One of the biggest problems with installing a wireless home alarm is the limited effective range of its signal strength. Wireless signal problems can be caused by a large coverage area, or more commonly, an average sized house built with “different” material. This is most common in older houses that have plaster and lathe or actually solid brick construction. Today, signal strength problems are popping up in a style of building called ICF, or insulated concrete forms. This is a building style that uses wall forms made out of Styrofoam insulation. The concrete is poured into the forms, and the walls run all the way to the eaves. Even in a two story house.
The forms are left in place, giving the walls an R value of about 80. The downside, as I mentioned, is that thick, concrete walls are a barrier (or at least a hindrance) to RF signals. That can make it difficult for remote sensors to reach the base station if they have to pass through a concrete wall or two looking from a straight line distance.
All this can be solved, however, with a strategically placed repeater module. These modules are brand specific. You can generally only use them with the same brand of sensor and base station that you already have installed, and it is usually cheaper and always less complicated than a second base station or a system that can support two base stations (and handle the integration).
Depending on the model and features, you’re looking at around $100. You can find them on sale for less. Features you should look for are a battery backup and also the number of sensors it can handle repeating. You don’t want to buy a repeater that’s too small for the system you have.
So certainly think about this when you’re putting together a plan for your home security installation. It’s no fun to spend an entire Saturday installing everything only to find out that you have several sensors that can’t reach your base. This is one of the best components for home security system.