Where should I install a Repeater, and what is the range?

Here are some fundamentals of how Repeaters perform.  The REx20 Repeaters and RE524X have two large, unobstructed antennas, and have industry leading RF circuitry.  This means:

  • The Repeater can hear better than most any control panel.  This is because most control panels antennas are stuffed behind a bunch of circuit boards, close to noisy things like LCD displays.
  • The Repeater can talk better than most any sensor.  This is because virtually all sensors have only one antenna, so they are subject to dead spots in signals.  Plus, they usually operate at a higher transmit power than virtually all sensors.
  • The result of the two phenomena above is that you can often mount a Repeater just about ANYWHERE in a house and it will improve the situation.  But if you have to mount it for best performance, mount the Repeater nearer to the panel than to the sensors you are worried about.  This is because the panels (particularly the self-contained variety) are usually the weak link in the system, and need to be wirelessly-yelled-at.
  • To troubleshoot or optimize the system, use the green LED to verify that the Repeater is hearing every sensor you are worried about the panel not hearing.
  • It is good practice to enroll the Repeater itself into the panel as a monitored zone.  In addition to tamper and low backup battery monitoring, it ensures that the wireless connection between the Repeater and the control panel is always operating correctly.

Is a Translator like a Repeater?

Absolutely.  A Wireless Translator listening to existing sensors provides the same dramatic increase in range as using a Repeater.  So it is common for installing dealers to see lots of range issues with their virgin installations using new sensors, but their Translator takeover installations have no problems at all.

How do I know if the Translator is hearing sensors?

  • The absolute most valuable tools are the green and red LEDs.
    • Green LED: Flickering = I am hearing one of the old wireless sensors.
    • Red LED:  Flickering = I am speaking the wireless language to the panel.
  • Steps to verify the signal path:
    • Enroll the Translator itself into the panel*.  This enables monitoring tamper and battery status (which can also indicate loss of wall power).  But more importantly, it proves that the Translator is speaking the right language to the panel. 
    • Trip an old wireless sensor and verify that the green LED flickers.  This proves that the Translator can hear and understand the old wireless sensors.
    • Trip an old wireless sensor and look for BOTH the green LED AND the red LED to flicker.  This means that the Translator is hearing AND passing on the signal.
      • If only the green LED is flickering than ensure the translator has learned this sensor. All sensors must be configured into the RE524X by using the configuration button.
      • The translator does not support life safety devices including rate of rise sensors.




*Optional. See panels installation manual for zone enrollment. The Translator does require an available zone for enrollment. Enrollment is not required for translation and repeating purposes.