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NetBotz | Wireless Network Basics

Description of the different components of wireless sensor networks and recommendations for placement of the routers and sensors.

Product Line:
NetBotz Rack Monitor 700 Series
- NetBotz Rack Monitor 750 (NBRK0750)
- NetBotz Wall Monitor 755 (NBWL755)
NetBotz 400-500 Series
- NetBotz Rack Monitor 570 (NBRK0570)
- NetBotz Rack Monitor 450 (NBRK0450/451)
- NetBotz Wall Monitor 455 (NBWL0455/456)
NetBotz Rack Monitor 200 Series
- NetBotz Rack Monitor 250 (NBRK0250)

NetBotz Rack Monitor 250, 400-500 Series, 700 Series
NetBotz Wireless Sensors

Components of a Wireless Sensor Network
The wireless sensor network is made of a host NetBotz appliance, a coordinator, routers, and end devices.
  • The host appliance (700 series NetBotz Appliance) collects data from the wireless sensor network and generates alerts based on sensor readings.
  • The coordinator is connected directly to the host appliance via USB.  It reports data from the sensors on the network and provides available firmware updates to the wireless network.  Each wireless sensors network must have only one coordinator, which is connected to a USB Type A port on the NetBotz Appliance.
  • Routers extend the range of the wireless sensor network.  Routers pass information between themselves and the coordinator, and between the coordinator and end devices. Routers are optional.  In a data center environment where obstructions are common, routers are recommended if sensors are more than 50 feet from the coordinator.  Each router is powered by an AC-USB adapter, not directly connected to the NetBotz appliance.
  • End devices monitor attached and internal sensors and send data back to the host appliance through the network.  End devices are powered by batteries.
INFO! If you can add a total of 47 wireless end devices on a wireless network (Routers/Sensors)

The following devices can be configured on the wireless network:
Wireless DevicePart NumberNetwork role
USB Coordinator & RouterNBWC100UCoordinator when connected to the appliance
Router when powered by an AC-USB adapter
Wireless Temperature SensorNBWS100TEnd Device
Wireless Temperature & Humidity SensorNBWS100HEnd Device
IMPORTANT! Wireless sensors have a maximum, line-of-sight range of 30.5 m (100 ft).  In a data center environment where obstructions are common, a range of 15 m (50 ft) is typical.

The order in which you configure your wireless sensor network and apply power to your wireless devices is important:
  1. Select the coordinator and routers: Choose the USB Coordinator & Router that will become the coordinator.  Note the extended address of the coordinator.  Choose one or more NBWC100Us to become routers.
  2. Mount the sensors.  Choose the locations for the routers and end devices.  Do not power the routers or end devices at this time.
  3. Power the coordinator first.  Connect one NBWC100U (USB Coordinator & Router) to a USB Type A port on the NetBotz appliance.
  4. Power the routers: Connect each router to an AC-USB adapter, not the NetBotz appliance.
  5. Power the end devices: To preserve battery life, do not power the end devices until after the coordinator and the routers are powered.
    HINT! If you have more than one sensor you are adding to the network, you may want to only turn ONE on at a time and configure the labels/names with the location information before proceeding onto the next sensor.  If you enable more than one sensor, you will need to look physically on the sensor to see the extended address / MAC address to properly label them.

Placement of Wireless Sensor Components
A coordinator should be plugged directly into the main NetBotz Appliance USB-A port.  It is highly recommended to extend the wireless coordinator above the rack using an extension cable.  Extending the coordinator above the rack level will provide better wireless single throughout the data center. Example locations can be dangling from a cable tray or the ceiling.
  • For the NetBotz 250, as simple USB extension cable (non-HUB) must be used.
  • For the 400-700 series, it is recommended us to use an NBAC0213L (LSZH) or NBAC0213P (Plenum) USB latching repeater cable.
Routers should be placed in the data center above rack level, such as hanging down from the ceiling or a cable tray.  Similar to the coordinator, you may need to use a USB latching repeater cable to extend the router higher in the data center from the outlet AC adapter.  This is not required, but it will likely provide better signal strength to the end devices and also back to the coordinator.

Wireless sensors (Temperature & Temperature/Humidity) sensors should not be placed in closed off areas where it would be difficult for wireless signal to escape.  It is not recommended to place the sensors deep inside a rack or channel of metal.  It is recommended to have the wireless sensors as close to a line of sight as possible back to a router or the coordinator.  It is recommended to place the wireless sensor within 50ft of a router/coordinator.
Example: Small/Medium Room (Wireless Sensor locations < 50 ft from Coordinator)
Appliance: As central to the monitored area as possible.
Coordinator: Plugged directly into the NetBotz Appliance using a USB extension cable to extend above rack level.
Router: Not needed as room is less than maximum distances.
Wireless Sensor(s): As close to line-of-sight as possible with the coordinator, while still monitoring the desired location.

Example: Data Center / Large Room (Wireless Sensor locations > 50 ft from Coordinator)
Appliance: Preferrable central to the room so that Routers can directly connect to the Appliance with as few hops (through other routers) as possible.
Coordintor: Plugged directly into the NetBotz Appliance using a USB extension cable to extend above rack level.
Router(s): Within 50ft of coordinator or another router.  Installed above rack level.
Wireless Sensor(s): As close to line-of-sight as possible with the coordinator/closest router, while still monitoring the desired location.

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