disconnected when the module is connected to SmartRF04EB.
3.1
Implementation of the Inverted F Antenna
To obtain optimum performance it is important to make an exact copy of the antenna
dimensions. The antenna was implemented on a 0.8 mm thick FR-4 substrate. Since there is
no ground plane beneath the antenna the PCB thickness is not critical, but if a different
thickness is being used it might be necessary to tune the length of the antenna to obtain
optimum performance.
One approach to implement the antenna in a PCB CAD tool is to import the antenna layout
from a Gerber file. Such a file is included in the CC1110EM IIFA Reference Design [2], and is
called “antenna.spl”. If the antenna is implemented on a PCB that is wider than the antenna, it
is important to avoid placing components or having a ground plane close (minimum 5 mm) to
each side of the antenna. If the CAD tool being used does not support import of Gerber files,
Figure 2 and Table 1 can be used.
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Design Note DN023
Figure 2. Antenna Dimensions
L1
20.0 mm
L7
43.0 mm
L2
5.0 mm
X
31.0 mm
L3
4.0 mm
Y
45.0 mm
L4
10.0 mm
W
1.0 mm
L5
6.0 mm
W2
2.0 mm
L6
17.0 mm
Table 1. Antenna Dimensions
Optimum length for L6 is dependent on the geometry and size of the ground plane. With the
ground plane shown Figure 2 (31 x 45 mm) L6 should be approx. 9 mm for 868 MHz and
1 mm for 915 MHz. The antenna can also be used for 955 MHz, but then the total length of
the antenna has to be reduced more than the length specified for 915 MHz. Bigger ground
planes might require additional tuning.
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Design Note DN023
4
Results
Measurement results are presented in this section. Notice that the performance will be
affected by the size and shape of the ground plane.
4.1
Radiation Pattern
Figure 3 shows how to relate the radiation patterns in this section to the orientation of the
antenna. The pictures in Figure 3 shows how the board was placed when measuring the
different planes. For all measurements the board was turned around a vertical axis and 0°
corresponds to the direction out of the picture and. The radiation patterns were measured
with 10 dBm output power.
Notice that the size of the ground plane will affect the radiation pattern, hence implementing
this antenna on a board with a different size and shape of the ground plane will most likely
affect the radiation pattern. These measurements were performed with the small ground
plane shown in Figure 2.
The values in the plots of the antenna patterns are in dBm and represents gain relative to
10 dBm and 5 dBm in the plot equals a gain of –5 dB, etc.
XY plane
XZ plane
YZ plane
Figure 3. How to Relate the Antenna to the Radiation Patterns
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Design Note DN023
Figure 4. XY Plane Horizontal Polarization
Figure 5. XY Plane Vertical Polarization
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Design Note DN023
Figure 6. YZ Plane Horizontal Polarization
Figure 7. YZ Plane Vertical Polarization
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Design Note DN023
Figure 8. XZ Plane Horizontal Polarization
Figure 9. XZ Plane Vertical Polarization
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Design Note DN023
4.2
Reflection
Figure 10. Measured Reflection at the End of a 15 mm long, 50 Ω, Line Feeding the
Antenna. (The values in the box represent different lengths of L6.)
Figure 11. Measured Reflection at the Feed Point of the Antenna. (The values represent
subtracted length of the antenna in addition to removing L6 completely.)
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Design Note DN023
Figure 10 shows that the antenna reflects less than 10% of the available power for a
bandwidth of approximately 50 MHz. It is also clear from Figure 10 that the antenna is easily
tuned to the desired center frequency simply by adjusting the length of the antenna.
As shown in Figure 11, this antenna could also be used in the frequency band around
950 MHz. The bandwidth for this frequency is not great, ~25 MHz, thus requiring precise
tuning.
Measurements performed on the antenna with bigger ground planes show that further
trimming of the antenna length might be required. However, the ground plane size will not
result in any big changes in reflection or bandwidth.
Measurements also show that it is possible to place ground planes on the side of the
antenna. Minimum recommended distance from the antenna to the ground plane is in this
case 15 mm. Ground plane on the side(s) of the antenna will not have much effect on the
impedance, but will result in changes in the distribution of the radiated power.
