Friday, August 21, 2015

New Antennas Improve Reception

The irrigation system is the lifeblood to every golf course, providing water when Mother Nature won't.  One of the main components is the field controller of which our course has 13.  The field controller receives information for watering from a central computer that is located in our maintenance department.  We type in how much we want something to water and the computer sends it to the controller. This is done using a two-way radio.  Each field controller has its own radio to receive commands from the central computer. 
3 element Yagi antenna
Over the years, we have had trouble communicating with some of the field controllers.  This has been mainly due to our hilly terrain, so its not a new problem, but we have managed through it.  For reasons unknown to me, the problem has been worse this year, with several controllers unable to receive the vital commands needed from the central computer to water the course.  When this happens, we have to go to each controller and manually input the nights watering schedule.
Davis preparing the antennas for installation
To solve the problem, we have installed Yagi antennas on almost all of the field controllers throughout the course.  These antennas are far superior to original built-in antennas that came with the controllers.  You will now notice a 10 foot pole next to the field controllers with an antenna at the top that looks like the old TV antennas that many houses use to have.   After testing the new antennas, I can confirm that we have excellent signal reception at every field controller.
New Yagi antenna installed next to a field controller