Extending the range of your Sonetics wireless team communication system
Most teams that communicate with Sonetics wireless headsets rarely need the system’s full range. When team members are within a few hundred feet of a ComHub on a Vactor or tow truck, crane, construction job site or factory floor, DECT7 connectivity is strong and dependable.
But some teams need every inch of the 1,600-foot range that DECT7 provides from a ComHub. Road construction crews, agricultural workers and marine operations often include team members who need to work at the edge of DECT7’s range, where they can still take advantage of interference-free, secure communication that’s as clear and seamless as a landline conference call.
Remember these three things when you want to extend the range of your Sonetics wireless team communication system:
- Line of sight
Essential components of maximum range
No card tricks here. Antennas define the coverage area of DECT7 wireless. Our dual dome antenna design in the headsets uses diversity switching to lock in the better of the two signals. In other words, users don’t need to worry about head position relative to the ComHub. No matter which way you turn, DECT7 delivers best possible connection at all times.
Speaking of the ComHub, it’s the central nervous system of your work site’s wireless communication setup. As long as you have a charged ComHub and headsets, you have a secure, local communication network no matter how remote your job site. There are no external antennas that break, snag or need to be replaced. Everything is contained in a weatherproof portable case. Official specifications for range of DECT7 wireless from a ComHub is 1,600 feet line of sight. Where you position your ComHub factors greatly into achieving that maximum range.
Out of sight, out of touch?
The first guiding principle to help you maximize range, “line of sight,” doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be able to see the ComHub from just over five football fields away. This is not an eye test. But as long as there are no barriers between you and the ComHub, you can expect uninterrupted communication at up to 1,600 feet.
Barriers can reduce the system’s range as your signal uses some of its power to climb over and around structures and equipment. So if the ComHub is blocked from your line of sight by a lot of big, heavy equipment, walls or mountains, then you will have to use trial and error to determine best placement. To help you position the ComHub, the headsets include an out-of-range voice prompt if the connection weakens and is about to be lost.
The height of elevation
Getting the ComHub off the ground is actually an extension of the line-of-sight guiding principle. You’ll have a better chance of seeing the ComHub from five football fields away if you raise it up in the air. Usually, range will be greater if the ComHub is 4 to 16 feet off the ground. This is also the best way to avoid ground-level obstructions such as automobiles, boulders or small trees. The ComHub is housed in a sturdy, weatherproof nylon bag with a coated hook attachment, so it’s easy to securely hang off of a ladder or aerial lift.
Stand up for orientation
Orientation matters: Vertical and horizontal deliver the most consistent results.
How you orient the ComHub also matters. Of the three standard options for orientation — vertical, horizontal or flat — vertical and horizontal both help you maximize the system’s range.
Beyond 1,600 feet
For all team members to take advantage of full-duplex or broadcast connections in crystal-clear DECT7, they need to be within range of the ComHub. It is possible in some circumstances to extend range beyond 1,600 feet (for example, we got 4,400 feet of range using the idealized setup shown in the photo above). However, you should have backup communications at the ready if you know you’ll be operating at the edge of DECT7 range.
Beyond DECT7 range, the entire world is within reach. You can direct-wire a connection to a two-way radio if you want to extend range to a few miles. Note that you’ll be subject to the two-ways’ limitations of PTT and half-duplex communication. Bluetooth-enabled systems also allow you to wirelessly connect to your cellphone with your headset, giving you global communication options.