Platform FAQ

Frequently asked questions concerning the Senseware platform

Julien Stamatakis avatar
Written by Julien Stamatakis
Updated over a week ago

Can you send me the spec sheets of the system? 

The specification sheets for the various pieces of Senseware hardware can all be found in our help center under Installation

Can the system also do control?  

Yes it can. Our platform completely supports bidirectional control, allowing you to not only control what data you collect, but also how you interact with your devices and surroundings. Currently, controls are supported using our Timer Control bridge and our Modbus sensor bridge via writes. Controls using BACnet will be available soon!

What is the range between nodes?

In line of sight environments (i.e. where the Nodes can 'see' each other), the range is up to 1,000 feet. You can expect a range between 150-300 feet in office buildings depending on the layout, and 100 feet in parking garages and other structures with an abundance of concrete.

Can we store data on-site rather than in the cloud?

If you'd rather store data on-site, we can forward your data to the URL of your choice using Data Forwards, which could be a local server on-site.

What happens if the system loses the wireless connectivity? Power outage? No access to Internet?

Our Gateways and Nodes have backup batteries and internal memory storage so that if you lose power, or if your internet goes down, your data will be uploaded the moment power/internet returns.

Is the system self-optimizing?

Our platform is self-optimizing in that the wireless mesh network automatically configures itself. If there is ever a disruption in the pathway from a Node to the Gateway, the system will automatically find an alternative route to the Gateway. In the event that a Node cannot connect to another Node or the Gateway, it will store data locally until a connection is re-established.

What is the installation process?

In one word: easy. All you have to do is plug in our Sensor Bridges to the Node and connect the Node to power and you're all set. If you're using a Sensor Bridge that connects to an external device, you'll just need to connect the wires between the external device and our Sensor Bridge.

Do you install the system or are we responsible to do it?

Our system is so easy to install that we have full confidence you can do it yourself. We also have an amazing support team standing by; contact us via phone if you're the talkative type, or email if you're the strong, silent type. We're also available via instant message using the blue bubble in the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.

Is the connection to the sensor bridges hard wired?

It is. Our Sensor Bridges plug into our Nodes using a micro-USB connection.

Can the Gateway connect to the Internet via Cellular connectivity?

Yes, it can. In fact, we recommend connecting our Gateway to the Internet via cellular modem/router as it is often a much simpler installation process and does not require any IT knowledge or support. We can provide the cellular modem & data service, or you can use your own- it's up to you!

How secure is the system?

Very secure. Senseware’s mesh network is secured wirelessly using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), an encryption specification established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This security standard, used worldwide, has been adopted by the U.S. government for use in protecting classified information up to the Secret level. Going even further, Senseware’s communication from Gateway to server is protected using SSL (Secure Socket Layer). No matter what the application, Senseware’s considerations for client security allow you, and only you, to collect any data and connect to any device, easily, quickly, cost-effectively, and most importantly, securely.

Is the system Wi-fi or Bluetooth?

It's neither, although it uses the same 2.4 Ghz frequency band as Wi-Fi. It's an architecture based on 802.15.4, the same protocol that ZigBee is built on.

What is the cost of the Senseware system?

The Senseware platform is priced according to the number of data streams you wish to monitor. The more data streams you wish to monitor, the lower the price per data stream. Contact one of our sales representatives today and we can get you more tailored pricing.

What format is the data forward?

The data forward is in a JSON format, but we also support FTP access and an API will be available soon.

Can I change setting on the sensors remotely? E.g. Conversion values for the pulse meter?

Yes, you can. You can remotely configure Sensor Bridges and update conversion settings all from your Installation settings page.

Can I export the data into Excel?

You can export your data in a variety of formats. Just click on the "Export" button on the graph the data you wish to export and select "XLS". Other export options include .csv, .pdf, .jpg, .png, and .svg.

Can we get email and text alerts from the system when thresholds are met?

Yes. You can choose the frequency of these alerts, set the thresholds, and customize how many data samples trigger an alert. Please visit the Notifications page for more information.

Can we set threshold on the sensors?

Thresholds can be set directly in your Dashboard tiles. Both lower limits and upper limits can be set for either Warning or Critical Warning alerts. Advanced thresholds have been added to allow users to customize their ranges (names, values, and colors).

How long does it take to get the system up and running?

It depends on the size of the installation, but plan on spending no more than a few minutes per Node.

Do you need a specialist to install the system? E.g. an electrician?

You don't need a specialist to install our system! It's very easy to install and if you run into any difficulties or have any questions we're always here to help. However, installing some third party equipment, such as a submeter, does require an electrician.

Is the system ZigBee based?

No it's not, although we build our wireless network using the same protocol that Zigbee is based on (802.15.4).

Does the system integrate with BMS?

Our system can interface with a BMS several different ways. One option involves using of our sensor bridges, such as our Modbus or BACnet bridge, to collect data from the BMS. Alternatively, our system can provide data to a BMS for data collection. This allows for a cost-effective method of adding sensors to building infrastructure while still maintaining existing BMS functionality.

What type of sensors does Senseware support?

