A: One MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway can support up to 100 sensors. To expand the network beyond 100 sensors, simply add another MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway to the network and continue expanding.
A: Yes. You may expand your network as needed, up to 100 sensors per USB gateway. Upon reaching 100 sensors, we recommend you purchase an additional wireless gateway. This will lead to the best performance of your wireless sensor network.
A: Monnit’s wireless sensor networks currently operate on the ISM 900MHz (902-928MHz) band as well as 433Mhz, and 868MHz bands.
A: The wireless communication technology developed by Monnit provides several features to help protect your data in transit. Our proprietary sensor protocol uses very low transmit power and requires specialized radio equipment to operate on. 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 from the Monnit Wit family of sensors. In addition we use a robust packet tampering evaluation routine to ensure that traffic wasn't altered between the sensors and the gateways. This enables us to check for well-formed data packets that only originated from Monnit enabled devices. To further protect data we have algorithms that 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 Monnit wireless sensor systems.
A: The life span of the battery is dependent on a number of factors: how long the sensor is "sleeping" (a sensor will draw nominal power during sleep state ~.5µ Amps); how long it takes the sensor to reach its awake state, and how long it is on, using the radio to transmit the data to the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway.
Monnit estimates through normal usage a sensor in the field should last over 1 year at a 1 hour heartbeat before it needs to be replaced.
A: The average life span of a Monnit wireless sensor varies depending on the type of sensor and how often the sensor is set-up to transmit to the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway. That said, on average you should expect at least 1 year of battery life from a coin cell sensor with a heartbeat of 1 hour. (Longer heartbeats increase battery life.) Once a coin cell battery has been depleted, you can change the battery by peeling the stickers away from the battery slot and battery removal hole then using the battery removal tool push the battery out and replace with a new CR2032 coin cell battery. With AA battery type sensors, simply slide the battery compartment door open to access the batteries. We encourage you to recycle all old batteries.
A: For detailed instructions on setting up a static IP address on your Ethernet gateway, please visit http://community.imonnit.com/Setting-a-Static-IP-Address-on-Monnit-Ethernet-Gateway.ashx.
A: To deploy a Monnit wireless sensor network, you will need a MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway and whatever Monnit Wit™ Wireless Sensors are needed.
If you are not using a PC with a MonnitLink™ USB Wireless Gateway, you can purchase a Monnit Ethernet or cellular gateway in addition to the kit which will allow your sensors to communicate with the iMonnit™ online wireless sensor monitoring system.
A: No. Monnit's wireless sensors currently operate in the 900Mhz ISM band. Most wireless sensors today operate in the crowded, 2.4Ghz space where cell phone, WiFi networks, wireless telephones, and many wireless accessories for networks and PCs operate.
Monnit chose the 900Mhz frequency for its performance characteristics (much better range through obstacles than 2.4Ghz) and "openness" of the frequency. Operating at 900Mhz limits the ability to deploy sensors to a specific region (North America only).
The chipset used by Monnit for our wireless sensors also supports 868MHz as well as 433MHz. Support for international markets will utilize these two frequencies for best performance.
A: During testing of sensor networks prior to shipping of the product, the networks are formed and the gateways choose a channel to transmit on. When you receive the product, that channel stays constant until reset by the user.
If you want to have the gateway search for the most clear channel in your environment, you will need to follow these steps:
For iMonnit users:
1. Start the iMonnit gateway software
2. Insert the USB dongle and wait for the network to go active
3. Select "Reset Network" within the gateway software and wait for 30 seconds
4. One new network has reformed, begin putting the batteries in the sensors
For Monnit Express users:
1. Start the Monnit Express software
2. Insert the USB dongle and wait for the network to go active
3. Go to the pull down menu titled "File" and select "Reset Network," wait for 30 seconds
4. One new network has reformed, begin putting the batteries in the sensors
Your sensor network is now operating on the most friendly RF channel available in your area.
A: We support V in 2 - 3.6 VDC max.
A: In sleep mode the sensor consumes .5µ Amps and during transmit the sensor consumes 35 mA.
A: If the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway is unable to receive transmissions from the sensors due to the PC being off, or the gateway not being installed, the sensors will continue to try and link with the gateway (two times by default). If it is unable to link to the gateway it will enter “link mode” where it will search for a nearby gateway. If no gateway is found, the sensor enters "power save" mode, and will sleep for two hours before entering link mode again, and scanning all available channels for a gateway. This process will continue until the sensors find a gateway to communicate with.
Note: While the gateway is off, no data is being collected and no notifications can be transmitted.
