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RF Interference from other Wireless Networks, Devices and Environment

Keywords: interference, wireless noise, Mhz, RF, range, noise, channels, environment, network performance,


Summary:

Should you expect interference from other wireless networks (Wi-Fi, walkie talkies, cordless phones, cellular phones, radios, etc.) operating in the vicinity of your Monnit wireless sensor network (WSN)?



Q: Should I expect interference from other wireless networks (Wi-Fi, walkie talkies, cordless phones, cellular phones, radios, etc.) operating in the vicinity of my Monnit wireless sensor network (WSN)?

No. Monnit's wireless sensors currently operate in the 900Mhz ISM band. Most wireless sensors today operate in the crowded, 2.4Ghz space where cell phone, WiFi networks, wireless telephones, and many wireless accessories for networks and PCs operate.

Monnit chose the 900Mhz frequency for its performance characteristics (much better range through obstacles than 2.4Ghz) and "openness" of the frequency. Operating at 900Mhz limits the ability to deploy sensors to a specific region (North America only).

The chipset used by Monnit for our wireless sensors also supports 868MHz as well as 433MHz. Support for international markets will utilize these two frequencies for best performance.

Wireless sensors transmit their data using wireless radios, and as such are subject to the same environmental limitations found in all wireless communications. Elements that effect radio transmission are severe inclement weather, trees, heavily constructed walls (cement, cinder block), sheet metal, wall board, wood, tile, buildings, vehicles, etc.  Unless you have direct line of sight, every obstruction impedes wireless transmissions, even the human body.

RF Envornmental Attributes to Consider

In short, there are four factors to keep in mind for the health of your wireless sensor network and maintaining its peak performance:

  • Distance from sensor-to-sensor and the wireless gateway
  • Power output of the radio
  • Data rate transmission
  • Frequency of the radio link


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