Problem Solve Voyager Radio Wand Sites
Voyager System Problem Solving
Checking your Voyager sites is not difficult. Here is how it works. Staff tracking in Voyager Radio Wand sites use RF ID. Devices on the wall send out an RFID serial number and data loggers staff carry receive those signals and log them into memory. Later this data is uploaded to the web for reporting.
In more detail it happens like this:
- Located around the site are PipTags (battery operated) or Pulsars (mains powered) attendance points.
- Staff carry a Radio Data Wand. These record signals from the PipTag attendance points into the wand memory.
- Later the Wands are touched onto an XL-Unloader. The data is extracted and the clock is reset.
- Staff put the wands back onto charge.
- A program in the PC empties the XL-Unloader into the PC’s hard disk.
- Another program sends the data to WebEye in the Cloud for storage and reporting.
First of all, use WebEye to run reports:
- If the reports are terrible then here are some checks.
- Has the XL-Unloader been emptied?
- Is data being sent to the cloud?
- Are the wands being charged properly?
- Are the wands being carried?
- Determine if any locations are totally missing from the report. No data locations mean a major and obvious problem.
- Location Attendance report is great for this.
- Risk Management report will show “0” calls also.
- This indicates a device (PipTag or Pulsar) has failed, been removed, or has a flat battery.
- If a group of locations have data but are poor then it can be.
- Weak batteries in a few PipTags.
- Wands patrolling the areas may have damaged radios and or antennas.
- Be aware that entrances may have poor results because staff do not go right up to them on clear sunny days.
Voyager Radio Wand sites require occasional maintenance. The most common problems are:
- Batteries in PipTags needing replacement.
- PipTage or Pulsar devices missing due to builders or maintenance staff (painters) removing them.
- Wand having low radio sensitivity because of being dropped. They just don’t sense the location points.
- Water or condensation damage.
- Battery replacement.
- Blown charge circuitry from using the wrong charger.
Voyager Wand sites use PipTags or Pulsars mounted on walls and ceilings that send out a signal. This signal is recorded in Radio Wands carried by staff. Later Radio Wands are emptied into an XL Unloader, then a PC extracts the data and sends it to Nexus-WebEye in the cloud.
What Elite-ID Do To Check A Site
The first thing to do is check that all Wands have been emptied and uploaded to WebEye. We get each Wand, empty it into the unloader then empty the unloader and send it to WebEye.
It is important to find any Wands that take a long time, over 5 minutes, to empty. This indicates they were full and hence not taking any new data.
Also look for Wands that won’t empty. The Unloader fault led will flash very fast indicating the Wand is faulty and needs to be returned for service.
There is no point proceeding till all Wands are emptied and data uploaded to WebEye.
Then we run reports to look at how many hits are being recorded by Wands, and check locations and look for problems. Use Location Attendance and Risk Management reports. Missing PipTags, PipTags with flat batteries, or Pulsars turned off are fairly easy to identify; zero data.
Typically however there will be not enough data for some locations. It will look very patchy, just one hit here and there.
Everything happens for a reason, missing data is the same:
- Flat batteries, missing PipTags or faulty Pulsar plug packs.
- Staff not attending, (watch out for entrances… it is a perennial problem for staff not going right up to an entrance).
- Saff not carrying Wands, finding an excuse, forgetting, not enough Wands.
- Staff not charging Wands.
- Wands not picking up the signals, and just plain faulty Wands.
This list accounts for most problems. Each needs to be checked. Sometimes there will be more than one issue.
An important test we do is to “walk the site”. This is a great diagnostic for Wands and for each location. We take a Wand, check each PipTag is working and picking up the signals as it should. All we do is watch the data led. The long flash indicates picking up a new signal (or leaving an old area). It is explained in detail later.
- Make sure the XL Unloader and PC are working and uploading data to WebEye. No point continuing till this is checked.
- Re-uploading data, if you are not sure, is fine. Nexus-WebEye only saves one copy of your data.
- Check history. Some months ago. Was it OK then? If so, what has changed?
- Are some days good, other days bad. Why? Good days indicate PipTag and Pulsars are working ok.
- Use WebEye Wand Hits report – check how many Wands are being used on site and their performance.
- Use Location Attendance report – check locations. Some may have zero data indicating a flat battery or a missing PipTag.
- Older sites with 240v powered Pulsars may have been switched off, or a plug pack is no longer working. The solution is to replace the Plusar with a PipTag or replace the plug pack and maybe even check the electrical circuit.
- Check if Radio Wands are receiving signals from Pulsars and PipTags properly (see below), walk the site.
- Find out if Wands are being charged adequately, at least 10 hours every night.
Checking Wands Are Receiving Properly
Dropping RadioWands will eventually damage the receivers. PipTag batteries will go flag. How do you test the system?
It is quite easy. Just observe the Radio Wand data led as you approach a PipTag or Pulsar. From that you can test the Wand radio receiver.
Here is a step by step description:
- Charge the Wand, touch onto an Unloader to empty it and set its clock. this gets it ready.
- Start at a location away from Pulsars and PipTags. The data led will not be flashing.
- Carry the Wand at hip level, watch the data led.
- Move toward the PipTag. Observe when the data led gives a long flash (about 1 second long).
- This is a “log-in” and on a Location Attendance report you will see a green spot to show it. In Cewnter Visits report it is an “81” code.
- You may get one long flash then nothing more if you stop moving. This means the Wand has only just picked up the signal. Signal strength is marginal. Move a few steps closer, the data led will give shorter flashes indicating a good solid signal strength.
- Move away again until the Wand data led stops flashing. Wait 20 seconds without any flashes. There will come a long flash. This is the “log-out” from the PipTag you were previously near. That happens 20 seconds after leaving an area (the time logged is the time of the last signal short led flash so it is correct). On the location attendance report it will show as a red spot and as an A1 in Center Visits.
- Repeat this procedure to test the Wand. Repeat with other PipTags to check them. Repeat with other wands to test them.
Expect the Radio Wand to give the long “log-in” flash from a sensible and adequate distance from the PipTag or Pulsar. Your system should have been setup so it logs from across a mall, and maybe a few meters more. Same for food courts – entrances and toilet blocks. You should not have to come super close to the device – it should log from across the mall.
After this you have tested every location. Repeat with just one location for all the other Wands. The goal is to test all the wands for sensitivity. If for example 1 Wand receives the PipTag and another does not and it really struggles to receive the signal or not at all – then the Wand is faulty.