HOBOnode Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do I need to get started?
  2. When should I consider using a Repeater?
  3. When and why should I purchase a USB extender cable?
  4. Do the HOBOnode sensors store the data?
  5. Should I buy HOBO stand-alone data loggers or HOBOnode wireless sensors?
  6. What if I need to monitor sites that are beyond the range of the HOBOnode sensors?
  7. Are HOBOnodes compatible with Macs?
  8. Do I need to protect my sensor cables?
  9. Are the HOBOnode sensors waterproof?
  10. Do I need to leave my PC on all the time to collect data?
  11. What if I want internet access to my HOBOnode sensor data?
  12. Can I use these HOBOnodes indoors?

Q: What do I need to get started?

A: A complete system requires a Receiver, a temperature and/or soil moisture wireless sensor, and a computer running HOBOnode Viewer Utility software. A Repeater is required for greater distances.

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Q: When should I consider using a Repeater?

A: The transmission range from a HOBOnode Wireless Sensor to a HOBOnode Receiver or a HOBOnode Repeater is 300m (1000') with clear Line of Sight (LOS). To get LOS range, you must be able to see from the sensor to the receiver. Any obstructions such as crops, trees or walls will substantially reduce range.

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Q: When and why should I purchase a USB extender cable?

A: To improve the transmission range of your HOBOnode Receiver, it may be necessary to move the Receiver to a more ideal location such as near a window. The USB Extender Cable will allow you to extend your USB cable length by 16 feet. Five USB Extender Cables can be used in a row.

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Q: Do the HOBOnode sensors store the data?

A: There is no data storage in the HOBOnode sensors or HOBOnode Receiver, so a PC running the HOBOnode Viewer Utility is needed to log data. For applications that require a continuous data set, we recommend that the PC be plugged into an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), and that the HOBOnode Viewer is setup to run automatically when the computer is turned on.

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Q: Should I buy HOBO stand-alone data loggers or HOBOnode wireless sensors?

A: If you have a PC within wireless range that can stay on 24/7 to collect data, then the HOBOnode wireless sensors are your best choice. If you do not have a PC within wireless range that you can dedicate to collecting data, then a stand-alone data logger would be a better choice for your application.

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Q: What if I need to monitor sites that are beyond the range of the HOBOnode sensors?

A: Your first choice is to add HOBOnode Repeaters. With clear line-of-sight conditions, a repeater can transmit up to 1 mile. To get LOS range, you must be able to see from the sensor to the receiver. Any obstructions such as crops, trees or walls will substancially reduce range. Up to 4 repeaters can be used between a sensor and a receiver. If your sensors are farther than that, you should look at the HOBO RX3000 with cellular. This provides internet access to remote data from sites that have 3G cellular service. For areas without cellular coverage we recommend our HOBO data loggers with a HOBO Shuttle to offload the data.

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Q: Are HOBOnodes compatible with Macs?

A: Not at this time. The HOBOnodes and HOBOnode Viewer software are compatible with PCs running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7..

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Q: Do I need to protect my sensor cables?

A: Yes. If the sensor cables run anywhere near the ground, we recommend that the cables be protected in conduit to prevent rodents from chewing them.

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Q: Are the HOBOnode sensors waterproof?

A: The sensor probes are waterproof and the transmitter housings are weatherproof (tested to NEMA 6P). The HOBOnodes do not transmit data underwater.

Additionally, HOBOnodes can be used to monitor water temperatures near the surface in lakes, streams and tidal estuaries. The transmitters have to be mounted above the water (they are not waterproof and wireless transmission will not work underwater), and the waterproof temperature probe can be deployed in the water at the desired depth, limited by the 3.7m (12 ft) length of the cable.

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Q: Do I need to leave my PC on all the time to collect data?

A: Yes, the HOBOnodes themselves have no memory, and they count on the HOBOnode Viewer utility running on a PC to log the data. For applications requiring continuous data, we recommend an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS).

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Q: What if I want internet access to my HOBOnode sensor data?

A: We suggest LogMeIn.com, or a similar remote computer access site. This allows you to make your PC running HOBOnode Viewer accessible through the internet from a remote PC or Mac.

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Q: Can I use these HOBOnodes indoors?

A: Yes, as long as the sensors will be within range of the Receiver. The range of the sensors is 1400' when there is a clear line of sight to the Receiver, but indoor obstructions such as walls can greatly reduce this. (We offer a Repeater for outdoor use, but this repeater is too large for indoor use in most cases.) The signal attenuation for some typical indoor obstructions are below.

Glass - Low
Office partitions – Low
Wood doors - Low
Tinted glass - Medium
Sheetrock walls – Medium
Brick walls – Medium
People and Plants - Medium
Concrete – High
Metal (reinforced concrete, mirrors, metal cabinets, coolers, fencing) – Very High

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