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Setting up your new Conserv Monitoring System

My package from Conserv has arrived! Now what?

Congratulations! 🎉You've just made a giant step toward better preventive care for your collection by subscribing to Conserv's monitoring service!

Getting Prepared

Getting prepared for your Conserv package to arrive is simple. Here's a checklist.

  1. Setup a Conserv Cloud software account. If you're not sure if you have an account yet please reach out to our support team.
  2. What spaces need to be monitored? A space is just what it sounds like: a place within your building that you need to monitor. This could be a storage area, a lab, a gallery, etc.
  3. Where are the sensors going to go in each space? It's best to place the sensor where your collections are. If you have one sensor for a space, you might select an area where collection storage is densest at a similar height to where things are stored. If you have multiple sensors, you may want to use the additional one to measure a potential microclimate where collections are stored (an area with lesser airflow, or an area that might be impacted by external temperature and humidity such as an external wall). If you have an RH/T sensor that can give you an immediate readout, you can walk around the space to observe if there are any large differences in your space to determine if there are microclimates where collections are stored that you want to watch a little closer. Some of our customers like to monitor near loaned objects or highly sensitive materials so that you can get good data on what those objects are experiencing. If you have questions about this do not hesitate to reach out! Our team of conservators have a lot of experience deciding on where to place sensors.
  4. Where am I going to put the gateways? The gateway is the heart of the system, and should be centrally located relative to the sensors so that the signal can get through. If your facility is particularly large or if there are some spaces that have lots of dense materials (metal shelving), it may take more than one. You're going to need to place it in a location that has either good cellular coverage (closer to an external wall or window) OR near a router or ethernet port to create a hardwire connection. Be sure your IT department is on board with plugging in equipment if you choose to do this! Here are some frequently asked IT questions.

If you need some help deciding where things should go, Conserv's support team is ready to help!  If you have a floor plan or building map you can share with us, all the better.

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Receiving Your Package

In your box you should have the following pieces and parts.

Conserv Kit


💡 Your package probably contains multiple Conserv sensors and might also contain water leak, outdoor temp/RH, or cold storage sensors.

Step 1: Set up your Conserv Cloud account

This is the most important part of the process; you'll need to make sure you've gone into your account and gotten everything ready for your monitoring system to come online. You can attend one of our regular onboarding webinars by signing up here, or you can watch a recording of a webinar here. These webinars will serve as a great tool to train other staff on the software. We go over everything in the webinar, but if you prefer to read, here are a few tips for getting set up:

Inviting team members to join Conserv

Setting up a new Location

Setting up a new Space

Setting up a new Sensor

How to organize your Locations and Spaces

Assigning Sensors to Spaces

💡If you'd like more information on any of these topics, don't hesitate to reach out to your Customer Success Manager! We're always happy to walk you through any of these processes.

Step 2: Open your Conserv equipment packages

When you open your box(es) of Conserv equipment, you'll notice several different parts and attachments alongside your sensors:

Step 3: Set up your Conserv Gateway

In order to start your monitoring system properly, you'll need to connect your Conserv Gateway first and make sure it's online. You'll notice on the Sensors dashboard in your Conserv account that you have a card for each of your gateways at the very bottom of the page. Once a gateway is connected, its card will update to reflect its connection (this can take a few minutes).

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 12.57.37 PM

Make sure you're setting up your gateway in the best possible location for your building. Need help figuring that out? Let us know and we're happy to offer some advice!

To set up your gateway, first decide whether you are going to use your building's network or if you're using the gateway's built-in SIM card. If you're using a network, you'll need to attach the gateway to a port using the ethernet cable included in your Conserv box. If you're going to use cell service, you don't need to attach the ethernet cable.

Next, screw the included antenna onto the gateway and direct it upwards. And, finally, attach the included power cord, and plug it into your power source. You should start seeing a flashing green light on the top left corner of your gateway. 

Gateway 1

Conserv's gateway is set up to automatically connect. If, for some reason, it's not connecting, Conserv support can work with your IT team to get it sorted out. Before you contact support, though, make sure to check out these gateway troubleshooting tips.

Step 4: Install your Conserv Sensors

The final step is to install the sensors! We find it's helpful to note the serial numbers (as seen below) of the sensors when you're installing them, so you'll know which sensor goes in which space. 

Conserv Sensor SN

Once you are ready to place the sensor, pull the plastic battery tab out of the back of the device. Within about 15 seconds you should see a blue light on the back - that's the signal that the sensor is starting up, and will start sending data soon. After 10 minutes your data should be flowing into your Conserv Cloud account on the sensors page.

If you are relying on cellular service to connect the gateway, it's a good idea to check the gateway connectivity before moving the sensors to their final location. You can do this by leaving at least one of the now connected sensors near the gateway for at least 1 hour. The sensors should be updating every 10 minutes. You can check to see if they're doing this by going to the analytics page and selecting the 15 minute aggregation. If there are any gaps showing up in the data for that sensor then there is likely a gateway connectivity issue. You can try moving the gateway closer to an external wall or if it's possible, a hardwired internet connection with the ethernet cord should help with this.

Once you have confirmed that the gateway connection is strong, you can start placing the sensors in their intended locations. You can check on the sensor connection the same way you checked on the gateway connection by looking for any gaps in the data within the analytics page at 15 minute aggregation. If you're seeing a lot of gaps, you might want to move the gateway or sensor so they are closer in proximity. It also helps to put the gateway up higher in the room or the floor above so the signal does not have to go through as many materials to get from the sensor.

If you're still running into connectivity issues, please reach out! We're happy to help you troubleshoot.

You have several options in terms of how you can install these sensors. There are command strips included in your kit that have proven to be very handy, and there are also built-in magnets in the sensor for easy installation to metal objects, such as cabinets (if you choose to use the magnets, try to drag them off the metal surface instead of pulling them off directly as this can reduce the risk of glue failure). It's up to you to determine the best method of installation for your institution. If you are interested in having the sensors match exhibition designs, reach out about our paintable sensor covers!

That's all, folks! Check your Conserv account about 10 minutes after placing your sensors to watch the data start flowing.

Happy monitoring!