Jorge Ortiz (Isaac), Sr. System Test & Quality Engineer | Elster AMCO Water, LLC, Ocala, FL, USA – July 25, 2012

Elster AMCO Water, LLC uses RFxpert RFX for testing.

Essentially we are using the RFxpert RFX in two main ways; for antenna design and validation test.

Although my title doesn’t reflect this; I’m an antenna engineer. When we acquired the RFX unit was with the intention of helping me in the development of a passive antenna for the 900 ISM radio that is installed in water meter pits.

And it did help! Once the development was completed and the passive antennas were in production, we used the RFX for validation not only for the passive antenna but also for the radios being manufactured overseas and those assembled here as “end on line” validation as part of our quality initiative.

We also used it to compare our radio performance with other radios in the market to identify possible design weaknesses. All done in less than half the time. I have been working in several other antenna designs for other Elster divisions and RFX not only speeds up the process but also makes me aware of a potential problem I might have overlooked during initial design stage; i.e. the impact of meter body, metal box, lid and other peripherals on the antenna performance.

We compared the RFX results to that of our “former” local RF test house and the results were very close, within 3 dB when we compared the amplitude measurements and the 3D patterns for the combined far-field bisection were almost identical. I just did have to wait 2 weeks and pay $3,000 per test to get my results at the local RF test house!

I rather use the RFX for all my antenna design projects instead of FEKO, Ansoft or other similar simulation software. Usually in a couple of hours, I can model a real antenna out of copper and test it with the RFX in the antenna’s intended operating environment. I then prepare the CAD drawing based on a RFX proven design and send it off to manufacturing for prototyping. My designs… are unique to application and very efficient; NOT from a big pool of already design antennas. The RFX allows me to do all that.

EMSCAN is the world leading developer of FAST magnetic very-near-field measurement technologies and applications since 1989, providing real-time test solutions to antenna and PCB designers and verification engineers, without the need for a chamber.

The EMxpert, a family of compact EMC and EMI diagnostic tools, and the RFxpert, a family of antenna measurement tools, enable engineers to quickly optimize their designs. EMSCAN solutions dramatically increase designer productivity and substantially reduce time-to-market and project development costs.