Skip to content

CheckFox Device User Guide

GENERAL

Prerequisites

Please follow the Device and Dashboard Setup Guide, where you can find the necessary steps that need to be taken before you will be able to use the device. You also need to make sure that the SIM card in your device is active!

Power management

  • Switch the device on by pressing the power button. This is Full operational mode.
  • You completely switch the device off by long pressing the power button.
  • If you are in Full operational mode and press the button, you will go to the power saving Standby mode. In Standby, the light of the usually backlit display is turned off completely, GSM and GPS are both in power saving mode.
  • To go back to Full operational mode from Standby, press the button again.
  • The device will switch to Standby mode automatically if it's not used for 5 minutes.
  • The device will switch off after 6 hours of Standby mode.
  • Please note that the time to switch to Standby or switch off can be adjusted in Settings you can find in the Service menu.
  • If the battery voltage is below 3.7V, there will be a Battery low warning at the welcome sceen.
Success

The battery will last for 10+ days in Standby mode and the device should be able to perform about 400 measurements on one battery charge. It's a good idea to carry a powerbank!

GSM

  1. We are using a GSM connection to upload additional information during measurement and to download additional information from the CheckFox Dashboard. This is why the SIM card is needed. It's also used for uploading device logs and synchronization of measurements.

  2. Establishing GSM connectivity takes 6 seconds from Cold start. If you plan to do multiple measurements, it's preferable you switch to Standby instead switching the device off completely.

  3. GSM signal strength indication can be found under Device status in the Service menu.

GPS

The GPS is used as a location reference. It takes up to 40 seconds to get the GPS fix under open sky and it can take longer if the terrain is not open enough. The module also shows and records velocity as it has influence on the measurement.

Success

You can get a quicker GPS fix if you lay or hold the device flat, display up.  

Accelerometer

We are recording orientation and shaking of the device during measurement. This data is both shown on the display and also appended to the CheckFox Dashboard.

Charging

Please use regular 5V USB Type-C charger (it's not part of the shipment). Don't use multivoltage! Always 5V only - USB-A to USB-C would work in this case. The correct voltage on the battery is between 3,6V and 4,2V.

Here you can find 5 types of measurements and also the Service menu. If you choose one of the measurement types, you will go to the Measurement menu.

Types of measurements

  1. Outdoor above 1m (OUT)

    This is a measurement you do on rooftops, out of window, on trees etc. In general, the results should be better than coverage prediction. You must be at least 1m (3.3 ft) away from any obstacle!

  2. Outdoor 1m refer. (REF)

    This is a reference measurement at 1.3m (4.3ft) above ground. The results should match coverage prediction. You also must be at least 1m (3.3 feet)  from any obstacle.

  3. Outdoor 0m ground (GND)

    This is a signal measured at ground level. Suitable before measuring any installations below the surface of the Earth (parking meters, recycling bins, water shafts etc).

  4. Indoor (IND)

    This is a signal inside a house in a room with non-metallic windows at ground level. Attenuation is around 20dB and the coverage should match -20dB prediction. You can also use this for measuring while driving (device under the front window).

  5. Deep indoor (DIN)

    This is a signal at ground level inside a house behind metallic windows or in a room without windows or shallow below ground. Attenuation is 30dB and coverage should match -30dB prediction.

MEASUREMENT MENU

  1. Survey 1x (S1)

    Immediately sends one message, uploads the conditions via GSM and shows the results. Device displays TAP ID, RSSI, SNR, Reps.

  2. Survey x6 (S6)

    Immediately sends six messages, uploads the conditions via GSM and shows the results. Device displays summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

  3. Final x6 (F6)

    Records the location as final (directly by the pipe/valve, under the sink, by the wall) and sends six messages, uploads the conditions via GSM and shows the results. Device displays a summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard. The difference between Survey and Final is only in the tag!

  4. Final x6 delayed (D6)

    For locations behind metallic doors or when you need to lower the CheckFox with a rope, the measurement is delayed by 30 seconds. Sends six messages, uploads the conditions via GSM and shows the results. Device displays a summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

  5. Periodical tests (P)

    Gets you into the PERIODICAL TESTS menu. See below.

  6. Downlink test (DL)

    Sends an uplink with a downlink request and waits on downlink reception or up to 45 seconds. Shows the result and uploads the conditions via GSM. The module does not provide neither RSSI nor SNR.

