Balancing SM's?

I am trying to balance my SM’s so that they are all around -60db.

I have one SM that is 1000 ft from the AP’s and I have dialed all they way down and it is still at -42db.

Is there anything else i can do to bring that down?


Bryan Memmer
Solutions Consultant

You are only concerned with the level at the AP - not the SM.

Try aiming the radio down or up to attenuate the signal.

You’ll need to lower the gain of your antenna. You could also try aiming away from the AP (up, down, left, right, or even directly away), but that makes for unnecessary noise in the direction that you turn the radio. Another approach is to actually install the antenna for vertical polarization.

We have actually built our own very low gain antennas for such short shots. Here are basic instructions (which I may have even picked up off this forum, long ago… I can’t remember)

Start with an N-Female crimp style connector and a length of LMR-400 about 4 inches long.

Take the 4 inches of LMR and strip it completely down to the center conductor.
Straighten it as completely as you can and crimp it into the center pin.
Install the center pin into the connector body, and then cut the exposed wire to a length of 3.23 inches as measured from the connectoy body.
Weatherproof the whole shebang and you’ve got a quarter-wave antenna.
For alignment, point the antenna directly to your tower site, then turn it to the right or left 90 degrees.
This small antenna acts as a little bitty vertical omni when pointing striaght up, so imagine the signal field coming from the antenna as a doughnut sitting over the wire. Turning on its side changes it to horizontal polarity.

We’ve got a few in the field and they work just fine.

Here’s the stats for one of these antennas from the SM:

Session Status  REGISTERED
RSSI 1959 (-54 dBm)
Jitter 2
Air Delay 15 (approximately 0.42 miles (2205 feet))

Power in the radio is set to 18, AP side says:
RSSI (Avg/Last): 1791/1819 Jitter (Avg/Last): 2/1 Power Level (Avg/Last): -60/-59