A: If you are using an unpowered USB port expander/hub, the MonnitLink™ USB Gateway will not operate properly. To insure best performance of the Monnit Sensor Network, plug the USB gateway into a powered port expander, or best yet is to plug the USB gateway directly into a USB port on your computer.
A: No, we use a long range low power wireless link that has exceptional range for the power used.
A: Yes, through the use of a Range Extender
A: The application data is 18 bytes in length and the total TX packet size is 40 bytes.
A: Monnit has provided a number of mounting options for the sensor technology. In the deployment kits we have included screws and double-sided tape. These options should allow you to mount the hardware to most any type of material.
A: A reading of 257°F signifies that the thermistor wires have broken or the battery has not been fully inserted causing a short between the thermistor leads on the sensor board. If this happens; try removing the battery, wait 45 seconds then re-insert the battery making sure to push the battery all the way to the back of the sensor housing. When the sensor comes back online check the reading to see if it has been corrected. If the problem persists you will need to contact Monnit customer support at 801-561-5555 for more information.
A: Each Monnit WIT™ wireless sensor comes ready to connect to the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway upon power up. Make sure that the USB Driver has been installed and the Monnit Gateway Software is installed and running, then simply insert the MonnitLink™ USB gateway into the PC. Once the gateway establishes a connection with the iMonnit™ online wireless sensor monitoring system and communicates with the Monnit servers, simply insert the batteries into their holder on each sensor. The sensor will power up and connect to the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway and communicate with iMonnit™, assigning each sensor its own unique id number.
A: At this time Monnit only offers a USB version of our MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway. In mid 2010 Monnit will offer support via cellular and Ethernet protocols.
A: The thermal range of Monnit's wireless temperature sensor is -50°C to 150°C (-58°F to 302°F). It's accuracy is +/- 2°C (+/-3.6°F) with single point calibration. This sensor is suitable for most commercial and consumer applications.
A: Each time the sensor transmits data to the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway, the sensor reports the batteries life as a percentage of the life left. It is not an exact reading, but will provide you with enough information to know when the battery is about to expire.
A: If a voltage type sensor is not connected to the power source properly, it will appear that the sensor does not work. Please follow the wiring diagram below to ensure proper performance and detection.
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).
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.
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: Monnit offers two sensor products with different battery options. The Monnit WIT is our cheapest, and most common sensor line and is powered by a single CR2032 3.0V coin cell battery. The Monnit WIT2 is powered by two 1.5V AA batteries and provides the user with a greatly extended battery life.
The battery graphic in Monnit's software solutions (iMonnit, Monnit Express and Monnit Enterprise) is represented by five different images:
Above 75% it shows Full
Above 50% it shows Three Quarters
Above 25% it shows Half
Above 10% it shows One Quarter
Above 0% it shows red
At or below 0% it shows Empty
The percentages are configured per the following table:
Monnit uses linear interpolation for all values between the given points. For example, a battery voltage of 2.95 is between 2.9 and 3.0. The battery percent is half way between 75% and 100% (or 87.5%) so the display will be rounded to 88%.
Because the power reservoir is small in the CR2032, the voltage can fluctuate between reads. This can cause the reading to change from 50% to 0% by only having a .15V drop at the time of the battery read. For example, if the network encounters any interference and the sensor has to transmit more than once, the battery will display lower than subsequent readings that don't have to send retries.
A benefit to AA batteries will show a much smoother curve as the batteries drain due to the larger power reservoir.
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
6. Click "Save"
A: Logged in as the administrator, you can halt the alerts by doing the following:
1. Select the sensor you wish to edit (it could be named "Temperature 1" or you may have renamed it to
2. Click on the edit box next to the sensor name (looks like a pencil).
3. You will see the "Basic Sensor Configuration. Below it is an underlined "Advanced Configuration" link. Select it.
4. You are now in the Advanced Sensor Configuration Screen. Select the field titled "Inactivity Alert (Minutes)."
5. Insert a "0" (zero) into the field.
6. Click "Save."
7. Your sensor will now stop sending you notifications that the sensor is inactive.
You can also do a mass configuration of the network of this feature by doing the following:
1. At the bottom of your sensor list is a link titled "Configure Multiple Sensors."
2. Click on the link.
3. Check all of the sensors you wish to include in the configuration.
4. In the "Inactivity Alert (Minutes)" field, insert a "0" (zero) into the field.
5. Click "Save."
If you have additional questions regarding this feature, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: One of the strengths of the Monnit protocol is that the sensors can both transmit and receive. After a sensor transmits its data it waits to hear an acknowlegement back from the gateway that the sensor data was received. If the sensor does not hear back from the gateway in a certain period of time it will retransmit the data. By default the sensor will resend up to three times if needed before it goes back to sleep.