Currently, we support different type of IAQ sensors, Modbus, Pulse, 4-20mA, 0-5V, 0-10V, Thermistors, Motion/Occupancy, Contact Closure, and BACnet. Shoot us an email if there's another type of sensor that you would like us to support and we'll get started!

How are you different than Obvius?

Obvius can collect data via Modbus or pulse. We can not only do that, but we can wirelessly stream it to the cloud in real time, and remotely configure and interact with your modbus device, all much more cost effectively than an Obvius device.

How often can we get the data from the sensors?

You can get data as frequently or infrequently as you'd like. Default settings currently allow for a selection between polling every 10 seconds and every hour. But, if you need greater control, or a more frequent (i.e. every second) or less frequent (i.e. every 12 hours) polling time, let us know and we'll make it happen.

How often is data sampled for pulse-based sensors (4-20mA, 0-5V, Thermistor)?

You can choose how often your data is sampled. Our default settings allow you to instantaneously sample at the time of data collection from the Node, or sample every 10 milliseconds, 100 milliseconds, 1 second, 60 seconds, and 5 minutes. If you need finer control over sampling let us know and we'll take care of it for you.

Can we change the frequency of receiving the data from the sensors?

You can change the frequency of data collection in the Module Configuration tab of your Installation settings.

Can the Node support multiple sensor connection?

Each Node supports up to 3 Sensor Bridges. Several of our Sensor Bridges, such as Pulse, 4-20mA, 0-5V, and Thermistor, support 4 connection apiece. Our Modbus Sensor Bridge supports as many devices as your network supports.

Can the nodes run on Battery?

Yes they can. We offer Nodes that run on three AAA batteries. Depending on data collection frequency, these Nodes can run several years before the batteries need replacing.

What type of buildings are typical for Senseware?

Our system is so easily configurable and easy to install that it is perfect for a building of any size.

Can the system be installed in old buildings or just newer buildings or new construction?

Yes, yes, and yes. Thanks to our automatically configured wireless mesh network, no building is too big or too small for our system. Not to mention that we play well with all different types of hardware. If you want to connect to it, so do we.

How accurate are your Temperature and Relative Humidity sensors?

Our temperature sensors are accurate to within 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 0.3 degrees Celsius for folks using Metric). Our humidity sensors are accurate within 2% relative humidity.

Do the IAQ sensors need to be re-calibrated?

The sensors are all factory calibrated. Once installed, the CO₂ and VOC sensors automatically adjust and will reach full operational accuracy within 24-48 hours, although readings will be available before this time (Read more about ABC algorithm here). The Temperature, Humidity, and PM Sensors do not need to be recalibrated once installed. All the sensors have very low drift and their expected life time is 10 years.

Do you provide support? What level?

We have an amazing customer and technical support team that is available by phone, text, instant message, and email.

Are your sensors certified by labs? Can you provide the certifications?

We don't make sensors; we just interact with them. As long as the sensor you'd like to use are certified, you're good to go. Certificates are available for third party sensors that we embed.

Do you provide warranty on third party sensors (e.g. sub-meter sensor) or extend the third-party manufacturer warranty?

We do not provide a warranty on third party sensors, but using our system to interact with them will not void your warranty.

How do know I need if I need to put a relay and where to place the relay?

If you find that the signal quality of your Node is consistently under 30% as shown in the System Status, or as indicated by the Node when it is in Signal Quality Mode, then you might need to add a relay. It is best to place a relay between the Node with poor signal quality and its nearest neighbor.

If I need to use a new sensor or sensor bridge that is not currently offered by Senseware, what is the process and lead time to make it available? Do I have to make any changes to the already installed infrastructure?

Simply contact us about your sensor/sensor bridge need and we'll get started on developing your new bridge. You won't need to make any changes to your existing infrastructure- that's the beauty of Senseware's universal plug and play sensor interface. The lead time for developing a new sensor/sensor bridge can vary, but you can expect it to take roughly 8 weeks.

Do I need to pair the devices together during installation?

No pairing is needed! To be more specific, no actual configuration of the Nodes or Gateway is needed on-site as you install the Platform. All you need to do is power the modules and they will automatically configure themselves.

Would one building installation accidentally talk to another building installation? How do you make sure data is not sent to the wrong gateway that is close by?

It is very unlikely that Nodes from one building installation would talk to those at another installation. But if this does happen, we can remotely force a Node to stick to a specific installation so that it doesn't wander to a different building.

Do you support HTTPS?

Yes we do. Your data is encrypted from the moment it is collected at a Node through the moment you want to access it.

Is there local storage on the Gateway?

Yes, the Gateway contains backup memory storage, so even if your internet goes down all of your data will still be stored. It will be uploaded from oldest to newest as soon as internet connectivity returns.

Do you have API’s that we can use to implement our own System Status and Updates Engine in our platform?

Not quite yet, but we're nearly there! In the meantime, we can stream your data to you using JSON objects, or you can access your data via FTP or your Dashboard.

Can your system be placed within an enclosure?

Plastic or metal, we can handle it. We recommend using plastic enclosures in order to maintain good wireless quality. The Nodes can handle being placed in metal enclosures as well, but it will diminish wireless quality.

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