What is the difference between our A5020 CP vs. A5020 MR antenna?

Our A5020 antenna family offers a versatile range of antennas, including these four models:

  • the Circular Polarized (CP),
  • Near Field (NF),
  • Mid-Range (MR), and
  • Linear Extreme (LX).

This blog post explains the differences between our A5020 CP and A5020 MR antennas. After you've read it, you'll know which one to choose for your application.

What characteristics do these two antennas share?

The A5020 CP and A5020 MR antennas both have compact dimensions of only 150 mm / 5.9-inch square and circular polarization. This provides optimal performance in challenging environments. Additionally, they are available for all UHF RFID frequency ranges so they can be used worldwide.

What sets these two antennas apart?

The A5020 CP and A5020 MR antennas differ in gain, beamwidth, and radiation pattern. The A5020 CP is the standard model, with a competitive gain for its size for various generic applications. The A5020 MR is perfect for applications requiring a shorter read range due to 8 dBiC less gain. The beam width of the A5020 CP is slightly narrower in one plane, resulting in a slightly more focused read area compared to the A5020 MR. The A5020 CP has a high-gain nature. Therefore, it is more powerful and is better suited for high-density tag reading use cases such as reading a box of assets.

Antenna Comparison

Electrical Specifications

A5020 CP

A5020 MR


5 dBiC typical

- 3 dBiC typical


105 ° in both planes typical

115° in XZ and 105° in YZ plane

Indicative Read Range
(tested with AD237-r6 tag)

Maximum read range: 6m

Minimum read range: 650mm


Maximum read range: 4m

Minimum read range: 300mm

The maximum read range shown in the above diagram represents the estimated furthest distance from which the antenna can read an AD237-r6 tag. This estimation is based on using 30 dBm power and maximum sensitivity, with the tag oriented for optimal performance in its radiation pattern.

These values need to be adjusted for your specific application. For example, if your tag has half the read distance of the AD237-r6, you can estimate a maximum read distance of approximately 2m for the A5020 MR. If your application cannot control tag orientation, it may be prudent to conservatively reduce the estimated read distance to around 1-1.5m. 

While these estimates serve as a starting point, we strongly recommend conducting testing to gain confidence in the performance of your solutions.


Conveyor belt application example

Let's consider how both antennas will operate in a conveyor belt application as an example. If the requirements are to read a tag 1m away with a potential height variation of 2m, both the A5020 CP and MR antennas could work in this situation. However, if you need to read a tag farther away, the MR antenna would no longer have enough gain to be viable.

On the other hand, if a second conveyor belt is installed 2m from the first and you need to avoid reading the tags on this second belt, the MR antenna would be the best choice.

The above application assumes box-level tracking. Item-level tracking often requires higher power or a higher antenna gain if you have saturated the available reader power.

Lower gain and beamwidth differentiate MR from CP antenna

The MR antenna has been introduced to increase the dynamic range of the A5020 by reducing the power beyond the previous minimum. While the A5020 CP antenna is the go-to model, the A5020 MR antenna provides a lower-gain alternative for specific scenarios that require a reduced read range.

For more information, download our A5020 family guide.  Please contact us if you need help choosing the best A5020 antenna for your application.


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