Industrial IoT Wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor
Our long range wireless enterprise series sensors are an easy to use and reliable start to any data aggregation application. This video will demonstrate how they work, what they do, and how to use them.
Industrial IoT Wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor
Introducing NCD’s Long Range IoT Wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor, with a powerful 2 Mile wireless range using a mesh networking architecture. Structural Monitoring sensors are typically used for structural displacement monitoring, allowing movement and shift detection between two points. Install this structural monitoring sensor between footings and walls, or between walls and steel support structures. Any movement that causes the spring-loaded retractable cable to change length will be reported by this sensor. Use this Structural Monitoring sensor for measurement of distances between two points, such as positional control systems, lifting and spreader beam testing, hydraulic movement detection, and structural shift monitoring. The included sensor uses two mounting screws to hold the sensor in place with a third screw for the spring-loaded retractable cable. As the cable extends or retracts, a analog position value is indicated by the sensor. As structural shifts occur, this sensor will report the updated cable length. This sensor includes a IP65 rating, which is ideally suited for indoor or outdoor use.
This long range IoT wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor incorporates a 1 channel 10-bit ADC that samples Structural Monitoring at user defined intervals and sends a wireless transmission to remote gateways and modems. After sampling, this device goes to sleep to minimize power consumption and prolong battery life. This IoT Wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor has an additional feature of detecting change in position every 7 seconds (user configurable) and sending out the updated cable length value if a change in Displacement is greater than 10% (user configurable). To minimize power consumption, the sensor goes to sleep during the time it is not checking for change in displacement. Both of these features work together, supporting multiple application areas in one package. This Wireless IoT Structural Monitoring Sensor outputs a analog value. The value range is between 0 and 1023. An output value of 1023 indicates that the displacement cable is fully extended and 0 indicates that the displacement cable is fully retracted. Powered by just 4 AA batteries and an operational lifetime of 500,000 wireless transmissions, a 10 years battery life can be expected depending on environmental conditions and the data transmission interval.
Structural Monitoring Sensor Information
Structural monitoring is achieved using a retractable wire cable 50cm in length (fully extended). The sensor is constantly trying to retract the cable. As the cable is extended between 0 and 50cm, values from 0 to 1023 are indicated by the sensor. The included sensor should be mounted to measure movement between two points. Any structural shifts or displacement between the end of the cable and the sensor will be detected. The sensor does not measure the angular changes of the cable, only extension or contraction. Most applications would benefit by using a partially extended cable, any extension or retraction of the cable would be detected by the sensor. Please note that angular movement is not detected by this sensor, only cable extension and contraction are measurable.
We take IoT security very seriously, which is why we encrypt every IoT sensor, gateway, modem, and device in the NCD Enterprise product line. Encryption is much easier to manage than you might expect, as the encryption does not get in the way of using the device. We include a standard 128-Bit AES Encryption key with every device or we can help you integrate a new encryption key into all of your devices. All hardware devices must use the same encryption key. Once the keys are set, the hardware manages the rest for you, 100% in the background.
Wireless Range and Protocol
NCD long-range wireless IoT sensors use the DigiMesh® protocol from Digi.com. DigiMesh® was designed by THE industrial leader in secure wireless communications for industrial applications. DigiMesh® automatically hops data from gateway to gateway until it arrives at the desired destination. NCD IoT sensors are capable of a 2-Mile line-of-site communication distance with the included antennas and up to 28-mile range when using high-gain antennas.
Your IoT Sensor Data Belongs to You!
Your data belongs to YOU and it’s up to you to decide where you want your IoT sensor data to arrive. Don’t be bogged down by the limitations of proprietary cloud solutions, post the data where you need it most. We offer an open communications protocol so you can integrate NCD wireless transmitters into your own software. This allows integration of NCD IoT sensors into any control system or gateway you could ever imagine. Send data to a PC, Mac, or Linux computer, or a Raspberry Pi using NCD modems. Send data to popular cloud platforms such as Microsoft® Azure® IoT, Losant, and MQTT using NCD Micro Gateways. We can also help get data from NCD wireless IoT sensors to embedded platforms such as Arduino. We also offer sample code for Microsoft® Visual Studio, Node-RED, LabVIEW®, and Python. Our documentation fully breaks down the packet structure, so integration into other languages is possible. We may even be able to help, so please feel free to contact us if you are working with a platform not mentioned here.
