A5010 vs. A5020CP Antennas
When it comes to enhancing the performance of your RFID system, selecting a suitable antenna is paramount. Here, we compare two prominent antennas - the A5010 Circularly Polarized (CP) and the A5020CP Circularly Polarized – to help you choose the right one for your project.
A blog post from Times-7.
What Sets A5010 and A5020CP Antennas Apart?
Both models are multi-purpose antennas designed to flood large spaces with RF energy to read hundreds of tagged assets, whether static or in motion, within a given area. Thanks to their rugged, aesthetically pleasing housings, they can be deployed in various use cases, from logistics, healthcare and retail. Both provide flexible VESA and flush mounting options, too.
However, a few varying attributes may help you decide which one to choose for your applications. We have broken it down into three main differences to simplify the selection.
1. Read Range
- Gain: 8.5 dBiC typical
- Indicative read range: 8 to 9m typically
- Gain: 5 dBiC typical
- Indicative read range: 5 to 6m typically
The gain is the most significant difference and top attribute to consider when choosing between these antennas. With 8.5 dBiC the A5010’s typical read range is up to 9 m, whereas the A5020 CP has a max read range of up to 6 m with only 5 dBiC gain. However, the read ranges are only indicative. It largely depends on the read range of the tags used on the assets, the reader settings, the cable length, and your environment.
We recommend the A5010 for applications with significantly longer distances to cover with RF energy. You should also consider the A5010 if the cable length between the reader and the antenna is too long. The longer the cable, the more power loss you will experience, affecting the antenna's read range.
2. Size and Weight
- Size: 250 mm x 250 mm x 14 mm / 9.85" x 9.85" x 0.55"
- Weight: 0.575 kg / 1.26 lbs
- Size: 150.7 mm x 149.4 mm x 14.5 mm / 5.93" x 5.88" x 0.57"
- Weight: 0.23 kg / 0.51 lbs
Both antenna models impress with the typical Times-7 slim profile despite their rugged housing. However, with gain comes size. The A5010 is almost twice as large in width and height as the A5020. The A5020 and A5010 have the same depth of 14mm. With 150 x 150 mm, the A5020 is ideal for space-constrained environments.
3. Environmental Rating
- Environmental Rating: IP67
- Operating / Storage Temperature: 0° to +65°C / 0° to +65°C -4° to +131°F / -22° to +149°F
- Environmental Rating: IP68
- Operating / Storage Temperature: -30° to +65°C / -22° to +149°F
Both antennas provide a knock-proof housing and are suitable for outdoor applications. Yet, the A5020 is just that little bit more rugged. It can withstand extreme environmental conditions. The dust and water-tight housing protects the antenna to ensure reliable performance. It’s been successfully deployed in freezers as well as at ports where it was exposed to salty air.
Typical Applications for the A5010 and A5020
Tens of thousands of A5010 and A5020s have been successfully deployed since their release. Here are some of the RFID use cases that we know of:
- Baggage tracking solutions
- Access control solutions
- Medical and pharmaceutical – Tracking medicines and fridges
- Laundry tracking
- Dock doors / portals (Outdoor rated)
- Medical fridges and freezers
- POS / checkouts
- Manufacturing lines
- Waste management
- Luggage tracking
In conclusion, selecting the right antenna for your RFID system is paramount to its overall performance. This comparison of the A5010 and the A5020CP antennas has highlighted key distinctions to aid in your decision-making process.
Consider factors such as read range, size, weight, and environment when making your choice. The A5010 is ideal for applications demanding an extended read range, while the A5020's compact size makes it a great fit for space-constrained environments. The A5020's IP68 environmental rating also showcases its resilience in harsh conditions.
With these insights, you can confidently select the antenna that aligns seamlessly with your RFID objectives and optimize your system’s performance. If you need more clarification, contact the Times-7 team, we can offer support to ensure your RFID setup aligns seamlessly with your objectives.