Wireless devices transmit a radio frequency (RF) signal, generally in the 400 – 900 MHz range. The manufacturer will rate the maximum transmission distance as line of sight. However, the signal will transmit through walls and other obstructions.

  • The following is a table of reception loss vs. the transmission medium. Each “wall” or obstruction decreases the transmission range by the factor shown below.
Medium RF Signal Strength Reduction
Glass (untreated) 5-15%
Plastics 10-15%
Wood 10-40%
Brick 10-40%
Concrete 40-80%
Metal 90-100%

 

  • RF will not transmit through metal barriers. If you have aluminum siding or a metal roof, it is unlikely the RF signal will transmit through this barrier.
  • RF will not transmit through earth. For example, if the receiver is placed in the basement, and the earth or ground is obstructing the line of sight transmission, it will not receive the signal.
  • Interference can be an issue. In general, wireless internet, phones, security systems and other low power devices have little interference effect. Ham Radio and other high power applications may lose data when transmitting.

Helpful Hint: Wireless phones transmit at similar frequencies and power levels as wireless weather devices. If you have a wireless phone (not a cell phone), place the receiver where you would place the weather station receiver and attempt to use the phone where you would place the transmitter. If you can not use the wireless phone, it is unlikely the weather station will work either.

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