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GE 45138 Signal Repeater - Wireless vs. Hardwired Advantage!
on June 7, 2010
For a 2-bedroom apartment, may not need this GE45138 repeater. However, for any size beyond this or for multiple levels, you will definitely need to place perhaps multiple Signal Repeaters between essentially all >25ft. 3V cell sensors (i.e., garage and window/door sensors), along with the 9V battery motion sensors, if those placed more than 50-ft away from any GE Control Center. Each repeater takes up ½ of an AC duplex outlet, but includes a test button with LED indicator. If you have a choice, I suggest placing these repeaters closer to the sensors vs. midway between sensor and any controller...as you're essentially 120VAC boosting the weak 3VDC sensor cell transmission.
And these repeaters are not just plug-&-play, either: i.e., just by tilting the antennae 60 degrees vs. 90 degrees will often make the difference between bypassing interior wall wooden studs or fire-blocking to make this repeater boost sensors reliably 24-hrs. a day. If you're a "technoid", like me, and don't mind playing with your system---no problem. Conversely, if you're easily frustrated, you should probably avoid this GE Choice Alert system entirely, and just spend about $75/month for a professionally installed hard-wired service. But professional systems false-alarms occasionally too. Plus, then you will usually need to also spend $148/yr. just for a city alarm permit, plus likely get $75.00 city citations per more than 2 false-alarms per month.
My overall advice for technoids is to purchase multiple GE45142 controllers + GE45137 as a basis for designing your own "silent-alert" (with non GE phone dialer) vs. "audible-alarm" system and get creative, remembering that the 3VDC cell sensors will not have the radio-transmission range as compared to 12VDC equivalent Skylink sensors. But GE system generally much cheaper, plus GE's Controllers and ordinary 9V motion-detectors work great! Just remember, you'll have the flexibility of multiple and movable control centers as its primary advantage (vs. hardwired). Additionally, while the system sets up in minutes, you'll probably spend hours tweaking it over time. But that's the fun part!