Reform an ALTA Gateway’s Network
The Reform command for ALTA Gateways performs a function that may be necessary for some scenarios. This article will outline the processes involved in reforming a gateway’s network.
Download Sensor List: How Sensors Are Authorized to Communicate With a Gateway
The Reform function has a specific operation with the gateway’s sensor network. After a sensor is added to a sensor network through iMonnit, the gateway will need to perform a Download Sensor List function. This downloads all of the sensor IDs on the network to authorize the sensors to communicate with the gateway. You can perform this operation in three scenarios:
- When you first turn on the gateway.
- When you press and immediately release the gateway’s Utility button to initiate an immediate manual check-in with iMonnit.
- Every 12 hours by default unless you configure a check-in to be more frequent.
The Download Sensor List function is important as this operation authorizes a sensor to communicate to a gateway. If a sensor has not been added to a gateway’s Sensor Network through the software and downloaded onto the gateway’s Sensor List with a Download Sensor List operation, the sensor will not be authorized to communicate with the gateway. This is why the order of operation when setting up your devices for the first time can be critical.
When a gateway’s network is Reformed using Monnit software, the gateway will download the device ID’s in sequential order. Therefore devices with ID’s that are sequentially smaller will be placed in an corresponding lower number slot, and devices with larger sequential ID’s will be placed in a higher number slot.
Functions of a Reform Command
There are two key functions performed by the Reform command:
The gateway clears out the Sensor List.
It is important to understand that when a gateway performs a regular Download Sensor List command, it does not clear out any of the existing sensor IDs that have previously been downloaded onto the Sensor List. Therefore if the gateway has ever been added to a different sensor network, any sensor IDs downloaded onto the Sensor List will remain. When a gateway’s Reform command is performed, the first operation it executes is completely clearing out the Sensor List.
The gateway performs a Download Sensor List command.
After the Reform command clears the Sensor List, it performs a Download Sensor List command to download any sensor IDs on the sensor network.
Perform a Gateway Network Reform With iMonnit
- Log into your iMonnit account.
- Select Gateways in the left-hand main menu.
- Locate the gateway to perform the network Reform and click on it.
- Click the Settings tab at the top of the gateway view.
- Click the Commands subtab.
- Click the Reform button.
The reform will be performed on the gateway’s subsequent check in.
Move Gateways or Sensors Between Networks
One critical example when reforming a gateway’s network may be necessary is moving gateways or sensors between sensor networks. When a gateway performs a Download Sensor List function, it does not clear out the sensor IDs that have been added to the Sensor List. Therefore if you move a gateway or sensor to a new sensor network in iMonnit, the devices that were on the same network will continue to authorize communication if in range of each other. This can confuse you if the devices are in the range of multiple gateways and sensors but need to operate on different sensor networks. Therefore you should perform a Reform command on the gateway from the previous network, and the gateway moved to the new network.
How a Reform Command Differs Between Gen1 and ALTA
Though a Reform command performs the same function for Gen1 and ALTA Gateways in the Sensor List operations, there is an additional operation that the Gen1 Gateways perform, but the ALTA Gateways don’t. Gen1 Gateways operate on a dedicated channel within the radio frequency band, which the sensor/gateway supports. A Reform command on a Gen1 Gateway performs a third function in which it scans for the clearest available channel within the operating frequency band. This can be useful with a Gen1 Gateway if the devices are experiencing interference.
The ALTA line operates with Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum radio transmission. Because the devices are communicating over a range of frequencies by default, this function is not necessary for the ALTA line and, therefore, not performed when Reforming the network of an ALTA Gateway.
Reform a Gateway Using the Local Configuration (HTTP) Interface
Some users may not interact with iMonnit when configuring and operating their gateways. If you run your gateways on private networks with the Default Server Interface disabled, you can still perform the Reform command, and the functionality is the same. To do this, access the gateway’s Local Configuration (HTTP) Interface through a browser. For information on this, see the following article: Ethernet Gateway 4 - Accessing local configuration page (HTTP Interface).
- From the HTTP Interface, click General Options.
- Select Wireless Sensor Network Configurations.
Click Reform Wireless Network.
After performing the Reform, you will see the Current Network Wireless Device List empty. Using the top half of this page, you can manually add sensors to the Sensor List
The Reform command can be useful in many scenarios where refreshing the Sensor List might be necessary. The Reform functions performed can resolve various issues to regain control of the Sensor Network configuration of a gateway. Please contact Monnit Support if you have further inquiries.