Transmission issues with particle electron

Hi all,

I’m having a huge problem with my transmission. I have placed my electron with sensors in a huge metal casing to measure liquid levels within the tank. However, I could not get any transmission when I placed my electron in the tank. I understand that 3G signals would have a hard time passing through metal enclosures but the situation does not allow me to place outside the tank. Is there any way where I can boost or force the signal through or extend the length of the antenna to stick the outer casing of the tank? I’m not allowed to drill any holes or damage the tank due to ownership issues. Thanks

That will be a problem.
Can you not even feed a thin extension wire for the antenna out of the tank?
Extendion leads are available.

Hi @ScruffR, it’s possible for me to have a slot for the antenna to reach out of the tank. I’m afraid that extending the wire would reduce the attenuation of the antenna, since the signal where the tank is situated is relatively weak.

@NST1992, perhaps you need to rethink the solution. Have you considered using a bluetooth, LoRA or other wireless sensor in the tank with a small antenna coming out of the tank? The Electron would have a corresponding transceiver and be sitting outside the tank, placed in the best location for 3G signal strength.

Attenuation of the extension should be a lot less that what you otherwise could ever do to boost the output power to overcome the “shielding” effect of the metal tank (and you would get in conflict with FCC I’d guess ;-))
In connection with the extension you could also consider a directional antenna aiming at your nearest cell tower.

@peekay123, my budget could not accommodate additional purchase of LoRA sensors. So the only way left is to either increase the power to overcome the shielding effect or extend the wire outside the tank. @ScruffR @peekay123 I’m thinking of having an amplifier connected to the existing antenna connection to amplify the signal to overcome the shielding effect. Do you all have any recommendations of any amplifiers with the ufl connectors?

Putting a radio transmitter inside what is essentially a Faraday cage will indeed cause you to have transmission issues. If the fuel tank is grounded, you could transmit at 100kW and not escape the tank.

You will need an external antenna of some sort.


2 Lora modules would probably be best if you can’t get the antenna wire out of the tank.

Can you just drill a tiny hole and seal it after you run the antenna or better yet the sensor wire through it?

You can get 2 x Arduino’s with built in LoRa 900mhz radios built in for $22 each. That would certainly do the trick.