Wireless Water Monitoring - Line of Sight for Optimal Read Range

How to ensure 'Line of Sight' when installing a Wireless Water Monitoring System, to achieve optimal read range.

The Wireless Water Monitoring System uses a radio signal to transmit the water level from the tank unit(s) to the display unit, and (optionally) to a pump controller.

For the radio signal to be reliably received, there must be a "line of sight" with little or no obstructions (trees, buildings, vehicles, hills etc).

  • “Line of sight” is required for the system to reliably work i.e. can you see (sight) the top of the tank when you are standing in front of the display unit.
  • To check if you have “line of sight” we suggest that you look at the display unit, then without moving, look over to see if you can see the tank and if you could tell if a person, standing on the tank, was raising 1 or 2 hands.
  • With true “line of sight” you can expect a 2-4 km of range (with standard aerials) and up to 10 km with multiple ultra-long range aerials (installed at both the tank and display unit ends).
  • If you don’t have “line of sight” then the radio signal will be affected, and the system is not guaranteed to work. Here are some guidelines:
    • Trees - the signal will be affected, especially when there is moisture on the foliage (e.g. overnight, early morning and during/after rain). The system might work OK in winter when there is no foliage on some trees, but then fail in the spring due to leaf growth. Or trees that were small & sparse years ago might now be forming a dense barrier.
    • Inside a house - if the display unit is not on the side of the house, facing the tank, then the house will significantly reduce the radio signal. This is usually solved by moving the display to a window on the tank side of the house or using an external aerial on the roof of the house.
    • Iron clad buildings - if your display unit (or pump unit) is in a corrugated iron shed/building, then the signal will be seriously affected, and you will almost certainly need an external aerial.
    • Other buildings in the way - the signal will be affected, and you should consider an aerial on the roof of your building, in order to get above those buildings in the way.
    • Vehicles outside - if a large vehicle (e.g. a steel sided horse float) is parked outside the building, then it is possibly blocking the signal. This is usually solved by moving the vehicle or using an external aerial on the roof of the house.
    • Hills - if there are hills in the way, then it is unlikely that the radio signal will get through. You will probably need a “passive repeater” to bounce the signal off another location. In some cases, the difficulty of the hills blocking the signal cannot be overcome, and the system will not be suitable for your property.

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