FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Hardware

A: The wireless gateways can support up to 100 sensors. To expand a network beyond 100 sensors, simply add another wireless gateway to the network.

A: Yes. You may expand your network as needed, up to 100 sensors per wireless gateway. You can add an unlimited number of wireless gateways, so you are not limited to the amount of wireless sensors you can have on your account.

A: The ALTA wireless sensor networks currently operate on the ISM 900MHz (902-928MHz) band as well as 868MHz, 433MHz and 920 MHz radio bands.

A: ALTA wireless products use a new Encrypt-RF bank level security, featuring a 256-bit exchange to establish a global unique key, and an AES-128 CTR for all data messages. So security is maintained at all communication points from sensor to gateway, gateway to software, and back again.

The standard wireless products use several features to help protect sensor data in transit. The proprietary sensor protocol uses very low transmit power and requires specialized radio equipment to operate. Typical wireless devices that operate on non-proprietary communication protocols (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee) operate using different frequency bands so they can't be used to eavesdrop on the radio communications. In addition it uses a robust packet tampering evaluation routine to ensure that traffic wasn't altered between the sensors and the gateways. This enables the system to check for well-formed data packets that only originated from authorized enabled devices. To further protect data, algorithms are in place to protect against spoofing and re-transmission of wireless data packets. This is included with the best in class range and power consumption protocol developed for wireless sensor systems.

Learn more about Monnit's Encrypt-RF here.

A: The life span of the battery is dependent on a number of factors: whether you are using Monnit standard sensors or our newer ALTA sensors, how frequently the sensor transmits data (heartbeat), how far the sensor is from the wireless gateway and obstructions that could cause difficulty in sending data (farther distance and obstructions require that the radio to operate at longer intervals to send and receive data).
Monnit provides a battery life calculator that estimates the expected battery life you can expect from different types of sensors.

View the ALTA Battery Life Estimator
View the Monnit Standard Battery Life Estimator

A: With the standard sensors, you can easily replace the batteries or simply contact us.  Follow the instructions on how to replace the batteries for your type of sensor below:  For Coin Cell batteries, replace with CR2032 coin cell battery and for AA replace with any commercial off the shelf battery.

Coin Cell Battery Sensors: The sensor enclosures are now easier than ever to use. the enclosures feature a 2-part design that allows for quick and easy access to the coin cell battery. By simply pinching in on the sides of the enclosure, the sensor can be removed from the mounting base to reset or replace with a new CR2032 coin cell battery.

AA Battery Sensors:  Simply unscrew the battery compartment door open to access the batteries.

We encourage you to recycle all old batteries.

A: In sleep mode the sensor consumes .5µ Amps and during transmit the sensor consumes 35 mA.

A: To deploy a standard wireless sensor network, you will need a wireless gateway and the appropriate wireless sensor(s) that are needed for your application.

A: The application data is 18 bytes in length and the total TX packet size is 40 bytes.

A: Each wireless sensor comes ready to connect to the Wireless Gateway upon power up with the exception of Wi-Fi sensors which connect directly to your internet router.

A: Each time the sensor transmits data to the online sensor monitoring system it reports the battery power as well. Notifications can be set to alert you by email or text message, when a sensor's battery is about to expire.

A: The Ethernet Gateways won’t be affected by many of the HTTP proxies, but if they are affected, they will need to be whitelisted. If a proxy works at the socket level, it will have to be whitelisted.

Software

A: Sensor Availability
Because Monnit sensors are battery powered it is critical that customers leave the radio inactive between transmissions to conserve power. A CR2032 battery that can last for a multiple of years transmits a signal every hour or two, thereby conserving power and in return preserves battery life. (Monnit's recommended heartbeat is not more than once every hour.)

If transmissions from the sensor are increased and left listening for continual communication, the battery life is impacted harshly (maximum battery life could be as little as approx. 2 hours). This forces iMonnit to pass sensor updates to the sensor only after the sensor has turned on its radio and listens for an acknowledgment. During the acknowledgment, iMonnit can notify the sensor that the database (DB) has a configuration update and from there the network can communicate the update to the sensor. At this point the sensor acknowledges the configuration update and iMonnit marks the transaction complete (removing the pending transaction flag).

Gateway Lag:
Similar to the sensors, iMonnit can't instantly initiate communication to the gateway. The reason is many firewalls and security measures keep intruders from accessing the customer's network. Out of the box the gateway is configured to communicate with iMonnit once every five minutes. (It uses the same communication protocol as your web browser does while communicating to your bank.)

Because of the five minute heartbeat of the gateway there is a lag (delay time) between the time the user saves the configuration settings on Monnit's server and the time the gateway checks in to receive the updates. Only after the gateway has acknowledged the updates the sensor checks in and receives them.