The long range, price, accuracy, battery life and security features of Long Range IoT wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor makes it an affordable choice which exceeds the requirements for most of the industrial as well as consumer market applications.
This device sends data periodically, based on user-preset timing intervals.
This device sends data when sensor readings exceed preset limits.
Sensor Data Overview
NCD IoT Sensors send a lot more than just sensor data. For instance, a unique serial number is sent so you can always identify a particular sensor on the network. A Node ID is also included, which a single byte of data that you can use for anything, such as the floor of a building or to help identify which group a sensor belongs to. Also included in the data packet is a firmware version, battery level, and sensor type. This allows your software to positively identify and manage the health of NCD IoT wireless sensors. While signal strength data is also available, it is handled in a different way, and is not included in the sensor data packet (but rest assured, signal strength data for each sensor is available). Please see the Resources tab to see detailed information on the data structure of this device.
How long Will the Batteries really Last?
Most NCD IoT Sensors are rated for 300,000 to 500,000 transmissions until the batteries become so weak they are unreliable. You could spread these transmissions out over a 10 year period and send 50,000 transmissions per year. This would allow up to 136 transmissions per day, or about 5 transmissions per hour (for a 500K sensor, or 3 per hour for 300K sensor). If you only need the batteries to last 3 years, you could send 166,666 transmissions per year, or about 456 transmissions per day (about 19 transmissions per hour for a 500K sensor). As you can see, battery life is really up to you. By altering advanced settings in the NCD IoT sensor, you have control over longevity. Please note the 500,000 transmission rating is for premium alkaline batteries. NCD ships all sensors with premium Lithium batteries, which include a ultra-wide temperature range that typically lasts in excess of 600,000 transmissions for some sensor types. These batteries weigh less than half of alkalines, and they work in the freezer! A word of caution though, putting a sensor in configuration mode will drain the batteries very quickly. It’s important to configure your sensors and exit configuration mode as soon as possible or use a external power supply during configuration (if supported by the sensor). The table below indicates how many Transmissions Per Hour (TPH) your can expect from different sensors over a lifespan of up to 10 years.
|Battery Life:||3 Months||6 Months||1 Year||2 Years||3 Years||5 Years||10 Years|
|300K Sensor||136 TPH||68 TPH||34 TPH||17 TPH||11 TPH||6 TPH||3 TPH|
|400K Sensor||180 TPH||90 TPH||45 TPH||22 TPH||15 TPH||9 TPH||4 TPH|
|500K Sensor||228 TPH||114 TPH||57 TPH||28 TPH||19 TPH||11 TPH||5 TPH|
|600K Sensor||272 TPH||136 TPH||68 TPH||34 TPH||22 TPH||13 TPH||6 TPH|
TPH = Transmissions per Hour
How Do I Change Settings and Examine Raw Sensor Data?
Using our long-range USB wireless modem, users can expect easy operation over a virtual COM port at 115.2K baud. Simply open the virtual COM port of the USB modem and watch data stream in. Optionally, we offer a Wireless receiver that operates over Ethernet. Data from NCD sensors will appear over TCP/IP on port 2101. Simply open a TCP/IP socket, port 2101, to the IP address of the Ethernet modem and see your data stream in to your local area network. We have developed LabVIEW® software for each sensor to change advance sensor settings using both Ethernet and USB modems. Alpha Station also allows display of sensor readings as well as limited configuration (this feature is still in development). Of course gateways are also available for sending data to popular cloud platforms such as Amazon® AWS® IoT, Microsoft® Azure® IoT, and Losant (more information below). We take software samples seriously, so be sure to to check out the “Resources” tab to see code samples for Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, LabVIEW®, Arduino, Python, and more.
