Author Topic: Possible range between McModule - McGateway  (Read 340 times)

peterdb

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Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« on: August 10, 2016, 03:35:19 pm »
Hi guys,

Can I ask you how much distance there can be between the McGateway and a McModule in practice while still transmitting signals succesfully to one another?

I want to monitor the position of my garage door (open/closed) via the accelerometer and put it onto a MQTT server.  I got all things up and running for when the gateway and module are really close to each other (say up to 3 meters or so), but the signal does not seem to be received when they are further away from each other.  That means, 6 or 7 meters or so!  As I want the module to monitor the state of my garage door, ideally it should work with a wall in between, but even with a clear line-of-sight, I don't succeed in receiving the signal when they are separated 6 or 7 meters.

In order to eliminate some other possible causes, I have put a brand new CR2032 battery in place and have updated the firmware of both the module and the gateway to the newest versions available.

Any advice on this matter?  Rather important I think, as the wireless tranmission of the signal over a decent distance (I assumed 10 meters would certainly be possible) was precisely the reason why I supported/bought your product (the product specification even mentions up to 200m under optimal line-of-sight conditions?).  Could it be that I am doing something wrong in my configuration, setup, ... or so?

Kind regards,

Peter

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mc-John

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 05:25:42 pm »
This must be something unrelated. Can you take a picture of the module and the gateway and a screen shot of the beaconing page so we can see the RSSI values

-John-

EthanSpitz

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 11:32:34 pm »
I'm having similar issues.

I have one in the freezer and refrigerator respectively about 20 feet away that push a value to MQTT every 10 seconds. Here is the screenshot of mine.


rudydevolder

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 11:24:19 am »
I just tested the modules for distance and I must say I can hardly go through 1 wall.
I sincerely hope that in the future the Gateway will have a bigger and stronger antenna so the whole network of MC Modules can benefit. ;)

Also an option for external antenna on the modules. If anybody knows how to do a mod to an UFL antenna I want be the first to know ;)

rvdvoort

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2016, 03:36:37 am »
I would also be interested in how we can increase the range of the McGateway with an external Antenna (hack). Currently the range is limited to 5 - 10 meters with one "small" wall in between. I did some testing and by moving the McGateway just a couple of cm's can make already a big difference in the RSSI values (changes of +/- 10 dB)

On the internet there are some hacks with BT dongles. They cut-off the internal Antenna and add a copper wire of 3 or 12 cm's. Would that als work for the McGateway?

mcf

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2016, 01:15:21 am »
I also believe that a increased range would incredibly useful. The whole thing is SO CLOSE to being really useful.

Looking for other solutions, can a mcmodule send LPLan messages that are picked up by another mcmodule without the mcgateway being involved? i.e. MQTT type mesaging between mcmodules.

What happens if a mcmodule is in range of two mcgateways? Will it's MQTT messages be caught by both mcgateways or are mcmodule  messages targeted at the gateway it was downloaded from?

...Michael Flower

Nick_W

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2016, 09:07:53 am »
I have a discussion on how to improve range under  mc-Product General. See here: http://mcthings.createaforum.com/misc/considerations-on-wireless-range/

There are a lot of things you can do to improve the range.

If modules could talk to modules without a gateway, you could do triangulation, and/or make a mesh network. This is very complex though, and could burn through battery power. So, no you can't do this at the moment, and I don't know if there are any plans for this.

As to multiple gateaways, there is a discussion about this in the forums here. Basically you are right, a module is tied to the gateway that downloaded its code, but multiple gateways can be registered to each module, in which case the one with the best signal wins. The information is stored on the gateway, not the module.

See here: http://mcthings.createaforum.com/mc-gateway/multiple-mcgateways/msg832/#msg832

The gateway knows which modules it has connected to, and stores that info, so if you connect from more than one gateway, the module can talk to either gateway. Beacons on the other hand are broadcast. All gateways in range will receive them.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 09:21:44 am by Nick_W »
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bdevlin

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 10:53:37 pm »
This is a great topic. I am surprised there is not more on this. My home lot is 150ft x 150ft... Wood construction. The max distance for my mc-Module 110 from gateway is maybe 40 ft to garage or back yard. I have played with various positions for the gateway to accommodate the module locations. This seems to see all of them some of the time, but I miss a lot of broadcasts. I am using IFTTT which I think is one and done, so I may start playing with MQTT and QoS levels, but there is only a door sensor example and I'm not clear on it yet. I am setting up a Raspberry PI with Mosqquitto soon so I can play with the examples and QoS with a local Postgres or MySql database.

The gateway crashed on me just as I was showing my colleagues my awesome temperature visualizations in Tableau on the data logged through IFTTT in Google sheets. I didn't know until 6 hours later as I have the visualization hooked up on my phone as well. Is there a debug log for the gateway I can send you somehow? I have no idea what happened, but I reset the router and the beacons started coming back up and logging data

This is my layout, the gateway is inside on the second floor. The garage is the furthest and behind a fire rated wood door. I could raise it up, but then the temperature is not as accurate because heat rises. Garage and Back yard are most problematic. Back yard is in a use aspirin container wedged into some branches of a 3 foot cedar, but is only 30-40 ft from the gateway, yet through an exterior wall.

