Nothing in this world lasts forever. Eventually, even the best antenna alignment tool will need to be replaced with a newer model. Many people hesitate to do so and make use of a damaged tool, but that is a mistake. A modern antenna array is a very complicated device, and it needs to be aligned perfectly in order to avoid performance losses. A damaged alignment tool is very unlikely to get the antenna at the right angle, so using one can be tantamount of sabotaging the entire array.
Alignment tools exist primarily to gather information. If they start to fail at that task, it’s time to replace them. That having been said, an inaccurate reading does not necessarily mean that the tool is broken. In some cases, you may need to recalibrate the alignment tool instead of getting a new one.
If the recalibration does not help, then it is definitely time to get a new tool. Even a small error can make a big difference in how an antenna performs, so it’s important to avoid all inaccuracies when you make adjustments.
Wear and Tear
Sometimes, workers have accidents and drop their tools off of a radio tower, which usually causes some damage to the system. At other times, normal wear and tear take their toll on the device. Almost every worker is willing to replace their alignment tool if the damage is sufficient to stop the device from working, but too many people will keep a damaged device if it looks like the problems are superficial.
The reality is that superficial damage often conceals deeper problems. Even if all of the important components have survived, the external damage will make it easier for grit, moisture, and other sources of damage to get into the internal components. That will eventually lead to bigger problems, which can come up at the worst possible time. A replacement will make sure that the tool does not break down while you are on the job and leave you in the lurch.
Most people replace their antenna alignment tool when they need to get rid of one that has been damaged beyond repair, but that isn’t the only time when it is a good idea. Alignment tools depend on fairly advanced computer technologies, and engineers are making regular improvements. A modern alignment tool can be a major asset for a worker, so it’s reasonable to replace an old tool with a new one when major improvements are available. These upgrades don’t need to happen too often to keep up with the latest innovations, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the field so that you know when the time to upgrade has arrived.