How do I know how far a Conserv sensor will transmit?

The short answer is: It depends :)

One of the most frequently asked questions among Conserv customers is "How far will this signal go in my building?".  The actual distance really depends on two factors:

1. How strong is the signal?

2. How much noise is there in the environment?

Think of trying to talk to another person.  If you are outside in a park a long way away, you'll need to yell to be heard.  If you are close to each other in a quiet room, a whisper will carry your message.  If you are in a loud bar, you might be right next to each other, practically yelling, and barely making out what the other is saying.

The same principles apply to wireless signals.  If the sensor and gateway are a good distance apart with nothing but open air between them, the signal can travel miles.  In a building with walls between them, the walls block some of the signal so more energy is required to get through.  In a building with lots of equipment generating its own signals on the same frequencies, we're in a situation similar to a loud bar.

So, how do we figure out how far the signal will go?  First, we can start with the loss of signal due to the walls, furnishings, etc.  The table below shows approximately how much signal loss we'll see as a sensor signal passes through various materials:

Typical indoor glass (0.25"/6mm) 1 dB
Thick glass (0.5" / 13mm) 2 dB
Timber framed wall 3 dB
Brick wall, single thickness 4 dB
Brick wall, double thickness 7 dB
Concrete (4" / 102mm) 12 dB
Brick faced concrete wall 16 dB
Masonry block wall (16" / 406mm) 18 dB
Reinforced concrete (4" / 102mm) 27 dB
Masonry Block (24" / 610mm) 28 dB
Concrete (12" / 305mm) 35 dB

If you can figure out (roughly) how many walls and such stand between the gateway and the sensor and you know what they are made of, you can add up the numbers in the table above and get a total signal loss number.  If that number is less than 90, there is a pretty good chance that things will work!

If the signal loss between the sensor and the gateway is just too much, there are several potential solutions.  You could move the sensor, closer to a doorway or a window can help.  Another option is to set up additional gateways.  Every gateway that is in a space not only increases range, but also increases overall coverage and can improve the overall reliability of a monitoring system. 

Of course the only way to know for certain is to try it!  Every building is different.  Conserv Support is happy to help troubleshoot signal distance issues, so just give send us a support ticket asking for help and we'll work through it together