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What To Know About Bobcat Miner Antenna

CryptocurrencyMarch 9, 2023

The Bobcat Miner is a high-performance mining equipment capable of earning Helium coins (HNT) via a decentralized network. The device has received widespread acceptance among Internet of Things (IoT) enthusiasts since it is a low-cost, easy-to-set-up, and environment-friendly option for Helium mining. In 2022, there will be approximately 49,043 users of Bobcat Miner across 187 countries. 

Its antenna is a significant factor in the efficiency of Bobcat Miner’s ability to earn $HNT. This article provides an in-depth analysis of how a Bobcat Miner antenna works and the factors that may affect its performance. Continue reading the article below to learn more.

How Does The Bobcat Miner Work

Both the Bobcat Miner 300 and Bobcat 500 utilize sophisticated radio wave technology to perform Helium mining instead of using CPUs or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Additionally, the Bobcat Miner integrates with the Helium Blockchain to create a long-range wireless network that is 200x more powerful and stable than wireless networks operated by traditional service providers. 

Low-powered IoT devices, such as tracking sensors, air quality sensors, and some smartphone devices, can connect to Bobcat Miner hotspots. Moreover, the more devices connected to your hotspot, the more rewards you’ll receive for participating in Helium’s Proof-of-Coverage (PoC). 

Proof-of-Coverage is a novel work algorithm the Helium Blockchain uses to configure, verify, and validate the location and quality of a Bobcat Miner hotspot. Witnesses, validators, and hotspot providers all receive HNT tokens as compensation for their contribution to the Helium Network. 

Factors Affecting The Performance Of A Bobcat Miner

Several external and internal factors can affect the efficiency and consistency of the Bobcat Miner, including:

Location

Your geographical location is a key factor when you’re looking to maximize the efficiency and performance of your Bobcat Miner. 

The frequency range of radio waves is limited. In addition, as they collide with obstacles, their strength diminishes. Therefore, it is best to install a Bobcat Miner in a high-rise building that is free of any obstructions, such as buildings and trees. 

Proximity To Other Hotspots

The Helium Network is a long-range wireless network that only becomes functional when it provides and ensures that linked devices have access to dependable coverage. As a result, the Proof of Coverage algorithm was needed. 

With more hotspots, LoRaWAN transmitters, and low-power IoT devices that can verify the quality of network coverage your Bobcat Miner provides, you’ll receive more HNT rewards. 

Antenna Gain And Hotspot Range

Antenna gain, which is measured in dBi, refers to an antenna's ability to transmit and receive signals from and to a particular direction. A higher dBi indicates a longer range for an antenna. However, as the range increases, the beam angle of the antenna becomes narrower. 

So, for instance, if you live in a flat, non-elevated area, it is better to use a Bobcat Miner with a higher antenna gain (at least 5 dBi) to produce better coverage. However, if you decide to install a Bobcat Miner at a hilly, highly-elevated terrain, a hotspot with an antenna gain of at least 3 to 4 dBi is more appropriate since it will help reach low-lying areas.

Networking and Antenna Features Of The Bobcat Miner

The networking of Bobcat Miner devices takes place wirelessly through WiFi or conventional Ethernet cables. Ethernet ports are graded according to how quickly data is transferred and are commonly 10/100 ports with a maximum throughput of 100 megabits per second. 

Bobber Miners, such as the 200 and 300 models, come with a single gigabit WAN port and a gigabit eNB port. However, the Bobcat 500 is built with 1000 ports or gigabit ports, which can reach data transfer speeds of up to 1000 megabits or 1 gigabit per second. 

For IoT devices offloading their data via Helium 5G gateways, capacity for large data transfers and stable connections are crucial requirements; therefore, Bobcat Miner hotspots generally do not support networking over WiFi since it can result in poor coverage and slower transfer speeds. 

Most Bobcat Miner hotposts also utilize LoRaWAN protocol and transmitters for network communication. To do so, an RP-SMA male port is attached to a LoRa antenna within the Bobcat Miner, as well as a LoRa concentrator or radio card.

Should You Upgrade Your Bobcat Miner Antenna

Your Helium mining setup can be further enhanced by upgrading your Bobcat Miner antenna. The Bobcat Miner 300 has a default antenna gain of 4dBi. However, it can be modified by installing the following Helium-compatible antennas, such as:

  • High Gain Antenna McGill Microwave — with a radio frequency of 868 to 960 MHz and an antenna gain of 6 dBi. 
  • MikroTik Omni Antenna with SMA Connector — with a radio frequency of 824 to 960 MHz and an antenna gain of 6.5 dBi. 
  • RAK Outdoor LoRaWAN Antenna — with a radio frequency of 860 to 930 MHz and an antenna gain of 5.8 dBi. 
  • Wall-Mount Omni Antenna RP-SMA — with a radio frequency of 868 to 915 MHz and an antenna gain of 5.8 dBi. 

In order to gain a better understanding of how the Internet of Things and Blockchain work together, read this article from Trustable Tech on the IoT and Blockchain Convergence.

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