There are times when an outlet is simply not available, but a Node is installed far away and needs to be relayed. Other times a AAA Node needs better battery life then what 3 x AAA batteries typically provide. In some cases, all the data from an installation needs to be collected at the same, specific 'second' in order to accurately compare intra or inter site data. With the advanced features on Nodes with firmware 3.5.0 and above, all this is possible.
With packed data, the Node will collect data based on the sampling frequency of the Node, but only transmit the data when the radio packet gets full. This allows for a more efficiently packed radio packet, and reducing radio transmission greatly improves battery life. However, since data collections are delayed, this mode should not be used when data needs to be displayed in real-time in the platform, as data can be delayed in transmission until the radio packet is full. This mode is recommended when battery life is of the utmost concern, but data can be analyzed after the fact and is not immediately needed for analysis or alerting right when it is collected.
Status packets, indicating diagnostic information pertaining to the Node and bridges, will get collected based on the number of packed data packets collected. The Node will collect status once for every 20 packed data packets that get transmitted, but not more often than every minute and not less often than every hour.
The number of data points that fit into a packet is proportional to the presence of internal sensors being enabled, number of channels collected by each bridge, number of bridges connected to a Node, and polling frequency. To get the best possible battery life, and most effectively packed packets, reduce the polling frequency and where possible limit the number of data channels being collected.
Bridges that support the State Change Notification setting should make sure that setting is disabled if using them with a Node that has Packed Data enabled.
If using in tandem with a Modbus Bridge, the bridge should be limited to less than 20 registers in order to get the most benefit from Packed Data. The fewer registers, the more data can get packed into a single packet, and the fewer packets will be transmitted.
Synchronizing timestamps at a Node or installation level allows the entire installation, or one or a select group of Nodes, to collect data at a specific second. This makes comparing data between disparate locations even easier. Applying this setting at the installation levels forces all Nodes in the installation to collect on that specific second. Performing this change only a Node, or a few Nodes, will limit that collection specific second to just those Nodes. Automatic time sync uses the network id of the installation to calculate the appropriate second at which to collect data. Manual time sync allows the user to specify a specific second, such as xx:00, or xx: 0:15, on the minute for data collection. Please contact Senseware Support to enable the manual setting.
Endpoint Relay Mode
Endpoint Relay Mode, which can only be used in tandem with time synchronization, allows AAA Nodes to act as relays, similar to wall powered Nodes. The battery life will be much better than if they acted as a traditional relay, but will be very diminished compared to a AAA Node in Endpoint Mode. They are a good stop gap measure when no outlet is available and on-site personnel is able to replace the batteries every 1-2 months. Reducing the polling frequency will improve the battery life.
The batteries need to be replaced promptly from Endpoint Relays, otherwise the Endpoint Nodes that connect to them will go into Discovery mode searching for a neighbor and this will drain the batteries quickly.
If time sync is not enabled, the Node will ignore the setting that configures it as an Endpoint Relay.