Monitoring garage in a block of apartments - signals ranges


I was thinking of connecting a garage (-1) in a block of apartments with an apartment (+2) in terms of security (motion sensor, door sensor, camera, etc.), but I don’t have enough signal coverage for Z-Wave or Wi-Fi. I tried with Aeotec Range Extender 7 Z-Wave, but unfortunately without success. Perhaps there is a more powerful Extender?

It’s worth mentioning that the 868MHz garage door remote can work in some places in the apartment, so maybe there is some other way to monitor the garage.

I’m open to some ideas to be able to achieve this somehow, for the moment the only thing that comes to mind is a camera with a SIM card and somehow integrating it with a phone app.

Maybe it depends on your living destination. In Europe the signal strength is regulated by authorities. I know that there are outdoor Z-Wave antennas available (Link, German language), but I don’t know if this will solve the distance problem.

An unofficial solution could be to power up the signal strength by yourself (Link). But of course, this modification is not allowed in Europe!!!
(Edited, because incorrect)

Maybe a better better solution should be to use of dLAN devices to extend your LAN. With such devices you are able to connect devices in the garage via LAN and/or WLAN (dLAN from devolo).
But it’s possible that dLAN doesn’t work correctly in apartment buildings because of the several circuits. So you have to check it.

Antennas don’t increase the signal strength, they increase the signal sensitivity (usually by being more directional, so more sensitive when you point it a certain way). Signal strength will only increase when you add an amplifier between the device and the antenna.

In this case, an antenna might fix the issue. A more powerful extender alone very likely won’t, because the problem isn’t so much with the extender, but with the device sending the signal (the sensor, in this case).

If you can increase the sensitivity of the extender (by using an external antenna), it might be able to pick up the device’s signals from further away (or through more floors).

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In the case of devolo, I’m afraid it won’t work because I don’t have Wi-Fi in the garage, and on a mobile or even on a notebook didn’t find my network.

In the case of the antenna, is there any ready product that can help me in? There is not guarantee that DIY thing will help me to solve the signal issue, so I wouldn’t be able to return the product if it’s not work. DIY I would leave it as a last option.

I’m afraid you didn’t take the effort and look at the links?

Here are some informations about the technology behind dLAN:

What is Powerline?

Powerline technology (alternative names: PowerLAN, PLC and dLAN) makes it possible to use the normal power grid for data transmission. In this way, you effectively receive Internet from the power socket. This creates a home network to which all end devices (such as PCs, smartphones and game consoles) can be connected - either via WLAN or LAN - without the need for time-consuming cable laying.

How does Powerline work?

To use Powerline products, all you need is an Internet connection and a standard power outlet. The clever devolo solution distributes the Internet signal from your router to any room via the power line and transmits it there to your end devices via LAN or WLAN. An existing home network consisting of devolo products can be easily expanded with expansion adapters.

(Source, in German language, translated with

You will get 2 devices. 1 device must be plugged into a power outlet/socket in your apartment near the internet router and 1 device must be plugged into a power outlet/socket in the garage. Then the data is is transmitted from the apartment to the garage via the normal power grid. The device, which is installed in the garage, builds up its own WLAN. So you can use this WLAN to connect a camera, for example.
But as I had already written, you have to try it out if it works!

Just search for it on the Internet. But afaik, all the antennas have a so called Pigtail connector and I don’t know, if there is a Z-Wave Extender with a pigtail connector for external antenna available. So I guess the only option is to ad a pigtail connector to the Aeotec Extender 7, like it’s shown in the DIY tutorial (Link), and connect an external antenna to it.

Correct, definitely not!

@robertklep, didn’t say that antennas increase signal strength. And it was not my intention that you might think that.
I only mentioned that there are outdoor antennas. Outdoor antennas can possibly be installed closer to the garage than it’s possible with an Aeotec Extender 7. But the fact that antennas can focus the signal differently is of course a good hint.

You pointed to a post that only installs an external antenna and suggested that that would not be allowed because it would power up the signal strength, which it doesn’t :slight_smile: (I do have other issues with that particular modification, because it’s very likely that the external antenna connector will be referenced to main voltage, but that’s more a safety thing).

Ah ok, you’re right. :+1:t2:
Will change my comment.

I’ve read about PowerLAN, however, I’m afraid it won’t work because every apartment and every garage has an individual switchgear. To my knowledge power line adapters have to be connected to the same internal circuit to work properly.

These are a few FAQs that are more or less related to this possible problem:

Can I use devolo products even though I have different power circuits in the house?
Ja, devolo-Produkte funktionieren auch bei mehreren Stromkreisläufen (Phasen) im Haus. Änderungen am Stromnetz wie z.B. der Einbau eines Phasenkopplers sind dabei nicht notwendig.

What are the requirements for using Powerline? Where are the limits?
All you need is a power line and Internet access. devolo powerline solutions simply distribute the Internet signal in your home via the power grid - regardless of whether it’s an old or new building and regardless of fuses and different phases. Electricity meters attenuate the signal, but do not block it in every case. Of course, the data transmission is encrypted!

Does a ground fault circuit interfere with the powerline connection?
Circuit breakers have very little influence on the connection quality, as they are located directly in front of the electricity meter.

(Source, translated with

No matter which of the mentioned technologies you would choose, you have to try it out to see if it works for you. I don’t know any other options, sorry.

I’ve tested devolo Magic 1 WiFi mini unfortunately without success.
It looks like the very last option would be a router with modem 3G/LTE that uses a SIM card with a mobile operator which has the best signal. :frowning:

I’m sorry to hear that. If it would work, it would have been a good solution.