UWB System Connectivity Troubleshooting with Plus Activate Dashboard

Overview

The components that comprise your UWB solution are all vital to its successful operation. Occasionally, hardware issues may occur that keep these solutions from performing at their full potential.

The most common issue reported with our UWB solutions is reader connectivity issues caused by faulty cabling. However, proper troubleshooting should be exercised to efficiently determine the root cause. The below steps will guide you through troubleshooting these issues.

Note: You will find a Troubleshooting Matrix at the end of this document. We recommend that you use it or something similar to log troubleshooting steps and data. This log can also serve as historical data when troubleshooting issues in the future, and can also help BlueCats support better serve you if you need to contact us.

Table of Contents

Before you Begin

Confirm each SDP AC input is on an isolated circuit with an uninterrupted power source. The best way to ensure this is to connect all SDPs to power factor correction UPSs. This protects the system from blackouts, brownouts, overvoltages, surges, and line noise. These events can cause harm to the Server, SDP(s), Reader(s), and cause tracking performance issues in your system.

SDP Install Diagram

Please review the below diagrams for a visual overview of an example SDP Network set up.

Troubleshooting

Step 1 – Assessment

  1. Using the Portal Dashboard, verify

    1. the system is free from all reader alarms.

    2. that all readers are connected to the network.

  2. Document each reader and the alarm(s) being reported in your Troubleshooting Matrix, for example, “Sync Marker,” “Sync Marker Jitter,” and “PLL.”

  3. Document all readers not reporting to the network (offline).

  4. Clear all reader alarms using the Portal software tools, and update your document noting which reader alarms cleared.

Step 2 – Power cycling the SDP

If readers are still showing errors or are offline, you will need to power cycle the SDP/s connected to the affected readers. This consists of removing power from the SDP and then restoring power.

  1. Removing power from the SDP can be done in a few different ways.

    1. Use the SDP’s power switch on the back of the SDP to power it down.

    2. Unplug the SDP’s power cable.

    3. Turn off the circuit breaker the SDP is using.

  2. Wait at least 10 seconds with the unit powered off, and then restore power.

  3. Update your document noting which readers recovered and those that are still offline.

Step 3 – Verifying cabling

If readers are still showing errors or are offline, then you will need to verify the cables and their connections.

  1. Power down the SDP to eliminate the possibility of any harm coming to you or the equipment. You can use one of the aforementioned methods discussed under Step 2 to power down the SDP.

  2. Starting at the reader location, verify the ethernet cable is a shielded, solid copper, 24-gauge, Cat5 or Cat6 cable. 

  3. Remove the ethernet connector from the reader. Verify the connector is clean with no signs of discoloration and matches the TIA-EIA 568B wiring scheme. This needs to be done at both ends of the cable.

  4. Using a micro scanner or similar cable tester, attach the tester to one end of the cable and the termination plug at the other end. Verify connectivity on each pair and the shield. Replace connectors or the cable if needed.

  5. Document the cable length and repeat this process until you have made it back to the SDP.

  6. Verify the total cable length from the SDP port to the last reader in the chain does not exceed 100 meters. Also, note that the maximum number of readers in a chain should not exceed three.

  7. Reconnect all cables and turn the SDP power on. Verify all active ports LED’s are on/blinking.

  8. Update your document noting which reader alarms cleared and those readers still not reporting to the network (offline).

Note: Readers reporting Sync Marker or Sync Jitter alarms usually means there is an issue with the connector or the cable. Repeat Step 3.

Step 4 – Final Steps

  1. Readers that are still offline or that are showing a PLL alarm will need to be replaced. Contact BlueCats to arrange for replacement Readers.

Troubleshooting Matrix

You can use this sample chart to help you diagnose your UWB connectivity issues.

Date

Reader

MAC Address

Alarm Type

Cable Length (ft)

Reader

Online?

Alarms Cleared?

 

1

 
  • Sync Marker

  • Sync Marker Jitter

  • PLL

  • Reboot

 

  • Yes

  • No

  • Yes

  • No

 

2

 
  • Sync Marker

  • Sync Marker Jitter

  • PLL

  • Reboot

 

  • Yes

  • No

  • Yes

  • No

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