I want to be notified if, between 9am and 10pm every day, motion is detected . I want to turn on a strobe light as a local alert for 10 seconds, and I want to receive a push notification at the same time. How can I do this?

The IoTPortal Events feature allows you to set multiple conditions using AND/OR logic to set the trigger condition for an event. You can also specify the actions to take which can include sending push notifications to selected users and enabling an output actuator. In this example we use the 4in1 Sensor which includes Temperature, Humidity, Ambient Light and Passive Infra-Red (PIR) Motion detection in one compact unit. We also use channel 1 of an LDSBus 2CH Relay actuator to control the strobe light.

These events can be set up via the user-friendly IoTPortal web application and the mobile apps (iOS & Android). The event is shown in the IoTPortal web application in Figure Q3a

Figure Q3a

Figure Q3b shows the Event set-up. In the ‘When’ settings on the left-hand side, you can select one or more conditions using AND/OR logic. The AND condition is used so that the event triggers only when both conditions are true. Motion must be detected for at least 5 seconds, and the time must be between 9am and 10pm. Further AND/OR conditions can be added using the ‘+’ buttons shown.

In the ‘Do’ settings on the right-hand side, you can specify one or more actions to take. Here, we have specified the Notification message and entered the email addresses of the user(s) who should receive the notification. The Relay controlling the strobe light is also activated, followed by a 10 second delay, and the Relay is deactivated.  The actions can be easily re-ordered using the ‘handle’ on the right-hand side as well as edited or deleted.

Figure Q3b

Figure Q3c shows the detail of the Sensor Value and Recurrence settings used, whilst Figure Q3d shows the detail of the notification, Trigger Actuator and Delay settings.

Figure Q3c

Figure Q3d

I want to be notified whenever my LDSU (for example a 4in1 Sensor) goes offline and returns online. How can I do this?

The IoTPortal Events feature makes it easy to do this. You can set up an event which triggers when your LDSU goes offline and you can then tell IoTPortal which actions to take in response, such as sending an email to one or more address(es) specified. Similarly, you can set a second event which triggers when the LDSU comes online and sends an email to the specified address(es). These events can be set up via the IoTPortal web application and the mobile apps (iOS & Android).

Figure Q2a shows the IoTPortal web application Events page with the two events set up. You can see all of your events listed here as well as enabling/disabling them. You can also click the arrow at the right-hand side to edit them.

Figure Q2a

Figure Q2b shows the 4in1 LDSU Offline event. In the ‘When’ settings on the left-hand side, you can select one or more conditions using AND/OR logic. Here, the LDSU Status condition is added and configured to trigger when the LDSU is offline for at least 10 seconds. In the ‘Do’ settings on the right-hand side, you can specify one or more actions to take. Here, the Send Email action is selected. You can specify the email addresses of one or more users as well as specifying the message to be sent.

Figure Q2b

For example, when the 4in1 sensor goes offline, the specified users will receive an email message as shown in Figure Q2c

Figure Q2c

I need to monitor several different rooms/areas with one LDSBus, can I use splitters?

Yes, you can use the Long Distance Sensor Bus (LDSBus) as a backbone connection, and use RJ45 splitters to form branches and sub-branches that cover the area within the 200m distance limit. This can help simplify the cabling needed compared to routing a single cable around every room in turn.

The total distance to the furthest LDSU can be up 200m. This is the total distance (including the RJ45 cabling and the RJ11 connection from the Quad T-Junction to the furthest LDSU).

As with a linear LDSBus topology, only one LDSU on the bus should have termination enabled. Termination must be enabled on the LDSU which is furthest from the IoTPortal Gateway.

For the IoTPortal Gateway, is it recommended to use WiFi or Ethernet to connect to the on-premises router?

Connecting the IoTPortal Gateway via a wired Ethernet (or PoE) link offers higher throughput and is less likely to suffer from interference when compared with WiFi. Wired connections can also be more convenient, avoiding the need to reconfigure the wireless settings in the case that the access point in the premises changes. It is more difficult for bad actors to intercept data on a wired network compared to a wireless network which makes for improved security of communications over wireless networks. Having a reliable and continuous internet connection for the IoTPortal Gateway is important for ensuring responsive alerting and event condition checking and actuation control.

For the LDSBus, is it recommended to use CAT5e, CAT6 or CAT7 cabling?

BRT Systems normally recommend CAT5e cabling for the LDSBus. Cat5E has been chosen to balance cost, transmission distance, power handling, EMI and crosstalk. While the CAT6 and CAT7 cables offer faster Ethernet transmission speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps respectively, improved EMI and crosstalk handling, they are not critical when considering the relatively much lower speed of LDSBus operations which is fixed at 230Kbps. CAT6 and CAT7 cabling can therefore be used for the LDSBus for cases where cabling is already installed or if this is preferred by the installer, but does not offer an operational benefit for LDSBus compared to CAT5e.

Can the IoTPortal system alert me when my application parameters are outside of defined ranges?

The IoTPortal offers two methods to alert you when application parameters are outside of defined ranges. The first is via single sensor alerts and the second is via the event service. In both cases, a choice of Push alerts, SMS messages and Emails (all with configurable messages) can be sent. These two methods allow simple set-up or comprehensive multi-condition alerts depending on the application requirement.

