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Configuring Cloud Alarms

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The alarm feature in the MadgeTech Cloud Service can be used to send email and text alerts, notifying users when specified conditions have been met. The alarm types available in the Cloud service include: logger readings falling outside of a user specified threshold; low battery conditions; and missed readings.

Cloud alarms work with devices that are actively connected to the MadgeTech Cloud Service, via either the MadgeTech 4 software or the RFC1000 Cloud Relay. Loggers must be running in real time mode to communicate with the Cloud Service, so Cloud alarms are most commonly used with wireless loggers such as the RF2000A series, RFOTs, and ThermAlerts.

Cloud Alarms Overview

Creating a Cloud Alarm consists of three main steps:

1. Create the alarm rule.

2. Create a contact.

3. Apply alarm rule(s) and contact(s) to a logger.

Alarms rules and contacts can be created at any time, independently of each other, but can only be applied to a logger after they have been created in the Manage Alarm Specifications menu.

Detailed instructions for each step are below.

Creating Alarm Rules

To create an alarm rule:

1. Select Manage Alarm Specifications in the main menu of the Cloud web interface.

2. Click the Create button in the Alarm Rules section.

3. Choose the desired alarm type: No Readings, Channel Threshold, or Battery Level.

4. The steps for creating the rule will vary slightly for each alarm type:

  • No readings: No readings alarms will send an alert if the Cloud server does not receive a reading from a logger, for any reason, for the specified amount of time. To complete the alarm, enter the amount of time that is acceptable for the service to not receive a reading in the “For __  minutes” textbox, and click Create.
    For No Readings alarms, it is highly recommended to enter a time that is sufficiently longer than the reading interval being used by the logger, to prevent false positive alerts.
  • Channel Threshold:  Channel threshold alarms will alert when a logger reading falls above or below a user-specified threshold.
    To configure the channel threshold, enter the desired reading type (CO2, Humidity, Pressure, or Temperature) in the “When” dropdown. Note that the logger that the alarm is eventually applied to must have a compatible channel for the selected alarm type.
    If Above is selected in the “Trigger” dropdown menu, the alarm will trigger if a logger reading is higher than the entered value. If Below is selected, the alarm will trigger if a logger reading is below the entered value.
    The desired value for the alarm should be entered in the blank text box between the “Trigger” and “Unit” dropdown menus. The desired unit can then be selected in the “Unit” dropdown menu (for example, degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit for temperature).
    The “For _ (Qualifier)” entry in the channel threshold menu determines how long the readings must remain above/below the specified value before the alarm is triggered. The desired amount of time should be entered in the blank textbox between “for” and the “Qualifier” dropdown, and the desired time unit (seconds, minutes, or hours) can be selected in the “Unit” dropdown.
  • Battery Level: Battery level alarms will trigger when the battery level reported by the logger falls below the specified percentage. The desired percentage can be entered in the text field. Note: this alarm type is not available for loggers connected through MadgeTech 4.

5. Click Create.

6. The new alarm will appear in the Alarm Rules list and can now be applied to the desired logger(s).

Adding Contacts

An alarm contact must be created for any user who wishes to receive email or text alerts when an alarm is triggered.

To create a contact:

1. Select Manage Alarm Specifications from the main menu.

2. Click Add in the Alarm Contacts section.

3. Enter the name for the contact.

4. Enter the email address or the SMS text-through-email address for the contact.

5. Click Create.

SMS text address should be added in the form of <phonenumber>@<smsgateway.com>. A list of SMS gateways for common US wireless carriers can be found here.

For example, a phone number of 555-123-4567 using AT&T as wireless carrier should be entered as: [email protected].

If a user wishes to receive both email and text alerts, two separate contacts should be created: one for email alerts, and one for text alerts.

Applying Alarms to Loggers

Once alarms and contacts have been created, they must be applied to individual loggers, or logger groups. Multiple alarms and contacts can be applied to a single logger (or logger group) if desired.

To apply alarms and contacts to an individual logger:

1. Click on the logger name in the Summary page of the Cloud website.

2. Click on Manage Alarms in the logger settings page.

3. Click on the name for the desired alarm.

4. Click on the radio button to select how often the alerts should be sent when an alarm is triggered. The Only when the alarm is first activated option will send a single alert when the alarm is first triggered, and will not send any additional alerts until the activated alarm is cleared (see below) and the alarm is triggered again. The While conditions are met… option will continue to send alerts, based on the times that are entered in the “hours” and “minutes” text fields.

5. In the Contacts section, select the desired contact, and click Add Contact to apply it to the alarm. Repeat this step for all desired contacts.

6. Click the Enable button to enable the alarm. Note that at least one contact must be applied to the alarm for the Enable button to be active.

7. Click Close.

Note that the icon to the left of the alarm name should be green for all enabled alarms. Disabled alarms will have a gray icon, and triggered alarms will have a red icon.

To apply alarms and contacts to a logger group:

If logger groups have already been created, skip to step 6.

1. Select Group Loggers in the Main Menu.

2. Click Add in the Logger Groups line.

3. Enter a name and description for the new group, and click Save.

4. A new line will appear for the newly created group. Click the arrow on the left side of the line for the new group, to expand the group.

5. Click the Add button in the Loggers line, select a logger to add to the group, and click Add. Repeat as necessary to add additional loggers to the group.

6. In the Alarms row for the desired group, click Add.

7. Select the desired alarm from the dropdown list, and click Add.

8. Click on the radio button to select how often the alerts should be sent when an alarm is triggered. The Only when the alarm is first activated option will send a single alert when the alarm is first triggered, and will not send any additional alerts until the activated alarm is cleared (see below) and the alarm is triggered again. The While conditions are met… option will continue to send alerts, based on the times that are entered in the “hours” and “minutes” text fields.

9. In the Contacts section, select the desired contact, and click Add Contact to apply it to the alarm. Repeat this step for all desired contacts.

10. Click the Enable All button to activate the alarm. Note that at least one contact must be applied to the alarm for the Enable All button to be active.

11. Click Close. The new alarm should be listed in the Alarms section of the logger group.

Clearing Alarms

Triggered alarms will send an alert to any contact that has been added to that alarm. In addition, the icon next to the logger name in the Summary page on the Cloud website will change to a red bell.

There are two ways to clear the alarm. To clear the alarm directly from the Summary page, click in the center of the white or gray bar where the logger is listed (between the logger name and the reading information) to display the graph. Above the graph, the name of the triggered alarm will appear in red text. Click on this text, and then click Clear Alarm in the message box that appears.

Alarms can also be cleared from the alarm menu for the alerting logger. To open the alarm menu, click on the logger name in the Summary page, and then click the Manage Alarms button. The bell icon for triggered alarms will be red. Click on the entry for the triggered alarm, and in the menu that opens, click Clear.

About Chris Morse:

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