Network Stability:
During pending transactions it is impossible for iMonnit to know which stage of the process the configuration is in. For example, if a user has set a configuration change to set the sensor's new heartbeat to 30 minutes, the gateway received the request while the sensor still hasn't.

There are certainly other network stability cases such as if iMonnit modified the configuration to a 3 hour heartbeat to conserve battery life, the following could occur to cause network instability.

The 3 hour change is observed in iMonnit, from here the gateway is ready to talk to the sensor and inform it that the heartbeat should be 30 minutes now. When the sensor checks in and receives the configuration change it will receive the 30 minute heartbeat rather than the 3 hour heartbeat. If the sensor was to communicate up to the server that it has successfully updated its configuration, iMonnit must assume it has been updated to 3 hours and marks the transaction as complete. This is the reason Monnit marks transactions that require communication with the sensor as "Pending".

To be able to update sensor configurations the user needs to make sure the sensor is communicating well to iMonnit and wait until the pending configuration completes.

A: iMonnit has a global feature so you can stop notifications from sending emails and text messages to your devices. To turn this feature on and off, do the following:

1. Login to your account.
2. Once logged in, from the top pull-down menu, find and select "My Account".
3. On the left hand side, find "Sensor Networks" and select the edit pencil next to the network for which you would like to the notifications turned off.
4. The second feature down is titled "Send notifications for this Network".
5. If notifications are being sent, deselect the check box. If notifications are NOT being sent, select the check box.
6. Click "Save".

A: To deactivate a single notification, log into your iMonnit account and do the following:

1. Click on "Notifications" from the main menu.
2. Find the Notification you would like to deactivate click the green on/off switch to "No".
3. To reactivate a notification, slide the same indicator so that it says "Yes".

To deactivate notifications for entire sensor network, do the following:

1. Click on "Manage" from the main menu.
2. Click on "Edit Network Details" under the sensor networks information section.
3. Uncheck the box for "Send notifications for this network".
(Check the box to reactivate all notifications for the network.)
4. Click "Save".

If you have additional questions regarding this feature, please email us at support@mirandasolutionsgroup.com

A: While the gateway is off, no data is being collected and no notifications can be transmitted by the sensor. In short, the data is being discarded by the sensor.

If the wireless gateway is unable to connect to the Internet, a limited amount of sensor data is stored on the gateway, and transmitted when Internet communications is reestablished.

A: When you are logged into the iMonnit online monitoring system, you can make changes to a wireless sensor's configuration settings by clicking on the sensor information bar on the overview page. The row will expand to show the sensor's detailed information. Click on the "Edit" tab to access the sensor's configuration information.

If you think you do not have the right access level, please contact support at support@mirandasolutionsgroup.com

 

A: Pressing the "Reset or Reform Network" button in the Gateway application will release the USB Gateway's wireless channel and re-scan for the clearest available wireless channel. On each sensor's next heartbeat, it will enter link mode and rescan to find the Gateway. It is recommended to reset your network if any of your sensors are have problems checking in regularly.

A: The systems uses the same encryption methods used by websites to transmit financial data.  Secure socket layer (SSL) protocol is employed with 256-bit data encryption making data hosted on your network secure.

A: We currently do not support remote control. This may be included in future versions of the product.

General Questions

A: The online wireless sensor monitoring system notifies the designated contacts(s) via SMS (text message) or e-mail.

During the set-up process through your online portal, the administrator can program in cell phone numbers and e-mails of the individuals requiring notification, establishing the contact criteria for each of the above methods of communication.

A: Having a delay in notifications is not typical however there are some things that can cause this. Both Email notifications and SMS (text) notifications are sent over SMTP. Our SMTP relay server is configured to ensure timely delivery of your notifications.

If the receiving server (your mobile phone company in the case or your SMS (text) notifications) is too busy or down for maintenance, etc. The SMTP Relay will try to re-send the message again, several times within the first hour. Then it will attempt to deliver every 4 hours until the receiving server is ready to receive for up to two days. After two days it is assumed the notification must have a bad address and it is discarded.

In short, there are four factors to keep in mind for the health of your wireless sensor network and maintaining its peak performance:

• distance from sensor-to-sensor and the wireless gateway
• power output of the radio
• data rate transmission
• frequency of the radio link

A: In order to return your product for an exchange or refund, you must first contact your sales representative and request a return merchandise authorization (RMA) number.  You can reach your sales representative at 703-239-2864

No packages will be accepted without the RMA number clearly marked on the outside of the package. After inspecting and testing, we will return your product, or its replacement using the same shipping method used to ship the product to MSG within 30 days. In your package, please include a daytime telephone number and a brief explanation of the problem.

 

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