What is the Difference Between a Wireless Receiver and a Wireless Sensor?

The difference between a wireless receiver and a wireless sensor is that a wireless receiver will receive signals, while a wireless sensor will send out signals. Whenever a wireless sensor is activated, it will send out a wireless signal that will be received by the wireless receiver.

A sensor is a piece of hardware that lets the system know when certain actions occur. For example, a door and window contact sensor will let the system know when a door or window is opened. Another example is a motion detecting sensor, which will let the system know when there is movement in the area. Sensors can be either hardwired or wireless. But most DIY users prefer wireless sensors, since they are easier to install.

If an end user wants to use wireless sensors with their security system, then they will need to have a wireless receiver. Most wireless alarm control panels come with a wireless receiver already built-in. But hardwired alarm control panels will usually need to have a wireless receiver added separately. Any wireless sensor that is used will need to be programmed with the alarm system. This includes learning in the sensor's Serial Number and setting the Response Type for the associated wireless zone.

One important thing to consider when using a wireless receiver is that it will only accept wireless signals at a set frequency. Each wireless sensor sends out signals at particular frequency. The wireless receiver must accept that particular frequency in order for the transmission to be successful. End users should determine which wireless frequency their wireless receiver accepts and obtain wireless sensors that operate at that frequency. Some of the most popular wireless frequencies used by alarm systems include 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz and 915MHz.

If a user has a hardwired alarm system without an added wireless receiver, then they will be restricted to using hardwired sensors only. There are two main ways that a wireless receiver can be added to a wired system. The easiest option is to use a keypad with a built-in wireless receiver. Since you need a keypad to control the system anyway, this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. If you have a Honeywell VISTA System, then the Honeywell 6160RF is a great option.

There are also standalone wireless receiver modules that serve the sole purpose of adding support for wireless sensors. If you already have a keypad and you want to simply add support for wireless sensors, this is usually the best option. An example of a standalone wireless receiver is the Honeywell 5881ENH, which is an unlimited zone wireless receiver for a Honeywell VISTA Alarm System.

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