Single sensor alerts can be set up for each sensor, from the configuration page for the associated sensor within the IoTPortal web application or mobile app (iOS & Android). They are ideal for simpler cases where the alert is associated with a single sensor and only a notification is required (rather than taking other actions such as triggering an actuator). Single or dual thresholds (upper/lower) can be set and the resulting alert can be triggered when the alert case becomes true (activated), when it becomes false (deactivated) or both.

The Event service offers more comprehensive options which can include multiple sensors, and multiple other conditions (such as requiring the trigger condition to exist for a set time before activating, or the time of day). This is set up via the dedicated Events menu within the IoTPortal web application or mobile app (iOS & Android). In addition to sending alerts, the Events service has a wider range of actions which can be selected, such as controlling other actuators in response to the event conditions being met.

My organisation has several locations it wishes to monitor, can the IoTPortal support multiple locations.?

Certainly, any number of IoTPortal gateways may be deployed across a locality or region and accessed and controlled globally through the IoTPortal. Customers can connect to the IoTPortal via their favourite web browser or use the IoTPortal mobile apps available on the App Store and Play Store. The browser and mobile applications allow you to monitor and control your processes from anywhere in the world.

The Car Park I wish to monitor is indoors, does the IoTPortal system have any sensors available for monitoring air quality?

Yes, BRT Systems offers several models of LDSBus air quality sensors, namely, LDSBus CO2 and LDSBus CO2-Pro sensors which measure CO2, temperature, humidity and outdoor ambient light, LDSBus TrueVOC sensors that measure volatile organic gases and LDSBus Air Quality Sensor which measure air quality referenced to an international standard index.

Car Park management systems often require many sensors; how many sensors can be added to the IoTPortal System?

One IoTPortal gateway can support up to 80 LDSBus devices with each LDSBus device consisting of several sensors and actuators. Additional gateways may be added to increase the coverage area and increase the number of sensors and actuators if required.

My aquaculture farm covers a large area, what is the total area that an IoTPortal system can cover?

Each IoTPortal gateway supports up to three daisy-chained sensor networks, these LDSBus networks can each be up to 200m long, allowing a large area to be covered. If the aquaculture application requires more coverage than available from a single gateway, then multiple gateways can be connected to the same system.

How can I use BRTSys products to ensure that the dissolved oxygen levels in my fish farm remain within safe levels?

To ensure adequate dissolved oxygen levels, ensure that the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) probe is regularly serviced and in working condition at all times. In most farms, aerator pumps are switched on and off on a periodic schedule to ensure that DO levels always remain at a high level. However, this is wasteful from an energy conservation and equipment life point of view and ideally, we should only have to turn on the aerator when the DO level is below a safe threshold and stop when a health level is reached. This can be achieved with the IoTPortal using our Events feature which activates and deactivates the required aerator pump(s) depending on measured DO levels. Besides this, push notifications, SMS and email alerts may also be configured via our Alert feature. All the foregoing is performed via our Zero-code environment.

I am setting up the IoTPortal for a fish farming application, where can I find the details of which probes are supported for the sensor adapters?

BRTSys provides several sensor adapters for water quality monitoring such as pH, EC, DO, ORP besides water level and thermocouple sensors. We have curated 3rd party sensor probes that are compatible with our adapters and this guide can be found at the following link: https://brtsys.com/ldsbus/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2023/05/BRTSYS_LDSBus_Probes-Specifications.pdf

What Sensor modules does BRTSys have available that can be used in a agriculture or aquaculture environment?

BRTSys offers a comprehensive range of sensor adapter modules tailored for various applications in the agricultural and aquaculture sectors. These include, but are not limited to, pH sensors, Oxidation Reduction Potential sensors, and thermocouples.

In addition to these, we have customers who have successfully utilise the IoTPortal system for specific applications such as Hydroponics systems and Green Houses.

  • For Hydroponics system, we incorporate a cluster of deployed sensors including pH, EC, DO, Temperature sensors, and Relay actuators for controlling water, lights, and dosing pumps.
  • For Green House solutions, we focus on soil sensors for pH, EC, Temperature, Salinity, and NPK soil measurements.

For a more detailed list of the available sensor adapters, please visit our website at https://brtsys.com/iotportal/. We are constantly expanding our range of sensors to cater to the diverse needs of our customers in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. If you have specific requirements, feel free to contact us for customised solutions.

How can BRTSys products help me keep track of environmental conditions within a vertical farming environment?

The IoTPortal allows users to configure event notifications based upon sensor or actuator inputs connected to the system, notifications can be pushed to an applicable email address, mobile phone or via the IoTPortal Application when event thresholds are triggered allowing users to keep track of all relevant environmental conditions.

What is the difference between the LDSBus and IoTPortal?

LDSBus provides a wide range of sensor and actuator products which can be integrated into both indoor and outdoor applications, data monitoring and system automation is easily achieved through a localised host system. The IoTPortal expands the usability of the LDSBus system by enabling instant access to sensor data or actuator states anywhere in the world via the web dashboard or IoTPoral mobile Application.