How long can the Captis battery last?

It is a factor of the passive sensor demand and the log frequency. The log frequency impacts the battery from both the power needed to take a measurement and the power needed to transfer its data to a data platform. The Captis is good for 5000 data transfers if there is reasonable connectivity and if the sensor does not draw much power. We have had a project with these conditions last the typical equivalent of 5 years.


Is the Captis battery rechargeable?

No, but there is a solar version which is being discussed if it could additionally be plugged into mains power.


Can the Captis be mains powered?

Yes, there is a DIN rail version but it is not specifically designed to be low power.


Can the sensor be set to perform high frequency logging on an external trigger?

Yes, however the trigger will only be acknowledged when the Captis next generates a log, e.g. if the logging frequency is 15min, then the trigger may only be acknowledged as late as 15min after the event. But once it is detected, the fast logging can be as frequent as 10 seconds.
There is also an option for the Captis to send its data immediately after a trigger condition is met. Cumulocity can then pick up on the  alarm once the data comes is and then send an email to those who need to be alerted of the trigger. Verge have also developed apps that check for the Cumulocity alarms and immediately notify the user of an event.

When can I expect to see a return on investment on IoT outlay?

We say a well implemented solution has returns in the 1000s of percent. We have a customer that's been liberated through Verge Solutions IoT.  He previously was doing 320km 2.5 X per week, and has deployed 1 Verge remote tank monitoring system, so travelling has ceased. Based on a cost of $0.68c/km his yearly saving is $28K. On top of that the travel time is cut by 10 hours per week, and conservatively at $30/h savings = $15K. Now the main savings are coming from what he can now be doing. As he has reduced his time per week from 10 hours to 7 minutes. (1 minute per day checking data)  That means they can manage 85 times the number of farms. So forget the 5% at the bank, this is 8000%.

 I cant see the menu for Captis Configuration, what is wrong? Also if you dont see any graphs other than signal strength

Its possible that your tenancy doesn't have a SmartREST template.  Look up Device Type on the left of your Cumulocity page, when you open that you should see "SmartREST" if its not there, Telstra will need to apply it. 

Why are my settings being rejected?

It is because of an illegal character or a setting that conflicts with another.  Examples are in Modbus naming fields you have not used an Alpha Numeric character and for all loggers if you set log intervals that are larger than send intervals, an also a time of day send when your sending interval is larger than a day. 

Can the Captis be used to control a pump

The Telstra Captis runs on a new cellular technology (NBIoT)  that allows for low power devices to connect over long distances, So where it works well is in monitoring situations.

It will log at a programmed interval and send at a programmed interval (so not permanently connected – which makes pump control difficult) 

If a threshold is exceeded then the logger can locally control the pump, and as part of this output data can also be sent immediately and more frequently. 

Complete device management (like the updates on your phone) and data management and settings management is done through the Telstra Cloud, its done that way for security reasons.

Why cant I see my data live?

IoT is about gaining insights into activities in the field that before now were difficult. While SCADA techniques have been around for a long time, they are for control and need to communicate live because their activities are critical. SCADA devices are high power, large amounts of data and costly, whereas IoT as a discipline is a step change to make these measurements even easier and more affordable, making the possibilities an order of magnitude greater. 

IoT makes measurement cheaper, with smaller, more mass produced, less power hungry and more capable solutions. Installation is easier because they use existing networks. These networks have been built are for these devices using cellular technology that is more reliable over longer distances but come with a single draw back - lower throughput, which will impact high frequency measurements and high data rates like video. 

To achieve longevity the loggers spend as much time as possible asleep and wake only to perform a measurement and to transmit data (pulses are an exception and are recorded while asleep). The act of transmitting data consumes as much power and data as full days' worth of logging measurements, but this is not an issue as every log is date and time stamped so when the data is transmitted every 12/24/48 hours, it always backfills the data so analysis is just as valuable. 

The Captis is equipped with alarms, and these will force the logger to communicate immediately, so if there is an incident, the platforms have up to the minute data, and then when measurement return to normal the logger returns to the usual send interval. 

Many of our large customers, having proved the reliability of the Captis, have dropped the transmission interval to 48 hours, because they want to really only know when an alarm is exceeded, and the 2-day connection is used as a confidence chirp. 

In many ways IoT is like a personal gas detector. A gas detector chirps every few seconds to say all is good and the battery is fine, but when the target gas is detected (or limit is exceeded) it screams loudly giving you time to get out of the area. in the same way IoT seeks to keep a steady flow of data and not bombard systems with many thousands of times more data, allowing real issues to be transmitted and noticed. 

The rise of IoT has caused the Telcos to create Cat NBIoT and CAT M1 technologies. These technologies accommodate for the many thousands of new devices by staggering the connections by telling the loggers at their last connection, this is when they must connect again. this staggering is taken by the logger as a guide, and not enforced.

The limiting of data transmission helps both the lifespan of the batteries, and also the data costs. We feel they are an excellent balance where you can reliably receive all your data in a timely manner as well as know immediately when the key issue arises. 

What makes the Cellular technologies of CatM1 and NBIOT so good?

These cellular technologies use PSM and EDRX

PSM - Short for power-saving mode, PSM is a recent feature of cellular networking explicitly designed for IoT devices. As its name implies, it allows idling devices to be placed in a low-power mode, conserving a maximum amount of energy when the IoT device is not in use.

This feature provides a higher level of control over when and how much power is used. PSM is key to keeping energy-related costs low, reducing traffic on a particular network, and lengthening the lifespan of devices.

PSM provides users total control over the feature, allowing them to enable or disable it per their own rules and needs.

EDRX - Similar to PSM, eDRX is a power-saving feature of cellular networks. However, it was created specifically for mobile devices rather than the IoT sector.

What separates eDRX from PSM is when devices are connected to the network. It allows the devices to disconnect and reconnect to the network as needed, reducing time spent roaming. It, in turn, reduces power consumption.

eDRX is a sleep mode that can last for minutes, hours, or even days. Like PSM, it controls the user equipment/devices, allowing them to set the rules and requirements that enable the feature.

Why is extending battery life important for battery powered sensors?

There are several reasons why PSM and eDRX are essential features for IoT devices, specifically battery-powered devices such as sensors.

First, features that extend the battery life of mobile devices reduce the maintenance demands of these devices. For example, devices will spend less time attached to a charger. As a result, you'll see lower battery replacement costs, and you will reduce the need for physical interaction with these devices.

Second, keeping power consumption low on a cellular network will most often mean keeping the device's use of that network low or completely shut down, which saves valuable bandwidth on the network, keeping it fast and efficient for other users. 

Features like PSM and eDRX can save energy and maintenance costs in the long term, which becomes an increasingly valuable selling point as the number of IoT devices increases.

Finally, extending the battery lifetime of a device can increase the lifespan of the device itself. Not all battery-powered sensors and devices will have a replaceable battery, and those that do won't always be deployed in easily accessible locations. Extending the battery's lifespan mitigates these types of challenges.

How does power-saving work with NB-IoT and LTE-M?

Short for narrow-band IoT, these networks are inherently low-power cellular connections. They use a cellular channel distinct from 5G and LTE connections, providing a low-power option for IoT devices exclusively. LTE-M and LTE Cat M1 are similar networking options for IoT devices, offering low power by design.

These are low-bandwidth networks, meaning that they only allow the user equipment to send small data packets at a time. However, for IoT devices like sensors, this is all the power they need. It prevents devices from having their batteries drained by networking energy they don't need.