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Microwave transmission involves the sending and receiving of microwave signals over a microwave link. This microwave link is made up of a string of microwave radio antennas located at the top of towers at various microwave sites. The microwave frequency range is from 300 MHz to 300 GHz. But In microwave communication, the frequency range is generally from 3 GHz to 30 GHz.

Transmission Methods in Current Communications Networks

Coaxial cable communication

Optical fiber communication

Microwave TE

Microwave TE


Microwave communication


Satellite communication

Microwave Frequency Band

For long haul PDH microwave links (the distance between stations is generally longer than 15 km), 8 GHz frequency band is recommended. If the distance between stations is not longer than 25 km, 11 GHz frequency band can also be used. The specific frequency band shall be determined based on the local weather conditions and microwave transmission cross-section. For short haul PDH microwave links (generally used in the access layer and the distance between stations is shorter than 10 km), 11/13/14/15/18 GHz frequency band is recommended. For long haul SDH microwave links (the distance between stations is generally longer than 15 km), 5/6/7/8 GHz frequency band is recommended. If the distance between stations is not longer than 20 km, 11 GHz frequency band can also be used. The specific frequency band shall be determined based on the local weather conditions and microwave transmission cross-section

Microwave Transmission is Considered a 'Line of Site' Technology

Microwave transmission is considered a 'Line of Site' technology. This is because the proper functioning of microwave transmission requires that the airspace between two microwave towers in clear of mountains, buildings, and other objects that could possibly block signals from being intercepted by the towers. Microwave transmission is limited by this need for a clear line of sight, in addition to being susceptible to attenuation by the atmosphere.

Basic about E1
The North American use T-1, E1 is the European format for digital transmission. E1 carries signals at 2 Mbps (32 channels at 64Kbps, with 2 channels reserved for signaling and controlling), versus the T1, which carries signals at 1.544 Mbps (24 channels at 64Kbps). E1 and T1 lines may be interconnected for international us

Block diagram of E1 mapping

Split-Mount Microwave Equipment

The RF unit is an outdoor unit (ODU). The IF, signal processing, and MUX/DEMUX units are integrated in the indoor unit (IDU). The ODU and IDU are connected through an IF cable. The ODU can either be directly mounted onto the antenna or connected to the antenna through a short soft waveguide. Although the capacity is smaller than the trunk, due to the easy installation and maintenance, fast network construction, its the most widely used microwave equipment.

IF cable ODU (Outdoor Unit)

IDU (Indoor Unit)

Split-mount microwave equipment

Split-Mount Microwave Equipment

The installation of the split-mount radio contains two parts, indoor installation and outdoor installation. Indoor installation is similar to case-shaped equipment installation. So we focus on outdoor installation. Outdoor installation includes installing the antenna and ODU. There are two methods. One is direct installation and the other is separate installation.

Separate Mount Direct Mount
antenna (direct mount) antenna (separate mount) Soft waveguide ODU IF cable IF cable


IDU IF port IF port


Antennas are used to send and receive microwave signals.

Parabolic antennas and cassegrainian antennas are two common types of microwave antennas. Microwave antenna diameters includes: 0.3m, 0.6m, 1.2m, 1.8m,2.0m, 2.4m, 3.0m, 3.2metc
Parabolic antenna Cassegrainian antenna

RF cable
RF or Radio Frequency is a term that is often used to describe the number of times per second or oscillation of an electromagnet radiation. Anything between 3Hz and 300GHz is still referred to as RF waves, but they are subdivided depending on the actual frequency. Microwave is the general term used to describe RF waves that starts from UHF (Ultra High Frequency) to EHF (Extremely High Frequency) which covers all frequencies between 300Mhz to 300GHz, lower frequencies are referred to as radio waves while higher frequencies are called millimeter waves. An RF cable is one that is designed for use with radio frequency signals. It is usually coaxial, though paired conductors or shielded pairs of twisted wires used for lower frequency applications could also be considered in this category.

Antenna Adjustment (1)

Side lobe Half-power angle Main lobe

Side view Tail lobe

During antenna adjustment, change the direction vertically or horizontally. Meanwhile, use a multimeter to test the RSSI at the receiving end. Usually, the voltage wave will be displayed as shown in the lower right corner. The peak point of the voltage wave indicates the main lobe position in the vertical or horizontal direction. Large-scope adjustment is unnecessary. Perform fine adjustment on the antenna to the peak voltage point. When antennas are poorly aligned, a small voltage may be detected in one direction. In this case, perform coarse adjustment on the antennas at both ends, so that the antennas are roughly aligned. The antennas at both ends that are well aligned face a little bit upward. Though 12 dB is lost, reflection interference will be avoided.


AGC Voltage detection point VAGC

Angle Side lobe position Main lobe position

Antenna Adjustment (3)

During antenna adjustment, the two wrong adjustment cases are show here. One antenna is aligned to another antenna through the side lobe. As a result, the RSSI cannot meet the requirements.




Tx/Rx space and high/low site

Tx/Rx space

determined by the state

Different frequency has different Tx/Rx space High/Low site High site: Transmission frequency is higher than receival frequency. Low site: Transmission frequency is lower than receival frequency.

Classes of Transmission Media

Conducted or guided media
use a conductor such as a wire or a fiber optic cable to move the signal from sender to receiver

Wireless or unguided media

use radio waves of different frequencies and do not need a wire or cable conductor to transmit signals

Design Factors for Transmission Media

Bandwidth: All other factors remaining constant, the greater the band-width of a signal, the higher the data rate that can be achieved. Transmission impairments. Limit the distance a signal can travel. Interference: Competing signals in overlapping frequency bands can distort or wipe out a signal. Number of receivers: Each attachment introduces some attenuation and distortion, limiting distance and/or data rate

Cables types

Twisted Pair Advantages Inexpensive and readily available Flexible and light weight Easy to work with and install Twisted Pair Disadvantages Susceptibility to interference and noise Attenuation problem
For analog, repeaters needed every 5-6km For digital, repeaters needed every 2-3km

Relatively low bandwidth (3000Hz)

Coaxial Cable (or Coax)

Used for cable television, LANs, telephony Has an inner conductor surrounded by a braided mesh Both conductors share a common center axial, hence the term co-axial

outer jacket (polyethylene

shield (braided wire)

insulating material

copper or aluminum conductor

Coax Advantages
Higher bandwidth
400 to 600Mhz up to 10,800 voice conversations

Can be tapped easily (pros and cons) Much less susceptible to interference than twisted pair

Coax Disadvantages
High attenuation rate makes it expensive over long distance Bulky