What Frequency Do I Need?
During purchase, you will see three frequency options. Not all options are legal for use in all areas, so it’s important to make the right selection during purchase. We will build your product and accessories based on the options chosen. Here, we will explain these options in much greater detail, but please check your local laws BEFORE purchase.
900MHz for North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico)
If you are located in North America, the 900MHz Option will provide the longest range currently supported with the best penetration through walls, buildings, industrial equipment, and trees. This option is also the best choice for long range applications. The official Line of Sight rating for this option is 2 Miles with included antennas or 28 Miles with high-gain antennas. We suggest contacting Digi.com for a high-gain antenna recommendation if required. Please check your local laws before choosing this option.
868MHz for Europe Only
If you are located in Europe, the 868MHz Option is the longest range choice available at this time. This option offers better penetration through walls, buildings, trees, and industrial equipment than 2.4GHz. The official line of site rating for this option is 14.5km using 2.1dBi antennas. Please check your local laws before choosing this option.
2.4Ghz for Worldwide Use
The 2.4GHz option should be chosen if 900MHz and 868MHz are not legal for use in your country. This option is now certified for use worldwide, including Europe, United States, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea. Please check your local laws before choosing this option just in case 2.4GHz is not legal in your area.
If you are unsure of which sensor option to choose, please contact us. We may be able to help determine which sensors are legal for use in your area.
Wireless Structural Monitoring Sensor Applications
- Structural Health Monitoring
- Steel Beam Displacement Monitoring
- Lifting and Spreader Beam Testing
- Hydraulic Movement Detection
- Linear Displacement Detection and Measurement
- Structural Crack and Shift Monitoring
- Push Structural Monitoring Data to Cloud Services:
- Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Temboo, Losant, MQTT
- Push Structural Monitoring Data to Computers:
- Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, RS-485, RS-232, and USB
Where do I send my IoT Sensor Data?
Your Sensors...Your Data...
NCD IoT Sensor Data can be sent anywhere with NO FEES OR HIDDEN COSTS, NOT NOW, NOT EVER! NCD IoT Sensors always provide an open protocol, so you are not tied to any cloud platform. You own your data, so you can do whatever you want with it, no subscriptions, no service contracts, and you can integrate NCD sensors into any software, embedded system, or cloud platform of your own free choice.
Send IoT Sensor Data Anywhere. Send IoT Sensor Data EVERYWHERE!
Whether you need IoT sensor data on a desktop computer, an IoT cloud platform, or an embedded platform, we have you covered. NCD IoT sensors broadcast data, so data handling is very easy, expandable, and versatile. Send IoT sensor data to Gateways when you want to talk directly to IoT cloud platforms. Send IoT Sensor data to Modems when you want to talk to local computers. Of course you can always send data to both gateways and modems simultaneously, so you always have access to your sensor data locally and remotely. Use multiple Gateways when you need data redundancy or if you need to send sensor data to multiple IoT cloud platforms.
Organize Your IoT Sensors for Large Installations
IoT Sensor Clusters are also possible. You can build a cluster of IoT sensors on every floor of a high-rise building, sending data to gateways and modems on each floor. Clustering makes it possible to keep your IoT sensor data separated for easier management. Each Gateway and Modem can be configured to listen to a different cluster of IoT sensors. Because NCD devices support thousands of clusters, expanding your IoT sensor network is virtually limitless.
Do I Need a Modem or a Gateway?
IoT Sensor Gateways are used to translate data from sensors into human-readable values and post the results on common cloud platforms such as Amazon, Azure, Losant, and MQTT using WiFi for communications. Modems on the other hand are used to transfer raw sensor data into different communication formats such as WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, RS-485, and MQTT. Please note that a MQTT Gateway is different from a MQTT Modem. A MQTT Gateway is preferred for most users, as it handles sensor translation for you. MQTT Modems do not translate data, they send the raw sensor data to the MQTT broker for parsing on the server. Learn More about the Difference Between Gateways and Modems Here:
Send IoT Sensor Data to Kosmos by Temboo!
