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I have a 2.4Ghz wireless CCTV system just purchased for my barn. The system is a Uniden UDR444 with two cameras. The barn is 200' from the house, where I need to monitor the camerasin the barn. Uniden claim 'up to 500' range'. I can't get the cameras to link from more than 180' away, which coincidentally right before I walk in the house door. As soon as I walk in, the signal is lost.

The house is a log cabin, and the barn is a wooden framed post barn with thin steel cladding. Obstructions to line of sight between camera and receiver are 1) 2"x4" barn roof truss, (doesn't matter which side of it camera goes) 2) Thin steel barn siding, 3) log cabin wall. I can get a 'four bars' (max) signal right up to the house, but camera goes 'out of range' as soon as I either go in the house, or even if I put the receiver through the window into the house behind the glass.

Should I get different antennae for the cameras? They have standard threaded antennae mounted to the back, about 4" long, but the receiver antenna is fixed to the remote viewing 'pad' and can't be changed, short of hinging it up, which I've tried. I've found 15" 9DBi antennae. Will that help or am I always going to be fighting the steel barn?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is an external (outside house/barn) antenna an option? Steel cladding is killing for your signal. \$\endgroup\$
    – jippie
    Jul 18, 2013 at 6:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Steel cladding is problem #1, as above. Most 2.4G stuff is very poor, made very cheaply on a low budget, you may be able to get some improvement by simply making a better antenna for the transmitters. I've seen cameras like that and the external "antenna" is just a bit of plastic for cosmetic purposes, the real one is an inch of wire inside the case. Next step is amplify the output or replace the transmitter with a better one, possibly of a different technology. Or just buy a better system in the 1st place, with better lies about performance. \$\endgroup\$
    – John U
    Jul 18, 2013 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know if these antennas are directional, but you might want to try adjusting the position of the receiver and transmitter. With a partner on a cell phone or walkie, have one person at the transmitter and one at the receiver. Adjust the position and direction of one or both until reception improves. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2013 at 1:31

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These problems are notoriously difficult to solve, especially if you're not on site. Going with the idea that the steel cladding is the major problem one solution may be use a passive aerial system to retransmit the signal.

Basically it would consist of two (2.4Ghz) aerials connected back to back with a short length 50 ohm wire. One aerial to the inside of the building, the other outside. The internal aerial would pick up the transmission from the cameras and the external aerial retransmit it. The system requires no external power source.

(see http://www.radio-active.net.au/web3/80211/Antennas/Passive )

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks guys. I've ordered two 15.5" 10DBi antennae that screw directly to the two cameras 9hopefully). I hear all the comments about the cladding etc, but my last (even more crappy quality0 system worked perfectly, that's where the frustration comes from. If I have to, I can run cable to the 'house side' of the outside of the barn and have aerials there.... \$\endgroup\$
    – user26504
    Jul 20, 2013 at 17:33

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