The goal of the installation planning is to have a robust installation where the sensors report measurements to the cloud with minimum maintenance for many years.
Although the tiny sensors are easy to install, understanding how each sensor functions, reports measurements to the cloud, and how wireless signals work is important for a robust installation.
Key things to plan for
- Map the environment
Get an understanding of the location through floor maps or an on-site visit.
- Plan for sensor placement and mounting
Decide on the type and amount of sensors to use. Plan how the sensors will be mounted to get the required measurements and consider if range extenders are needed.
- Estimate Cloud Connector coverage
The sensors require coverage by one or more Cloud Connectors to transmit measurements to the cloud. Estimate the amount of Cloud Connectors needed, how they will be powered, and how they will connect to the internet.
- Prepare for the on-site installation
Prepare the equipment to bring on-site and plan for reviewing the installation to verify its robustness and make adjustments if required.
Contact us if you would like any assistance with your installation. We are happy to assist!
1. Map the environment
Gather information necessary for the installation by examining floor plans or visiting the site. This preparation saves a considerable amount of time on-site and decreases the chance of making adjustments in hindsight.
Some questions to consider when reviewing the installation site:
- Is the environment suitable for the sensors and Cloud Connectors based on the datasheet specifications?
- Is there cellular coverage or an Ethernet network available?
- Are there power sockets or PoE-ports available to power the Cloud Connectors?
- Are there elements in the environment that weaken wireless signals?
- Is drilling or the use of adhesives on surfaces allowed for mounting?
- Is network configuration or IT approval required?
An updated floor plan, as shown below, is helpful for sensor placement and wireless coverage planning.
2. Plan for sensor placement and mounting
When planning the installation, first map the data to collect and its value to the end-user. With this in place, consider which sensors are needed to get the data, placement, and how they will be mounted.
The practical placement of the sensor impacts both the radio communication range and measurement accuracy.
For instance, if you want to measure ambient temperature in an office, avoid mounting the sensor directly on the outer concrete wall since the sensor will primarily measure the walls' surface temperature instead of the air temperature.
Find tips in the following articles on mounting installation for some use cases.
Plan sensor placements
If you have a floor plan, mark the sensor placements to know where coverage is needed. The map will also work as a future reference if maintenance or changes to the installation is required. Alternatively, make a list of sensors locations.
The sensor has a strong tape on the back and sticks permanently on most dry and clean surfaces. However, consider different adhesives for special conditions, such as mounting on rough surfaces or cold or wet environments.
Plan to use clay glue or similar for temporary installations for easier removal and repositioning.
Sensors placed on metal
If sensors are placed directly onto metal surfaces, the signal strength will suffer. Plan to use suitable range extenders for such installations or have Cloud Connector close to the sensors.
Combine sensors with range extender accessories to increase the wireless range and simplify the mounting for some applications.
Should range extenders be used?
Use the table below to decide if range extenders are suitable for the installation.
||Extend the wireless range for sensors not placed on metal|
|Water Detector Range Extender||
||Extend the wireless range, protect the sensor and avoid false leakage alerts|
|Ambient Temperature Range Extender||
||Extend the wireless range and easier mounting of sensors to measure the ambient air temperature|
|Pipe Range Extender||
||Extend the wireless range and easier mounting of sensors to measure pipe surface temperatures|
|Surface Range Extender||
||Extend the wireless range and easier mounting of sensors to measure metal surface temperatures|
3. Estimate Cloud Connector coverage
Predicting wireless range can be challenging as signals are absorbed by some objects and reflected on others. For example, metal acts as a mirror to radio waves and can both block signals in some directions and reflect them further in another direction.
The goal of the installation is that each sensor has a decent signal to one or more Cloud Connectors to transmit its readings to the cloud.
The most reliable way to assess the sensor's signal strength is on-site through a survey. Bring a few sensors and Cloud Connectors to the site and test the connection and range at the intended installation locations.
When surveys are not possible, plan based on the assumption that a Cloud Connector covers around 1000 m2 or sensors within 25 meters in a typical office environment. The building type, environment, and practical mounting of sensors and Cloud Connectors will affect actual coverage.
