Frequently Asked Questions (Technical)
Technical FAQ

1. What is the Operational Range of the SONAbeam®?
The SONAbeam® is an entire product line, not a single product, and the operational range is dependent on the model. Please refer to the product specifications for each product or to our Models Overview for more information.

2. What do you Mean by "Maximum Recommended Range"?
"Maximum Recommended Range" is not merely a theoretical projection. It is based on measured, field-proven performance, and includes a 3 dB/km link margin which is sufficent to penetrate typical rainfall conditions. When deployed over the shorter ranges more representative of 'last mile' access within the urban core, much higher link margins and weather availability are achieved.

3. What is the Transmission Rate for the SONAbeam®?
The transmission rate is specific to the model of the SONAbeam® in question. The SONAbeam® 155-S and 155-M operate at (software-selectable) rates of 125Mbps (FAST-E, FDDI compliant) or 155Mbps (OC-3, STM-1 compliant).

4. What are the Power Requirements for the SONAbeam®?
The SONAbeam® 155-M and 622-M both operate using 48VDC power and draw a maximum of 255 Watts. (Minimum recommended power supply capacity is 300 Watts and 6.0 amps.) The SONAbeam® 155-S runs on 120/240VAC power and draw a maximum of 240 Watts. UPS or battery power is recommended in all cases.

5. What are the Transmit/Receive Level Specifications for the SONAbeam® Network Interface?
The SONAbeam® network interface transmits at 1310 nm nominal (1280 min to 1335 max) at a power of -13dBm(typical), 15(min) and -8dBm(max); and receives at 1200 nm to 1550 nm with an optical receiver sensitivity of -34dBm (average) and -3dBm maximum input power.

6. What Kinds of Accessories does fSONA offer?
fSONA's principal business is focused on sale of the SONAbeam® product line. Some accessory products are available as part of a SONAbeam® purchase.

7. Will Alignment Telescopes be Provided with all Orders?
Currently, alignment telescopes (12x) are shipped with every system.

8. What Impact does Vibration have on the SONAbeam®?
The SONAbeam® has been designed such that vibration will have little or no effect on the system.

9. How Close does the PCA Need to be to the Optical Head?
For the M Series products, the cables and the conduit used to connect the PCA and the Optical Head are cut and finished to a standard length (~2.5m). The PCA mounting apparatus is designed to be installed around the main SONAbeam® mounting bracket. As a result, there should be few instances where it would need to be moved further away.

10. Will the Unit Survive a Lightning Strike?
The SONAbeam® system has been designed to survive the electromagnetic transients induced by a nearby lightning strike.

11. Is There Any Way to Realign the Systems Automatically?
The SONAbeam® products currently available have been designed as fixed-point systems. Due to the combination of structural stability and beam width designed into the products, there should be little or no requirement for realignment.

12. Can You Attach Another Conduit to the PCA?
The SONAbeam® 52-M, 155-M and 1250-M share a PCA concept and have been designed with two conduit interfaces. The first is for the conduit from the Optical Head, with the second being for the connection to the customer's network interface enclosure (NEMA box). The SONAbeam® S and E models do not have an external PCA.

13. What is the Weight of the SONAbeam®?
The SONAbeam® has been designed in a modular fashion so as to limit the weight of any individual component. For the SONAbeam® 155-M and 1250-M, the Optical Heads weigh in at 44lbs (20kg), the PCA and mounting yoke at 17lbs (8kg) each. For the short-range SONAbeam® 155-S and 622-S, the Optical Head weighs in at 37lbs (17 kg), the mounting yoke at 13lbs (6kg).

14. What is the Wind Load Factor? (How much Wind can the SONAbeam® Withstand and Still Perform Properly?)
The SONAbeam® is specified to maintain operational pointing stability at wind speeds up to 120 km/h (160 km/h survival).

15. What is the Minimum Diameter for the SONAbeam® Mounting Pole?
The SONAbeam® terminal is designed for mounting on a vertical, rigid, 2.5" to 4.5" O.D. cylindrical pole (the mounting bracket is optimized for 4"). We recommend that smaller O.D. poles (under 3.5") only be used in wall mount scenarios, where the SONAbeam® is attached between the wall mount brackets.

16. Can the SONAbeam® be Mounted on a Horizontal Pole Instead of a Vertical Pole?
A vertical extension pole can be mounted to the horizontal pole to provide a suitable mounting location.

17. Is the Mounting Mast Grounded?
The mounting mast may indeed be grounded, as is the SONAbeam® itself. The SONAbeam® terminal is earth grounded during installation. The SONAbeam® is insulated from the mounting pole itself by the collar around the elevation control axle.

18. What Impact do Birds have on the SONAbeam®?
Birds are unlikely to have any impact on transmission, as a result of the spatial diversity between transmitters and the size of the receiver.

19. How Often do the Systems Require Cleaning?
The SONAbeam® has sufficient link margin such that periodic rain is more than enough to keep it clean in most installations.

20. How Often do the Systems Require Realignment?
The SONAbeam® has been designed sufficiently robust that realignment should not be required, unless the system has suffered a severe physical trauma.