Is it possible to connect the Homebase with internet router via wi-fi?

  • Unfortunately no. Connection through the ethernet cable is the only option.

Is possible to run Energomonitor on GSM router?

  • Yes, we have the best experience with Conel routers, but any quality GSM router can do the work. Internet speed and ping are not crucial for this use-case. Homebase is happy with few kB/s speed (far under today's standards) and ping can be a little bit slow. In fact, it's technically possible to run Energomonitor on Edge mobile connection.
  • The only important thing is to have a stable connection without failures and outages. Some losses can be covered by Homebase's buffer, but basic statement is that Energomonitor needs an internet connection to work properly.
  • So basically all nowadays standard internet connections should be enough to satisfy demands of Homebase. 
  • Maybe more important are demands for open ports where the Homebase connects: 
    • HTTP (80/TCP) for device configuration and for remote firmware updates,
    • MQTT (1883/TCP) to send measured data in real-time.

Why do I need an Internet connection to use all Energomonitor features?

  • Although data from sensors will appear on the display, this is not very comfortable for a more comprehensive analysis; it's somewhat useful to track the instant status. You can track every time an appliance is switched on. For a detailed account of consumption, an internet connection is required which will help you to evaluate your data. Additionally, an internet connection is required for data transfer. Data is sent in batches, the bit rate is therefore minimal, and in principle, any internet speed including GPRS / EDGE is sufficient.

What is the Homebase consumption? How much the running costs?

  • Negligible. You should fit into 2€ per year.

What kind of encryption does the Homebase use?

  • Because of hardware limitations, there is no standard asymmetric encryption used for MQTT, thus the MQTT packets are send to server in plaintext. The MQTT payload (customer's measured data and EWG configuration) are encrypted by standard AES128 (in CBC mode) and authenticated by HMAC-SHA256. AES and HMAC secret keys are stored in device's memory during manufacturing and are unique for each Homebase. The secret keys are not transmitted via public network.

How long does the firmware update take and what influence this process has on the course of collecting and transmitting data to the cloud?

The update is automatic for most Homebase. The process takes a few seconds, and during this period the Homebase won’t measure or send any data. However, as a customer, you are unlikely to notice because the Energomonitor application updates data every 60 seconds. Updating takes up to 20-30 seconds. Usually, there is no reason to restart the Homebase after update however in some cases a restart might be required.

What is the range of a radio signal inside a building?

The range is (approximately) 150-200 meters in open space or on direct visibility. Radio signal decreases mainly due to the obstacles from metal or ferroconcrete such as metal cabinets (faraday cage) or reinforced concrete constructions. If there are many such barriers, the range is more likely a few tens of meters - it is always recommended to test the environment to see the exact range. In a standard building, the signal is at a distance of 20-50m depending on the type of walls and obstacles. Otherwise, the signal distance is approximately three times that of a Wifi signal. On the other hand, the saturation of the receiver occurs at short distances (the signal is so strong that is cut off from above - a similar effect as distortion for el. guitars).  We recommend placing sensors more than 1.5 meters away from a Homebase. The device can be returned in a case of range problems.

To what extent is the Homebase resistant to surrounding interference? For instance, what can directly affect the data transmission from Homebase to the cloud?

The radio signal transmits at 433 MHz. This is a frequency for general use on which a lot of electronic devices operate, e.g. all wireless doorbells, weather stations, car keys etc. This may affect the range of sensors or entirely block its reception to the Homebase. 

Mobile phones operate at frequencies around 800 to 900 MHz. Wifi and Bluetooth are at 2400 MHz. CB radios are at 27MHz. FM radios from 88 to 104 MHz. Our sensors operate at 433MHz. In other words, these devices should not interfere with Energomonitor sensors.

What happens in case of more devices located in this frequency band in a given location if there are no longer additional channels?

The system itself searches for a free channel and always finds one in this band. The problem may emerge if the traffic in the radio band is too dense. This phenomenon may cause the reduction of distance in the radio band to which the data transmission may be realised (speaking of the range). It is required to test it on the spot.

Is it possible to use a cable to transmit data instead of a radio signal?

No. This option is currently unavailable. The data transfer from sensors works only via the transmitter to the Homebase. Theoretically, this possibility exists. The Homebase does allow collecting data by cable. But up to the present, no firmware is ready, and nobody has asked for this option so far. However, we can add this feature in the future in case of a large order.

What is the optimal sensor distance from the Homebase?

The minimum distance is 1 to 1.5m. The maximum distance depends on the physical and radio environment. When the sensor is located in the reinforced concrete building, its reach will be a few feet across the wall. If there is direct visibility between the sensor and Homebase, then it can be several hundred meters.

Is it possible to configure the proxy server at the Energomonitor Homebase?

No. Proxy servers don’t work with MQTT; This is mostly an HTTP protocol issue.

The Homebase communicates via the MQTT protocol, not HTTP.

Is there any possibility to collect data on our server outside of your cloud?

Yes. The service which allows this option is called a Forwarder. It works in a way that the Homebase sends data into the server provided by us where the user's data is aggregated for a defined period (e.g., 1, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes) and after that, the data is sent to a user-defined HTTP URL in one package. In essence, the user receives a file with data once in a while. After sending, the measured data is erased and is not stored anywhere. Another possibility is that customer creates their MQTT server and, according to our documentation, will program his backend. The Homebase sends the data directly to him afterwards. But we offer this alternative only as a special paid service after communication with the sales department.

Can data be stored even in case of power, device or Internet outage?

Yes, the Homebase has an internal memory which allows buffering for a time when the Internet connection is unavailable.

In the case of EWG6 and one sensor, the data will enter the buffer up to 138 hours. If there are more sensors paired to the Homebase, then fewer hours of data will be stored:

1 sensor =         138 hours

2 sensors =       69 hours

3 sensors =       46 hours

4 sensors =       34 hours

5 sensors =       27 hours

6 sensors =       23 hours

7 sensors =       19 hours

8 sensors =       17 hours

9 sensors =       15 hours

10 sensors =     13 hours