How to use my equipment to test range?

If you are wanting to move your equipment around to test range and connectivity then this is the article for you!

So you have some Conserv equipment (at least a gateway and a sensor) and you are curious about using it to see if you can get good connectivity in different buildings...

First of all, it is completely fine to move the gateway and sensors around. The sensors are set to automatically ping data every 10-15 minutes and will continue to do that interrupted. If a gateway is within range of that sensor and the gateway has a good connection to the Cloud (via cellular service or ethernet) then it will capture that data and display it in your account.

If you're wanting to test out a new building, simply bring the gateway and sensors with you and set up the gateway by selecting a location that has either good cell coverage (it may need to be above ground or near a window depending on the building) AND/OR an ethernet port to plug into the internet. You'll also want to place the gateway in a location that is somewhat central to where you may place the sensors. 

At this point, you'll want to ensure that the gateway has a strong connection.

  1. Check to make sure the gateway shows up as "connected" in your dashboard. It may take a few minutes and a few page refreshes for this to update. 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.
    Screen Shot 2023-01-20 at 12.33.08 PM
  2. Once the gateway is back online the sensors should reconnect within 15 minutes when they send their next message. If not, it might be worthwhile doing a soft reset
  3. Since a gateway can be connected but maybe the cell service is spotty, it's a good idea to do a double check on the connectivity by leaving one of the sensors near the gateway for a short bit (at least 30 min - 1 hour) to see if it's getting consistent readings.
  4. You can check the readings in the analytics by looking at the data for the sensor near the gateway (see image below). If it's getting all of the most recent readings then your gateway connectivity check is good!
  5. If the connectivity is good - feel free to move on to the steps below. If it's not, then you may need to find a better location for the gateway that will have better cell connectivity and use this test again (our SIM cards can connect to most cell providers depending on which cell service is best, so feel free to use your own cell phones to figure out where you can get the most bars!). 


If the connectivity this point it's a good time to start walking around with the sensors to see the range.

On our sensors page in the "Card" view you can see a little symbol within each sensor card that shows the "range" (see image below). This indicates how well the range is from the sensor to the gateway. Akin to your cell phone, it will show three bars if the range is good and as the bars disappear, the connectivity lessens. 

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If it's possible, walk around with the sensor and a laptop with this page open that shows the range on your sensors (you can also do this on your cell phone if you open the application on your browser). If the sensor moves (or if you give it a slight shake) it will send a new reading to the gateway and update in the app (it's possible that you may also need to refresh the page). This will in essence give you an idea of the range the sensor will have from a gateway.

 

What if the range only has 1 or 2 bars?

Not to fear! We actually have seen plenty of customers with sensors that have a one bar range symbol that reliably send data every 15 minutes. It might be worth a test similar to what we did above where you leave the sensor in this location you're testing (for at least 30 min to 1 hour) and see if the CSV file shows consistent readings.

 

What if I lose connectivity with the sensor?

You can always try readjusting the location of the gateway so it's more central to the other sensors (so long as it has a strong connection) OR you could consider getting another gateway to increase the coverage for that building. There are certain things that can interfere with the gateway range such as areas dense with metal (i.e. compact shelving). A lot of our customers have had luck by installing a gateway the floor above or below such spaces so that the line of sight between the sensor and the gateway does not have to pass through rows of metal shelving but rather just through the floor.

 

If you're confused or just have additional questions, it is absolutely fine to reach out to us so we can help out! 😊

support@conserv.io