The evolution of a common language for antenna equipment

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By Clark Kinnaird, Ph.D. – Texas Instruments

If you have ever been a kid, or know someone who is, you may remember that at some point your group of friends had a set of words that had meaning for you, but that your parents didn’t understand.  For a while in my neighborhood, we used the word “tough” as a superlative, such as saying that somebody had a “tough” car, usually a bilious blue Chevy Nova with fat tires in the back.  This dynamic in language continues today, with kids contributing words such as “selfies” (camera-phone photos of ones self) and acronyms such as OMGROTFLOL (ask your local pre-teen).

At the other end of the vocabulary spectrum, the Oxford English dictionary (OED) periodically announces new additions that have become sufficiently widely used and standardized to pass into the “official” list of our English language.  Thus we learn that “senioritis” was recently added, putting the stamp of approval on that description of a scholar’s fourth-year affliction.

In our world of telecommunications antennas and equipment, a similar evolution and standardization is going on.  The AISG (Antenna Interface Standards Group) exists to document and promote a standard “language” for telecomm antennas.  The original standard, now about a decade old, discussed the needs for tower-mounted amplifiers (TMAs), remote electrical-tilt (RET) equipment, and left open a method for expansion to other (future) applications.

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