Digital Radio Antennas

I tried to find a topic that covered antennas but couldn’t. (sorry if I’m repeating)
Our company is changing over to digital and we’re trying to find out if the antennas
on our analog system should be upgraded/replaced.
Most units have suitable ground planes but a few don’t.
Will the digital system compensate for this (no ground plane) ?

Thanks

Please provide a little bit of information about your installations and your system. For the most part, an antenna is an antenna and there is no such thing as a digital/analog antenna. Now, there are some situations where you see certain antenna designs perform better in digital application but they are typically specific scenarios.

For example, knob antennas tend to operate in the fringes better for UHF and 7/800 MHz in a mobile environment (has to due with 1/4 wave whips being short enough to remain in the low pressure area formed along the roof and oscillate just enough to induce enough frequency shift to cause bit error) but we are typically talking extreme fringes of coverage.

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Thanks for your promp reply. Helped a bunch.
We are switching to digital Motorola units (vehicle mount) and some of us thought the
antenna’s had to be changed too.
Base unit is located in Tampa Florida and has the ability to cover apx 100 miles.
As I understand, the digital radios won’t increase distance but will define/clarify modulation
and make it seem as if we’re getting more power.
Do we have this right ??
(the system is VHF)

Thanks

The digital radios typically have better receiver sensitivity and in cases where analog audio becomes noisy and distorted digital audio remains fairly clear (no background noise but you may see errors in the reproduction of the audio, missing syllables and other things). If you are going from VHF to VHF as long as your antennas are tuned correctly for the frequency you are using, you won’t notice any worse performance if the new system is comparable to the old system (you should see better performance). If you see worse performance, I would certainly get a hold of your radio dealer.

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I swapped my system painlessly to digital - everything antenna wise was totally fine. In terms of distance, we actually get slightly less, but there is an improvement in the weak area performance where signal strength was enough to make the link work but the signal was hissy and difficult to under stand. The digital radios either work or they don’t - but they cut out. Audio quality is definitely worse - more robotic, making g ID of a few people confusing, we hear their voice and think it’s somebody else!

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