The most likely cause of the duplicate data is that the sensor sent the data and the gateway received it, but when the gateway sent the acknowledgment back to the sensor, the packet was lost. The sensor resent the data to the gateway, then the second acknowledgement made it to the sensor and the sensor went back to sleep (Turned off its radio).
There are several reasons that packets can be lost. The most common are weak signal strength or another sensor (or other equipment in the 900Mhz range) transmitting at the same time as the wireless gateway.
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 MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway is unable to receive transmissions from the sensors due to the PC being off, or the gateway not being installed, the sensors will continue to try and link with the gateway (two times by default). If it is unable to link to gateway it will disassociate itself from the gateway and enter “link mode” where it will try to find a gateway nearby.
A: Configuration data is entered into pages from the web application used by the administrator and stored in the database on the server. At regular intervals the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway requests configuration data from the server and stores this data locally. Independent of this sequence, sensors wake up and start communicating with the gateway. If there is data for the sensor stored in the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway then the data is transferred to the sensor. After the data, if any, is transferred, the sensor goes back into sleep mode.
A: Yes you can! An API exists which allows you to make calls from our DB by your application. You can access the API at https://www.imonnit.com/api.
In addition to the API, you can have Monnit push the sensor readings from iMonnit to your database with our external configuration tool. This tool allows you to pass data from your wireless sensor network devices to another service in real time. This is done by coding the data into a URL query, then sending the data via HTTP get request at the time data is received. There is an extensive list of parameters that can be passed, allowing you to send detailed information about both the data and the sensor. For information on iMonnit's Push API click here.
A: The "x" next to a sensor in the iMonnit software, signifies that changes have been made to the sensor's configuration and they are queued to be sent to the sensor hardware on next heartbeat. Once a sensor checks-in, the "x" should disappear signifying that the sensor has received the configuration changes. Note: when a sensor has pending configuration changes, you will have to wait until the sensor updates before additional changes can be made.
A: Pressing the "Reset Network" button in the Monnit 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 regulary.
A: Monnit 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: In order to use a Monnit Wireless Sensor network you will need to download and install the USB drivers for the MonnitLink™ Wireless Gateway and the Monnit Gateway Software which will allow your sensors to communicate with the online system. No additional software or drivers are required.
A: Monnit WIT™ Wireless Sensors do not currently support control. This may be included in future versions of the product.
A:Yes, we have several customers currently using aircards to connect their sensors to the iMonnit™ online wireless sensor monitoring system. However, the gateway is not a data logger and if communications are interrupted data can be lost until the network connection is restored. To aid in this, we have added a 15 second retry to all messages. However, if the connection is still not available after 15 seconds, the data will be lost.
A: The iMonnit™ online wireless sensor monitoring system notifies the designated contacts(s) via SMS (text message), e-mail, or voice mail.
During the set-up process through your iMonnit 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 three methods of communication.
A: You will not be charged by Monnit for text messages issued by the Monnit Sensor Network. The text messages you receive from Monnit are routed through your cellular provider. Thus, any text message notifications you set-up to receive from Monnit’s notification service are covered under your text message plan through ATT™, Sprint™, Verizon™, T-Mobile™, et al. If you do not subscribe to a text plan through your cellular carrier, you will be charged their standard rate for receiving a text message.
A: Having a delay in notifications is not typical however there are some things that can cause this. Both Email notifications and SMS 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 2 days. After two days it is assumed the notification must have a bad address and it is discarded.
A: Batteries are included with the purchase of every wireless sensor that ships from Monnit. Under normal operating conditions a sensor in your Monnit wireless sensor network (WSN) will last for 3,000 transmissions (2-4 years with a 1+ hour heartbeat.)
A: Wireless sensors transmit their data using wireless radios, and as such are subject to the same environmental limitations found in all wireless communications. Elements that effect radio transmission are severe inclement weather, trees, heavily constructed walls (cement, cinder block), sheet metal, wall board, wood, tile, buildings, vehicles, etc. Unless you have direct line of sight, every obstruction impedes wireless transmissions, even the human body.
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: View this article from our Wise Guys support area to learn how to orient antennas for optimal range and performance. « View Article
A: Monnit has a variety of ways you can pay for your products. Orders can be placed via credit card using our online store or you can contact a Monnit sales representative for personal assistance.
A: In order to return your product for an exchange or refund, you must first contact your Monnit sales representative and request a return merchandise authorization (RMA) number. You can reach your sales representative at 801-561-5555.
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 Monnit within 30 days. In your package, please include a daytime telephone number and a brief explanation of the problem.