Reform Gateway Network

Reforming a gateway’s network

The Reform command for gateways performs a function which may be necessary in some scenarios. This article will outline the processes involved in Reforming a gateway’s network.


Download Sensor List: How sensors are authorized to communicate with a gateway

The Reform function has a specific operation in relation to the gateway’s sensor network. After a sensor is added to a sensor network through the iMonnit software, the gateway will need to perform a Download Sensor List function in which it downloads all of the sensor ID’s currently on the sensor network in order to authorize the sensors to communicate with the gateway. This operation is performed in three scenarios:

  1. When the gateway is first powered on.
  2. When the button on the gateway is pressed and immediately released (which also initiates an immediate manual check in with the iMonnit software).
  3. Every 12 hours by default (which is configurable to be more frequent if needed).
    The Download Sensor List function is important as this operation authorizes a sensor to communicate to a gateway. If a sensor has not been added to a gateway’s Sensor Network through the software and downloaded onto the gateway’s Sensor List with a Download Sensor List operation, the sensor will not be authorized to communicate with the gateway. This is why the order of operation when setting up your devices for the first time can be critical.
    Note:* When a gateway’s network is Reformed using Monnit software, the gateway will download the device ID’s in sequential order. Therefore devices with ID’s that are sequentially smaller will be placed in an corresponding lower number slot, and devices with larger sequential ID’s will be placed in a higher number slot.

Functions of a Reform command

There are two key functions performed by the Reform command:

  1. The gateway clears out the existing Sensor List.
    It is important to understand that when a gateway performs a regular Download Sensor List command, it does not clear out any of the existing sensor ID’s that have previously been downloaded onto the gateway’s Sensor List. Therefore if the gateway has ever been added to a different Sensor Network previously, any sensor ID’s that were downloaded onto the gateway’s Sensor List previously will remain. When a Reform command is performed, the first operation it executes is completely clearing out the existing Sensor List of the gateway.
  2. The gateway performs a Download Sensor List command.
    After the Reform command clears the existing Sensor List, it then performs a Download Sensor List command to download any sensor ID’s that are currently on the Sensor Network of the software.

Performing a gateway network Reform with iMonnit Online

  1. Log into your iMonnit Online account.
  2. Select Gateways in the left-hand sidebar.
  3. Locate the gateway for which you wish to perform the network Reform and click on it.
  4. Click the Settings tab at the top of the gateway view.
  5. Click the Commands sub-tab.
  6. Click the Reform button.
    The reform will be performed on the gateway’s subsequent check in.
    Reform Gateway Network button

Moving gateways or sensors between networks

One critical example of when Reforming a gateway’s network may be necessary is moving gateways or sensors between Sensor Networks. As mentioned previously, when a gateway performs a Download Sensor List function, it does not clear out sensor ID’s that have previously been added to the gateway’s Sensor List. Therefore if you move a gateway or sensor to a new Sensor Network in the software, the devices that were previously on the same network will continue to authorize communication if in range of each other. This can cause confusion if the devices are in range of multiple gateways/sensors but intended to operate on different sensor networks. Therefore a Reform command should be performed on **both the gateway from the previous network, and the gateway moved to the new network.**

How a Reform command differs between Gen1 and Alta

Though a Reform command performs the same function for Gen1 and Alta gateways in terms of the Sensor List operations, there is an additional operation which the Gen1 gateways perform and Alta gateways do not. Gen1 gateways operate on a dedicated channel within the radio frequency band which the sensor/gateway supports. A Reform command on a Gen1 gateway performs a third function in which it scans for the clearest available channel within the operating frequency band. This can be a useful function with a Gen1 gateway if the devices are experiencing interference.

The Alta line operate with Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum radio transmission. Because the devices are communicating over a range of frequencies by default, this function is not necessary in the Alta line, and therefore not performed when Reforming the network of an Alta Gateway.

Reforming a gateway using the Local Configuration (HTTP) Interface

Some users will not be interacting with iMonnit software when configuring and operating their gateways. For users that operate their gateways on a private networks with the Default Server Interface disabled, the Reform command can still be performed and the functionality is the same. To do this, you will access the gateway’s Local Configuration (HTTP) Interface through a browser (for information on this see the following article: Ethernet Gateway 4 - Accessing local configuration page (HTTP Interface) Locally).

  • From the HTTP Interface, click General Options.
  • Select Wireless Sensor Network Configurations.
  • Click Reform Wireless Network.
    After performing the Reform, you will see the Current Network Wireless Device List empty. You can then manually add sensors to the Sensor List (Wireless Device List) using the top half of this page.
    HTTP Interface Reform Network

Conclusion

The Reform command can be useful in many scenarios where refreshing the Sensor List might be necessary. The Reform functions performed can resolve a variety of issues in which regaining control of the Sensor Network configuration of a gateway is necessary. Please contact Monnit Support if you have further inquiries.



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