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Better W800 Antenna?

JohnWPB

Active Member
Is there another antenna that can be used with the w800 to increase it's range? I have a couple motion sensors that are only intermittantly being picked up.

I know NOTHING about antenna tuning whatsoever. All I do know is some antenna's are tuned by length for a specific FR freq ect.

The door and window sensors seem to have a little more power output, and I can pick up even the farthest placed one. Its the MS's I'm having problems with. (Batteries are new, tried that first ;) )
 

Rupp

Senior Member
John,
I had the exact same problem with the supplied stick antenna so I switched over to using my "+" antenna I built for my MR26a and it increased my range significantly. The "+" antenna is very easy to make and only cost about $5 in parts.

http://www.shed.com/tutor/mr26ant.html
 

Skibum

Senior Member
The single best thing that you can do is to get that w800 far away from your computers. I have my MR26 in the attic.
 

JohnWPB

Active Member
Thanks Rupp, I saw this before for the MR26, glad to hear it works with the W800 as well. Makes sence, as they do the same thing, just never put 2 and 2 together ;) I have all the parts here that are needed, thus making it a very inexpensive project :angry:

Skibum, Attic is not an option here :huh:
 

JohnWPB

Active Member
BSR, the MR26 was working great here for motion sensors, and about the same range with the antenna modification. I wanted the W800 for the wireless window/door sensors communication.

The speed and accuracy of these sensors if far better than the motion sensors. I originally got the W800 so I could monitor my garage door status with a single door sensor. Putting one in the open and closed position, I know if the door is fully open, closed or somewhere in between.

That started it all, now I have the sensors on all the doors in the house! For example I put one on my bathroom door, within a half a second of opening the door, the light is on. This starts an event that the bathroom is occupied. When the door is opened again, and closed the light goes off one minute later if occupied was set to true, and then changes the status to unoccupied. Durring that 1 minute, the motion sensors are checked (One in main area of bathroom and one in the shower), if motion IS sensed, then the 1 minute delay to turn off is canceled, and the bathroom status is then again returned to occupied.

This stops "false exits" if someone cracks the bathroom door to say there is a phone call ect. It also stops the motion sensors from dirrectly turning off the lights, which is ALWAYS a problem when you are still in a room as we all know! (which can happen at certain times in a bathroom :blink: ) This also saves electricity, as I dont have to use a 5-10 minute "failsafe" for the motion sensors just to ensure there has been no motion. Using the door sensor, to "assist" in occupancy detection, once in the bathroom, the light will not turn off no matter how still you are, or for how long. And, no mattter what, the longest the light can remain on when leaving the bathroom is one minute.

My old way of having the lights come on in the walk in closet, was by using a motion sensor. Turning off the light was always done by the motion sensor after a long enough delay to ensure that it wouldnt turn off while you were in there. I now have replaced that with a door sensor, and when the door is opened the light comes on immediately, and it goes off when the door is closed.


Welll this response, has almost turned into a "how to" :) There is a lot of power available via scripting events ect, when using motion sensors in combination with the door/window sensors. As we all know, motion sensors are NOT perfect, and can really kill the WAF when a room goes dark, just because there wasn't enough motion to be detected. (ANYONE using motion detectors has had this happen!) In combination with the door sensors, occupancy can actually be made rock solid and reliable, at least where a closet and bathroom are involved. Mabe this will give someone some new ideas.
 

JohnWPB

Active Member
Well then count me in on "missing out on the fun". I just hooked up a set of rabbit ears I had in a BOC* to the W800 and can walk WAY outside and still trigger a light with a X10 Key-FOB! Who would have known it could be SOOOOOoo simple!

* BOC = Box Of Crap (got that one from hanging out on Woot! too much :blink: )
 

Rupp

Senior Member
But John it appears that most of your logic is aligned to the opening and closing of doors and I can tell you in my house that rarely happens. Heck I have a hard time getting the kids to shut the entrance doors. I use motion sensors to manage my walkin closets and bathrooms and I have yet to have the light go out. When motion is sensed it turns the light on. When there is no motion the light goes off in 10 minutes. The cost to run a light for 10 minutes will never be recouped by adding a door and window sensor to the mix not to mention the complexity it adds. I think many try to squeeze that light off logic too tightly and thus kill the WAF in the process. There are places to use HA to save money and others places where it just doesn't add up.
Now what kind of antenna did you connect to that W800? Was it Rabbit ears?
 

JohnWPB

Active Member
Rupp, yes it is as you said, based on doors being closed. In my case this works well, as the only 2 doors I am using the door sensors to control lights are on the closet and bathroom doors. Those are always closed when unoccupied, well before ever putting the sensors into the equasion. I have to admit it is a bit more complex than just sticking a motion sensor to the wall and that taking care of everything. On the other hand it works exactly as it should the light goes on immediately when the door is opened, and off immediately in the case of the closet, when the door is closed.

Yes, I just used a simple set of rabbit ears I bought for the portable TV before the 2nd of the 3 hurricanes Back in Septemer. First hurricane taught me that the lil' antenna built into the tv is all but useless. It is a pretty large set of rabbit ears, each of the "ears" being about 3ft long when extended. It even has a nice screw on cable connector instead of the twin leads, and the cable is about half the diameter of a Cat5 cable, making it easy to tuck and hide. The coax cable that came with the W800 cold be used to tow a tractor trailer I think!

I put one antenna straight up, and another 90d Deg. to the side. I am pretty impressed with the reception I am getting out of it with the W800. My distance has at least doubled. The farthest motion sensor was intermittent. I can now walk outside, go around to the opposide of the wall where the motion sensor was, and then get about another 20-30 feet past that in the yard (which is through the exteroir wall), and still control a light with a key FOB. Just using MS's and Keyfobs, I find the keyfob to be weaker in transmitting than a MS, so it was a pretty good test of reception.
 
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