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Selecting the Best RF Channel for Your Wireless Sensor Network and How to Switch Channels When Interference is High

Keywords: wireless sensors, using Monnit sensors, optimization, sensor performance, channel switching, reset, reform,


Summary:

This article ill provides a step-by-step guide to setting your gateway for the best RF frequency in your region.



Getting the best range from your sensors can require a bit of trial and error. In this Tip, we discuss resetting your sensor network to assure your system is operating on the most optimal RF frequency in your region, giving you the most range possible. Once you have completed this process, you may also want to look at the following FAQs:

Prior to Monnit shipping your wireless network, your sensors are tested in our lab. This means we form and operate the network in-house. Upon set-up, the sensors and gateway lock onto the most clear RF channel for our facility and begin communicating. The next time the sensor network is plugged in (presumably when you are installing the sensors), your network is still locked onto the same channel that was optimal in our test facilities. However, that may not be the optimal channel for YOU in YOUR location. Thus, we recommend you reset the network prior to deploying the sensors. This will help you achieve the best range for your sensor deployment.

For Gateways Using iMonnit Online Software

  • Login to your iMonnit account at www.imonnit.com
  • Click on "Manage" on the main navigation.
  • Click the "Edit" button (pencil icon) for the gateway that you want to optimize.

Reset/Reform Network in the Monnit Gateway Application

Pressing the "Reset or Reform 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 regularly.


Manage iMonnit Network
  • Click the "Reform" link.
  • Click "Save" to exit the edit screen.
  • Insert batteries into the sensors, or wait for the sensors to check in again.
Reform Network in iMonnit

For USB Gateways Using iMonnit Express Software

  • Start the iMonnit gateway software.
  • Insert the USB dongle and wait for the network to go active.
  • From the "Actions" menu select "Reform Network".
  • Insert batteries into the sensors, or wait for the sensors to check in again.
Reform USB Network

Your sensor network will now operate on the most optimal RF channel available in your area.

Q: Do Monnit Gateways Look for a Clear RF Channel When Powered-up? Can Gateways Switch Channels if Noise or Interference is High?

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: 

USB Wireless Gateways

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/ Reform Network" within the gateway software and wait for 30 seconds.
4. When 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/ Reform Network," wait for 30 seconds.
4. When network has reformed, power cycle the sensors by removing batteries, waiting 30 seconds then reinsert. If you do not power cycle the sensors, they will automatically come back online, after entering link mode (two missed communications with the gateway).

Ethernet and Cellular Wireless Gateways
1. Launch a browser and log into iMonnit.com
2. Click the "View Gateways" link.
3. Click into the row where the gateway is to drop down the gateway details.
4. For Ethernet: Click the "Edit tab, then the "Commands" tab and click the "Reform" link.
5. For Cellular: Click the "Edit" tab, then click the "Reform" link.

Your sensor network is now operating on the most friendly RF channel available in your area.



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