How many times have you had to return a new shirt or a pair of jeans?
Sometimes the clothes just don't look right when you get home from the store. Maybe that's due to different lighting or the store's trick mirrors. Or, maybe your clothes just don't fit the same as you thought they would. After all, sizes are usually a bit different from brand to brand, so it's risky to buy clothes without trying them on.
Suffice it to say, shopping for clothes is hard enough. But if you're in charge of finding the right size components for a building infrastructure project, you'll wish it was as easy as picking out the right pair of chinos.
When installing a new clock system for your building or campus, an important part of that process is selecting the system controller that lies at the heart of the network. Choosing a controller that is the proper fit for your facility will go a long way toward a successful project.
A range of options
Wireless system controllers use transmitters ranging from 5 watts to 40 watts. Which size you'll need depends on a variety of factors.
First, consider the size of your building or campus. That will determine whether you need a magnetic mount antenna – for smaller buildings and installed indoors – or a campus antenna that, installed outdoors on a roof, can cover one to two city blocks or more. You should also assess your buildings' height and layout. A magnetic mount antenna should be effective in buildings one- to two-stories tall, while a campus antenna is the right choice for buildings reaching up to 12 stories.
Other factors affecting your decision are building materials and physical size, since these can hinder a transmitter's effectiveness. Obstructions between the transmitter and the clocks on the network can influence performance, as well.
From elementary school to college campus
A typical elementary school would be at the low end of the spectrum of needs when considering your system controller. A 200,000 sq ft per floor, one- to two-story facility requires a 5-watt magnetic mount antenna to serve as a transmitter. A 10-watt magnetic mount antenna, meanwhile, would serve a building sized at 100,000 sq ft per floor and three- to five-stories tall.
If you're putting together a synchronized clock system for a small- to medium-sized school or business campus, you'll have to move up to a campus antenna. Perhaps you've got a multi-building manufacturing plant to outfit. Then you might need a 10-watt campus antenna, which can cover multiple buildings and facilities three- to six-stories tall.
The next step up in size is the 25-watt campus antenna, which is strong enough for a facility six- to eight-stories tall, with a range of one city block. For yet larger-scale needs, a college campus for instance, a 45-watt campus antenna is likely the right pick. That size can cover eight- to 12-stories and reach one to two city blocks or more.
No two buildings alike
It is important to note that gauging a transmitter's expected performance is only an estimate, as a variety of factors could be in play as you outfit your buildings. Topography can be important to consider for a campus, and the type of construction could affect antenna performance in a single building. Another complicating factor could be the presence of a synchronized bell system.
There are some proactive measures, however, that you can take to ensure a strong signal is reaching all your clocks. It is important that you locate the transmitter antenna as centrally as possible. Also, the higher you can install it, the better the signal will be.
If you are still not sure which controller is the right “fit” for you or just looking for further guidance based on your specific needs, call American Time customer service at 800-328-8996.
While shopping for clothes may always be hard, finding the right clock system controller doesn’t have to be.