FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


With our standard sensors, once the coin cell battery has been depleted, you can change the battery by peeling the sticker away from the battery slot then use a paper clip or small screwdriver to 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.

The life span of the battery is dependent on a number of factors: how frequently the sensor transmits data (heartbeat), how far the sensor is from the wireless gateway and obstructions that could cause difficulty in sending data (farther distance and obstructions require that the radio to operate at longer intervals to send and receive data).
MiSensors estimates through normal usage a sensor in the field should last ~ 1-2 years before it needs to be replaced.

The wireless communication technology developed by MiSensors 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. 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 MiSensors 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 MiSensors 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 MiSensors wireless sensor systems.

MiSensors wireless sensor networks currently operate on the ISM 900MHz (902-928MHz) band as well as 868MHz and 433Mhz bands.

Yes. You may expand your network as needed, up to 100 sensors per wireless gateway. You can add an unlimited number of wireless gateways, so you are not limited to the amount of wireless sensors you can have on your account.

All MiSensors wireless gateways can support up to 100 sensors each. To expand a network beyond 100 sensors, simply add another wireless gateway to the network and continue expanding.


HARDWARE

The liquid level tape/ribbon performs best when it is straight and not allowed to bend. To achieve this, mount the tape along the wall of the tank by securing it with an appropriate adhesive or tape. If this is not possible, the next best practice is to attach a mild amount of weight (a few ounces, less than 1 lb) to the bottom of the tape so that when it is immersed in the liquid, the tape does not float. Depending on the liquid, the tape may bend a little due to the surface tension of the liquid. It will not float outright, but without being weighted at the end, it may not hang straight.

This sensor may also be used to monitor the level of other solid substances such as: grain, sand, powdered substances, gravel, pellets, etc.

Each MiSensors wireless sensor comes ready to connect to the MiSensors Wireless Gateway upon power up with the exception of Wi-Fi sensors which connect directly to your internet router.

If using a USB gateway, make sure that the USB Driver has been installed and the MiSensors Gateway Software is installed and running, then simply insert the USB gateway into the PC. Once the gateway establishes a connection with the MiSensors online wireless sensor monitoring system and communicates with the MiSensors servers, simply insert the batteries into their holder on each sensor. The sensor will power up and connect to the wireless gateway and communicate with MiSensors, assigning each sensor its own unique id number.

Note: While the gateway is off, no data is being collected and no notifications can be transmitted.

Each time the sensor transmits data to the MiSensors online sensor monitoring system it reports the battery power as well. Notifications can be set to alert you by email or text message, when a sensor’s battery is about to expire.

If you are using an unpowered USB port expander/hub, the MiSensors USB Gateway will not operate properly. To insure best performance of the MiSensors 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.

With our standard sensors, once the coin cell battery has been depleted, you can change the battery by peeling the sticker away from the battery slot then use a paper clip or small screwdriver to 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.

If the MiSensors wireless gateway is unable to receive transmissions from the sensors due to the PC being off or asleep, 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 another 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 search 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.

The life span of the battery is dependent on a number of factors: how frequently the sensor transmits data (heartbeat), how far the sensor is from the wireless gateway and obstructions that could cause difficulty in sending data (farther distance and obstructions require that the radio to operate at longer intervals to send and receive data).
MiSensors estimates through normal usage a sensor in the field should last ~ 1-2 years before it needs to be replaced.

A reading of -1767.8F 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 60 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 MiSensors customer support at 801-561-5555 for more information.

In sleep mode the sensor consumes .5µ Amps and during transmit the sensor consumes 35 mA.

The Ethernet Gateways won’t be affected by many of the HTTP proxies, but if they are affected, they will need to be whitelisted. If a proxy works at the socket level, it will have to be whitelisted.

No. MiSensors 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.
MiSensors 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 MiSensors for our wireless sensors also supports 868MHz as well as 433MHz. Support for international markets will utilize these two frequencies for best performance.

The wireless communication technology developed by MiSensors 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. 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 MiSensors 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 MiSensors 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 MiSensors wireless sensor systems.

MiSensors wireless sensor networks currently operate on the ISM 900MHz (902-928MHz) band as well as 868MHz and 433Mhz bands.

MiSensors 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.

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.

All MiSensors wireless gateways can support up to 100 sensors each. To expand a network beyond 100 sensors, simply add another wireless gateway to the network and continue expanding.

Yes. You may expand your network as needed, up to 100 sensors per wireless gateway. You can add an unlimited number of wireless gateways, so you are not limited to the amount of wireless sensors you can have on your account.

To deploy a standard MiSensors wireless sensor network, you will need a MiSensors wireless gateway and any MiSensors wireless sensor(s) that are needed for your application.
If using MiSensors Wi-Fi (MoWi) sensors, no MiSensors wireless gateway is needed. You will need to have an existing Wi-Fi network in range of the Wi-Fi sensors for them to communicate with the MiSensors online sensor monitoring system.
If using a MiSensors USB wireless gateway, you will need to have a Windows PC with Internet access to transmit the sensor data to MiSensors, the online sensor monitoring system. (Alternately you can use MiSensors Express to gather sensor data locally without an internet connection.

The range between MiSensors wireless sensors and wireless gateways can be extended by using a MiSensors wireless range extender. A MiSensors range extender can double the range between the sensors and gateway. Multiple range extenders can be used together to give even further range.

