The second thing you want to consider after getting your Helium Hotspot (after the location) is the antenna. Regardless of if you are installing it indoors or outdoors, an upgraded Helium antenna is the fastest and easiest way to increase rewards.
Just to clarify, a good antenna can’t save you from a bad location. to learn more about what makes a good location, check out this article.
It is important to note that even a 1.2 dBi antenna can reach 20 miles, but it may not penetrate through trees or walls as well as a higher gain antenna due to the low signal strength.
In this article, we will go over which antenna is best for you based on a couple key factors. If you want to learn more about how Helium works, how to pick a Hotspot, or how to pick a good location, check out this link: Master Guide to Helium Mining, from here you can explore more in-depth articles on each aspect of Helium.
Proximity to Other Hotspots
If the hotspots around you are within a few miles you won’t need a high gain antenna. However, if you are trying to reach 15+ miles it is imperative to get a quality high gain antenna and install it as high as possible. While low gain antennas are smaller and cheaper, they simply cannot reach as far as higher gain antennas. This does not mean high gain is necessarily better, we will talk about why in the next couple of sections.
It’s worth noting that a stock antenna can reach up to 20 miles with a clear line of sight, but if you intend on installing it outdoors, you need an outdoor antenna.
If the location of your hotspot is flat-land, higher gain antennas would be best suited for you. However, if the hotspot is going somewhere with hills or mountains, you may want to consider a lower gain antenna to better blanket your area. Check out the graphics below for more information on how to visualize the antenna coverage.
Antennas in this range are the lowest we would consider, the radio frequencies emitted from one of these antennas will be suited for mountainous terrain as well as big-city use. We don’t recommend using these antennas if your goal is 10+ miles with trees or buildings in between Hotspots.
These low gain antennas are a great solution for stealth installs in an apartment building or at a rented property as they generally don’t exceed 12 inches in length.
Antennas in this range are best suited for flat areas with other hotspots 20 miles away or more. With the right placement, an antenna of this power could easily reach 50 miles, however, it could be too strong for hotspots 300-500 meters away and cause invalid witnesses.
Genuine 5.8-12dBi antennas can reach over two feet in length so definitely consider this when planning your installation. These antennas can sway in the wind and even become detached in a storm, make sure you have a minimum of two secure connection points when attaching them to masts or flag poles.
We only recommend using a directional antenna if all the hotspots you want to hit are in one direction from you. When dealing with directional antennas it is imperative to understand how the gain (dBi rating) will affect the range and scope of the frequencies.
Directional antennas are sparsely used in the helium community because they require a very specific placement to be considerd as or more effective compared to a standard omni-directional antenna.
HotspotRF has spent countless hours testing Helium antennas, tuned antennas, low loss cables, lightning arresters, and Helium miner placements. Using a HotspotRF Tuned Helium Antenna 6 dBi has shown to perform with a lower VSWR and overall greater performance than other name-brand 6 dBi antennas.
Many name-brand antennas advertise a VSWR of 2 or below. A VSWR of 2 results in over 11.11% signal loss. The signal lost reflects into your Helium mining equipment rather than being transmitted. HotspotRF Tuned Helium Antennas perform with a VSWR of 1.4 or below. This results in less than 2.78% of your signal lost when using a HotspotRF Tuned Helium antenna rather than 11.11% when using an antenna with a VSWR of 2.
HotspotRF Antenna 6 dBi Performance
HotspotRF tuned antennas have witnessed other Helium miners over 100 km away. This medium-high gain 6 dBi Helium antenna performs great in a variety of environments. A 6 dBi antenna performs well in a city, suburb, or with a clear line of sight. Pairing your 6 dBi Helium Antenna with HotspotRF-400 low loss cables helps provide the most network coverage, and therefore $HNT out of your Helium miner and location. HotspotRF lightning arresters are highly recommended to protect your Helium mining equipment.
Make sure the antenna you are using is tuned correctly!
If you get an antenna that isn’t tuned to your countries frequency, you could be fighting an uphill battle to get rewards. Discover the frequency for your country here.
Don’t install your antenna right next to anything made out of metal, this will impact the reception and transmission of radio waves.
Familiarize yourself with the antenna and cable connector types, most cables designed for outdoor antennas will need to be ordered and shipped, this isn’t something you want to get wrong and have to return.