How to Get the Best Range from Wireless CCTV Cameras

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Things to consider

Say we have a camera that’s been quoted as having a 200 metre range. The best way to think of your wireless camera is like a speaker playing a song. If you have a speaker playing the other side of an empty field, you might be able to hear it clearly 200 metres away.

Range…
If you then move it so it is 300 metres away you may not be able to hear it well, if at all. 

Obstructions…
If you then move it closer so it is only 100 metres away and put some trees in front of it and build your house around you, you again probably won’t hear it. 

Interference…
Now imagine your neighbours all start playing music and you turn on a few more speakers around the house it would make it even harder for you to hear the original song. This is the sort effect other wireless devices such as Wi-Fi routers, cordless phones, laptops all have on your cameras wireless signal.
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4 Camera Farm CCTV System
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How can I improve my wireless range?

Interference…
Try and keep other wireless sources as far away as possible from both the camera and receiver and from the path between the two. If you have your Wi-Fi router in the same room as your receiver or just the other side of the wall from the camera it is probably going to have a negative effect on the range you can achieve. Below is a list of things around the house to be aware of:
  • Wireless Routers (Wi-Fi)       
  • Alarm Fobs
  • AV Senders
  • Bluetooth
  • Baby Monitors          
  • Car Key Fobs
  • Computers (laptops, tablets etc included)
  • Cordless Keyboards / Mice
  • Microwave ovens (when in use)
  • Mobile Phones
  • Radio Controlled Things (Planes, Boats, Cars etc) 
Obstructions…
Try to have as few obstructions between the camera and receiver as possible. You may be surprised to learn that in some cases a double-glazed window will reduce the signal more than a brick wall. Also think about how the obstructions might change throughout the year. You might set the system up in the winter and it works fantastically but the in the spring when those bushes between the camera and receiver grow their leaves back you start having signal issues. If the camera or transmitter you are using has a removable antenna you may be able to purchase an up-rated antenna with an extension cable allowing you to position the camera around or above possible obstructions.
 
Below is a few common obstructions and a rough estimation of the amount they could reduce the signal range by. Please bear in mind this is a rough estimation and will depend on factors such as composition of the materials any extra insulation and size and density of foliage.
  • Solid wooden door                50%
  • Hollow wooden door            25%
  • Interior wall                               25-50%
  • Exterior brick Wall             50%
  • Steel roller shutters               75%
  • Single pane window          25-50%
  • Double glassed window       50-75%
  • 3′ stone wall                                90%
As you can see some obstructions can have a massive impact on signal strength and the effects are cumulative. So say you had a system that lists 200 metre range. If you were going through an exterior brick wall that range would be reduced by around 50% down to 100 metres then if you went through a solid wooden door it would be reduced a further 50% down to 50 metres.

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