NextCentury Wireless DGS FAQ

Roles: Admin, Technician, and Billing Manager
Last Updated: January 2020
This article contains FAQ details related to the DGS wireless system operation.

At what frequency does the system operate? What are the strength and ranges?


NextCentury equipment employs smart signal hopping between the 902-928 MHz spectrum. No license is required.

Signal Output:

  • Gateway: +30dBm, 4 miles line-of-sight
  • Repeater: +30dBm, 5 miles line-of-sight
  • Transceiver: +20dBm, 15,000 ft. line-of-sight

Transceivers initiate a check-in every 6 hours (default) with a 200-millisecond transmission. A Repeater only responds or relays messages from Transceivers which have established a route through it.

Repeater RF radio is inactive except when relaying communication between Transceivers and the Gateway.

Note: Distance ranges are for line-of-site measurements with a direct free-space path between the two points. This is a metric for signal strength, however, actual ranges of installed equipment will be reduced depending on installation location, building materials, and other RF obstructions in the environment in which it operates.

What are the equipment quantity limits for a property? What are the maximum number of Transceivers and Repeaters?

Maximum Transceivers per Repeater:

An upper device limit per Repeater has not been tested as real-world applications have not reached an excessive level. In general, a Repeater to apartment unit ratio of 1 to 35 is suggested. This could include one or more utility types and Transceivers per apartment unit.

In residential apartment applications, after more than 35 units are checking into a single Repeater, the RF range has generally been exceeded by distance and an additional Repeater is needed. Larger townhouse or commercial units will generally exceed the RF distance range at a lower unit to Repeater ratio. The building construction material can significantly affect the RF range and also require a lower ratio.

NextCentury provides suggested equipment layout upon request. Please email a copy of the property site plan and any building layout plans to or contact Support to discuss.

Maximum Transceivers per Gateway:

The database for one Gateway has been tested with up to 2,000 Transceivers.

The NextCentury system features automatic network balancing. The Gateway is able to dynamically adjust the next check-in interval for a single Transceiver in order to balance the communication of all equipment on a property. This drastically reduces dropped messages and allows the equipment to service much larger properties.

Maximum Repeaters in Series: Repeaters that are placed in series extending outward from a Gateway should not extend more than 12 Repeaters in a row. If a property layout necessitates a very long series of Repeaters, then it is best if the Gateway can be installed near the center of the length of the property or high-rise building.

Is the system data secure and encrypted?

100% of data being sent via RF transmission or being uploaded to our website is fully encrypted using AES 128 protocol.

What are the power supply requirements of Gateways, Repeaters, and Transceivers?

Line Power for Gateway and Repeaters:

A standard 120v power receptacle is required for each Gateway and Repeaters. A high-quality power supply transformer is included with these devices. Power supplies come in both 15v and 12v types.

The Cellular Gateway (GW301) should only be used with the included 15v power supply and not the older 12v power supply that is used with the GW201.

The Touchscreen Gateway (GW201) is only compatible with the included 12v power supply.

Power Consumption and Cost:

Based on the Transceivers reporting in every six hours (default setting), the estimated average daily usage for a Repeater is 0.007830857648 kWh. With the average electric rate being $0.17 (per kWh), the average cost is about $0.04 per month per Repeater.

What protection is required if a Gateway, Repeater, or Transceiver is installed outdoors?

If a Repeater or Gateway is installed outside, it must be installed in an appropriate NEMA enclosure. See the Equipment NEMA enclosures document for more information.

Power Protection: A 3rd party surge protector can be used, however, Gateways and Repeaters have an automatic resetting fuse and diodes to protect them from surges. The wall power supply also has built-in protection.

If a large power surge does occur, it should take out the power supply before the Gateway or Repeater is damaged.

What is the operating temperature range for NextCentury DGS components?

The equipment is rated for temperatures between -20° F to 140° F.

If a Transceiver, Repeater, or Gateway is installed outside, it must be installed in an appropriate NEMA enclosure.

What type of barcode scanner is recommended for programming equipment?

In addition to the Mobile App Cloud Scanner, a conventional barcode scanner can be used for rapidly programming equipment.

We recommend the Symbol LS2208 Barcode Scanner.