- Place Cloud Connectors centrally to the sensors
- Mount Cloud Connectors at an elevated position (high on the wall or in the ceiling)
- Avoid installing Cloud Connectors inside a technical cabinet or similar
- Line-of-sight between sensors and Cloud Connectors maximizes the range
- Do not place it in a bundle of power cords and next to other equipment emitting radio noise
Example: Coverage plan for a small site
One Cloud Connector is often enough to cover a smaller site. Place a "range circle" with a 25 m radius on the floor plan to mark the expected coverage for the Cloud Connector, as seen below.
Example: Coverage plan for a large site
A large site with many sensors requires multiple Cloud Connectors to provide good coverage. Estimate by placing "range circles" with a 25 m radius on the floor plan. Place each circle with approximately 30-meter spacing, as seen below.
Dense Cloud Connector deployment (generous overlap) means that sensors can be placed anywhere with little or no considerations around the radio communication range and it simplifies adding more sensors.
Optimizing for a few Cloud Connectors (none or little overlap) means that sensor placement and mounting need a more careful assessment to ensure adequate coverage.
Example: Coverage plan for multiple floors
Consider that Cloud Connectors can provide coverage on the floor above and below for multi-floor installations. The range will depend on the construction of the building, especially the material of the floor separators.
Plan for Cloud Connectors on each floor shifted horizontally to maximize the signal coverage, as seen below.
Identify wireless challenges and adjust the coverage plan
With the plan for placing sensors and Cloud Connectors ready, try to identify radio challenges to prepare for them in advance.
As with all radio equipment, the connection strength between wireless devices is negatively affected by various environmental factors, such as:
- Concrete, brick, and metal walls
- Metal doors
- Elevators and shafts
- Tinted glass or modern windows with UV-blocking coatings
- Densely populated areas
In addition, the height and layout of rooms and surfaces affect the radio signals.
Mark locations on the floor plan that are expected to impact radio signals negatively. Plan for a shorter distance between Cloud Connectors and sensors or use range extenders for sensors installed inside or "behind" the marked areas.
In the example below, the restrooms (brick walls), the elevator (metal box), and the stairwell (thick concrete walls) are expected to reduce the wireless range.
Plan for mounting and connectivity
With the placement plan ready, make sure that the gateways can be mounted robustly at each installation location, including an internet connection and a power source.
- How will the Cloud Connecters be mounted?
Cloud Connectors should be mounted at an elevated position using screws, tape, or zip ties. Find more information in the Cloud Connector installation guide.
- Are there power sources available?
Cloud Connecters are powered using regular power sockets through the included PoE-injectors or a direct connection to a PoE-port. Install new power sources ahead of the installation if required. Find more information in the Cloud Connector installation guide.
- How will the Cloud Connectors connect to the internet?
Each Cloud Connector needs an internet connection to communicate with the cloud solution through cellular (4G) or a cabled network (Ethernet).
- Confirm that the location has cellular coverage if you plan to use cellular.
- If you plan to use Ethernet, configure the network firewall according to the Firewall configuration for Cloud Connectors.
4. Prepare for the on-site installation
The sensor sticks easily on most surfaces, and everything you need to mount a Cloud Connector is in the box. However, before installing, we advise familiarizing yourself with the Sensors installation guide, Cloud Connector installation guide, and each range extender and reviewing the checklist below.
Checklist for items to bring on-site:
- Cloud Connectors
- Range extenders
- Spare sensors, Cloud Connectors, and range extenders
- Mounting instructions
- Floor map with the placement plan
- Cleaning equipment to prepare surfaces before using tape/glue
- Extra tape or glue for sensor mounting
- Extra cable ties for sensor or Cloud Connector mounting
- Screwdriver for mounting Cloud Connectors
- Extra Ethernet cables (if longer/shorter cables are needed)
- Mobile phone or similar for identifying devices and installation support using Studio
Additionally, check again that:
- Power sockets are available where Cloud Connector will be mounted
- Network firewall settings allow Cloud Connector traffic to the internet (if required)
- You have access to Studio or similar for identification and naming of the devices
- The sensors and Cloud Connectors are available in Studio