Examples of weatherproof ESTeem radios; with solar shield on right

For years now, we’ve recommended outdoor mounting for our industrial wireless radios. The benefits are both operational and financial.

Outdoor mounting allows the radio to be placed close to the antenna. In fact, in some applications, the antenna can be directly attached to the radio. The proximity reduces the distance between the radio and the antenna, decreasing the signal loss between the two devices and boosting the signal from the antenna.

The greater signal strength means the antenna can transmit information more quickly. This is a particularly important factor for high-throughput radios, which traditionally lose more signal in the air due to the higher frequencies of operation (>900 MHz).

Financial Benefits

Financially, there are a couple wins. Positioning the radio close to the antenna drastically cuts the need for expensive coaxial cable, reducing project costs. Mounting the radio and antenna together also eliminates the need for costly enclosures traditionally used to protect radios outdoors.

That protection is warranted. Whether they’re deployed in dusty deserts or cold, wet conditions, radios mounted outdoors are subject to the worst that the elements can deliver. But ESTeem provides for every contingency, with an industrial-hardened NEMA 4 case blunting even the most difficult weather. Our pole mounting kit also includes items like weatherproof boots and a solar shield to further protect the radio.

Electrical discharges and lightning strikes aren’t a concern, either. The Ethernet cable that runs to the building includes a drain wire that grounds any electric build-up. Plus, the mount bracket acts as an isolator between the radio and antenna pole. Over the 12 years we’ve used outdoor mounting, only one radio out of the thousands installed was returned because of lightning damage to the radio input. It suffered a damaged radio port from a lightning strike that burned out all the other equipment mounted on the same tower.

Power Play

The Ethernet cable itself is outdoor-rated and shielded for additional protection. The cable also provides PoE (power over Ethernet), eliminating any need for a power source to be mounted with the radio.

Some customers initially question their ability to reset or program a pole-mounted radio. But ESTeem radios can be managed by plugging into the PoE injector or the LAN interface, providing the same access as if plugging directly into the radio.

With weather protection factored in and real savings to be had, outdoor mounting is the right solution for ESTeem industrial wireless radios. Contact us today to learn more.