SEVEN Cellular Coverage Tips and Tricks

When you experience coverage issues with a SEVEN base unit it is good to know there is a sequence of steps that can be taken to determine what is causing the issue and what is the next best step to take.

One of the key factors when installing SEVEN is to ensure there is adequate cellular coverage where the base unit is located. Good cellular strength will ensure that the base unit will connect to monitoring even with environmental changes.

During installation, if SEVEN cannot establish a cellular connection at all, there are several steps you can take to find good cellular connection.

Before you head to an install it is good to check that there is 4G coverage at the address, using the telecommunication providers address lockup on their website. In locations where coverage appears to be patchy it is a good idea to take an extended aerial version of SEVEN, if needed this can be installed to improve the coverage. It is also good to have a SEVEN that operates on another cellular network, in cases where there is no coverage from one of the providers, SEVEN on another network may come in handy.

When your SEVEN cannot get cellular connection

When SEVEN is first turned on the ‘Connect’ button should display a solid orange light for approximately one (1) minute, for single SIM card, and up to five (5) minutes for dual SIM cards, while connecting to the local cellular network. If the button does not change to green or starts flashing orange or red, it means that SEVEN is unable to establish a connection to the cellular network.

What to do when the ‘Connect’ button flashes at installation:

  • If the ‘Connect’ button is flashing orange, press it to hear what communication pathways is not connecting. If you have a communication pathway enabled that is not meant to be, or no longer required, use the Installer Setup Menu (or Chiptech Wizard) to select only the communication pathways you intend to use at the install site.
  • If the ‘Connect’ button continues to flash, disconnect the power, and turn off the base unit by holding the ‘Power’ button until you hear three beeps followed by a lower beep. Move the base unit to another location, away from large metal objects and not on top of a stainless-steel bench / fridge, adjusting by as little as 50cm can help improve connectivity. Wait for at least ten seconds and then reconnect the power to start the base unit again, wait for the ‘Connect’ button to turn green.
  • If the ‘Connect button’ continues to flash, and this isn’t a new SEVEN (out of the box) ,check the SIM card(s) is present and inserted correctly behind the battery pack. To check a SIM, first disconnect all cables and turn off the base unit, before opening the battery cover with a Torx screwdriver. Check that the SIM card(s) contacts (gold area) are clean of fingerprints and debris and that they are aligned correctly in the SIM slot, with the hinge closed securely. SIM card(s) can be swapped with another from the same provider if required.
    Please note, the SIM slots are associated with registration details so the same SIM provider must be used in the same slot, or the configuration file will need to be updated to apply changes to ensure the new SIM card can connect to the network.
  • If a connection cannot be established, check with the cellular service provider that the SIM card(s) is activate, provisioned with the correct services, and that there are no local outages on the 4G network in the area.
  • Try installing another SEVEN to determine if it is a hardware or setup issue. If it is, then use the Chiptech Wizard and a SERMOD cable to update the configuration and firmware to the latest versions available from Chiptech. A newer firmware file may improve cellular connectivity as it keeps pace with telecommunication changes. Alternatively, fill in a fault form and return the base unit for servicing.

SEVEN External Aerial Base Units

The extended aerial variant of SEVEN has been designed for improving cellular coverage in areas where there is limited cellular coverage of the 4G/3G network. If you find there is “Poor” or no coverage and the related Telecommunications provider map indicates there should be some coverage at the installation site, we recommend installing a SEVEN with an extended aerial; SEVEN-X or SEVEN D-X, or SEVEN LiTE-X.

The ‘X’ base units have a SMA female connector so an external aerial with a SMA male connector can be connected to it to improve the ability to connect to the network. Chiptech has tested and recommends two 4G/3G aerials, providing an indoor and outdoor option. These can be found on our ‘SEVEN External Aerials Recommendations’ reference document.

When installing an ‘X’ version make sure you find a position with “Good” or “Excellent” coverage and then fix the aerial (where it will not be knocked or moved). Remember to send an alert to the monitoring centre to ensure both data and voice communications are working as expected.

System Testing

To complete an installation, ensure that a full system test is completed. Activate the RF device (to check the RF transceiver is functioning as expected), hear the loud alarm sound and voice messages as the report is being sent (checks volume and that the data report can be sent). When “the alert has been received,” wait for ring back from the monitoring centre, and check that you are able to communicate over the speakerphone (checks that the voice is operating from monitoring to the base unit).

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