FAQ


  1. How do I connect ArWest radios to my system?
  2. What is the procedure for returning ArWest radios for service?
  3. How can our company receive training on ArWest products?
  4. Can ArWest help design our system?
  5. Where can I get licensing assistance?
  6. Where can I get ArWest manuals or literature?
  7. Where can we get pricing information?
  8. Can we buy directly through ArWest, or do we need to purchase through a supplier?
  9. Can you provide advice on antenna cables - length, type and attenuation?
  10. Antennas General Information.
  11. I am confused with IP ratings, can you explain?
  12. Where should we mount antennas on a pilotless aircraft?
  13. How do I upgrade my radio modem's firmware?
  14. How can I improve the performance of my radio modems?
  15. I am a new user and my ArWest radio system is not working! What is wrong?
  16. I understand that the FCC and ETSI closely regulates the operation of the radio data links. Where can I learn more?
  17. How do I contact the ArWest Technical Assistance Center?



1. How do I connect ArWest radios to my system?

ArWest provides user friendly free Windows software - AWLaunch. It is available for download in the Products. ( Products )

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2. What is the procedure for returning ArWest radios for service?

Please contact Customer Service to get a Return Material Authorization (RMA). We will ask you for some information including the product type, serial number(s), nature of the return, billing address, shipping address, and purchase order (if out of warranty). You must include this RMA number on your shipping label or packaging when you ship the product to ArWest. ( Contacts )

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3. How can our company receive training on ArWest products?

Training classes are available at our facility in San Jose, California and in Moscow, Russia. Email Customer Service to get a quote for scheduling a class at your site. Training classes can be tailored to fit your maintenance needs. ( Contact )

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4. Can ArWest help design our system?

ArWest can help to determine your communications needs and to build complete turnkey systems. To get more information, contact ArWest Sales. ( Contact )

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5. Where can I get licensing assistance?

For those of you operating in the United States, prior to operating your radio modems, you must obtain a license from the FCC. Licensing is a simple and affordable process, and is absolutely required. Operating an unlicensed radio transmitter is punishable by fine and possible confiscation of equipment. We recommend that you use licensing service to help you apply for a license. These services are very knowledgeable regarding all the proper forms and submission requirements for expediting the licensing process. Contact ArWest Sales for Third Party services. Users outside the U.S. may also be required to license their radio system prior to transmission. Please contact your in-country dealer for information concerning the requirements in your country. ( FCC / ETSI )

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6. Where can I get ArWest manuals or literature?

All of the ArWest Manuals, Datasheets and Technical Specification sheets are available on line in PDF format. ( Publications )

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7. Where can we get pricing information?

All our current prices are presented in our online store. For the further information contact your local distributor through the Distributor Map. If there is no local distributor contact ArWest Sales directly. ( Store ) ( Contact )

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8. Can we buy directly through ArWest, or do we need to purchase through a supplier?

No. ArWest has an excellent relationship with its Distributors and OEM Partners. They hold complete inventories of our products and are established for this level of business. However, if there is no local Distributor and you wish to contact ArWest Sales to apply to become one, send an email with Company Details. ( Contact )

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9. Can you provide advice on antenna cables - length, type and attenuation?

It is possible to use an antenna cable in order to get the antenna placed optimally. A good quality 50 ohm RF cable can be used if the length is shorter than 5m. If a longer cable is required a low loss RF cable must be used.
NOTE: In antenna cables and terminal adaptors there should always be a gold plated connector since connectors of poor quality oxidize and increase attenuation over time

Length Type Attenuation
< 5m RG58 3.0 db/10m/450MHz
5 - 20m RG213 1.5db/10m/450MHz
> 20m Nokia RFX 1/2" -50 0.5 db/10m/450MHz
> 20m Aircom + (this cable is partly insulated thus an absolutely air tight connection between the cable and the connector is required)

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10. Antennas General Information:

Performance of your radio link depends dramatically on antenna arrangement. With antenna cables and terminal adaptors there should always be a gold plated connector, since connectors of poor quality oxidate and increase attenuation over a period of time. Appropriate connectors and tools must always be used in mounting. One should also check that both the antenna and possible fitting elements resist weather and environmental contamination well.

The antenna should always have as much open space around it as possible. Metallic objects should be located at least 1m away from the antenna. The metal free zone around the location of the antenna should be at least >5m and in the case of large antenna >10m around a repeater antenna combination.

