Here are the answers to some common questions we receive:
What is a RET?
RET stands for Remote Electrical Tilt. It is a feature in many Kathrein antennas that allows command to be sent from a BTS or RRH that can adjust the tilt in a particular array inside an antenna. This process follows the 3GPP / AISG standards.
What is FLEXRET?
FLEXRET is the newest RET system from Kathrein. The FLEXRET module 86010153 fits inside newer antennas supporting up to 6 pairs of antennas. It supports 3GPP, AISG 2.0 and can be downgraded to AISG 1.1. This device still have the ability to be daisy chained as seen in photo below.
In some cases an antenna with FLEXRET is damaged on site, removed from service or Flexret Module needs to be replaced. All you need is a Torx T-20 screwdriver. When you have loosened the screws and pull the Flexret module half way out you will need to give it an extra pull to remove it. Replacement is the same procedure in reverse.
iRCU stands for Integrated Remote Control Unit from Kathrein. The iRCU module 86010149 is a motorized unit designed to tilt only one set of arrays. It supports 3GPP, AISG 2.0 and can be downgraded to AISG 1.1. This device can be replaced if needed.
In some cases an antenna with iRCU is damaged on site, removed from service or iRCU needs to be replaced. All you need is a Torx T-20 screwdriver. Replacement is the same procedure in reverse. Below is picture that shows how to do this.
What is RCU?
RCU stands for Remote Control Unit from Kathrein. The RCU module 86010148v01 is an external motorized unit designed to tilt only one set of arrays. It supports 3GPP, AISG 2.0 and can be downgraded to AISG 1.1. This device fits external to the antenna. Highly recommended this be installed after antenna is mounted in place to prevent damage.
The older external RCU was model 860 10147 which was only AISG 1.1. If you need to replace a 860-10147 or just want to Upgrade a site just replace the 147 motors with 860-10148v01 motors. Recalibrate and change tilt settings to match previous site configuration.
How do I install / replace the RCU module?
Highly recommended the RCU be installed after antenna is mounted in place to prevent damage. Installation requires no tools. Replacement is the same procedure in reverse. Below is picture that shows how to do this.
How do I update firmware files on RET devices?
Look for specific instructions depending on what controller you are using. Then see Kathrein page for that controller and you will see instructions for updating or changing firmware files.
How do I change the mode on my RET device?
For example if you need your antenna to communicate in AISG 1.1 mode not the AISG 2.0 mode then you can find the specific instructions on page for controller you are using. Look for question similar to “How do I change xxx mode using yyy?”
Why do some antennas automatically load to controllers but not others?Toggle Title
All antennas with Flexret have a RFID chip on the antenna that gives the Flexret information about what kind of antenna it is including model and Serial number.
Some antennas with iRCU also have this feature.
Some antennas that use external RCUs also have this feature. This document better explains this.
Why does the AISG connector on Kathrein devices only have 4 pins?Toggle Title
Older AISG ret connections had Pin 1 designated as 12VDC.
In the new Flexret motors (860 10153v01) Pin 1 is no longer there. Only very old controllers and Base Station radios would utilize this pin.
For about 10 years now the pin 6, which is 24VDC, will actually support from 10 to 24VDC.
Kathrein has tested the new 4 pin Flexret motor with both Kathrein ALC and the Kathrein PCA running new and old software. Has also been extensively tested with equipment providers like Ericsson and Nokia as well as many 3rd party controllers.
In all cases the 4 pin works just like the 5 pin version.
Will Kathrein RET controllers work with other vendor antennas and RET devices?Toggle Title
Kathrein is one of the original members of AISG which created a general standard for communication to antennas via RET ports. Kathrein has 3 controllers in the market right now.
All 3 controllers have been extensively tested with Kathrein and competitor antennas by both us and our customers. 99% of the time Kathrein controllers can do anything needed on competitor antennas if competitors have followed the AISG standard.
Below are some links for examples of Kathrein controllers working with 3rd party antennas.