PERIODICAL TESTS

Success

The periodical tests measurements will not stop until you interrupt them - they are repetitive measurements with a certain time period in between. They are recorded in byte 3 of the device log and can be combined with GPS or can be without it.

  1. 1 min. + GPS (P1G)

    Suitable for measuring while driving. The whole log gets uploaded after the measurement is finished. Device displays summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

  2. 10 min. + GPS (P0G)

    Suitable for measuring while driving. The whole log gets uploaded after the measurement is finished. Device displays summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

  3. 60 min. + GPS (PHG)

    Suitable for measuring while driving. The whole log gets uploaded after the measurement is finished. Device displays summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

  4. 10 min. no GPS (P0N)

    Suitable for stationery/indoor installations where you want to be sure how the quality of signal evolves over time. Device displays summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

  5. 10 min. no GPS (PHN)

    Suitable for stationery/indoor installations where you want to be sure how the quality of signal evolves over time. Device displays summary of all the measurements and the details can be found in the dashboard.

How the measurements are displayed

  1. Single repetition (1x) measurement

    The data from the first basestation is displayed immediately, others follow in a few seconds. You can browse the results using the up and down arrows.

    • ID of the basestation - Location is not public information, but SOs can see it in the Dashboard.
    • RSSI - This is the strength of the signal (value 90-142). The lower the number, the stronger the signal. The best repetition is taken into account.
    • SNR - Signal to noise ratio (values 0-70). The higher the number, the clearer the received message. The best repetition is taken into account.
    • Repetitions - How many BTS stations received the message. The higher number, the higher probability the message will be delivered.
    Success

    The summary and the data can always be found in the Dashboard.

  2. Six repetitions (6x) and periodic measurements series

    • All the data can be found on the Dashboard. The summary applies to all the messages in the series (either 6 in the repetitive measurement or x in the periodic measurement).

Message pages

  1. First page

    Example:

    • Delivered ⅚ msg.
    • Distance 3 km-211 km
    • Total unique BTS 32
    • BTS all the msg. 0
    • Delivered: The most important data, how many messages got delivered.
    • Distance: Sigfox operators can see distance to closest and farthest base station in km
    • Total unique BTS: How many unique base stations saw the series.
    • BTS all the msg: How many basestions saw all the sent messages. It should be 2 or more for reliable redundant reception. If one or more messages got lost, 0 is the result.
  2. Second page

    Example:

    • BTS/Rep/2SNR/2RSSI
    • Min 2/⅘/120
    • Max 20/30/50/130
    • Avg 10/14/25/125
Success

In this matrix  we look at the characteristics of the series. We analyze all the messages in the series and look at worst and best performing message. We average across all the messages.

If the environment is stable, the spread should be low. In case of periodic interference the spread will be large. The first number gives the number of base stations processing the message, the second the total number of repetitions (total redundancy), the third takes SNR of the second best basestation (SNR cannot be averaged as the results would be skewed by far-away basestations, 2nd best gives most consistent results and we use it in Dashboard as well), the fourth second best RSSI.

SERVICE MENU

  1. Datalog upload

    Upload of the log in case the device was out of GSM network reach. You can check the log parsing in this article.

  2. Device status

    Dynamic information about the device:

    • Battery charging status
    • Internal module temperature
    • Internal log memory space
    • GSM operator and connection type (selected GSM access technology)
    • GSM signal strength
  3. GPS/WiFi

    • Realtime GPS - Performs a GPS fix and shows you the results.
    • WiFi scan - Performs a WiFi scan and shows you 6 MAC addresses with the strongers RSSI and the RSSI as well.
    • WiFi mode - settings of the WiFi mode (Auto, Payload, Off)
  4. About

    Static information about the device:

    • ID of the device
    • Original (production) PAC (not usable for transfer if device is already registered!)
    • Frequency band
    • Firmware version
    • IMEI number
  5. Settings

    • Beeper (ON/OFF)
    • Backlight intensity (1-9)
    • Automatic standby timeout (X minutes, 5 is default)
    • Automatic power off timeout (X hours, 6 is default)
    • GSM APN server (case sensitive!)
    • CheckFox server URL (DO NOT CHANGE!)
  6. Firmware update

    Will trigger a firmware update immediately. Do this regularly in order to stay up do date at all times!

Happy CheckFoxing everyone!