4.3
Bandwidth
To measure the bandwidth of the antenna a small test program, stepping a 10 dBm carrier
from 782 MHz to 950 MHz, was used. By using the “Max Hold” option on the spectrum
analyzer it is possible to see how the output power varies across frequency when using this
test program.
Notice that the bandwidth characteristic is dependent on direction and polarization. The result
shown in Figure 12 and Figure 13 is based on a measurement performed with the PCB
horizontally oriented (XY-plane, φ = 0°) and the antenna pointing towards a vertical polarized
receiving antenna. The measurement is uncompensated so 38.19 dB has to be added to the
received power.
The antenna can also be used for 955 MHz but then the total length of the antenna has to be
reduced more than the length specified for 915 MHz
Figure 12. Bandwidth of Antenna Tuned for 868 MHz (L6 = 11 mm)
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Design Note DN023
Figure 13. Bandwidth of Antenna Tuned for 915 MHz (L6 = 3 mm)
Notice that the measurements were performed with two different settings for the PA-register.
In Figure 12 the PA was optimized for 868 MHz (PA_TABLE = 0xC2) and in Figure 13 the
PA was optimized for 915 MHz (PA_TABLE = 0xC0).
4.4
Harmonic Emission
Measurement of harmonic emission has not been done for this antenna. Harmonic emission
will be dependent on ground plane geometry, encapsulation etc. Thus this measurement
should be performed on a complete prototype. Table 2 shows the FCC- and ETSI limits.
Above 1 GHz, FCC allows the radiation to be up to 20 dB above the limits given in Table 2, if
duty cycling is being used. The second harmonic would only be an issue when qualifying
under FCC part 15.249 since 15.247 only requires 20 dBc. Notice that programmed output
power and size of the ground plane will affect the level of the harmonics and thus determine
the necessary duty cycling.
2. harm
3. harm
4. harm
5. harm
6. harm
7. harm
8. harm
9. harm
Limit:
FCC 249
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
Limit:
FCC 247
20
dBc
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
20
dBc
20
dBc
54
dBV/m
54
dBV/m
Limit ETSI
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
−30
dBm
Table 2. ETSI and FCC Limits for Harmonic Radiation
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Design Note DN023
The allowed additional emission, or correction factor, is calculated based on maximum
transmission time during 100 ms. Equation 1 can be used to calculate the correction factor,
where t is equal to maximum transmission time during 100 ms. Using Equation 1 it can be
calculated that a maximum transmission time of 50 ms, during 100 ms, will permit all radiation
above 1 GHz to be 6 dB above the given limits.
 t 
CF  20  log

 100ms 
Equation 1. FCC Correction Factor
4.5
Range
Measurements of the antenna range have been performed outdoors, in line of sight with two
equal antennas as sender and receiver. The measurements were done with both antennas
aligned with the YZ-plane horizontally (φ = 0°). At a data rate of 38.4 kBaud a range of over
1300 meters was achieved (PER = 1 %). The measurements were performed with the
prototype boards connected to a SmartRF04EB by cable, so the effective ground plane was
only 31 x 45 mm.
5
Conclusion
The antenna proposed in this design note can be used for 868 MHz, 915 MHz and 955 MHz
operation. Required board size for this antenna is 43 x 20 mm and maximum gain is
approximately 0 dB dependent on direction. Measurements of reflection show that the center
frequency is easily adjusted by trimming the antenna length. The radiation patterns show
wide distribution of the radiated power.
Antenna Size
43 x 20 mm
Range
~1300 m (line-of-sight)
Max Gain in XY Plane
−6.54 dB
Max Gain in XZ Plane
−5.95 dB
Max Gain in YZ Plane
−0.12 dB
Reflection
< −25 dB
Table 3. Key Parameters
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Design Note DN023
6
References
[1]
AN058 Antenna Selection Guide (swra161.pdf)
[2]
CC1110EM IIFA Reference Design (swrr058.zip)
7
General Information
7.1
Document History
Revision
SWRA228C
Date
2011.09.30
SWRA228B
SWRA228A
SWRA228
2009.07.28
2009.03.17
2007.04.16
Description/Changes
Updated values in Table 1.
Added abbreviations. Cosmetic changes
Updated with 955 MHz. Removed logo from header
Initial release
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