Note: If using more than one range extender, the sensor data traffic doubles at each unit in the communication chain. This limits the number of sensors supported by the last repeater.

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 MiSensors users:
1. Start the MiSensors 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 MiSensors Express users:
1. Start the MiSensors 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.

The application data is 18 bytes in length and the total TX packet size is 40 bytes.


SOFTWARE

Sensor Availability
Because MiSensors 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. (MiSensors 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 MiSensors to pass sensor updates to the sensor only after the sensor has turned on its radio and listens for an acknowledgment. During the acknowledgment, MiSensors 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 MiSensors marks the transaction complete (removing the pending transaction flag).

Gateway Lag:
Similar to the sensors, MiSensors 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 MiSensors 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 MiSensors 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.

Network Stability:
During pending transactions it is impossible for MiSensors 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 MiSensors 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 MiSensors, 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, MiSensors must assume it has been updated to 3 hours and marks the transaction as complete. This is the reason MiSensors 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 MiSensors and wait until the pending configuration completes.

MiSensors 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
check box.
6. Click “Save” [/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”How do I get my sensors to stop sending alerts to my email or phone when they are inactive?”]
To deactivate a single notification, log into your MiSensors account and do the following:

1. Click on “Notifications” from the main menu.
2. Find the Notification you would like to deactivate click the green on/off switch to “No”.
3. To reactivate a notification, slide the same indicator so that it says “Yes”.

To deactivate notifications for entire sensor network, do the following:

1. Click on “Manage” from the main menu.
2. Click on “Edit Network Details” under the sensor networks information section.
3. Uncheck the box for “Send notifications for this network”.
(Check the box to reactivate all notifications for the network.)
4. Click “Save.”

If you have additional questions regarding this feature, please email us at support@MiSensors.com.

One of the strengths of the MiSensors protocol is that the sensors can both transmit and receive. After a sensor transmits its data it waits to hear an acknowledgement 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.

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 wireless gateway is unable to connect to the Internet, a limited amount of sensor data is stored on the gateway, and transmitted when Internet communications is reestablished.

When you are logged into the MiSensors online monitoring system, you can make changes to a wireless sensor’s configuration settings by clicking on the sensor information bar on the overview page. The row will expand to show the sensor’s detailed information. Click on the “Edit” tab to access the sensor’s configuration information.

The “x” next to a sensor in the MiSensors 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.

Pressing the “Reset or Reform Network” button in the MiSensors 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.

MiSensors 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.

In order to use a MiSensors Wireless Sensor network you will need to download and install the USB drivers for the MiSensors Wireless Gateway and the MiSensors Gateway Software which will allow your sensors to communicate with the online system. No additional software or drivers are required.

MiSensors Wireless Sensors do not currently support control. This may be included in future versions of the product.


GENERAL

When the batteries are inserted into the sensor it tries all of the available channels looking for a gateway this is called “Link Mode”. It starts on the first channel and sends a message “I’m number 12345 can I talk to you”. If it doesn’t hear anything back it assumes there is not a gateway on that channel and tries the second channel. After it has tried all of the channels and determines that there is no available gateway it stops sending messages for two hours. Each scan cycle takes about 30 seconds but uses over a day’s worth of battery, so if it just continued to scan continually when the gateway wasn’t powered on it would burn out its battery very quickly. After two hours it starts the process over again starting at the first channel. Similarly if for instance the sensor was talking to the gateway on channel 15, but has multiple failed transmissions, (2 heartbeats that each have a report plus two retries, 6 missed communications in a row) it assumes the gateway it was communicating with is no longer available and enters the same “Link Mode”.

The reason this is important is because if the battery is put in the sensor before the gateway is active and ready to listen for the sensor than the sensor will miss the gateway and not scan again for it for two hours. In order to get the sensor to scan again more quickly you must remove the batteries for 60 seconds allowing the processor to completely un-power, then put the batteries back in allowing it to start scanning right away. If the batteries are only out for a few seconds the processor is still running off of capacitance on the board and doesn’t “re-boot” when the batteries are put back in.

In order to have the best start up experience make sure the gateway is powered on and active, then put the batteries in you sensors so they can boot up and scan to find the gateway. If the batteries are in the sensors before the gateway has gone active then it will take two hours for them to join the network and start reporting temperature.

Yes, we have several customers currently using aircards to connect their sensors to the MiSensors 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.

he MiSensors online wireless sensor monitoring system notifies the designated contacts(s) via SMS (text message) or e-mail.

During the set-up process through your MiSensors 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 methods of communication. [/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”How much will I be charged for text message notifications?”]
You will not be charged by MiSensors for text messages issued by the MiSensors Sensor Network. The text messages you receive from us are routed through your cellular provider. Thus, any text message notifications you set-up to receive from MiSensors 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.

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. [/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Will I need to buy or replace the batteries for my wireless sensors?”]
Batteries are included with the purchase of every wireless sensor that ships from MiSensors. Under normal operating conditions a sensor in your MiSensors wireless sensor network (WSN) will last for 3,000 transmissions (2-4 years with a 1+ hour heartbeat.)

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

MiSensors 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 MiSensors sales representative for personal assistance.

In order to return your product for an exchange or refund, you must first contact your MiSensors 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 MiSensors within 30 days. In your package, please include a daytime telephone number and a brief explanation of the problem.

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