Troubleshooting – Irritrol RainSensor User Manual

Page 11

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Signal Indicator (Installation Validation



The Signal Indicator provides instant signal strength feedback for the installer.
The indicator always shows the strength of the last signal received. In order to clear
this signal, simply press the Smart Bypass button once; pressing the button again will
exit the bypass mode.

Improving Reception
The Wireless RainSensor operates under Part 15 of the FCC rules. This means that it
has to comply with certain standards and is only allowed to transmit up to a certain
power level. In rating transmitters of any form, typically a Line-of-Sight (LOS) value is
used in order to show the relative effectiveness of a transmitter and allow a
transmitter and receiver to be compared to one another using a fair (apples to apples)
method. The Wireless RainSensor operates up to 300' (91.4m) LOS - meaning in an
open field, with no obstructions, the Sensor/Transmitter and Receiver pair will
successfully communicate up to 300' (91.4m) apart.

However, in almost all installations, there are obstacles between the
Sensor/Transmitter and Receiver such as walls, floors, etc. The obstacles will all
affect the transmitted signal and typically reduce the radiated power that will be read
by the receiver. Different objects such as walls and floors affect the transmitted signal
differently depending on the material composition, geometry, and thickness. Typically,
most residential and light commercial construction materials do not reduce the
effective transmitted signal enough to pose problems under normal installation
conditions. However there are some installations with very thick, dense walls, or that
involve large amounts of radio frequency interference (electrical switching rooms etc.)
where the effective range of the Wireless RainSensor may be greatly reduced.

Some helpful tips on mounting the Sensor/Transmitter and Receiver for the best
Radio Frequency (RF) performance:

• Always try to keep the antennas straight and fully extended (straight up on the

Receiver and straight down on the Sensor/Transmitter).

• Try to maintain a parallel orientation of one antenna to the other. Avoid installing

either unit where the antennas are in close proximity to large metal objects.

• Attempt to mount the units as close together as possible to reduce the potential for

interference or signal reduction. If the signal strength is not good in one location,
try another location - even as little as a few feet of movement can change from a
weak spot to a strong spot. Interior locations where cell phones or cordless phones
have trouble with reception may indicate areas with poor RF signal transmission.

• If possible avoid an installation where the Sensor/Transmitter is located exactly

above the Receiver. Move the Sensor/Transmitter slightly offset to one side.
When the RF signal is passing through walls, keep in mind that it has less thickness
to penetrate when it passes straight through the wall. In other words, passing
diagonally through a wall increases its effective thickness. Because every installation
is different, the ONLY guaranteed method to verify an installation is to
physically TRY IT!