The best place for antenna location is, in general, at the highest point of the building or in a radio mast. If a mast is used, the antenna can be installed using a sine-installation up to 2 to 3m away from the mast itself.

When mounting the antenna pay attention to possible sources of interference such as mobile and local phones, network base stations, television transmitters, other radio links, and PC equipment (there should be a radius of 5m between a PC and the antenna).

Vertical polarized antennas (i.e. where one antenna is mounted above the other) are often used in radio systems. In a system between a base station and substations, vertical polarization is recommended. The antenna of the radio modem cannot be mounted on the same level with the other substations in the same building.

The best way to distinguish from the other antennas situated in the neighborhood is to mount the antennas as far as possible from one another on the altitude level. The best result is generally obtained when all the antennas are on the same mast. With an extra ground plane between the antennas more distinction can be obtained between the antennas on the mast.

Horizontal polarization can be used in data transmission between two points. With the polarization attenuation more distinction is obtained than in vertical polarization. The influence of the directional patterns of the antennas must, however be taken into consideration. If a distinction to another interfering antenna is wanted with the horizontal polarized antennas there must be a good attenuation of the back lobe. In addition to this the interfering radiator should be situated behind the antenna.

When ordering antennas, please note that the antennas have been tuned to a certain frequency range. Simple antennas and those made of stacked Yagis have a relatively wide band width. The frequency range of an antenna becomes narrower the more elements there are in the antenna.

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11. I am confused with IP ratings, can you explain?

IP ratings are the classifications used to express the degree of protection from dust, water and impact that are given by housings and electrical equipment. This is a European standard and the details can be found in BS EN 60529: 1992 (IP Code) initial number shows the degree of protection against impact & dust

0 No Protection
1 Protection against solid objects over 50mm (e.g. hand)
2 Protection against solid objects over 12mm (e.g. finger)
3 Protection agianst solid objects over 2.6mm (e.g. tools and wires)
5 Protection against dust and limited ingress (no harmful deposit)
6 Total protected agains dust

Second number shows the degree of protection against water

0 No protection
1 Protection acainst vertically falling drops of water
2 Protection against sprays 15 degrees from the vertical
3 Protection against sprays 60 degrees from the vertical
4 Protection against sprays from all directions, limited ingress permitted
5 Protection against low pressure jets of water in all directions, limited ingress permitted
6 Protection from all strong jects of water,, for use on shipdecks, limited ingress permitted
7 Protection against temporary immersion between 15cm and 1m duration test of 30 mins
8 Protection against long periods of immersion under pressure

For Example an IP67 housing is completely protected from dust and can be temporariily immersed in water.

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12. Where should we mount antennas on a pilotless aircraft?

Place the antennas on the wingtips, this will give maximum separation and should minimize interference.

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13. How do I upgrade my radio modem's firmware?

TYou can prform it yourself using AWLaunch Software. Your local distributor or our technical support team can do this for you through the Internet.

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14. How can I improve the performance of my radio modems?

To get the best performance from your radio modems, remember these three basic rules:


- Antenna Positioning is critical to good performance. Radio waves cannot penetrate through the earth, so place your antennas as high as possible to provide the best line-of-sight condition; make sure that your antenna is properly tuned for the frequency you are using.

- Maintain your equipment in good condition. Field failures are most often caused by broken cables and connectors. Inspect cables and connectors frequently. Replace worn cables and damaged antennas before they shut you down in the field. It is always a good idea to have spares available.

- The ArWest products use SmartScan to automatically ensure that the optimum frequency is used. You can avoid Interference through monitoring the available frequencies using AWLaunch as a scanner.

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15. I am a new user and my ArWest radio system is not working! What is wrong?

Please check the following, and if you continue to have a problem, contact your local distributor or send us an email:

Port configuration - Devices (GPS receivers etc.) that are connected to the radio modems may have differing default port configurations. The settings of the port on the device must match the settings of the port on the radio modem. Please ensure that the baud rate, parity, and other settings match those of the radio modem. Use AWLaunch to view and change settings as necessary.

Antennas - Poor range may indicate that you have an antenna problem. Inspect your antenna, antenna cable and connectors for damage. Never operate a transmitter without an antenna connected as this will damage it.

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16. I understand that the FCC and ETSI closely regulates the operation of the radio data links. Where can I learn more?

In Support section on this website are links to both FCC and ETSI. ( FCC / ETSI )

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17. How do I contact the ArWest Technical Assistance Center?

Please use this form to send us an email and to contact ArWest Technical Support or contact your local distributor for immediate technical support.

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