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airMAX - How to Aim a NanoBeam for the Best AC Performance


This article describes how to properly aim a NanoBeam to get the best airMAX AC performance. 

This article was created using a NanoBeam 19 AC, we have newer technology now with the NanoBeam Gen 2, but the tips shared in this article continue to apply to our newer NanoBeams.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Aim a NanoBeam Visually
  3. How to Aim a NanoBeam Using the Signal LEDs
  4. Related Articles


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Careful aiming is very important for attaining maximum AC throughput. Roughly guessing the aim seldom works. Unless you aim precisely, you can end up missing out on a lot of the AC performance boost. These methods also apply to the older NanoBeam 19's and 16's and newer devices. In order to get the speed improvements of AC, your link will need to be able to achieve the best data rate modulation. The fastest modulations can only be achieved with strongest signals and the best aim. 

This article describes two methods from the perspective of an installer. The writer gets best results visually aiming with a small carpenter's square. For those who find this difficult, there is also the option of using the Signal LEDs. 

How to Aim a NanoBeam Visually

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1. Place the square flat against the back of the NanoBeam and sight down the top ruler with your eye towards your tower or other end of the link. Get the side-to-side aim close, but with the square in this position you're mainly worried about the up-and-down adjustment. Try to get the up-and-down elevation aim as close to perfect as possible.

2. Then reposition the square to do the side to side aim. With the square in this position, you're going to mainly adjust the side-to-side aim to make sure it's directly towards your tower.

3. Begin to snug down the clamp and keep adjusting and checking to make sure the aim hasn't drifted off. Once the aim is perfect, twist the clamp tight.

If you have good eyes and carefully aim this way, you'll have a perfect aim every time.

How to Aim a NanoBeam Using the Signal LEDs

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Not everyone has the eye for using the above visual method to align the NanoBeams. Another method is carefully adjusting the blue LED lights displayed at the edge of the radio to give you the best aim information.

  1. Use the factory default LED setting to get started. Once you've aimed the best you can, log into the radio and go to the Wireless tab.
  2. Notice how you can adjust the signal LEDs on this Tab. Look at your current reception signal level on the Main Tab. Let's say its -61.
  3. Enter -61 (in this example) on LED1, and then go down by two's for the rest of the LEDs.
  4. Now go back and aim again, trying to get the most LEDs possible. If all of them light up, go back and adjust the lights even stronger.
  5. And now start spacing them by -1 increment. Do the final aiming with -1 increments and spend the time to peak the number of lights.
NOTE:In the older NanoBeams, the lights were adjusted on the Advanced Tab.

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