Send IoT Sensor Data to Ubidots!
Send IoT Sensor Data to Microsoft® Azure® IoT
Collect IoT Sensor Data up to Two Miles Away and send your data to Microsoft® Azure® using the NCD Micro Gateway for Connection to Azure.
The Micro Gateway for Microsoft® Azure® reports all incoming IoT sensor telemetry as real-world values to Microsoft® Azure® through the connected Device Twin, and/or Device to Cloud Messages.
Setup could not be easier. The NCD Micro Gateway uses SoftAP and includes embedded web pages for configuration. Simply connect your WiFi capable computer to the NCD Micro Gateway Access Point and the Configuration Pages will appear. All you need is an Azure® Device Connection String to register this device to your Azure® account and a WiFi network with internet connectivity.
Send IoT Sensor Data to Losant
Collect IoT Sensor Data up to Two Miles Away and send your data to Losant using the NCD Micro Gateway. Leverage the power of the Losant Flow Builder to build a stunning dashboard that displays graphs of sensor telemetry over time.
The NCD Micro Gateway for Losant automatically provisions the gateway on the Losant Cloud and registers all IoT sensors as children of the gateway. Watch IoT Sensor data arrive on the Losant cloud with minimal setup time.
Setup could not be easier. The NCD Micro Gateway uses SoftAP and includes embedded web pages for configuration. Simply connect your WiFi capable computer to the NCD Micro Gateway Access Point and the Configuration Pages will appear. All you need are Losant connection credentials (Application ID and Application Token) and a WiFi network with internet connectivity.
Losant is an Official Partner of National Control Devices, Learn More about Losant Here.
Send IoT Sensor Data to Amazon® AWS® IoT
Collect IoT Sensor Data up to Two Miles Away and send your data to Amazon® AWS® IoT using the NCD Micro Gateway for Amazon AWS. Leverage the power of the Amazon® AWS® IoT to connect to the complete ecosystem of NCD IoT Wireless Sensors. The NCD Micro Gateway for Amazon® AWS® automatically provisions the gateway on the Amazon® AWS® Cloud and registers all IoT sensors as children of the gateway. Watch IoT Sensor data arrive on the Amazon® AWS® cloud with minimal setup time.
Setup could not be easier. The NCD Micro Gateway uses SoftAP and includes embedded web pages for configuration. Simply connect your WiFi capable computer to the NCD Micro Gateway Access Point and the Configuration Pages will appear. All you need are Amazon® AWS® connection credentials and a WiFi network with internet connectivity.
Send IoT Sensor Data to your MQTT Broker
Collect IoT Sensor Data up to Two Miles Away and send your data to your own MQTT broker using the NCD Micro Gateway for MQTT. Build your own cloud using the complete ecosystem of NCD IoT Wireless Sensors. The NCD Micro Gateway for MQTT sends JSON strings in human-readable values for easy integration into your own dedicated cloud applications. Build your own MQTT Broker or use Ubidots for displaying tiles of NCD IoT Sensor Data in just a few minutes!
Setup could not be easier. The NCD Micro Gateway uses SoftAP and includes embedded web pages for configuration. Simply connect your WiFi capable computer to the NCD Micro Gateway Access Point and the Configuration Pages will appear. All you need are MQTT credentials and a WiFi network with internet connectivity.
Cellular Gateways on the Way!
You’ve been asking for Cellular Gateways and we’ve been listening! We are currently finalizing development of our Cellular Gateways for Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Losant, and MQTT. We are planning to release before the end of the first quarter of 2021. Powered by Node Red, our New Cellular Gateways, provide a Secure Direct to Cloud connection for NCD sensors from anywhere cellular service is available.
