You’ve received your Sensoterra sensors and are ready to start measuring soil moisture data. That’s great! Before you begin, we’d like to point out some tips for installing and caring for your Sensoterra sensors. This manual can be downloaded via the link at the bottom of the page as well.
- Open the box and check that your order is correct and undamaged.
We work with excellent warehouse and shipping partners but mistakes can happen. We want to be proactive about any solutions to fix shipping errors and honour warranty replacements.
- If you've ordered a gateway, please make sure that it is installed and running correctly.
You can find information about installing Multitech gateways here.
- Download the Sensoterra app. Available for iOS and Android (search for “Sensoterra in the app stores).
Open the app and create an account. This is the account you will register the sensors under and receive notifications on for soil moisture levels. Make sure it’s an account you regularly use!
- Make an installation plan.
Consider how you’d like the sensors distributed over your land. Think carefully about total area of your land, previously identified problem spots, number of irrigation sections/valves, root depths, etc. Write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like some more input concerning your exact needs and installation plan.
- Once you’ve identified installation locations, wake the sensors up by holding them upright by the pins at the bottom, turning them upside down for 2 seconds and then turning them upright again.
Sensors are delivered in a dormant “stock mode”. This helps prolong battery life.
- Install a sensor by identifying the desired installation location, opening the Sensoterra app, scanning the QR code on the side of the sensor, choosing the correct settings for that sensor’s location, and pushing it into the soil.
You can usually push the sensor in the soil. In tougher terrain, use a rubber hammer to tap the sensor into the soil.
(If the location isn't accurate enough, you can still move forward through all the steps and assign the sensor the correct location later.)
- Give the sensor some time to “wake up,” orient itself, and start sending data.
For the European 868 frequency, this can take 1-24 hours. For the US 915 frequency, this can take 1-48 hours. Most sensors will connect in an hour or so.
- Check the Sensoterra app or the web monitor for soil moisture data. Success! You can now inform your irrigation or land management decisions with valuable data.
General Care Instructions
Sensoterra soil moisture sensors are an impressive piece of technology built inside a robust casing. With proper use and care, the sensors should last 5 to 8 years. To get the most out of your sensors, please keep these tips in mind:
> Push the sensors into the soil or tap them in using a rubber hammer.
Soil contact is important so should you feel an obstruction or resistance beneath the ground, try to find another spot to place the sensor. Do not use a steel hammer on the casing!
> Placement of sensors is key!
When possible, try to place sensors in a general line of sight of the gateway.
Do not place sensors near any large (metal) structures like a grain silo, electricity tower, or water tower. Place at least 20 meters (65 feet) away to avoid interference, keeping the location of the gateway in mind.
> Remove the sensors prior to any mechanical harvesting.
Damaging the sensors or your harvesting equipment is a bummer and is not covered by our warranty!
> When not in use, remove the sensors and store them in a dry place.
This is particularly important when your gateway is turned off. Do not leave the sensors in the soil with no LoRa coverage as they will continue to try to find a LoRa connection. This puts unnecessary strain on the battery.
Storing the sensors upside-down in a cool (not freezing), dry place puts them into stock mode and will prolong the battery life.
> Moving a sensor to a new location.
If you want to move a sensor to a new location, go to that location with the sensor. Once you're at the new location, repeat steps 5 through 8 above. Make a note of the date that a sensor was moved so as not to be confused when reading data.