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DC Monitor Wireless Communications Considerations

Radio Zones

Information gathered by the wireless DC monitors is transmitted via a Packet Power radio network operating at 2.4 GHz. Because the DC monitors use only the 2.4GHz radio, all Packet Power devices that are to be on the same mesh network as a DC monitor must use a “UN’ region for the radio zone setting (e.g. UN.1, UN.2, etc.)  A DC monitor will not communicate with a Packet Power device set to a region other than UN (e.g. US.1, EC.1, etc.)

Physical Device Range

The network operates in a mesh topology. Each device in the network must be within range of at least one other device (either another monitoring node or a Gateway). The effective range of the radio in the wireless DC monitors can vary depending on the environment, but typically each device has an effective range of 10 to 30 meters. A wireless DC monitor will not be able to communicate if it is installed in an enclosure that entirely blocks radio signals.

Support Hardware (Ethernet Gateways)

At least one Packet Power Gateway is required in each network to collect data from the sensors. It is not necessary for all Wireless DC Monitors to communicate directly with the Gateway; if each monitor can communicate with at least one other monitor, and one monitor in the network can also communicate with the Gateway, information from all monitors will reach the Gateway.

The rate at which power monitoring information is gathered from a monitor depends primarily on the ratio of the number of monitors to the number of gateways. As an example, at a ratio of 100 monitors per Gateway, a Gateway should read from each monitor every 5 to 15 seconds. The system will automatically adjust when new Gateways or devices are added. Ideally one Gateway shall be used for a maximum of every 150 Packet Power devices reporting to the Gateway.

LED Indicators

The wireless DC monitors have one LED indicator. It will flash when powered on to indicate the presence of power. It then indicates the unit's communication status as follows:

  • solid on - the unit is communicating over the mesh network

  • continuous flashing - the unit is seeking to join a network

  • no LED - the unit has mesh communications disabled (or is not powered on)

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