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Boosting Your CCM Signal
Published on Sep 09, 2013

Most operators know that in order to get the most out of your Predator laser tag games, the Command Center Module (CCM) is required. The CCM is a wireless control module that allows a single operator control all the laser tag games from a computer. Guns sync wirelessly and are then connected for all future games until shutdown. This wireless connection is done through the CCM's 2.4Ghz RF (radio frequency) chip. While fairly powerful and able to cover a very wide area, several factors come into play that might limit the signal. Dense foliage such as brush, thick grass, and heavy woods absorb RF easily. Metal walls, hills, and thick concrete structures also hamper RF. Most fields and businesses have a variety of playing areas and bunkers but will be just fine with the normal CCM. If you happen to have a very large area or want extra confidence in your CCM's wireless signal, read on to learn more.

NOTE: The CCM has a 1 mile range with clear line of sight. We always recommend that you place it as close to the playing area as possible.

The first thing to keep in mind is that most wireless signals travel out and downwards. The reason why TV and cell-phone towers are so high up is so that they can cover a large area of land with a variety of terrain. Placing your CCM up as high as possible is a good idea. Some people choose to put it on a pole or roof in a centralized location to their playing areas. More on how to do this below.

NOTE: The antenna connection to your CCM uses the RP-SMA standard. This is basically a smaller version of your standard TV coaxial cable and is very common. Whichever option you go with, make sure you have the adapters or correct item to allow you to screw directly into the CCM's RP-SMA connection.

1. Buy a signal booster. A signal booster will increase the power of the RF signal from the CCM into the air. Ranges will increase for unit connectivity. We recommend this model or this model and they each cost about $50. Simply unscrew the antenna on your CCM box and screw this booster in. Most boosters require a power source as well, so have an extension cord or power strip handy.

2. Buy a high gain antenna. A high gain antenna increases the sensitivity to incoming signals, such as those from your Predator units. It also amplifies outgoing signals. We recommend this one. They usually go for a couple dollars. Replacing your antenna with a high gain antenna is the simplest thing you can do to boost your signal. You can also use it in combination with a signal booster for added effect.

Since we recommend placing the CCM as close to the playing area as possible, you might not always desire or be unable to have your computer there as well. There are several things you can do and need to keep in mind if separating your CCM and computer.

1. Run an RP-SMA cable from your CCM box to your antenna setup. This is great for placing your antenna on the roof if the computer is below it. We do not recommend using more than 30 feet of cable, because the signal degrades over distance and the CCM does not have enough power to push a full strength signal further than that. Check out this 10 foot cable.

2. Run a longer USB cable from your CCM to your computer. The entire CCM box would be in your chosen location and would connect to your computer through this cable. Again, keep this cable at a length of less than 30 feet. Here is a 6.5 foot cable.

3. For bigger distances, look into a wireless USB extender. A USB extender basically replaces the USB cord with a wireless connection very similar to WIFI but is more expensive. One end of the extender will plug into your CCM box, while the other end plugs into your computer. They then wirelessly communicate up to 100 feet apart over a WIFI network. This is our suggested option.

You are not limited to the items we have suggested as there are a variety of products that do the same thing. Purchase what you think is the best option for the cost. If you have any questions with this information or need help figuring out what works best for you, please contact us!

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