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This paper describes recent empirical test results from field testing of a prototype wireless sensor system. The focus of this current phase of work is determining the practical range for simple low-cost wireless sensors under a variety of home and industrial environments. For this study, we utilized the IEEE 802.15.4 data communications standard in the 2.4 GHz band. A prototype system using the TI CC2420 radio data transceiver and a TI MSP-430FG4618 microcontroller were used in this experimental study. Printed circuit board antennas were used in the tests. This work provides a basic understanding of some of the physical constraints necessary in a simple fielded sensor network system. The work described here is the first phase of an ongoing project. The authors developed all of the software for this system and conducted all of the field tests.