Layout:




                                  South Back Yard
                                           *






                                       Gateway 110



                                                                                                               Garage
                                                                                                                  *

                                                       Kitchen
                                                          *

Master Bedroom
      *

Some data streaming from all mc-Module 110's again:
January 5, 2017 at 08:23PM   Main_Floor_Temp   20.8125         10085
January 5, 2017 at 08:26PM   Garage_Temp   -1.25         10089
January 5, 2017 at 08:26PM   Main_Floor_Temp   20.75         10085
January 5, 2017 at 08:27PM   Upper_BackYard_Temp   -3.5625         0001008a
January 5, 2017 at 08:29PM   Garage_Temp   -1.25         10089
January 5, 2017 at 08:29PM   Main_Floor_Temp   20.75         10085
January 5, 2017 at 08:30PM   Upper_BackYard_Temp   -3.5625         0001008a
January 5, 2017 at 08:31PM   Master_Bedroom_Temp   19.5625         10091
January 5, 2017 at 08:32PM   Garage_Temp   -1.25         10089
January 5, 2017 at 08:32PM   Main_Floor_Temp   20.75         10085
January 5, 2017 at 08:34PM   Master_Bedroom_Temp   19.5         10091
January 5, 2017 at 08:35PM   Garage_Temp   -1.25         10089
January 5, 2017 at 08:35PM   Main_Floor_Temp   20.6875         10085


You can have a look at my visualization, although it's not live because our free product requires a manual refresh and upload. I have a reasonably live (not streaming) version on my own server.
https://public.tableau.com/views/TemperatureIoTmc-ThingsIFTTTGoogleSheets/Temperature?:embed=y&:display_count=yes

Can we get some info on optimal antenna orientation? This is something I can control at install, but I am guessing all the way right now.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 11:36:15 pm by bdevlin »

mc-T2

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 11:31:04 am »
Hello bdevlin,

First, very cool visualization of the data in Tableau! Thanks for sharing.

Just to make sure, are your gateway and modules updated to the latest firmware versions? If not, please update as some of the recent changes have made some major improvements to the system itself.

Gateway placement - Depending on the environment, range can be reduced (as you have seen). Some folks have seen better range when placing the gateway in a higher position and as Nick mentioned above, using multiple gateways is an great way to ensure that you have coverage (yes, you need to connect the modules to all the gateways you have so that they are registered to each gateway). You can also experiment with  moving the modules to different locations within the area you want to measure to make sure you are receiving the incoming data properly.

Using IFTTT - Because IFTTT is a third party service, I have seen missed messages and lags/delays using the service sometimes. This happens more so when you are sending constant data to the service and I have also noticed that IFTTT will sometimes stop incoming data when it appears that the data points are the same for a certain period of time. When we setup the IFTTT temperature example, we found that certain temperatures that were pretty much constant eventually were refused by IFTTT (Sending a temperature of 20.2 C for 10 minutes straight usually resulted in the service not accepting new incoming data). I have not used IFTTT myself for a while now so this may have changed but it was our experience previously.

Using MQTT - I have found that using MQTT is much more reliable and actually much easier to setup and use. Yes, the only video we currently have that discusses using setting up MQTT is door open and closed video on our channel. We do go through setting up an MQTT broker (CloudMQTT) and then viewing that data through a phone App (android phone application). We are putting together a new video shortly using JSON over MQTT and sending the information in one of our great partners, Losant. Losant has put together a great walk-through on sending temperature and battery voltage information into their application (found here: https://www.losant.com/blog/getting-started-with-mc-things-and-losant ).
Here is a sample of the dashboard that we are going to use for the video (https://app.losant.com/#/dashboards/575f90f3e7a2700100d1ddb0). Losant is a great way to view your data, get alerted for low-temps, battery voltage, etc

New mcGateway120! - As mc-John mentioned in a previous post, we are working on a new gateway that will be released the first part of this year! The new gateway (mcGateway120) has an additional antenna to increase the diversity and will also include a power amplifier to increase the range. We are currently working on this and will release some initial testing results on the range when we are ready to go. The great part here is that you can expect a new device shortly that will allow you to increase the range of your mcAir network!

Hope that helps!
Thanks,
mc-T2
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bdevlin

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 10:43:06 pm »
Cool! I was planning on getting another 5 modules, but now I'll wait for the new gateway ! So I can use the two gateways in tandem with my 5 110 mods and future 120 mods?. I want to put the 110's in my raised bed garden and use new 120's to monitor fermentation temperatures (kombucha and real pickle).

mc-T2

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Re: Possible range between McModule - McGateway
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 02:17:30 pm »
Hey bdevlin,
Yup, you'll be able to use your existing modules and your new ones with both gateways.
Sounds like an interesting use-case - are you going to use the built-in temperature sensor to measure the fermentation temps? You could also look at using something like an NTC thermistor probe (that way you can detect multiple temperatures using one module plus the ambient temperature using the built-in temp sensor)
Need more mc-Modules, mc-Gateways or other mc-Things? Check out our product page: www.mcthings.com/products. mc-Development kits are available too!
Check out a live Dashboard using mcThings and Losant! Click here: https://goo.gl/ST43hB