Featured Product Archive
The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their
uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough
to warrant an appearance.
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Thanks to a tip by RF Cafe visitor and contributor
Bob Davis for letting me know about a very capable point-to-point
RF system planner called Radio
Mobile, by Canadian Ham radio operator Roger Coudé (VE2DBE). There is another
similar freeware program available called AlphiMax, but it requires that you upload
your system data to a remote server - a potential confidentiality conflict.
Radio Mobile uses GPS-based terrain information obtained from the U.S. Department
of Commerce NTIA/ITS Institute for Telecommunication Sciences Irregular Terrain
Model (ITM) database. Elevation data for most of the world is available, not just
for the U.S. and Canada. A very nice feature of Radio Mobile is the ability to
predict performance between a fixed station and a mobile station in motion.
Frequencies for 20 MHz to 20 GHz can be explored for transmitter powers
ranging from 10 nW up to 1 MW. Antenna gain of -10 to 100 dBi is
available, with line losses up to 500 dB. Receiver threshold of 0.01 to 2,000 μV
is accommodated. You can specify environmental parameters like climate (equatorial,
continental, marine, etc.), modes of variation (spot, accidental, mobile, broadcast),
ground conditions (conductivity, relative permittivity), and statistical variations
(time, location, situation).
Interestingly, a search for point-to-point
link planner software turned up a program from Motorola called
PTP LINKPlanner. I could not download it for close inspection,
but it appears to be no more sophisticated than Radio Mobile. The price is not advertised.
ICS telecom is
a commercial program that appears to have a very sophisticated ability.
Microwave is yet another commercial program for doing high-level system planning.
If you find the program useful, please remember to make a donation to Mr. Coudé
for his significant effort. Ian D. Brown (G3TVU) has written a 350-page reference
manual titled "Radio Mobile, An Illustrated Handbook," that is available in e-Book
Posted June 13, 2012