Helium networks or “The People’s Network” recently has become popular as a means of passive income. Here, users can connect to a network and simply assist the network to transfer data. Depending on the “Proof of Work” the users are made a payment. This is based on blockchain technology. Helium antennas play a key role in realizing these networks. In this article, we will focus on Helium antenna and some of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of Helium antenna.
What is a Helium Network?
Helium is one of the world’s largest LoRaWAN networks which connects physical devices across an area through the Internet. The connected devices or users are known as helium miners. This network is a decentralized network consisting of long-range wireless hotspots which is part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Since this network is decentralized, there is no need for a centralized hub or switch for its operation.
These Helium networks are based on blockchain technology, hence users can set up wireless hotpots. Users of such hotspots are known as Helium miners. This network model can help Helium miners to generate revenue solely based on their contribution to the network, by setting up a network and transferring data from devices over the Helium network. These transactions are validated using the blockchain technology called Proof of Coverage (PoC) which is very much like how Ethereum and Bitcoin validate their transactions.
There are three types of Helium hotspots catering to the diverse needs of the Helium network. They are,
- Full Hotspots: These are the physical devices that would receive data from devices and forward them to other devices via the Helium network.
- Light Hotspots: These are not physical devices instead they are software uprunning the network.
- Data-Only Hotspots: These are focused only on transferring data; hence they do not receive all the rewards as in the case of full hotspots.
What is Helium Antenna?
Helium antennas are one of the main components of a Helium network. They usually operate in 868 MHz for Europe Region and in 915 MHz for United States and North American region. These are mounted on top of the miner’s premises to achieve large coverage. Miners or users should know the elevation, location, and number of close and far witnesses when mounting a helium antenna. Deciding the correct antenna type is also important. There are two main types of Helium antennas in the market. They are,
- Omni-directional helium antenna – These antennas radiate equal power in all directions
- Directional outdoor helium antenna – These antennas radiate power only in a specified direction
Omni-directional antennas are the best choice if you are living closer to a congested urban area. On the other hand, directional antennas are most suitable for suburbs, and villages. Another key factor in selecting an antenna is the antenna gain value. This value would determine the strength and coverage capability of the antenna.
Top Helium Antenna manufacturers and suppliers
Below, we list some leading helium antenna manufacturers or suppliers in the United States. Of course, there are many excellent companies that have not been listed here. You can do some research on the Internet and choose the supplier that you think is suitable for your business.
1. McGill Microwave Systems
McGill Microwave Systems is a microwave products-based leading manufacturer based in the USA. They have been operating for more than 30 years in the industry. They manufacture high-quality RF/Microwave/Millimeter wave antennas, cables, connectors, and assemblies covering the frequency range DC-110 GHz. When it comes to Helium Antennas, they manufacture both types of antennas. These are well-tuned and optimized. When it comes to omni-directional antennas, they support US frequency range of 915 MHz, Europe frequency range of 868 MHz and Australian frequency range of 915 MHz.
2. Data Alliance
Data-alliance is another leading helium antenna supplier. It is a leading business in distribution and manufacturer based in Southern Arizona with a subsidiary based in Mexico. They were established as a corporation in 2004. They are currently exporting to more than 95 countries worldwide. You can find testimonials on their services on their website. They also provide customized antenna solutions catering to different user applications. Most of their product catalogs consist of omni-directional dipole Helium antennas. In terms of directional antennas, they have Yagi antennas. However, there are other types of antennas as well.
3. Rokland Technologies
Rokland Technologies is the largest authorized ALFA Network distributor in Florida, USA. They have now operated for more than 20 years in the USA. They are one of the pioneers in launching Helium Network aka #ThePeoplesNetwork which includes high gain indoor and outdoor antennas. They also distribute some of the popular brands such as ALFA, Linksys, Belkin, Netgar, and D-Link. They also provide wholesale and bulk buying options for the customer. When it comes to Helium antennas, their antennas support both US915 and EU868 frequency ranges. Moreover, they have introduced two sets of enterprise-level antennas of different antenna gains, namely, Mission6 and Mission8. Also, apart from Helium antennas, they also provide the necessary connectors, assemblies, and cables for the customer. Feel free to check their website for your Helium network.
L-com is another leading antenna and other RF component manufacturer and distributor based in USA. They have been providing services since 1982 and have contributed to the business to meet their RF requirements. Apart from typical RF components and products, they also provide surge protectors and NEMA-related enclosures. Moreover, they also provide custom product build capability. Helium Miner Pro Antenna Upgrade Kit is one of their iconic products for serious Helium network users and miners. This is equipped with an 8dBi 900 MHz Omni directional antenna and a lightning protector. This kit can also be used for other different applications such as smart metering applications, and monitoring applications.
5. Hotspot RF
Hotspot RF is focused on providing services for Helium miners. Therefore, in addition to the hardware support they also provide services related to different earnings and visualize Proof of Coverage. This is possible with their Helium Mining Calculator. Moreover, it is possible to simulate the RF coverage based on the location, height, and antenna gain. When it comes to their, Helium antennas are currently supporting only 915 MHz frequency range with two different gain values of 8 dBi and 6 dBi.
In this article, we discussed Helium networks. We saw that they are considered part of an IoT network. Then, we discussed what Helium antennas are and how they are important in realizing a Helium network. Lastly, we went through some of the leading Helium antenna manufacturers and suppliers to get an understanding of the market availability and options.