Whip antenna VS PCB trace antenna


I’m working on a device which uses Spark Core. We want to make it manufacturable and we are deciding which type of antenna we want. We have found these two types of antennas that might work: PCB antenna and Whipe antenna. In our case, both antennas are closed inside our device (made of plastic).

Is there a huge range diference between these two types at same dBi? PCB Trace antenna seem more directional than whipe type so perhaps if our device is in a particular position we might have connection problems? Have you ever worked with a PCB Trace Antenna connected to Spark Core? I would love to hear your opinions on this topic.


PCB Trace Antenna

Whipe Antenna

First that specific PCB antenna is for the wrong band. If you were thinking of using that specific one, don’t, it will not work very well. If it was just an example image, then as long as you use a correct one in the real world.

As a rule, a whip antenna with minimal metal or conductive/absorbing obstructions close to it can have a pretty uniform radiation pattern (at least in the plane that is at right angles to the whip itself.)

Most PCB antennas will have a radiation pattern that has far more variation, their main advantage is that they are exceedingly cheap, rugged and small.


I would also add that the onboard chip antenna will probably perform better than any PCB trace antenna. - @AndyW let me know if I’m incorrect here.

You can get whip antennas with various performances, shorter ones like this 2.4Ghz Duck are 2.2 dBi, longer ones like this can offer better performance - 5dBi. You can use short u.fl to SMC connectors to connect them to your core.

Thanks! Yes sorry @AndyW , I put the PCB antenna image as an example.
Thanks for your explanations, I’ll go with the Whip type. So what are the Spark Core antenna requirements? 2,4GHz?

Yes, 2.4-2.5 GHz.

Remember, you will need a cable/connector with a u.FL connector on the end that plugs into the Core.

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And based on another user’s experience, make sure the u.fl connector is insulated in some way so it can’t short out a core output pin D0 when rotated!

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