National Microwave started installing microwave and cellular antenna systems in 1980. The company is small, 35 employees, but we specialize in quality installations and dedicate our service to communications alone. We follow the installation guidelines our founder learned while working at Andrew Corporation; Orland Park, Ill. (1973-1980).
The company founder, David L. Merz, was employed as a Field Manager with Andrew Corporation from 1973 – 1980. Dave is well versed not only in Andrews’s product applications, but also in almost all antenna and coaxial products available to the communication markets. This provides the installers with NMCI the “hands on” training that few local installer can match.
The growth of point to point microwave systems for long distance communications provided the requirement for specialized contractors that National Microwave responded to. The need to install antennas and waveguide on towers required experienced crews that had the special background these applications required, e.g., a local tower contractor would build the tower and then our company would come in to install the antennas and transmission lines. This special vendor relationship was required due to the sophisticated nature of antennas and waveguide used in microwave communications.
Alignment and antenna/waveguide system testing required expensive test equipment. It was not unusual for our crew to have $150,000 worth of test equipment with them in order to provide the quality assurance acceptance testing the market needed. This equipment was only used to check VSWR of antenna waveguide systems and path alignment/path loss measurements. This test equipment has the ability to find faults if the system specifications could not measure up to the minimum standards required by radio equipment companies. This field service routine provided efficient installation acceptance and prompt attention to any engineering or design flaws, e.g., the radio will play as engineered if you give it the prescribed antenna system to terminate into.
Software installers were easier to locate; they did not have to climb towers. Hardware installers tend to be a different breed. The antennas sometime would weigh 4,000 pounds. The waveguide was delicate. National Microwave concentrated on supplying the tower hardware installations and acceptance testing for this segment of the communication market. The test equipment inventory of National Microwave grew in support of all the frequency allocations the communication market received. The needs, the cellular and specialized mobile radio systems have are natural additions to our services. National Microwaves nationwide experience, (we have worked in 48 states) provides our customers with the quality workmanship they expect.
The nature of special installation considerations adopted by our installer working with waveguide is a plus when the crew switches to a coax/antenna installation. The result is a quality installation for the same cost a crew without extensive experience would provide.