Asset Tracking Solution - Installation Guide for Falcon

We created this article to help you get going with our Asset Tracking Solution in the shortest time possible.

Solution elements

Our Asset Tracking Solution (ATS hereafter) is comprised of the following elements:

  • ALSO IoT Platform
    • Notification services (free)
    • Geofence services (free)
    • Location History (free)
  • Falcon IoT device(s)
  • IoT SIM card(s) with LTE-M or NB-IoT connectivity
  • Free online support

Falcon - User Manual

 

For the detailed Getting Started guide for the Falcon device, please visit this link on the official manufacturer's website.

Check out all the Falcon Resources to get the best insight in this amazing device. 

The Falcon Cellular is a super-smart, battery-powered tracking device in a rugged IP67 housing - in particular designed for asset location with temperature monitoring.

Note: This manual is ONLY for the Falcon cellular version which comes in  4G Cat-M1/NB-IoT.

Falcon package content

You'll get a Falcon device with two glands for external probe wiring, the PCB is screwed into the housing with four screws, with six screws for securing the housing lid and an pre-installed seal for ensuring an IP67 seal.

One gland will be fitted with a stopper to prevent water ingress when no cable is fitted. DM can supply extra stoppers if both are going to be unused, or as replacements. 

If you need more documents about this device, view and download the latest Datasheet and the high resolution device images.

Setting up the device

SIM card

The Falcon uses a micro SIM card – form factor 3FF. The SIM holder is on the underside of the control board, so the device will need to be unscrewed and lifted out of the housing to insert the SIM.

Then, open the SIM holder by sliding towards the edge of the board, and place the SIM with the keyed corner facing in and the SIM contacts orientated down to the main board. Then gently press the SIM cover back down and slide towards the middle of the board to latch.

Caution: When handling the Falcon device, be careful not to touch the GPS antenna, to minimise the risk of damaging the sensitive GPS amplifiers with static discharge.

To easily get up and running:

  • The SIM should not have a PIN on it, unless you use the device specific PIN.
  • The SIM should have credit or airtime.

This device uses 4G APN - Autonet. This feature allows plug and play operation of these devices, as the right APN needed for a certain SIM is stored in a list in firmware, when this SIM is detected (based upon the IMSI) - this APN is set and the device can connect. 

Remember
Make sure once you're online, to declare your APN in the Admin parameters to ensure if you lose the network connection the device knows where to re-connect, and doesn't take time and battery life scanning through all known frequencies

Note: For the full documentation about the 4G APN - Autonet feature, please visit the official manufacturer's page. 

Powering the Falcon

Battery

The Falcon uses three AA LTC Batteries, and does not have reverse voltage protection so take care to insert the batteries with the correct polarity, the tabs being the negative terminals.

Warning!
It is very important to use 1.5V Lithium, or 3.6V Lithium thionyl chloride (LTC) AA batteries. If you use normal Alkaline AA batteries then they will only operate for about 50% of their useful life. It is important that LTC batteries can supply sufficient pulse current. Not all models are built the same!

If in doubt use Energizer Ultimate Lithium.

Once inserted, the LED should flash continuously. If it does not, it means the unit has not yet reset. In this case, remove the batteries for a minute or two to allow any residual charge to drain, and then reinsert them. Failure to reset the unit will prevent proper resetting of the battery life statistics.

Falcon Battery Recommendations and Estimates
Please see our article here about selecting suitable batteries for the Falcon

The Falcon is fitted with a Coulomb Counter which tracks the devices energy consumption. It is hard to predict the battery life of lithium batteries due to their flat discharge curve, the Battery Meter enables an accurate battery level to be determined for great features such as:

  • Accurate Low Battery Alerts - Alerts can be set at any level which provides enough time for new batteries to be fitted.
  • Battery Life Predictions - The Falcon can simply be deployed in the application with the desired settings for a short time (a week or so). The energy usage over this time can be determined, and from there battery life can predicted accurately
  • Telematics Guru provides a powerful Battery Management Tool which displays the percentage and provides a battery life estimate.

Getting Online

nce the batteries are inserted, the internal LED will come on and flash. The device will do the following:

  1. Connect to the server: If the SIM card works the device will connect to the OEM Server and attempt to download any firmware and parameter updates then fetch fresh GPS aiding data.
  2. Get a GPS Fix: The device will attempt to get a GPS fix. You can speed this up by moving to an area with good GPS signal.
  3. Reconnect to the server: The device will attempt to connect again to upload the result of the GPS Fix.

If the device does not complete these steps in 10 minutes, it will go to sleep and try again on the next heartbeat or the next trip start. Go to www.oemserver.com/installer and search for the serial number to confirm that it has connected recently.

If the LED flashes but the Falcon does not connect, check the SIM is in the holder correctly and check that the SIM is working.

If the device won't connect properly, please visit the Troubleshooting steps on official website.

Opening and Closing the Housing

Once online, all that remains is to seal the housing. Seal the device carefully to achieve the IP-67 rating. Ensure that the clear silicon seal is in good condition, is lying flat, and is not fouled by any plastic debris or other material.

  1. Close the housing, and gently squeeze it shut. Foam on the lid will compress against the batteries, holding them firmly in place.
  2. Tighten the 6 screws to a uniform tightness. On the first assembly, the screws may be quite stiff.
  3. If you wish to replace the batteries and open the housing, be sure to check that the silicon seal is in good condition before closing the housing again.

Default Settings

By default, the Falcon is set-up for trip tracking. For those familiar with the Oyster and Remora, the defaults are the same. The following default settings apply:

  • Out of Trip: 12 hour heartbeats. This is a GPS point and an upload every 12 hours.
  • In Trip:
    • Start trip threshold of 250m
    • Upload on trip start.
    • GPS points every 2 minutes
    • Upload every 30 minutes.
    • End a trip after 5 minutes of no movement.
    • Upload on trip end.

These settings and many more are configurable in the OEM Admin Interface. The defaults provide a good starting point but it is important to monitor and tweak your settings to ensure the battery life is acceptable. Incorrect settings can flatten the batteries quickly. Contact Support for help with this.

Installation of I2C probes and sensors

Wiring Guide: please click here for a guide on how to connect Digital Matter probes and sensors to the Falcon.

Adding an Ignition Wire to the Falcon

To enable accurate tracking when the Falcon is wired into a vehicle, there is the option to use Digital Input 1 as a wired ignition. First insert the wire ends into the terminals, from left to right the positive, ground and Digital 1/Ignition terminals as displayed below.

INFORMATION: For the detailed information about the  Falcon device, please visit the Support documentation on the official manufacturer's website.