The fireTEK modules can be configured with the following three fireTEK Wireless Mesh options:
- fireTEK Wireless Mesh with External Antenna
- fireTEK Wireless Mesh with Internal Antenna
- Without fireTEK Wireless Mesh
The option without the Wireless Mesh components provides an affordable option for the following configurations:
- Standalone unit with or without a Small RF Remote option for scripted shows or step firing
- A programable sequencer for another system through the External Trigger for Pyro, DMX, and Audio
Both Internal and External wireless options are based on the same wireless module, are compatible with each other, and provide the same fireTEK Wireless Mesh Network technology.
The internal wireless antenna is the base configuration with the fireTEK Wireless Mesh Network to keep the module as affordable as possible. This option does not include a SMA RF panel connector for an external antenna.
The internal antenna is mounted on a board internal to the module in the top left corner of the module. The internal mounting protects the antenna from damages and prevents it from being lost or forgotten.
In most situations, the internal antenna is more than adequate (think of how far our cell phones with internal antennas provide bi-directional communication to cell towers). Tests have been done showing bi-directional communication at a line of sight distance of a mile between a FTM module with its internal antenna and the FTM-99 Controller with its included external antenna.
The external wireless antenna option removes the internal board mounted antenna and replaces it with a SMA RF panel connector for the attachment of an external antenna.
The standard fireTEK external antenna is a 3dbi antenna that will increase the distance perpendicular to the direction the antenna is pointing.
If the external antenna is damaged or lost, the bi-directional wireless network will function, but the transmission distance will be limited.