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Antenna Radiation Patterns in the Real World

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I was recently reading through the most recent edition the finest WiFi text book in the world (in my opinion): the CWNA study guide. I read the previous versions a couple of times when I took my original CWNA exam and subsequent renewals.

Looking through the latest book, I've picked up a a few nuggets which I either missed, or weren't included in the previous versions that I read. I had one "light bulb" moment when reading about antenna radiation patterns. 
If you've ever looked at datasheets for antennas or access points, you may well have come across diagrams (like those shown below) that show the radiation pattern of an antenna.


There are generally two types of radiation pattern shown for each antenna: Azimuth (i.e. the RF radiation pattern when viewed from above the antenna)Elevation (i.e. a side-on view of the antenna RF radiation pattern) These are useful to understand the characteristics of the antenna, showing how directional the antenna may be, together w…