Using Modems with NCD IoT Sensors
Modems are ideal for communicating to localized computers, servers, and embedded systems. The main purpose of a modem is to convert data from Wireless Sensors and endNode controllers into standard hardware communication formats such as USB Virtual COM Port, Bluetooth Virtual COM Port, WiFi TCP, WiFi MQTT, Ethernet TCP, RS-232, and RS-485. Multiple modems may be used simultaneously, so you are not limited to making a single choice. Add more modems as needed to cover larger areas or explore other communication technologies. Both Modems and Gateways offer long range wireless communications up to 2-Miles line-of-sight. Modems and Gateways may also be used in a Wireless Mesh network to “Hop” data across the wireless network to cover longer distances. Both Modems and Gateways may be grouped into separate networks on each floor of a high-rise building without interference between floors.
Send IoT Sensor Data to Visual Studio
We Developed Alpha Station using Visual Studio to demonstrate how IoT sensor data can be received and converted to real-world values. Alpha Station allows you to view and set basic configuration settings of remote sensors up to 2 miles away. Alpha Station supports our Wireless USB Modem, our Mega Modem, and our Wireless Ethernet Modem. The source code and run-time application is available for download on our web site at https://ncd.io/alpha.
Send IoT Sensor Data to Node-RED
We Developed a complete set of Drivers for Node-RED, so you can build your own flows and dashboards to help get you connected. Send NCD IoT sensor data to Node-RED and use flows to build logic operations to send alerts or turn things on or off. Combining Node-RED with NCD IoT sensors gives you limitless power to monitor, control, and visualize data locally and remotely.
The Node-RED Flow Builder is powerful, allowing you to build complex graphs and dashboards in minutes. Node-RED may also be used for advanced Gateway applications. Send data to your favorite IoT Cloud service such as MQTT, Losant, Microsoft® Azure®, or Amazon® AWS®. Since Node-RED runs on a local computer, a USB, RS-232, Ethernet or Mega Modem is required.
NCD Node-RED Libraries are always expanding, you can read about how to integrate our sensor into Node-RED Here.
Send IoT Sensor Data to LabVIEW®
Configure & Test IoT Sensors with LabVIEW®
We Developed a complete set of tutorials for working with NCD IoT Sensors using LabVIEW®. Use LabVIEW® to configure advanced sensor settings or to graph incoming sensor data. Monitor the battery level of remote sensors and watch sensor data flow over time. We will be adding source code for LabVIEW® in the future, but for now, please contact us if you have a urgent need for source code. Since LabVIEW® runs on a local computer, a USB, RS-232, Ethernet or Mega Modem is required.
Using our LabView software, data logging from a single sensor is also possible. Simply run the software and watch the graph fill with data over time. Export the data into comma delimited tables for use in Excel or into other data analysis tools. Logging data from multiple sensors simultaneously is not supported at this time in our software, but can be accomplished using Losant or Azure web services.
Please check the “Resources” tab above for resources relevant to this product or Click Here to see all of our LabVIEW® resources.
IoT Security and Transparency Statement
All IoT Device Manufacturers should commit to IoT Security and Transparency. As a consumer, you have the right to a IoT Security and Transparency Statement BEFORE purchase, and we encourage all customers to demand this information from all IoT Manufacturers and Vendors. In an effort to be fully transparent with our customers, we will always disclose the most important security related information at the bottom of each product page for all IoT Devices. Under no circumstances does NCD use IoT devices to collect customer data, sensor readings, or other information without full disclosure. As a matter of NCD IoT Security Policy, any IoT device that collects any form of data must be disclosed in the IoT Security and Transparency Statement. Relevant Security Information pertaining to this particular device is Indicated Below:
- This Device does not directly communicate to the internet
- This Device requires a Gateway for communication to the internet
- This Device Uses 128-Bit AES Encrypted Wireless Communications (Minimum)
- This Device is Equipped with a Default AES Encryption Key Common to All NCD Wireless Sensors at the Time of Shipping
- Users Have the Ability to Change the Default AES Encryption Key
- This Device Requires Physical Access to Change the AES Encryption Key
- This Device Does Not Have the Ability to Communicate to NCD Servers
- Firmware Upgrades Require Physical Access to this Device by NCD Engineers ONLY