Frequently Asked Questions
Q: The range spec is 20 miles with line of sight. How line of sight is that?
A: Line of sight is just that - if you stand at one end of a link with a pair of binoculars or a telescope can you see the other end? Line of sight means that there are no obstructions in the way. Keep in mind that with normal curvature of the earth you will be out of line of sight at 20 miles if both end points are at sea level.
Q: How far can I get without line of sight?
A: It depends. It is very difficult to predict results in non line of sight conditions, but at 900 MHz the signal will penetrate buildings and trees to a degree. Hills will cause the most problems.
Q: Are there any conditions where I will be able to achieve greater range than the spec?
A: We tend to be very conservative with our range spec. Under ideal conditions it is possible to achieve range much greater than the 20 mile spec. We have had customers achieve up to 100 miles with the transceivers (one customer achieved an 85 mile link at 1/3 watt using 10dB yagi antennas).
Q: What about all of these other spread spectrum manufacturers claiming comparable range?
The best advice we can offer is to try the product. We have no doubt that other 900 MHz spread spectrum products are capable of 20 miles - with high gain antennas, no other RF anywhere near the area, going downhill (just kidding). What happens under real world conditions? We heard of one case where someone else's product was being interfered with by a 900 MHz cordless phone (no kidding). Test our product against any other 900 MHz spread spectrum transceiver under identical conditions and make your own assessment.
Q: Can the transceiver be used on a moving vehicle?
A: Yes, there are many applications where our products are used on moving vehicles of all varieties. The highest speed known where a FreeWave transceiver maintained a link was ~450 mph.
Q: The transceiver provides some signal strength measurements, what do they mean?
A: Please refer to the following document.
Q: What is the difference between the DGR-115 and DGR-115H?
A: The difference is in the enclosure only - the DGR-115 comes in a plastic enclosure and includes a threaded whip stub antenna. The DGR-115H comes in a milled aluminum enclosure and is gasketed for weather resistance. The DGR-115H requires an external antenna. Both models include a reverse thread SMA connector and will communicate with each other.
Q: Can the FreeWave transceiver be used for large scale internet access?
A: No. This is not a good application for our products.
Q: Is the 5 watt amplifier legal in the US?
A: No, the 5 watt amplifier is not legal for use under part 15 rules in the US and FreeWave Technologies will not sell the product to any customer intending to operate in the US under part 15 rules.
Q: If the current transceiver shipped by FreeWave Technologies has 1 watt transmit power why would I want a 1 watt amplifier?
A: The 1 watt amplifier is of value when very long cable runs are necessary, it places 1 watt of transmit power right at the antenna, eliminating the cable loss and allowing the use of lower cost (and usually more flexible) cable.