Proper Orientation of Wireless Antennas and Sensor Position

How To Orient Your Antennas and Sensor Position for Optimal Range and Performance

It is important to properly orient antennas and position sensors to get the best performance out of your Monnit Wireless Sensors.

  • Antennas should all be oriented in the same direction, pointing vertically from the sensor.

  • If the sensor is mounted flat on its back on a horizontal surface, bend the antenna as close to the sensor housing as possible, allowing the most antenna to point vertically.

  • Make the antenna wire as straight as possible, avoiding any kinks and curving of the wire.

  • Most of your sensors must be mounted at the same height as the gateway for optimum signal strength.

    • The sensor signal strength will reduce if they're positioned higher than the gateway.

    • Each sensor type's distance from the gateway and other sensors depends on the antenna type.

Correct Antenna Orientation: Antennas should all be pointing vertically.

Correct Antenna Placement
Correct Antenna Placement

Incorrect Antenna Orientation: Antennas should not be pointing vertically and horizontally.

Incorrect Antenna Placement
Incorrect Antenna Placement

Incorrect Sensor Positioning: Sensors should not be mounted high with wireless gateways mounted low. Also, avoid positioning sensors or gateways on the floor.

Another Incorrect Placement
Another Incorrect Placement

Sensor and Gateway Distance: The strength of the signal between a sensor and a gateway can vary depending on the antenna. Sensors that can transmit long distances can sometimes have more difficulty up close. The nearer the sensor to the gateway, depending on the strength of the signal, the more garbled the signal can be.

The signal strength analogy we like to use is if you have a bullhorn and you are right next to someone, they will hear you, but they may not understand what you are saying because the signal is too loud. If you move away from the person, they can hear and understand what you are saying.

Recommended Minimum Sensor Distance

The following are suggested distances the sensors should be from the gateway and each other.

  • Coin Cell or ALTA Commercial Sensors should be placed at least 3 to 5 feet from the gateway and other sensors.

  • AA Sensors or ALTA Enterprise Sensors need 5 to 7 feet between them and the gateways for effective close transmission.

  • ALTA Industrial Sensors must be at least 7 to 10 feet from the gateway and each other.

  • An ALTA Control Unit with its high gain antenna should also be a minimum of 7 to 10 feet from the Gateway and any sensors or other control units.

The above distances are particularly important during setup when the sensors are trying to connect initially with the gateway, the moment the battery is inserted, or the sensor is turned on.

So remember, when placing your wireless sensors, antenna orientation is critical to reliable performance. For more information and guides on using your wireless sensors, visit

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