Test & Measurement

Raltron’s RLX series antennas for utility metering applications

22nd June 2023
Harry Fowle

Raltron aims to provide longer operational life for utility metering applications with its RLX Series of metal helix antennas.

The ruggedised omnidirectional RLX antennas for utility meters are constructed from either phosphor bronze or brass, for optimal outdoor performance in residential, and industrial applications. Able to withstand extreme heat and cold, these antennas go beyond the typical 5-year warranty and are designed to perform for a minimum of 10+ years, significantly reducing the number of replacement demands for meters in the field.

The profile of the meter’s main PC board is critical to the antenna design as the antenna needs to be compatible with the other metal components on the board. To optimise circuit performance and maintain the highest efficiency for each meter application, Raltron helps customers by specifying the compensating inductor-capacitor circuitry to maintain the required antenna frequency and desired bandwidth. Raltron does this by providing a free evaluation and analysis of the customer’s PC board layout ensuring the antenna frequency will not be altered.

The RLX antennas provide the desired range of operating frequencies for Utility Metering from 169 MHz to 960 MHz. This antenna gain is dimensioned to ensure the system will be readable from the specified reading points and distances.

“Metering customers that utilise our free analysis service, enable us to optimise circuits with additional compensating circuitry to keep their product on frequency and to give them a higher efficiency antenna” said Lawson Williams, Antenna Product Manager at Raltron. “The antenna frequency can change if it is located too close to another metal component on the board. Not everyone does this analysis, and we have seen much-improved performance in the field as a result.”

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