Test radio repeater

I’m building a repeater for a radio signal of 800Mhz, but my home is not big enough to run all my test cases. A workaround is to cover up my devices with aluminium foil, but I would like if there are better ideas or options like test equipments based on faraday cages with variable shielding.

Thanks in advance for your help.

If you’re trying to do this on the cheap, use silver static bags. You can also buy SMA attenuators to get the last bit of variability, but I don’t really see why you need precise attenuation.

Since you are building it, I assume that you have access to the antenna path. In that case, use an attenuator to insert inline for calibrated loss.

Failing that, look for microwave dinner packages with gray or black liners. This is microwave absorber material designed to heat up and brown the contents (like meat.) It’s very lossy.

The problem with foil is that it’s difficult to get a reliable shielding effect. The joints are always leaky . And you can be too effective and break everything.


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I use a couple of low-cost options: a popcorn tin can, and a home-built screen enclosure. I put small antennas in the enclosures to radiate to the device. A lot of times, two enclosures are needed to provide sufficient isolation. One for the transmitting end and one for the receiving end. The popcorn tins will give 40 dB of isolation at 800 MHz. My home-built screen room has 60+ dB at 800 MHz. I saw a suggestion to use a steel trash can by someone on this forum.

It does take a bit of finesse and work to get an accurate calibration, less than 5 dB error.

Thanks for the ideas, I’ll try them :smiley: