Don’t Be a Bad Carpenter

Hey engineers! Got the right tools to do your job? Check out what CommScope can offer in terms of calculators and other online tools that can make your work life easier. Ricardo Diaz provides links and commentary in this latest blog post.

A bad carpenter blames his tools…

… that’s what my grandfather used to tell me, at least.

Being myself an amateur carpenter (I’m not sure if my grandfather would still refer to me as “bad” or not), I can tell you about how difficult it is to get a fine piece of craftsmanship with a blunt chisel or gouge, or when lacking the right set of tools entirely.

So today, before I consider working on a project in which I plan to invest a lot of time, I make sure that I:

1. Have the right toolbox on hand

2. Know how to hone those tools to get the best possible results

It is a similar situation when it comes to wireless networks.

It is a no-brainer that all engineering teams around the world demand state-of-the-art tools to boost their efficiency, provide accurate designs, and make the most of their in-house skill sets. CommScope provides a wide variety of communication systems in numerous markets, and we strive to fulfill this need for tools to assist our ample ecosystem of users and partners.

We know how difficult is to pick the right components for a complex system, or to assess the eventual network performance, preferably before the system has been deployed. As always, evaluating a large-scale systems’ performance relies on an accurate understanding or the underlying elements’ performance and on the interactions among them. Is there a perfect antenna to suit our design requirements? Does it match up to the VSWR target we want the system to provide? How can we fine tune the system in order to improve PIM performance? And that’s only a few of the questions for a very specific market. We could also ask the premises cabling guys how they manage to calculate how many cables can fit in the building pathways in advance, before anything is actually installed. (If you are an enterprise cabling guy, check these tools out – you will need to request access to if you haven’t previously).

At CommScope, we have been working for years to provide handy tools to make everybody’s life easier. We made some of them available here (again on, and the “PIM Happens” team developed other nice tools like the Band & Block PIM Calculator. There are additional Andrew wireless tools collected on this Software Tools webpage, created for the benefit of the entire CommScope ecosystem.

There are a few trade-offs to consider when developing engineering tools, since the one-tool-does-it-all approach can lead to such a degree of complexity that it may become unusable for non-expert users. So there is a quest here to figure out the right balance between usability and complexity. That’s our challenge at least.

I may still be a bad carpenter, but at a minimum I will try not to blame my tools if I can help it!

Sharp results require sharp tools, no less, no more.

What about your daily work? Do you believe you have available the tools you need? We would love to know what kind of tools you think you are missing, which perhaps we could develop.

Any effort to make our grandfathers happy!